On the 24th February the following will perform at the Electric Spring Festival (www.electricspring.co.uk) in association with the Ambient@40 Conference:
Simon Cummings – February 12, 2013 (world première), February 24, 2013 (world première)
These two pieces are indeterminate compositions, originally based on the methodology and processes of the similarly indeterminate works of US composer Kenneth Kirschner. The pieces comprise multiple layers of sound fragments that are navigated via a mixture of intentional and chance procedures, such that their details and overall duration are undefined. February 24, 2013 was specifically composed as a homage to Kirschner as part of the ‘Imperfect Forms’ book and album project. All of the sounds used in that piece are extremely quiet, mostly comprising very high or low frequencies, whereas February 12, 2013 is very more demonstrative.
Robert Mackay – Flight of the Monarchs
Flight of the Monarchs was initially created as an immersive audiovisual installation inspired by the incredible 3,000 mile journey that the Monarch butterfly takes each year from Canada to Mexico, finding warmer climes during the winter in order to roost.
The installation is set up to resemble a hide into which the viewer/listener can step inside and be transported to southern Mexico, surrounded with Monarch butterflies. The viewer/listener is surrounded by 4 video screens and 4 loudspeakers. We took the installation to the Eden Project, Shambala and Musicport in 2017, and are continuing the project in 2018 onwards, working with Monarch scientists and other artists from around the world.
I recorded video and sound footage at the El Rosario reserve in Michoacan in 2015, trying to capture the beauty of these delicate butterflies and their surroundings. Video footage from Manuel Zirate is also featured in the top panel, and video editing was done by Jessica Rodriguez. The sound for the installation is comprised of three elements: Field recordings which capture the rushing sound of millions of tiny wings (as well as one orrists); a specially commissioned poem from Mexican poet Rolando Rodriguez (La Marcha de las Mariposas); and a recording of an improvisation session between myself (flute, ocarina), and musicians David Blink (hang), and John Sanders (accordion) which we conducted in the open air in Michaocan (this has been processed to create a dreamlike quality, reflecting the words of Rolando’s poetry).
In January this year, I returned to Mexico and visited the Cerro Pelón reserve to install a streambox (created by Soundcamp) which broadcasts the sounds of the forest over the Locus Sonus Soundmap, integrating with Leah Barclay’s UNESCO Biosphere Soundscapes project. Tonight’s performance will integrate the live stream from Cerro Pelón with a fixed media version of the piece.
Short documentary and view of installation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZkVJItXiAg
Tim Howle (sound) & Nick Cope (video) – Sarva Mangalam!
Previous iterations of this work have been call Flags, (1, 2 and 3) and as more layers of material have been added we have resisted forward propulsion. There is no real goal-orientation and the material can be described as ambient. This fourth incarnation of the work builds on a single monitor work originally presented at a festival celebrating the work of Cornelius Cardew featuring a single shot of Tibetan Buddhist prayer flags filmed on a hillside at Ganden Monastery, near Lhasa, Tibet. A second version of the work introduced another shot juxtaposed with the first from prayer flags shot by Namtso Lake, Tibet, additional sounds have been introduced that attempt limited levels of intervention that chime with the images. The exploitation of the inherent musicality of the images emphasises timelessness and continuity through a quasi-improvisational approach, mirroring and counterpointing objects in the image. Limited indeterminate relationship of the layers of musical matetural relationships regardless of juxtaposition. Sounds are selected from a similarly limited palette; the approach is free within prescribed limits. The research aim is to augment the ‘electroacoustic movie’ with the inclusion of Eno and Cardew influences, to balance the fixed with the variable.
The title of the work is a Sanskrit phrase, which appears on many versions of prayer flags alongside depictions of various symbolic animals, Buddhist deities and mantras. Tibetans believe the prayers and mantras are blown on the wind, spreading goodwill and compassion to the pervading space and all beings wandering therein.
Bartosz Szafranski and Agata Kubiak