The Witness Note 2017
The sounds in this composition are recorded in the neighborhood of Metaxourghio, Athens with contact microphones, filtered through materials on the street: parking bollards, tram posts, signs, electric boxes, and fences. Live sound is filtered into the gallery space via a contact microphone an exterior balustrade sending sound into a pair of transducers on the windows.
Still Here 2013-2015
NEW ADVENTURES IN SOUND ART, TORONTO, CANADA
DUN LOAGHAIRE INSTITUTE OF ART, DESIGN, TECHNOLOGY, DUBLIN, IRELAND
SULLIVAN GALLERIES, CHICAGO, USA
Still Here is a soundscape of the island of Santorini, in the Cyclades, Greece. The composition includes ambient sounds, talk, and music, exploring shared timelessness.
The visual realm of Santorini is littered with signposts of modernity. There are electric wires sagging across the valleys and satellite dishes rusting on roofs. However, the scattered village soundtrack is almost entirely absent of sounds of the modern era. The island has increasingly become a tourist hotspot with local communities replaced by picture perfect facsimiles of themselves.
We have selectively edited our recordings from Santorini to create a timeless map. It is fundamentally inaccurate, romanticized, the aural equivalent of a landscape photograph in which all pylons and road signs have been photoshopped into non-existence. Yet it is all drawn from the aural environment as it is today, and likely will be for many years to come.
These soundscapes are transmitted on 5 very low power FM transmitters placed at a distance from each other in an empty room, transmitting on the same frequency. Five visitors at a time will be invited to enter the room, each with their own handheld radio receiver encased in a salvaged birdcage from one of Santorini's abandoned village houses. Now illegal, villagers traditionally captured North African goldfinches and decorated their terraces with birdsong. As they move, listeners reconstitute the landscape and its communities through a transmitted sonic landscape.
Visitors can opt in and out of the various soundscapes from around the island, choosing to stand by one transmitter only or journeying to different environments: cliff tops, village domesticity, celebration, church bells, singing, shoreline and docks, terraces, rocks and tall grass.
At The Sullivan Galleries, Chicago, USA
Still Here (II) for Santozeum is the second iteration of an installation that transmits soundscapes from the island of Santorini using radio receivers built into locally salvaged birdcages. On this occasion our focus is on sonifying a bird's experience of the island’s magnetic field. Caught and held in tiny cages the bird’s song soundtracks moments of peace for their owners, as they sit surrounded by their cages on roof terraces in the relative quiet of late afternoon. Meanwhile the birds' reading of this pastoral idyll is possibly far more dramatic than listeners might expect. A field in constant flux, especially so due to the island's location amidst a volcanic range, is transmitting continually shifting queues that these birds are more prone to sense, even if they are unable to move. Still Here (II) is a spatialized installation that uses FM transmitters to aurally represent the deviation of the magnetic poles and the local magnetic field through the local, captive, avian perspective.