If old bed springs could talk, what history would they tell? Intimate Whisperings is an interactive sound piece that is constructed of mixed-media. The mediums include rusted bed springs, tubes, and other miscellaneous objects that have been collected from the Mojave Desert area known as Wonder Valley. Interact with a partner or listen to the whisperings of the desert for an intimate sound experience.
Nancy Barton & Christopher Yang
Less Than Zero
34.140502, - 118.412319 The desert represents a sort of Narnia for me. It is an unknown realm that exists spatially beyond view and temporally in the future. The enigmatic nature of the desert can be understood only in relation to the mountains, which in their enormity are made visible. The mountains’ expansiveness confronts those contained within, while acting as a fence that obstructs the desert terrain that lies beyond view. The barren landscape is capable of engendering a sense of yearning in its elusiveness and is counterintuitively perceived as a fertile location. - Christopher Yang
34.141312, - 118.442496 Christopher and I were born 40 years apart; living on opposite sides of the Hollywood Hills in two different moments. In my history, these mountains are still a part of the desert, a refuge now lost. I missed the scent of the wet grey scrub after rain, and I followed it to the desert that still endures. - Nancy Barton
Bob Rowell & Steven Wilhelm
Explorations in Sound
-More info coming soon-
Gaelena gal*in_dog Dual Convergence
An Impromptu Performance
Sounding the Clay Body
Sounding the Clay Body is a site specific installation using clay from local dried lake beds and sound to explore the resonance of various bodies; a house, a clay ball, a vocal chamber. In this work, Giovando has brought in earth from the surrounding land to point to the ways synthetic structures can be covered and reclaimed by organic materials and explores the potential of sound as a technology to aid in this process through resonance - both material and emotional.
Sound does not organize itself the way other matter does as a concrete form, but rather It spreads outward. It finds form and meaning once it bounces off a wall or object and then the inner ear, so in this way sound is relational. It can be thought of as mapping the negative space of any room. By working with local earth materials, Giovando points to the ways that both sound and earth have the potential to resonate and reclaim - so it represents the architectures of museums and churches and even abandoned places - as everything that is there and not seen. Its shape is made from all that is the site, including all the other objects and subjects which are its cohabitants.
Come together is a point of contact. It is part musical instrument, part sculpture and part dining table. Four mbiras (also known as kalimbas or thumb pianos) are provided as tools for sonic exploration and/or musical performance within a solo or group setting. Woven steel tines extend from the instruments to a central cluster on the table top. The piece is tethered to a large stone that acts as an anchor against the wind.
West (A Long Look at Orange and Blue)
West (A Long Look at Orange and Blue) is a quadraphonic audio pavilion that uses sound to amplify place. To be enveloped in sound interrupts our visual impulse to see the world as static. This work elicits the elemental sameness of time and space (time-space). It is a machine to collapse our senses.
How can one remember thirst?
A rubble stone well stands in the desert. A speaker with water pooled in its cone rests at the bottom. Genevieve shifts through tones and frequencies drawn from audio recordings she collected during previous visits. The scent of the creosote bush wafts up from the water’s rippling surface conjuring the smell of the desert after it rains. Patterns emerge dancing on the water’s surface forming images of the desert.
Bohemain Cristal Instrument / Lenka Morávková
Lenka Morávková takes you on a multi-sensory journey with a one-of-a-kind glass sculpture, the Bohemian Cristal Instrument (après Cristal Baschet). The Czech sonic explorer processes the acoustic properties of the crystal along with her voice, to create ethereal immersive soundscapes and hypnotic ambient pulses. Following a TEDx talk in California, performance at The Broad, viral video from the blooming desert and the release of the debut EP UNICODE in June 2018, BCI’s unique ceremony immerses you in a world where tradition and futurism become one.
Volvox consists of 10 cheap Android phones programmed with custom software to create a responsive audio environment. Each phone uses its microphone to listen to its surroundings and to each other. Using pitch-following software, it then attempts to “sing" back what it hears. The phones communicate in this way, each coaxing the others to sing the pitch they are emitting. However, glitches and external sounds prevent the phones from ever being in perfect unison. As the pitch morphs, the phones' screens change color, offering a visual counterpart to the shifting soundscape.
The Argo will explore a phenomenon documented in both mythology and science. Sailors through the ages have claimed to hear voices while far out at sea. These were interpreted as the conversation of the gods, or in the case of Ulysses, as the song of the Sirens. In the modern scientific age, it has been observed that when a ship’s sails become taught and concave in high winds, they act as parabolic reflectors, amplifying sounds from the nearest towns, in some cases from up to 100 miles away. Visitors will have a chance to hear their messages, ferried on the wind and arriving as audible frequencies.
Kate Lee Short
Bound (60º NE)
Somewhere between the sensation of being held and letting go there is tension. Expansiveness both pushes us away and holds us close. Bound(60º NE) is an architectural sound sculpture offering a womb-like place of holding as well as a sensation of motion upwards and out. Placed within the vastness of the landscape, it calls us to enter into its sheltering embrace while inviting us to contemplate the enormity and majesty of the surrounding environment.
when blood becomes bone
The desert ecosystem can appear particularly fragile due to the extremes of the environment. The varying temperatures, adaptive growth and rapid decay, and even the contrast of the hills surrounding Wonder Valley to the flat plains, all work together to strike a balance. Taking inspiration from the dualities of this environment, Shanna will present a live performance using electronics and cello. While particularly dwelling on the relationship between resilience and fragility, the piece will rely on the manipulation and layering of small segments of sound to create a sonic reflection of her experience of the landscape.
John Preckwinkle, Cahuilla Bird Singer & Spoken Cahuilla
Cahuilla Language Translators: Michelle Morreo, Christina Morreo, John Preckwinkle
Instructions for Our Love
Larrea tridentata, or commonly known as the Creosote bush, is the most abundant plant in the Mojave Desert. Certain forms of this plant are considered to be some of the oldest living organisms on Earth dating back as far as 11,700 years old. Instructions for Our Love is a vocal piece spoken in English and read in Cahuilla by John Preckwinkle, a traditional Cahuilla Bird Singer, as an honoring to the Creosote. The instructions intend to reconnect the sound of the language back to the land. As Cahuilla people have lived and continue to live in the surrounding area of Wonder Valley for over 400 years. The language is endangered but still persists.
Slack, a 7 hour durational performance
Every once in a while, we all lose our sense of bearings. In a time of constant friction and dislocation, "Slack" confronts the labor and physical toll of moving away from familiar anchors and toward undiscovered horizons. The piece begins in the Mojave desert, isolated amidst an arid topography of creosote bushes and debris. Here, gravity, possibility, and our sense of responsibility entangle. What tools do we have to navigate? What weight must we carry?
The camping trailer can be seen as a symbol of freedom and mobility as well as a landing place of last resort. Singing Sands is a found-object sound sculpture in the form of a trailer that has been allowed to decay in the harsh desert environment. Inside the dwelling, objects are brought (back) to life through sound, movement, and interaction. Sand covers the surfaces while water drips from an unknowable source. Visitors are invited to enter and interact through tactile exploration.
We Followed Them Here
Following the extinction of humanity, when desert covers most of Earth’s land mass, a new species, Corvus corax sapiens , has arisen. Through oneiric time travel, one Corvid artist seeks to understand the past, assembling dream-sounds and sights into her portrait of a smaller desert and its long-gone inhabitants. We followed them here, and now the desert is the whole world...who were they and will they ever come back?
Jacobine van der Meer
Head Space To connect our voice to the land in case we forgot how to
An interactive ceremonial installation inviting participants to find and release their primeval voice.
More There Than Not
Angular lines frame the surrounding landscape from within this structure, but the unsheathed walls and roof let the elements pass through with minimal obstruction. Lengths of piano wire stretched across thin wooden supports resonate with the wind, and fingers alike, transferring their vibrations through the bones of the building. More There than Not is a stick-frame architectural sound instrument; an askew form suspended between construction and collapse, neither inside or out.
Sum Ensemble is 9 wind driven instruments grouped together to play a composition. The outer six instruments play sympathetic drones on tuned strings resonating tubes of the same pitch of F#, while 3 chimes play a melody based around an ionic scale. The chimes are strung in groups of three or four, so that each plays its own mode independent of the other, but when heard together play variations of a melody. One of the ideas that drove the construction is of sympathetic resonance; that one oscillating body can affect another stationary material whose fundamental frequency is the same. The instruments are made largely from discarded oak benches and piano wire, held together by metal fasteners, approximately four feet in diameter and six feet in height.