Through a Window: Visual Art and SFU 1965-2015
Introduction: Audio Archive
SFU alumni, students and faculty were invited to submit sound work that sonically referred to the patterns and flows of the city, especially travel along the Hastings Street corridor, in connection with the overall themes of the exhibition Through a Window: Visual Art and SFU 1965-2015.
Literally considering the window at each of SFU Galleries' locations as a social, spatial and material symbol, the exhibition takes up Henri Lefebvre's development of Rhythmanalysis as a framework for reflecting on the rhythms of the past five decades in a flow between the university and the city. The works in exhibition speak to the local, national and international shifts in aesthetics, theory, pedagogy, technology and politics. Through a Window will take place at SFU Gallery Audain Gallery and Teck Gallery from June 3 to August 1, 2015 and is curated by Amy Kazymerchyk and Melanie O’Brian.
This audio archive addresses Lefebvre’s process of rhythmanalysis and also acknowledges the creation of the World Soundscape Project, part of the development of sound studies at SFU. These sound works help to give form to the connective link that Hastings Street forms spatially between SFU's Vancouver and Burnaby campuses as well as temporally to a series of historically significant sites of artistic production and presentation by SFU associates.
The Audio Archive is still accepting submissions of soundwork produced by SFU affiliated composers and artists. Please forward your minimum 192 kbs MP3 formatted submissions, along with a brief bio, a statement about your work, a link to your website (if you want it listed with your work) and credit info to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Clint Sleeper + Huw Webb (composers, sound artists, performers)
01) We Are Singing as Softly as We Are Able (ca. 2013) 7:44
02) Inverted Pendulum Music for Steve Reich (ca. 2013) 4:14
01) Performed at the SFU studio space at 611 Alexander, We Are Singing as Softly as We Are Able was composed through a juxtaposition of analog and digital technologies as well as a variety of found objects from SFU storage spaces. Their traditional and appropriated sound tools include: 3 electric guitars, 2 loop stations, distortion, acoustic simulator, a radio, a tape deck, a strobe light, light bulbs, television, a projector, a telephone coil pickup.
02) This work was recorded at 611 Alexander and is a reference to Steve Reich's 1968 piece, "Pendulum Music." The original performance included the installation of broken but somewhat functional flat screen televisions swinging from the studio rafters. The television speakers were patched into a feedback loop with the performers’ microphones.
Huw Webb and Clint Sleeper continuously engage questions of spectatorship and audience, performativity, interdisciplinarity, and most importantly play. They seek to destabilize daily activities and life through unconventional acts of public performance, recalibrated technologies and mediums of dissemination and communication. Their projects navigate pop, dance, noise, installation, technology, performance, and video.
Alexandra Spence (composer, sound artist)
Violin (Liisa Pallandi)
Cello (Timo-Veikko Valve)
01) 60 Cycles (2014) 12:25
02) Submerge (2014) 24:22
01) 60 Cycles is an electroacoustic composition based on the ubiquitous but mostly inaudible electromagnetic soundscape of the city. These are the sounds emitted by electronic, electro-optical and electromechanical devices such as radio towers, power stations, telegraph wires, neon lights, microwaves and mobile phones in downtown Vancouver. Recorded via specially constructed induction microphones, this work both reacts to and embraces modern environmental noise by highlighting another side to the technological and communicational networks which have come to represent both our cities and our presence within them.
02) Submerge, inspired by the lights, noises and allure of Port Metro Vancouver, incorporates field recordings of water meters and parking meters from the East Hastings area into a composition for strings. This work is to be experienced as an immersive, continous loop as if wandering, remembering or imagining a bucolic topography.
Alexandra Spence is a sound artist and musician who is originally from Sydney, Australia and is now based in Vancouver. Her work is often based on the idea of collaboration with environments and encompasses improvisational music, electoacoustic composition and multimedia installation. She has presented her work in concerts, symposiums and galleries in Australia, Canada, Ireland, Italy and France.
Jean Routhier (composer, sound artist)
01) Sleep ambiance, a DTES soundscape (2006) 51:22
01) This work is an ambient field recording that gradually unfolds a tapestry of sonic landmarks of the gastown neighbourhood in Vancouver's Downtown East Side. A constant low frequency drone is emitted from the hyperactive city and permeates the soundscape. The listening ear is lead from this stressful overture to a more meditative 'wall of sound.' All the while the urban orchestra of a gastown night deploys its best crescendos to wake up the unidentified dreamer.
Jean Routhier is interested in the fleeting silences, the physical and emotional reactions that are a part of listening. His sound-based practice includes soundwalks, altered field recordings, ‘acousmatic’ works, performances and installations. The root of his various projects is a challenge to common assumptions about what is musical. His influences include Christian Boltanski, Marcel Duchamp, the Hafler Trio, Gordon Matta-Clark, Christian Marclay, Max Neuhaus, Bernard Parmegiani and Hildegard Westerkamp.
Upcoming/ Recent projects: Soundwalks and Une Suite de Temps-morts: Iona, Charleson Park exhibit, ISEA 2015-disruption, Vancouver; Une Suite de Temps-morts: N_R.Y, Open Space Gallery, Victoria; The Voyage (performance) (w/ Carey Dodge), Vancouver.
Barbara Adler (composer, sound artist)
Paul Paroczai (composer, sound artist)
01) Strange Memorial (2015) 4:19
01) This sound work is the result of two walks between Vancouver’s downtown and Burnaby mountain. The composers conversed as they passed through the city the first time and listened during the second walk. Strange Memorial is composed as an audio memoir of these experiences merging music concrète the rhythms of conversation, observation and recollection. The composers write: “We remember mostly how we tried to talk our way out of a place that couldn’t give us what we wanted. Between blisters and breath, we told each other stories about walks from our past.”
Barbara Adler is a writer, musician and spoken word performer from Vancouver. She also works as part of the multi-disciplinary collective Ten Thousand Wolves. Paul Paroczai is a composer, installation artist, and electroacoustic instrument builder from Los Angeles. Adler and Paroczai collaborate on laptop theatre, musical essays and pop music.
Stefan Smulovitz (composer)
01) Stefan On Hastings (2015) 4:56
Composed from sound recorded on Hastings Street and manipulated with Kenaxis Software. The drone of traffic and sirens emerges as a wall of audio before breaking into a rhythmic layer with punctuations of break-pad screeches and revving engines. Other sounds heave, pulse and recede like sonic reflections of city traffic and movement.
Stefan Smulovitz is a highly-trained and accomplished musician (viola and computer), educator and composer. He has also performed alongside leading improvisors such as Fred Frith, Evan Parker and Uri Caine. His compositions include more than 50 live scores for films and he has created commissioned work for the Vancouver Symphony, the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival and numerous instrumental and vocal ensembles. He also developed Kenaxis software, which transforms the computer into a real-time instrument.
Brady Ciel Marks (composer, artist)
01) Lost (2004) 3:32
Lost is an ambient soundscape that was initially developed with a visual component as part of Brady Ciel Marks’ interactive arts graduate program at SFU. The format of this work is generative in that it presents the sonic elements of the virtual place and flows of peer-to-peer file sharing. Her project therefore opens both an acoustic and visual window onto the patterns of people pursuing their fleeting and mundane desires as they relate to music and video.
Brady Ciel Marks is an artist and composer working with sound, light and interactive sculpture. Through her interdisciplinary practice, she works with and against technology and technological thinking. This expands into an interest in offering her audience the chance to step sidewards to view techno-cultural forces such as surveillance, remediation and determinism with a critical eye. She regularly hosts a sound art radio show, DJs and performs with the Vancouver Electronic Ensemble.
Yves Candau (composer, artist)
01) Silva Incognita (2015) 9:08
This composition was created at SFU’s sonic research studio using field recordings that Candau took during hikes on Burnaby Mountain and in the Alsace region in France. The soundscape includes audio of Candau’s witnessing and movement, which becomes part of a series of layers of the composer’s presence inscribed into his own work including his memories of previous hikes in the Vosges Mountains, where he comes from.
Yves Candau is a trained dancer with an academic background in mathematics and cognitive science. He is completing his interdisciplinary MFA at SFU under the supervision of Arne Eigenfeldt. Other interdisciplinary artists and composers that have been influential on Candau’s practice include Martin Gotfrit, Nur Intan Murtadza, Stefan Smulovitz, Barry Truax and Hildegard Westerkamp.
Cindy Mochizuki (writer, director)
Sound Design & Engineering (Emma Hendrix)
Sound Recording (Karl Foussek)
Narration (Hiro Kanagawa and Maiko Yamamoto)
01) Wake (2006) 23:52
Based on a fictional murder mystery, Wake is a dramatic dialogue and soundwalk that leads the listener through both geographic and psychic spaces in Hastings Park and the memorial Momiji Gardens (2901 East Hastings Street). Wake's narrative examines the act of remembering in relation to Hastings Park as the former site of a 'Manning Pool,' where Japanese Canadians were forcibly separated from their families to be interned and exiled from their homes during WWII. This work explores the limits and possibilities of cultural memory, and the tenuous relationship between remembering and forgetting. To complete the soundwalk, download the Wake mp3 to a portable player, click on the link below to download and print the PDF of the walk map and directions, then visit Hastings Park.
Cindy Mochizuki is a Vancouver-based artist who often works with archival sources, memory work and interviews; her practice revisits historical and personal memory. Her multi-media works experiment with moving images, optical illusions and magical realism through a hybrid of video, film, audio and animation. Recent exhibitions include: Fictive Communities Asia, Koganecho Bazaar, On the Subject of Ghosts, Yokai & Other Spirits, and To|From BC Electric Railway 100 Years. She has received her MFA in Interdisciplinary Studies from Simon Fraser University.
Emma Hendrix (composer, artist)
01) Horizon (1999) 7:46
The title of this work refers to the imperceptible and unacknowledged loss of the acoustic horizon within the urban sonic environment. Horizon was completed in 1999 in SFU’s Sonic Research Studio using analog tape loops of field recordings taken along the Hastings corridor, bus route #135, between Commercial Drive and SFU’s Burnaby Mountain campus. Soundmarks that comprise this work evoke the university/city commute and the deserted, last bus’ nightly departure from campus.
Emma Hendrix is a sound and installation artist, sound designer, composer and cultural worker. Through sound he builds visceral, expressive environments that explore the narratives of individual experience by revealing and exploring the inherent qualities of sounds, particularly field recordings, found sound, and ‘machine languages’ of everyday things.
Yi Xin Tong (composer, artist)
01) Out-of-Order Music At Harbour Centre (2009) 4:13
This work was recorded in a washroom at SFU's Harbour Centre campus. It serves as a document of an instance of 'out-of-order' and that of 'order.' This creates a soundscape of abnormality and the at once, habitual and improvisatory behaviours that mark our encounters with the apparatus that furnish the everyday.
Yi Xin Tong is a visual artist, musician, and poet based in New York. His work constructs poetic and fantastical narratives through multimedia installations, Internet-based projects, music, and books to explore the dialectics of romanticism in our era that worships rationality and capital.