What is the nature of sound? What governs its structures, behaviors and boundaries? How do we construct, perceive and understand sound? Four artists explore an epistemology of sound: what we think we know. The works invite us to contemplate how the enigmatic qualities of sound unfold through space and time, and between objects and bodies.

Adam Basanta

Pirouette
Pirouette is part of a series of works exploring relationships between microphones, speakers, and surrounding acoustic environments through controlled, self-generating microphone feedback. Amplifying and aestheticizing the acoustic inactivity between technological "inputs" and "outputs" - stand-ins for their corporeal correlates, the ear and mouth - the notion of a causal sound producing object is challenged, and questions are posed as to the status of the ‘amplified’. By building flawed technological systems and nullifying their intended potential for communication, the ear is turned towards the empty space between components; to the unique configurations of each amplifying assemblage.

In Pirouette, a microphone rotates slowly, like a life-sized ballerina atop a music box, bringing it in proximity to seven mounted speaker cones. As the microphone hovers over each speaker in sequence, a tuned feedback melody emerges. Throughout nine full rotations, a skeletal version of the main theme from Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake ballet can be heard.
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Pirouette
Credits
Pirouette

2015

Electronic Media Sculptural Installation with Sound

Artist Proof Created for NMG, 2016
Biography
basanta Adam Basanta (b. 1985) is a Montreal-based sound artist, composer, and performer of experimental music. He holds a BFA in composition from Simon Fraser University and an interdisciplinary MA in composition and sound art installation from Concordia University.

His work traverses sound installations, experimental electronic and chamber music composition, site-specific interventions, and laptop performance. Across disciplines and media, he interrogates intersections between conceptual and sensorial dimensions of listening, the materiality of technological apparatus, and the instabilities of instrumentality. His sound and audiovisual installations have been presented in North America and Europe in galleries and institutions around the world. His experimental concert music has been presented worldwide and has been awarded multiple national and international prizes.

Carsten Nicolai

334 m/s
The work visualizes the speed of sound (c = λ ⋅ ƒ), which is about 334 meters per second. The installation is deceptively simple. Two translucent tubes are filled with propane gas. This is set on fire, causing a chain reaction. The flame burns from one side to the other, slowly accelerating until it hits the end of the tube. Due to the gas-oxygen mixture, the flame causes a rapid explosion, heard as a small, sonic boom.
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334 m/s
Credits
334 m/s

2007

Variable Dimensions

Sound Installation

Perspex Tubes, Igniting Mechanism, Control Box, Gas, Tubes, Wires, Valves

Represented by and Loaned by Galerie EIGEN + ART, Berlin
Biography
nicolaiThe artist Carsten Nicolai is known as a musician and sound artist, though he prefers not to be labeled. He has been called a ‘Physicist of Sound’. Born in Germany in he composes and performs experimental electronic music under the name Alva Noto, creating his own codes of signs and acoustic and visual symbols. He is influenced primarily by scientific systems, often engaging with mathematical patterns such as grids, and codes and referencing error (glitch), randomness and self-organizing structures. He performs and exhibits worldwide: Pace NY, Galleria Lorcan O’Neill, Rome, Guggenheim NY, SFMoma, Centre Pompidou Paris, Tate Modern London, Kunsthaus Graz etc. He has worked with diverse artists such as: Ryuichi Sakamoto, Ryoji Ikeda, Blixa Bargeld , Michael Nyman, Mika Vainio, Olaf Bender. He has been nominated for a Golden Globe in 2016 for his original score, composed with Ryuichi Sakamoto, for the film The Revenant.

Jesper Norda

The Centre of Silence
A self-contained room that contains only the sound of a voice speaking. In the case of the New Media Gallery a woman’s voice describes the room, its measurements, the precise number of air molecules, the weight of the air and how it behaves differently when exposed to various forces and conditions. She speaks about the intense air pressure in the room, the pressure developing in the cranium of the listener and the balance between those two spaces: the state we call silence. This work was specially re-created for the New Media Gallery by the artist, and features a woman speaking instead of a man (as in the version owned by Kalmar Konstmuseum). Precise dimensions and conditions as well as photos of the gallery room were sent to the artist prior to re-recording. The physical space of the room was checked carefully. This work is described as ‘Exhibition Version 2016; NMG’.
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centre of silence
Credits
The Centre of Silence

2010

(Exhibition Version 2016 NMG: Rerecorded for New Media Gallery)

Sound Installation: Voice (Digital Files + Speakers)

Owner: Kalmar Konstmuseum, Sweden (commissioned by)

Biography
nordaJesper Norda (b. 1972) first trained to become a composer. Before finishing his musical studies he switched to visual art. In 2002 he graduated with an MA from Konsthögskolan Valand in Gothenburg. Since then he has been working in both music and visual art. In his visual art practice he moves beyond the conceptual to include simple spatial operations made up of objects, text or light. These works are linked to popular culture or to personal experiences.

Tristan Perich

Octave
Octave is a formal look at musical intervals as a dense continuum of microtonal pitch, expressed en masse as discrete 1-bit frequencies distributed across hundreds of individual speakers, (one bit sound). A series of 12 metal panels each contains 25 speakers (300 speakers in total). From a distance what is heard is dense white noise. But as one approaches the panels, and then each individual speaker, the personality of the tone is articulated and physically experienced.
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octave
Credits
Octave

2015

Sound Installation

12 panels, 25 speakers per panel (300 total) on a 25’ wall

Represented by Angels Barcelona
Biography
perichThe artist,Tristan Perich, is an avant-garde composer and conceptual sound artist from NYC. His focus lately has been creating works using single bit sound. Together with Kunal Gupta and Katie Shima he forms the group LOUD OBJECTS who perform music by soldering notes in place. Perich was the Edward E Elson Artist-in-Residence at the Addison Gallery of American Art, Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. In 2013 he was artist-in residence at MIT’s Centre for Art, Science and Technology (CAST). His work was shown at the Museum of Modern Art, 2013. He exhibits and performs worldwide. We are discussing the possibility of a performance at NMG in March.