Vic Rawlings : Sound Installation
friday 12/6 6-10pm
saturday 12/7 2- 10pm
sunday 12/8 2-6pm
Except in the most extreme acoustic environments, the human voice is easily located in space. It is a single sound source. In the standard practice of electronic amplification/reproduction of the voice, every effort is made to faithfully present/replicate the voice as it would appear to us without amplification. Live voices are most often amplified by placing high-fidelity speakers to the left and right of the person speaking into the microphone, localizing the now larger-than-life voice with a human figure. Voice recordings often attempt to replicate this result.
This installation presents the voice in a fundamentally different electroacoustic setting. The audio source material is an unfiltered/unprocessed recent recording of Susan Howe reading from two of her early poems, "The Nonconformist's Memorial" and "Articulation of Sound Forms in Time". This signal is fed to an amplifier and then continuously shifted among an array of 54 varied speaker elements arranged throughout the room. There is no single location of the sound; its shifting location and tone are driven by another playback of the same source material.
The varied speaker elements in the array create timbral and spatial shifts, rather than the omniscience often suggested by voice amplification. The recorded voice appears momentarily and simultaneously at multiple locations. The sound of the voice is dispersed, and only intermittently reveals the coherence of the source text. The voice becomes a dimensional/abstracted sound object, rather than an instrument focused on the delivery of language.
During gallery hours on Friday (early evening hours) and Saturday (early afternoon hours), vocalist Liz Tonne will augment/join the installation for brief, unscheduled moments of performance.
Voice and Text by Susan Howe