Sound Mapping: An evening of performance, conversation, and listening with Annea Lockwood, NYSAE…


“A Sound Map of the Hudson River” by Annea Lockwood CD cover image. (Lovely Music)

July 5, 2009: 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
at Catskill Point
1 Main Street, Catskill, NY 12414

Curated/Organized by: WGXC/free103point9

Join WGXC and free103point9 for an evening of listening at Catskill’s Historic Catskill Point on the Hudson River. Sound Mapping will feature a live performance from members of the New York Society of Acoustic Ecology (NYSAE), a conversation between artists Alexis Bhagat and Annea Lockwood, and Annea Lockwood’s canonical work “A Sound Map of the Hudson River.” Free admission. Audiences are encouraged to bring picnics. This is a family-friendly event, children are welcome.

This event is presented in conjunction with WGXC: Hands-on Radio in Greene and Columbia Counties, a project of free103point9. Special thanks to Patty Austin, Dick Brooks, and Greene County Economic Development, Tourism & Planning for facilitating the use of Catskill Point.

6 p.m.: Moving Water, New York Society of Acoustic Ecology (NYSAE)

Moving Water is a two-part interactive performance. The first part is a tuning of the audience– NYSAE members will guide participants through “Ear Cleaning” exercises and help to activate their ears for focused listening to the immediate soundscape. In the second part, NYSAE conducts the audience in an improvised sound-making performance, documenting the resulting mixture of gestures and sound in the field of shared space. The audience will be split into groups and instructed to make sounds of varying timbre and texture around the theme of moving water. Through the listening exercises and performance, NYSAE aims to provide the audience with listening tools to take away from the event as well as preparing them for Annea Lockwood’s subtle and beautiful work.

Performers from NYSAE: Andrea Callard, Jamie Davis, Jonny Farrow, Todd Shalom and Andrea Williams.

6:40 p.m.: Introduction and interview with Annea Lockwood conducted by Alexis Bhagat.

7 – 9 p.m.: A Sound Map of the Hudson River: Annea Lockwood, recording, mixing; the Hudson River

A Sound Map of the Hudson River is an aural journey from the source of the river, in the high peak area of the Adirondacks, downstream to the Lower Bay and the Atlantic Ocean; Lockwood traces the course of the Hudson through on-site recordings of its flow at 15 separate locations. Annea Lockwood has recorded rivers in many countries to explore the special state of mind and body which the sounds of moving water create when one listens intently to the complex mesh of rhythms and pitches. The listener will find that each stretch of the Hudson has its own sonic texture, formed by the terrain, varying according to the weather, the season and downstream, the human environment whose sounds are intimately woven into the river’s sounds.

At Catskill Point (July 5, 2009,) interviews conducted by Lockwood about the Hudson River are simultaneously transmitted and accessed by attendees though portable radios with headphones. Note: a version of this project is available on CD through Lovely Music. See: http://www.lovely.com/titles/cd2081.html.

About the Artists

The New York Society for Acoustic Ecology (NYSAE) is a membership organization that advocates listening and promotes public dialogue about the urban sound environment. NYSAE creates and encourages new ways of encountering sound and provides resources and information on acoustic ecology. Through projects, lectures, performances, exhibitions, festivals, publications and broadcasts, NYSAE addresses historical and contemporary local, national and international sound issues. Please visit: http://www.nyacousticecology.org.

Alexis Bhagat’s work is dedicated to the destruction of authorship and authority through the cultivation of new forms for radically poly-vocal sound, transmission of promiscuous conversation, and obsessive never-ending correspondence. He is the curator of ((audience)), a nomadic festival of surround sound compositions.

Annea Lockwood was born in 1939 in Christchurch, New Zealand where she received her early training as a composer. After completing a B.Mus (hons) she went on to study composition at the Royal College of Music in London, with Peter Racine Fricker (1961-63); at the Darmstadt Ferienkurs fur Neue Musik (1962-63); and with Gottfried Michael Koenig at the Musikhochschule, Cologne, Germany and in Holland (1963-64). Returning to London in 1964, she freelanced as a composer-performer in Britain and other European countries until moving to the USA in 1973. There she continued to freelance and teach, first at CUNY, Hunter College, then, from l982 and at present on the faculty of Vassar College, NY.

During the 1960s she collaborated frequently with sound-poets, choreographers and visual artists, and created a number of works which she herself performed, such as the Glass Concert (1967), later published in Source: Music of the Avant-Garde, and recorded on Tangent Records, then on What Next CDs. In this work a variety of complex sounds were drawn from industrial glass shards and glass tubing, and presented as an audio-visual theater piece. In synchronous homage to Christian Barnard’s pioneering heart transplants, Lockwood created the Piano TranspIants (1969-72), in which old, defunct pianos were variously burned, “drowned” in a shallow pond in Amarillo, Texas, and partially buried in an English garden.

During the 1970s and ’80s she turned her attention to performance works focused on environmental sounds, life-narratives and performance works using low-tech devices such as her Sound Ball (a foam-covered ball containing 6 small speakers and a radio receiver, originally designed to “put sound into the hands of” dancers). World Rhythms (l975), Conversations with the Ancestors (1979, based on the life stories of four women over 80), A Sound Map of the Hudson River (l982), Delta Run (1982, built around a conversation she recorded with the sculptor Walter Wincha, who was close to death), and the surreal Three Short Stories and an Apotheosis (l985, using the Sound Ball) were widely presented in the US, Europe and in New Zealand.

She turned to writing for acoustic instruments and voices, sometimes incorporating electronics and visual elements, in the 1990s, producing pieces for a variety of ensembles: Thousand Year Dreaming (1991) is scored for four didgeridus and other instruments and incorporates slides of the cave paintings at Lascaux; Ear-Walking Woman (1996), for pianist Lois Svard, invites the pianist to discover a range of sounds available inside the instrument, using rocks, bubble-wrap, bowl gongs and other implements; Duende (1997) a collaboration with baritone Thomas Buckner, carries the singer into a heightened state, similar to a shamanic journey, through the medium of his own voice.

Much of her music has been recorded, on the Lovely, XI, ?What Next?/OO Discs, Rattle Records (NZ), Harmonia Mundi, CRI and Finnadar/Atlantic labels. -http://www.lovely.com/bios/lockwood.html

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