As an artist who has spent his life immersed in sound, it is my aim to make musical connections between unintentional events. The song of a bird that is masked by a passing truck, a creak in a floor that is altered by a person’s direction, stride, and weight are examples of what excites and sparks my imagination. These detailed explorations serve as the structural footing for my compositions and installations. I consider everyday sounds, as well as sounds that have seemingly dis-appeared from our aural universe, to be rich musical fodder that emphasizes less-noticed beauty in our sonic environment. I craft these moments into “sonic events” and build random systems to control their interaction, weaving them into ever-changing, yet tangible and expansive experiences. Data gathering, programming, and managing digital variables becomes the score of the work. This does not preclude collaboration with live musicians, in fact, defined or notated acoustic sounds are often factors that can control and change the musical outcome.
My most recent work has been creating large-scale installations that involve direct public interactivity and utilize sensors to activate and change the sound, in both live performance and installation. Handwork (2021) is an interactive installation that layers and crosscuts hand drumming and environmental location recordings. Fever Songs (2018-19) is a multi-channel sound installation that brings together the vocal traditions of many religions, creating an interactive musical experience that explores spiritual commonality & seeks to break down religious divisions. The work is a commingling of ritual and scriptural vocalization, recorded live whenever possible, woven together & sonically altered by ever-changing computer processing & sensor-proximity location. The installation is devoid of doctrine - rather, a bringing together of the commonality of the human ecstatic experience.
The venues for my installations have ranged from public parks, village greens, pedestrian bridges, historic and industrial sites, museums, and public libraries. I look for a setting in a community that embraces an open and innovative artistic dialogue. For instance, in Sonic Hotel (The Adirondack Museum, 2015) I made location recordings and gathered stories from people who live in the area, including recipes spoken in Finnish, Abanake, and Arabic. These sonic events were then composed to become a part, reflection, and improvisation on the Adirondack setting. The installation/exhibit was installed throughout the old Blue Mtn. Hotel on the museum campus. The sites often mirror or exemplify the sounds and processes I work with.
I cultivate the unexpected and invite coincidence.