Kick off 2018 as the award-winning SoundSpace series returns with FEEDBACK, a program that creates a feedback loop between music and art, with works that examine the politics of listening, propaganda, surveillance, power, and broadcasting,
Using Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition as a point of departure,SoundSpace’s roster of performing artists will buzz, distort, rove, and radiate throughout the Blanton, responding to the museum’s collection, building structure, and staff.
Museumgoers will be able to experience a variety of performances throughout the museum, including:
– SECURITY CHORUS. Winner of the SoundSpace residency Sarah Mendelsohn has created a performance with members of the Blanton Museum’s security staff, exploring the dynamics of listening closely. For the duration of the SoundSpace event, Gallery Assistants participate as performers, roving throughout the museum’s spaces, narrating what they see and hear. What does working in museum security do to your voice, or to the ways you observe your environment?
– CONCRETE JUNGLE. Austin-based Grammy Award winning musician, composer and producer Adrian Quesada will present a new work commissioned by the Blanton to respond to the museum’s Contemporary Latin American collection. Featuring Adrian Quesada, guitar, Greg Gonzalez, bass Peter Stopschinski, keyboard and Jeremy Bruch, drums.
– AKIRASH will respond to the work of El-Anatsu and Cildo Meireles, focusing on the state of world economy and immigration. The economy plays a daily role in sustaining the livelihood of every home, community, state, country, and continent throughout the world. Each local economy is uniquely shaped by the culture and tradition of a place, creating diversity in how people make money, what they decide to sell, and how they market their products. Migration is our international dilemma. Nationalism and xenophobia are our symptoms; economic and political dislocation is our disease. Globalism and environmental disruption are our circumstances.
– Saakred, a transdisciplinary artist with a focus in sound and live performance will be curating their original work in relation to their experience as both museum patron and employee. Using the concept of a museum as a microcosm for class, race and power inequities in the unchanging American landscape, Saakred discusses issues of security, visibility, access, facades of freedom, aristocracy and the role of art . Saakred will present four new works wedged between the all white work of minimalists Louis Nevelson and Mary Corse. All compositions are written, recorded, produced and performed by Saakred with a focus in MIDI production via Ableton 9 and Reason with additional live instrumentation for this one time performance.
– Gene Coleman Philadelphia-based composer, director, and Guggenheim winner Gene Coleman presents his innovative music and video works featuring cellist Marina Peterson and Coleman on bass clarinet . The program will include material from his media opera “Dreamlives of Debris”, featuring the voices of Nicholas Isherwood, Sansuzu Tsuruzawa and members of the new music vocal ensemble The Crossing.
– Jazz trumpeter and composer Jeff Lofton will perform improvisations using the Blanton’s collection as a graphic score. Jeff is a Grammy member and two time SXSW Austin Music Awards winner. Jeff has performed at One World Theater, Stateside at the Paramount, and the Long Center for the Performing Arts since his arrival on the Austin music scene in 2007.
ALEX KELLER AND SEAN O’NEILL – In the Glickman Gallery, the artists will perform an unique visual score based on their interpretation of Kelly’s writing, interviews and works. Alex Keller is an audio artist, sound designer, curator and teacher based in Austin, Texas. His engagement with performance, installation, and recording is an outgrowth of his interest in architecture, language, abstraction and music. Sean O’Neill is a multi-media artist, who explores both the visible light spectrum and the audible frequency range to determine how they influence our lived environments, and vice versa; he has a stated interest in how perception shapes the dynamics of spatiality.
– Lisa Cameron (aka Venison Whirled) is from Austin, Tx. For this performance, she will use amplified percussion and strings to locate resonant frequencies in space to create oscillating overtones to respond to specific acoustic properties in the museum.
– STRAIN TO SHINE. Adel Faizullina drew inspiration from Saint Catherine of Alexandria (c.287-c.305 in Alexandria, Egypt) to write this piece for voice, trombone and percussion. Catherine was both a princess and a noted scholar, who became a Christian around the age of 14. She converted hundreds of people to Christianity, when persecutions began under the Roman Emperor Maxentius. Catherine was taken as a prisoner and finally was killed. After death she became one of the angels of God. Closed and open sounds in the voice and trombone symbolize Catherine’s voice trying to be heard. In the middle section, her voice becomes stronger and more powerful, but death eventually silences her. A spiritual light illuminates the ending of the piece.
– GAMELAN LIPI AWAN (Gamelan Rising Star). This orchestra comprises students and faculty from Texas State University, along with some members from the local community performing on traditional Balinese percussion instruments. They will play new works composed by Laura Brackney and Gordon Jones that reference the Atrium installation, “Stacked Waters” byTeresita Fernández, along with traditional Balinese works.
– NEWSNOISE. Composer and curator of the SoundSpace series, Steve Parker will share a participatory ritual work for newspapers, voice, electronics, and poprocks. To exorcise the 2017 demons of radio propaganda, cable television news, and printed journalism.
SoundSpace is generously underwritten by Michael Chesser.
Included with museum admission; Free for members and UT students, faculty, and staff.
The Blanton is located at the intersection of Congress Avenue and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.
Paid parking is available in the Brazos Garage on Brazos Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. Parking is $4; bring your ticket with you to the museum.