Quadrophonic

There’ll be a closing party this Friday from 8pm for the Quadrophonic Installation at Bank Street Arts.  Quadrophonic is a collaboration between 4 sound artists, each taking one of the galleries around the main space and reacting to each other’s work over the last month.  Read more about their ideas here: http://bankstreetarts.com/exhibitions/quadraphonic/

Bryan Eccleshall, Noel Williams, Fay Musselwhite and I have been visiting the installation each week and emailing our thoughts to each other, and responding to each other’s response.  I plan to print these emails into a pamphlet, which will be available to read in the Reading Room at the Juniper Cafe.  It’s been an interesting experiment.  Here is my response last week:

Now there’s such a cacophony on the floorboards around the drumkit, it’s increasingly confusing why its soundless.  I can see the action, both in the room and on the film, but the sound is lost, not in the noise from the other rooms, I think.  Is it a mistake?   I never heard the hail of hot seeds, even as I watched them fall.

Last week I thought the rooms had paired up, so the silence of Stephen’s room was matched with Ian’s plants, and similarly with the silence of the drumkit and the sinusoidal waves.  I had a go at standing in the middle of gallery 1 and linking the 4 rooms, but it can’t happen when two rooms are silent, can it?  The way it worked in pairs was that I was in the silent room hearing the other.

So I tried linking the two sounding rooms from a halfway point between them.  Perhaps I needed to give it longer.  What I thought was that the sounds are disparate, so much so that they seem unable to engage, a little like parallel lines.  That’s a huge assumption, and one I’d be happy to take back.  The sinusoidal sounds were nasal, urban and somehow more industrial sounding than the plinky, twangy and episodic plants, which were quieter today, by the way.  They laid one above the other, but didn’t touch.

I think my struggle is that I’m trying to resolve the exhibition into my preconceptions of what would happen, that the over-riding point was the blending of the rooms from a central focus point.  Even if that was a key idea at the beginning of the project for the sound artists, it’s hardly difficult to imagine a project that begins as one thing and ends up something else (It isn’t Ronseal).  So now, I think, I need to go at it with less expectations and see what’s actually there, and what it’s actually doing.

And Bryan Eccleshall’s response from yesterday:

Week Four
Bleed
Interference
Overlap
Echo
Osmosis
Feedback
Stasis
Resonance
Loop
Twang
Layer
Distortion
Science Fiction
Separation
Silence
Noise
Contigency
Soundtrack

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