Greetings! If you are Philadelphia this weekend (or, ya know, in the region) I suggest you come check out the Megapolis Audio Festival, part of Fringe Fest. This “delightfully weird” festival features audio walks, installations, workshops, and performances.
I am collaborating with Toby Kaufmann-Buhler on an audio walk titled “Stalking Wild Sounds.” It’s a nod to Euell Gibbons, who was an advocate for wild food foraging and wrote his famous book Stalking the Wild Asparagus in the 1960s near Philadelphia.
Our piece imagines a future where nature has reclaimed the built environment and foraging for food reigns. Participants will use a provided audio player and field guide on a self-guided 30 minute walk. The walk will start at Philadelphia Community Access Media (Philly CAM), go through the formal landscaping of Washington Square Park, and return to Philly CAM. Taking the form of a real-time science fiction, with the sounds of “alien” flora and fauna, the audience will find themselves moving through the city accompanied by the sound work that maps onto their surroundings.
Our event is free and open to the public, during select times, September 16th and 17th. Check out the Megapolis schedule for more info.
an exerpt from “this planet is doomed” by Sun Ra, (c) 2011 by Kick Books
it just breaks me all up,man
it just break me all up–
can’t understand a damn bit of it
like man, I gotta get away from it
I gotta get away before they mess up
before they take my soul, man
I just gotta get away
and blast off in my rocket ship
Audium: A “Theatre of Sound-Sculptured Space”
Looking like a set from A Clockwork Orange, Audium is trapped in a different time–and I say this affectionately. Audium is an art/sound experience created by composer Stan Shaff and equipment designer Doug McEachern. It appeared in various forms until its permanent home at Bush and Franklin was established in 1975.
As an attendee you will enter room with over 100 speakers, and sit in concentric circles of chairs. The lights will dim to black and for over an hour you will experience music and sounds passing around you in all directions: percussive rhythms, Board-of-Canada-esque childrens’ voices, creepy organ music, and a host of other effects. All sounds are controlled through four channels on an analog system, and Stan Shaff to this day runs a show every Friday and Saturday night. He greets audience members after the show to answer questions. Clearly this man loves what he does and it’s hard to hold back a smile as he enthusiastically describes his baby.
Audium is not a highly edited composition piece. The space could be spruced up a bit. But as an experience, it’s a memorable one, and reminds you that sound-as-art has a short history.
SFMOMA: Seca Art Award Exhibit
Clearly the SFMOMA is no hidden secret. But if you only have an hour or two there, walk past the Richard Serra drawings and Francesca Woodman photographs to see the 2010 SECA Award winners. SECA is associated with SFMOMA and has awarded Bay Area artists for the past 50 years. Ruth Laskey’s woven pieces were goose-bump inducing, Mauricio Ancalmo’s installation mesmerizing. Open until April 03, 2012.