LISTEN, my heart ... is a collection of audio compositions that reflect on the soundscape of the Indian subcontinent. The works are presented in a darkened cinema hall as a 5.1 surround soundtrack—a soundtrack with no projected images.
Michael Northam, "Mnemonic Debris: Aggregates"
Hildegard Westerkamp, "Into the Labyrinth"
Iain Armstrong, "Annapurna Pastoral - One Hundred Springs"
Michael Northam (US), Mnemonic Debris: AGGREGATES
11 minutes, 5.1 surround sound (2012)
Michael Northam's Mnemonic Debris: AGGREGATES attempts to demonstrate how abrasive urban sound can be transformed through attentive listening, accepting “what is there” in the noise of daily life as opposed to what we would like it to be. AGGREGATES plays with clusters of events and situations that pile up. This accumulation of the sonic material opens up the opportunity to hear new relations and patterns of association. AGGREGATES also reflects on ways in which memories produce rasa (flavor, mood) in our minds. Northam uses sound spatialization to open up this metaphor of piles of memories into a three-dimensional space where the listener is invited to enter into an over-grown lot of time-space impressions.
Hildegard Westerkamp (Canada), Into the Labyrinth
15:04, 5.1 surround sound (2000/2012)
Hildegard Westerkamp's Into the Labyrinth is a sonic journey between dream and reality into Indian culture and the Indian soundscape. The artist explains: "In composing this piece, I was challenging my own compositional process as it has developed over the last 25 years: just as India has challenged many of my Western Eurocentric values and turned them upside-down, so has this piece challenged my preconceived notions of the creative process. From the start I had the image of entering a labyrinth of a multitude of sounds and sonic experiences. I had made no plans for the piece other than letting the recorded sounds move me through a compositional journey into an unknown sonic labyrinth. Obviously my experiences of traveling in India and of recording the sounds played a significant role in the formation of this piece. But I could never be sure of where I was going and where I would end up. I worked on it continuously as if on a 15-day journey, where the journey itself became the centre of experience. The composition simply is a result of that experience."
Iain Armstrong (UK) Annapurna Pastoral - One Hundred Springs
15 minutes, 5.1 surround sound (2012)
Iain Armstrong's Annapurna Pastoral - One Hundred Springs is a meditation on the Himalayan soundscapes of Annapurna. The work, a loose narrative of a pilgrimage to Muktinath (also known as Chumig Gyatsa, the site of 'One Hundred Springs'), aims to capture the peaceful, pastoral nature of these remote locations while referencing the deep-rooted spiritualism that the Himalayas inspire. Subverted references to the musical pastorale can be heard in the sound of the bansuri, sarangi and the use of drones.
Presented at the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, 40 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston, IL, 60208-2140
Preceded by a brief reception in the Block Museum lobby at 6pm.
Presented by the Center for Global Culture and Communication, School of Communication, Department of Asian Languages and Cultures, Asian Studies Graduate Cluster, Screen Cultures Program, and the Department of Radio-Television-Film