Resonant Frequencies Programme

Over the past 10 months, DRAF has been developing Resonant Frequencies, an investigation into sound in all its forms. Resonant Frequencies focuses on soundnoise and hearing and is comprised of a peer-to-peer workshop programme and an academic summit with live performances.

Sound is something that shapes the world around us, it allows us to perceive peripherally and gives us a sense of location. It is also very esoteric, often comprising an atmosphere rather than an immediately apparent set of specific things.

RESONANT FREQUENCIES WORKSHOP 

DRAF has hosted a 6-day workshop programme, spread across multiple sessions, for artists Ain BaileyBenedict DrewAnne HardyTom RichardsAura Satz and Imogen Stidworthy, selected due to the ways in which they work with sound as their primary or supporting medium of production. The programme offers the artists the opportunity to collaborate and develop their practice enriched by guest speakers and sessions for experimentation. The initial two days took place at Wysing Arts Centre, the first utilising the surrounding landscape with Jez riley French, and the second Wysing’s impressive recording studio with Lottie Poulet. The following days covered practical sessions on improvisation led by Steve Beresford; vocals with Elaine Mitchener; theoretical sessions on binaural spatialisation with Dr Lorenzo Picanali; and aural diversity with Professor John Drever. The final session will be on psychoacoustics with Brigitte Hart.

RESONANT FREQUENCIES SUMMIT 

In partnership with Goldsmiths University’s Sound Research Group DRAF is presenting a one-day summit of talks, presentations and performances around sound on 7 December 2019. The summit is free and open to all.

The day hosts a series of talks and presentations at Goldsmiths University, London by artists, philosophers and sound researchers, followed by audio-visual and sound performances by selected artists. The first session focusses on academic aspects of sound to attempt an understanding in relation to art, space, politics and philosophy through presentations, artistic practice or demonstrations.

Speakers exploring auraldiversity, relationships between text, remote and situated listening, heretical approaches to the practice of computer aided composition and performance, or the neuroscience of listening will give a broad start to the day that will culminate in a panel discussion with a Q&A.

The second session will be filled with performances from artists that use sound as an integral part of their practice, whether through the absurdities of Country and Western music, an investigation of the everyday physical universe, a speculative approach to dizzyness and anxiety through the prism of Søren Kierkegaard and Dizzy Gillespie, or the speculative re-imagining of emergency signals. This session brings a more active investigation of sound following the groundwork of the first session, where audiences have the opportunity to hear some of the elements discussed.

SPEAKERS AND SUBJECTS

Dr. Jess Aslan
Dr. Jess Aslan will present a talk titled Breaking the algorithm: A heretical approach to the practice of Computer Aided composition and performance. 

Prof Maria Chait
Professor Maria Chait will present Between Brain and Music, discussing the neuroscience of the listening brain, the auditory system’s key role in our evolutionary struggle for survival in complex volatile environments, and how music can be seen as an emergent property of this process.

Prof John Drever 
Phonating Hand Dryers: exploits in auraldiverse composition and co-composition 
This talk will explore an ongoing practice research agenda that has coalesced under the terms auraldiversity and its antonym, auraltypical hearing (Drever 2015). Evolved out of a desire to share research findings in an apt manner, this narrative will specifically explore the creative and interpretative practice that has accompanied a more standard quantitative acoustic study of the noise impact of high-speed hand dryers in public WCs (Drever 2013). On fully embracing the scope and complexity of auraldiversity, however, finding an apt manner in a sonic form is unclear. Departing from the imposition of the composer’s ear towards a greater awareness of auditory positionality, the series of hand dryer sonic works (including acousmatic, site-specific installation, gallery and live performance) represent a range of composer /performer/ audience relationships, the most fruitful of which have been a process/ workshop based compositional approach bringing together multiple authors through the method of phonating, an approach that echoes and yet challenging Tomatis’ Law on Audition and Phonation: ‘The voice reproduces only what the ear can hear’ (Tomatis 1963/ 1996:87).

Dr. Iris Garrelfs 
Dr. Iris Garrelfs will chair first session of the event including the panel discussion. Dr. Garrelfs is an artist working on the cusp of music, art, and sociology across improvised performance, multi-channel installations and fixed media projects.

Maria Papadomanolaki 
Listening in-reading through the atmospheres of transient spaces
Drawing from her ongoing site-specific research and practice, Papadomanolaki will do a performative talk, exploring together with the audience the relationships and dynamics between text, atmosphere, soundwalking, remote and situated listening.
This academic session is followed by performances presenting a variety of artists who work with sound. The performances will take the form of both acoustic and electronic with performers using a wide range of methodologies to engage with sound production. This unique offer presents audiences with an opportunity to engage with exceptional practitioners alongside one another enabling a cross pollination of ideas and practices.

PERFORMERS AND PRESENTATIONS

Dmitri Galitzine and Laura Dee Milnes will present a new performance exploring the absurdities of Country and Western music. Dmitri has been what he describes as an Elvis impersonator impersonator for several years, singing at weddings, conventions and art galleries. Laura is a poor woman’s Dolly Parton whenever she can be. Through their shared love of this genre and these personas, they will take us on a journey through some of the greatest (and worst) moments from the last fifty years of Country music.

Bow Gamelan Ensemble
Tense cracks of slowly heated glass (the score) on music stands edgily resound and slowly fracture until a sudden temperature change fragments and shatters the whole. The light bulbs, illuminating the stands, are similarly destroyed. The darkness unleashes further probings of our everyday physical universe from the tranced drones of weather balloons to the thundering reverberations of suspension springs from lorries welded onto lorry fuel tanks which provide resonating chambers.

Aura Satz 
Preemptive Listening (Live) is part of a long-term project on sonic obedience and disobedience through the trope of the siren. The project proposes a speculative re-imagining of emergency signals—it posits the siren’s loud glissando wail as a conditioned and learned signal, one that can potentially be productively rewired. Sirens are recomposed through voice, electronica, chirps, whistles and bells, a trumpet, a harp, a cello, cracking bamboo, infinitely rising tones and more—from loud and defiant to low, mournful or nearly imperceptible. Featuring sounds by Mazen Kerbaj (trumpet); Khalid Abdalla (spoken word); Rhodri Davies (harp); Maja Ratkje (voice, bells); Laurie Spiegel (Manatees or Sirenia, a dog, cicadas, electronica); Anton Lukoszevieze (cello); Nick Hallett (voice, electronica); Steve Goodman aka Kode 9 (Shepard Tone electronica); Elaine Mitchener (voice, whistles).

Harold Offeh 
Working with patients from the Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit at Bethlem Royal Hospital, Offeh explores the value of paying focused attention to the overwhelming possibilities of our external environment. The participants mapped their experience of their immediate surroundings through detailed rubbings of the architectural surfaces, which were then incorporated into a dizzying lenticular pattern by the artist, designed to alter visitors’ experience of Science Gallery London’s architectural environment.

In this way, Offeh proposes an approach to “mindfulness” – the mental process of paying attention to the present moment, a practice often used by people to reduce stress and anxiety, whilst making reference to a quote by philosopher Søren Kierkegaard – “Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom” – proposing that anxiety could be attributed to the dizzy feeling one might get when they are about to step into the unknown; a feeling of uncertainty.

  • Resonant Frequencies workshop at Wysing, summer 2019. Courtesy of Aura Satz.
    Resonant Frequencies workshop at Wysing, summer 2019. Courtesy of Aura Satz.
  • Resonant Frequencies workshop at Wysing, summer 2019. Courtesy of Aura Satz.
    Resonant Frequencies workshop at Wysing, summer 2019. Courtesy of Aura Satz.
  • Jess Aslan with KUBOV. Photo credit: Emma Lloyd.
    Jess Aslan with KUBOV. Photo credit: Emma Lloyd.
  • Bow Gamelan Ensemble. A Damned Near Run Thing, South Bank, London 1988. Photo: Ed Sirrs.
    Bow Gamelan Ensemble. A Damned Near Run Thing, South Bank, London 1988. Photo: Ed Sirrs.