A New Year of Sonic Innovations

Sonic Innovations
by Stephan Moore, Artistic Director, Sonic Innovations

It has been 4 years since our In the Garden of Sonic Delights exhibition and sound art at Caramoor remains strong and growing! Sonic Innovations Artistic Director Stephan Moore shares the works to discover this year including two new-to-Caramoor works which will be joining two works familiar to Caramoor audiences.

This is an exciting summer for sound art at Caramoor! We are bringing some great new work to the grounds and looking toward establishing a permanent collection of sound-based artworks as Sonic Innovations grows and becomes a part of the annual summer festivities at Caramoor. This year’s exhibition offers a chance to get to know new artists and experience the sounds of Caramoor in a new way.

I have long been a fan of Paula Matthusen’s work, which draws sound out of unseen places — unusual materials, subterranean locations, and little-known histories and practices. She’s a mesmerizing performer of experimental music and a fascinating artist. Her new work created for Caramoor, woven by air, will transform a small gazebo — an existing structure with its own long history — into a contemplative listening space. It will be brought alive with sounds collected during her explorations of Caramoor’s hidden places, and with a melody drawn from founder Lucie Rosen’s theremin recordings.

Nafasi Yako Ni Ya Kijani©Walter Kitundu

Nafasi Yako Ni Ya Kijani (Your Place Is Green) at Montalvo Center for the Arts. ©Walter Kitundu

Walter Kitundu’s art practice is tough to nail down, because he does so many things and does each of them so well. A glance at his website shows that he is an amazing nature photographer and a master instrument builder. He also composes and performs his own music and, as we will see this summer, makes fascinating interactive sound installations. I was first impressed by his piece Nafasi Yako Ni Ya Kijani (Your Place Is Green) last fall at the Montalvo Center for the Arts in California. In particular, I was taken with its playfulness and the way it drew together a large outdoor space. Walter has been spending the winter recreating the piece in his Chicago studio so that it can withstand a climate more unpredictable than that of Northern California’s. It’s very exciting to know that it will be traveling east soon!

These works will be joined by Ranjit Bhatnagar’sStone Song, which feels more like a permanent part of the Caramoor landscape each year, and Taylor Deupree’st(ch)ime, which will spend its second summer creating a gentle time warp along the Cedar Walk. These four pieces await the discovery of those exploring the grounds. All four artists will be present on July 1st to meet the Caramoor public, and to take in what promises to be an amazing performance of John Luther Adams’ composition Inuksuit, performed throughout the Caramoor grounds.

I had no idea that that visit would turn into summer after summer of new friends, rewarding projects, and time spent immersed in the beautiful scenery of Caramoor.

On a personal note, this summer marks the 10-year anniversary of my first visit to Caramoor, when I was invited to investigate the possibility of curating an outdoor sound art exhibition in the gardens and grounds. I had no idea that that visit would turn into summer after summer of new friends, rewarding projects, and time spent immersed in the beautiful scenery of Caramoor. It’s been a great journey and in some ways it feels like it’s just getting started! I hope to see you there.

Sonic Innovations
June – November

Sonic Innovations

An annual exhibition of sound art featuring work created with sonic materials outside the traditions of concert music. Each artist creates work that is mindful of the natural and human-made sounds and systems already present in the environment, while engaging each site’s unique characteristics — be they acoustic, historic, architectural, or natural.
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Saturday July 1 Events starting at 1:00pm


by John Luther Adams

All Ages, Kids & Families, New Music Multiple Locations
FREE (with reservation)
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Main photo: Ranjit Bhatnagar’s Stone Song on the East Lawn. ©Gabe Palacio


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