Sound Art / Artist Spotlight:
Suzanne Thorpe & Bruce Odland


Get to know our In the Garden of Sonic Delights artists a little better through our Sonic Delights Artist Spotlights!




Meet Suzanne Thorpe (Listening Is As Listening Does) & Bruce Odland (Seven Bells for Stone Barns)



Suzanne Thorpe. Photo by Shimpei Takeda

Photo by Shimpei Takeda

Suzanne Thorpe

Suzanne Thorpe is a musician/composer who works in a spectrum of modalities, fixed and improvised, installed and recorded. She plays electro-acoustic flute through an ever-evolving array of analog and digital effects, incorporating laptop upon whim. Her way is to listen for just-the-right sounds and timbres, and the appropriate moments to introduce them to each other.

Her composed works tend to be site-specific sound pieces that speak of, and with, their environment with an amalgam of sound sources, bringing forth moments of possibility and multiplicity. Her work has been shown and performed internationally, including All Tomorrow’s Parties (UK and U.S.), Roskilde (DK), The New Museum (NYC), Issue Project Room’s Floating Points Festival (NYC), Activating the Medium Festival (San Francisco), No Idea Festival (Austin), High Zero Festival (Baltimore), and exhibited at Klieo Gallery (NYC), Exit Art (NYC), Mills College (Oakland), California College of the Arts (Oakland) and more.

As an improviser she has enjoyed performing with Pauline Oliveros, Zeena Parkins, Gino Robair, Chris Brown, Zbigniew Karkowski, Anti-matter, Ulrich Krieger, Miguel Frasconi, Jenny Walsh, Miya Masaoka, Nate Wooley and Mazen Karbaj among others. She also has recurring collaborations with Philip White, Stephan Moore, and Bonnie Jones.

She has released over 20 recordings on labels such as Sony, V2, Beggars Banquet, Geffen, Specific Recordings, and Tape Drift, and was a founding member of critically acclaimed Mercury Rev, with whom she performed, recorded and toured from 1989–2001, earning a gold record for 1998’s Deserter’s Songs. She can more recently be heard on J Mascis’ solo record Several Shades of Why (Sub Pop) and Pauline Oliveros’ Primordial Lift (Lovely Records).

Ms. Thorpe has been the recipient of residencies and fellowships from Harvestworks Digital Media Foundation, Meet the Composer, and NYFA. She also was awarded the Frog Peak Collective Award for innovative research in the electronic music field. Currently, she is pursuing a Ph.D. in Music/Integrative Studies at University of California San Diego.



Bruce Odland. Photo by David Goss

Photo by David Goss

Bruce Odland

Bruce Odland is an artist who thinks with his ears. A pioneer in sound installations, his first public sound installation, “Sun Song,” broadcast a four-channel cloud of reverberant sound over an outdoor festival in Denver from the clock tower of East High, back in 1977. Since then, he has discovered resonance and beauty in the fractal music of nature, and in transforming vast industrial soundscapes of the cities into harmonic music. In 1987 he founded O+A with Austrian sound pioneer Sam Auinger. Together they have developed a hearing perspective of the culture we live in, and they have responded with installations that change the perception of public space. “Blue Moon” (2004) re-tuned the post 9/11 soundspace of the World Financial Center plaza by turning noise into harmony mixed by the tides and moon. “Requiem for Fossil Fuels” (2007-2010) brought together four virtuoso voices, the Latin Requiem Mass, and an eight-channel orchestra of tuned city resonances. “Sonic Vista” (2010), a permanent piece, united the north and south GreenBelts of Frankfurt, Germany at a new focal point of listening: a “tuned” railroad bridge crossing the Main river. “Harmonic Bridge” (1998) for MASS MoCA, reclaims an underutilized city space with harmonic resonances. Their latest collaboration is a permanent installation: “Hearing View” (2013), which contains a library of healing sounds for the Rheinau Psychiatric Clinic — the oldest psychiatric institution in Switzerland.

Over the years, Odland has lent his ears to many collaborative projects in film, dance, museum installation and theatre with artists such as Laurie Anderson, JoAnne Akalaitis, Wallace Shawn, Andre Gregory, Peter Erskine, The Wooster Group, Tony Oursler, Dan Graham, Robert Woodruff, Dave Davidson, Bill Morrison, Stacey Steers, and Ron Miles. He recently co-directed a major outdoor sound installation with Laurie Anderson for Novartis in Basel, Switzerland. Currently he is founding the TANK, a center for sonic arts and experimentation in a giant abandoned water tank in the high desert of Western Colorado.

Bruce Odland’s Seven Bells for Stone Barns was created with master of mechanical interaction Bill Ballou.


See their artworks in this week’s Featured Videos

Suzanne Thorpe, Listening Is As Listening Does


Bruce Odland, Seven Bells for Stone Barns


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