A one day only special event, The Sonic Delights Festival presents sound art activities and new sound art works to deepen your understanding and enjoyment of In the Garden of Sonic Delights, the groundbreaking sound art exhibition throughout the grounds, gardens and structures of Caramoor and elsewhere in the Westchester area.
In addition to the ten sound art pieces at Caramoor, the Sonic Delights Festival features two additional one-day only pieces – Sisyphus 2.0, a 500 pound, 6’ tall, galvanized steel interactive sound sculpture that plays as you roll it around, and RainforestIV, an historic sound installation of 12-15 everyday objects suspended in space emitting simple and evocative sounds as you wander through them – originally created by electronic music pioneer David Tudor. The day includes a lecture and demonstration by sound artists John Driscoll and Phil Edelstein from the group Composers Inside Electronics discussing the science and artistry behind Rainforest IV, a panel discussion led by Carol Parkinson of Harvestworks Digital Media Arts Center, and live performances by the improvisational group Volume VI, and Bang on a Can All-Stars pianist Vicky Chow with a choir of ‘electronic voices’. Please see the Program Notes section for more information about Sisyphus 2.0, Rainforest IV, Volume VI, and Vicky Chow.
Let us pack your picnic for you! For delicious dining and the ease of ordering a picnic in advance, consider the special picnic menu offered by our caterer, Great Performances. Picnic tables are available, and you may bring your own blankets and lawn chairs if you like. This service is only available Thursday through Sunday on performance days during the summer. Ordering Picnics for this event is now closed.
Caramoor thanks the generous individual donors
who made this project possible:
Mimi and Barry J. Alperin
Mr. and Mrs. Kevin R. Davis
Angela and William Haines
Peter and Katherine Kend
Faith Rosenfeld and Jaime Castro
Sara and Axel Schupf
Nina and Michael Stanton
The Gaines and Annie Wehrle Foundation
Bob and Alicia Wyckoff
Caramoor thanks the generous institutional donors
who made this project possible:
The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Inc.
The Enoch Foundation
National Endowment for the Arts
New Music USA
New York State Council on the Arts
Special Thanks to the following:
Faust Harrison Pianos and Yamaha Artist Services, Inc.
Ford Pianos, Peekskill, NY
Mary Ann and Robert W. Hawley
Horseneck Wines & Liquors
David and Sandra Joys
In the Garden of Sonic Delights is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.
In the Garden of Sonic Delights is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.
In the Garden of Sonic Delights is supported by New Music USA. To follow the project as it unfolds, please continue to visit this page.
To purchase a Day Pass ticket, which includes Sisyphus 2.0, Rainforest IV, the Rainforest IV Lecture and Demonstration, and the Panel Discussion, but excludes the Concert, please select July 20here.
To purchase a Full Festival ticket, which includes all of the foregoing and the Concert, go here.
10:00am – 4:45pm Tapestry Hedge Sisyphus 2.0
10:00am – 4:45pm Garden Courtyard Rainforest IV
All Day Multiple Locations In the Garden of Sonic Delights Ongoing Exhibition
1:00pm Reception Tent Lecture and Demonstration: The Art and Science of Rainforest IV
Sound artists John Driscoll and Phil Edelstein of the group Composers Inside Electronics discuss the science and history behind electronic music pioneer David Tudor’s seminal sound installation, Rainforest IV. They will also demonstrate the various techniques used in realizing the piece. Audience questions are welcome!
3:00pm Reception Tent Panel Discussion: Sonic Delights Artists on Sound Art
Moderator Carol Parkinson, Executive Director of Harvestworks, leads a panel discussion of Sonic Delights artists Betsey Biggs (Sunken Gardens), Ranjit Bhatnagar (Stone Song), Aaron Taylor Kuffner (Gamelatron Sanctuary: Suara Sinar), and Melanie Armer (Sisyphus 2.0, and Producer of the exhibition) exploring their work. Audience questions are welcome!
5:00pm Spanish Courtyard Concert by Volume VI and Vicky Chow
Enter the Spanish Courtyard, take a seat, close your eyes, and allow yourself to be suspended in a field of sound. Improvisational quartet Volume VI features laptop artist Stephan Moore, electro-acoustic flutist Suzanne Thorpe, electro-acoustic harpist Shelley Burgon, and turntablist Maria Chavez. Together they create an imitable sonic entity, luminous and enigmatic. Vicky Chow, Bang on a Can All-Stars acclaimed pianist, concludes the concert performing Surface Image, composer and sound artist Tristan Perich’s masterwork for piano and electronics, written for Chow.
Volume VI is an improvising quartet featuring electro – acoustic harpist Shelley Burgon, turntablist Maria Chavez, laptop artist Stephan Moore, and electro-acoustic flutist Suzanne Thorpe. Individually these players are singular voices in the New York scene, Together, they create an inimitable sonic entity, luminous and enigmatic, without obvious exit or entrance.
Shelley Burgon is a harpist, composer and sound artist based in Brooklyn, NY. Her work utilizes the sound of the harp, both as a traditional acoustic instrument in a chamber setting and as the primary sound source for her electronic music and sound sculptures. Her music has been commissioned by The Merce Cunningham Dance Company for the Hudson Valley Project at the Dia Museum, Ne(x)tworks chamber ensemble for the MATA Festival and choreographer Katherine Behar. Shelley has performed and recorded the music of Bjork, Anthony Braxton, Christian Marclay, and Joan LaBarbara along with the bands Stars Like Fleas and Ombre (Roberto Lange & Julianna Barwick). She has performed at the Whitney Museum, MoMA, MoMA PS1, Dia:Beacon, Chelsea Art Museum, Lincoln Center, New Museum and Eyebeam Art + Technology Center. Her sound sculptures have been presented by the Spring/Break Art Fair during Armory Week NYC 2012, Splatterpool Artspace, Brooklyn, NY and most recently at Old School, NYC in conjunction with The New Museum’s Ideas City Festival and Frieze Art Week 2013. She received her M.F.A in Electronic Music from Mills College in Oakland, CA where she studied with Pauline Oliveros, Fred Frith and Maryanne Amacher among many notable others. She is a member of the chamber group Ne(x)tworks and performs solo under the name Rowan.
Born in Lima, Peru, Maria Chavez is mainly recognized in the art community as an abstract turntablist, improviser, sound artist, DJ and curator. Influenced by improvisation in contemporary art, her sound installations, visual objects and live turntable performances focus on the values of accidents and its unique, complicated possibilities with sound emitting machinery like the turntable. She recently signed with Software, a record label founded by Oneohtrix Point Never- Daniel Lopatin, and is due to release her first full length LP in a decade, some time in 2015. From April 19th to May 10th, 2014 Chavez embarked on a duo tour in Europe with vocal and cello improviser, Audrey Chen performing in Oslo, London, Berlin, Copenhagen and more. She is currently an endorsed Moog artist for her participation in the Moog Synthesizer Residency w/ Rough Trade Records, NYC. This summer, Maria will DJ for MoMA PS1′s 2014 summer Saturday series, Warm Up. Chavez has been awarded the St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble commission to present a new live sound installation at the Brooklyn Museum of Art in 2015.
Stephan Moore, curator of In the Garden of Sonic Delights and the Sonic Delights Festival, is a composer, improvisor, audio artist, and sound designer. His creative work currently manifests as electronic studio compositions, solo and group improvisations, sound installation works, scores for collaborative performance pieces, and sound designs for unusual circumstances. Evidence, his long-standing project with Scott Smallwood, has performed widely and released several recordings over the past decade. He also performs with the improvisation quartets Bumpr and Volume(n), and is a frequent collaborator with the performance groups The Nerve Tank and a canary torsi. His company, Isobel Audio, produces unique Hemisphere speakers. He is the vice president of the American Society for Acoustic Ecology. From late 2004 to mid-2010, he performed over 250 concerts with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, serving as a touring musician, sound engineer, and music coordinator. He is currently enrolled in the MEME Ph.D. program at Brown University.
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.
Composers Inside Electronics
(CIE) is a group of composer/performers dedicated to the composition and live collaborative performance of electronic and electro-acoustic music using both software and circuitry designed and constructed by individual composers. CIE members also create interactive sound installations. The group was formed in 1973 with David Tudor and is known for its pioneering use of original live electronics for both performance and installations, including David Tudor’s Rainforest project. The current members include founders John Driscoll and Phil Edelstein along with You Nakai, Matt Wellins, Matt Rogalsky, Doug Van Nort, and include guest performers. An ongoing commitment to collaborative performance of new individual and group works is central to CIE’s evolution. The group’s work includes the use of: custom-built software instruments, resonant sculptural instruments, rotating and focused loudspeaker systems and ultrasonic instruments with an emphasis on creating a rich sonic architecture. Numerous works utilize the resonant character of the performance spaces as instruments. The group specializes in performances and installations that focus on the integration of theatrical and musical elements. CIE is currently offering a range of performance works as well as short and long-term sound installations.
The Nerve Tank
Named One to Watch in 2010 by BroadwayWorld, The Nerve Tank is a world-class innovator in theatrical performance. Founded byMelanie S. Armer and Chance D. Muehleck, the company collaborates with actors and designers in a spirit of artistic adventure and remodels traditional performance methods. We combine elements of popular culture, mediated image, and physical presence to test lines of engagement between spectator and live event. Based in New York, we have staged works at chashama, FringeNYC, Dixon Place, The Tank, University Settlement, Incubator Arts Project, the World Financial Center Winter Garden, and Pittsburgh’s Flux Festival. From 2008 to 2010 we were the resident theatre company of the Brooklyn Lyceum. In 2011, NT was named a Person of the Year by the New York Theatre Experience.
Tristan Perich‘s (New York) work is inspired by the aesthetic simplicity of math, physics and code. The WIRE Magazine describes his compositions as “an austere meeting of electronic and organic.” 1-Bit Music, his 2004 release, was the first album ever released as a microchip, programmed to synthesize his electronic composition live. His latest circuit album, 1-Bit Symphony (Cantaloupe, 2010) has received critical acclaim, called “sublime” (New York Press), and the Wall Street Journal said “its oscillations have an intense, hypnotic force and a surprising emotional depth.” His works for soloist, ensemble and orchestra have been performed internationally by ensembles including Bang on a Can, Calder Quartet, Eighth Blackbird at venues from the Whitney Museum and Mass MoCA to Sonar and Ars Electronica. He has received commissions from Bang on a Can, Meehan/Perkins Duo, Dither Quartet, Yarn/Wire, and others. As a visual artist, Perich has had solo exhibitions at bitforms gallery (NYC), Mikrogalleriet (Copenhagen), Museo Carandente (Spoleto), The Addison Gallery (Massachusetts), Katonah Museum (New York), Monster Truck (Dublin), LEAP (Berlin) among others, as well as group shows aound the world. HisMachine Drawings, pen-on-paper drawings executed by machine, were described as “elegantly delicate” by BOMB Magazine. Perich studied math, music and computer science at Columbia University, and received a masters in from the Interactive Telecommunications Program at Tisch School of the Arts, NYU.
Canadian pianist Vicky Chow has been described as “brilliant” (New York Times), “a monster pianist” (Time Out New York), “virtuostic” (New Jersey Star Ledger), and “one of the new stars of new music” (Los Angeles Times). She is the pianist for the New York-based sextet Bang on a Can All-Stars and is also a founding member of DUO X88, a piano duo with Dutch pianist Saskia Lankhoorn and GRANDBAND, a six-keyboard ensemble with pianists Lisa Moore, Blair McMillen, David Friend, Isabelle O’Connell and Paul Kerekes. Most recently she gave the North American premiere of Steve Reich’s work ‘Piano Counterpoint’ and also the world premiere of a new evening length work by artist/composer Tristan Perich for solo piano and 40-channel 1-bit electronics titled Surface Image. Her next solo projects include commissions from American composers Chris Cerrone, Neil Rolnick, and Canadian composer Adam Basanta and releases on the New Amsterdam and nonesuch labels. Originally from Vancouver Canada, Ms. Chow studied at The Juilliard School with Yoheved Kaplinsky and Julian Martin before continuing studies at Manhattan School of Music with Christopher Oldfather. Starting the piano at age 5, she was invited to perform at the age of 9 at the International Gilmore Music Keyboard Festival. She made her orchestral debut at the age of 10 with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and made her New York orchestral debut appearance at Alice Tully Hall with the Juilliard Symphony performing Bartok’s Piano Concerto No. 1.
Panel Discussion: Sonic Delights Artists on Sound Art
Moderator Carol Parkinson, Executive Director of Harvestworks, leads a panel discussion of Sonic Delights artists Betsey Biggs (Sunken Gardens), Ranjit Bhatnagar (Stone Song), Aaron Taylor Kuffner (Gamelatron Sanctuary: Suara Sinar), and Melanie Armer (Sisyphus 2.0 and Producer of the Exhibition) exploring their work. Audience questions welcome!
Melanie S. Armer
Melanie S. Armer is the producer of Sonic Delights. She is an acclaimed theater director based in New York who specializes in hybrid performance, site-responsive movement, and immersive, large-scale events. She is the co-founder of The Nerve Tank, where she developed and directed The Maiden this season at LaMama, GLORY ROAD, for which the sonic sculpture now titled Sisyphus 2.0 was created, and the interactive multimedia piece calledThe Attendants both commissioned by Arts Brookfield. With the Nerve Tank she was also at the helm of LIVE/FEED at Dixon Place and while the company was in residence at the Brooklyn Lyceum, bauhaus the bauhaus and A Gathering. Her work with other NYC theater companies includes The Ensemble Studio Theatre, The Women’s Project, Theater for the New City, several NYC Fringe Festivals, and over 25 plays for Circle East. Ms. Armer was Assistant Director on the Broadway revival of Wait Until Dark. She is a proud alumnus of The Lincoln Center Directors Lab, and has taught at Marymount Manhattan College and Point Park University. She is the Creative Director of the Cosmic Opera and two versions of the notorious Black Party in NYC. In addition to producing shows for The Nerve Tank, her producing credits include Lincoln Center’s programming department and The Foundry Theater’s production of Good Person of Szechuan.
Betsey Biggs is a composer and interdisciplinary artist whose work in music, sound, video, and installation aims to expose the beautiful in the everyday, to actively engage the audience, and to transform place into creative interface through psychogeographic practice. The NewYorker’s Alex Ross has described her work as “psychologically complex, exposing how we orient ourselves with our ears.” She received her Ph.D. in Music Composition at Princeton University, writing about public sound art, held a postdoctoral fellowship at Brown University, and is currently a Sawyer Fellow at Harvard University.
Ranjit Bhatnagar is a sound artist who works with technology, language, and found materials to create interactive installations and musical instruments. His works have been exhibited across the United States and in Europe. In an annual project, he creates a new homemade musical instrument each day of the month of February — the Instrument-a-Day project is now in its seventh year. Last summer, Bhatnagar worked with the art collectives Flux Factory and Rabid Hands to build a large-scale musical installation at the Palais de Tokyo Museum in Paris. His interactive sound work “Singing Room for a Shy Person,” commissioned by Amsterdam’s Métamatic Research Initiative, premiered at New York City’s Clocktower Gallery last spring, and moved to the Jean Tinguely Museum in Basel, Switzerland in October for the Métamatic Reloaded exhibition. He performed in the Uncaged Toy Piano Festival and Qubit’s Machine Music festival this winter, and is working with David Chang on a calligraphy- and gesture-based score for the Brooklyn Ballet.
Aaron Taylor Kuffner
Aaron Taylor Kuffner, Co-Creator and Artistic Director of The Gamelatron Project, is a conceptual artist, sculptor, and composer. His pieces often take the form of longterm multi-year projects that involve in-depth research, collaboration with field experts, and development of specialized skill sets. Each project is uniquely attached to the idea of providing conceptual tools that further the evolution of consciousness through experiences of beauty and the sublime. In doing so he reaches far outside of conventions, pushing the role of art to be a form of service to society. Through his work Kuffner has become a noted composer, kinetic sculptor, electronic music maverick, a machinist, installation artist, ad-hoc engineer, and an ambassador of Indonesian culture. He has performed or presented work more than 400 times in 19 countries in the last 15 years. Learn more at aarontaylorkuffner.com
Carol Parkinson is the Executive Director of Harvestworks, a digital media arts center located in New York City. Her focus is in the development of experimental artworks that explore sound, data and other emerging technologies. She is the producer of the New York Electronic Art Festival, a series of workshops, concert performances and exhibitions centered on emerging technologies and art. Since 2007, the festival has been presented every other year in New York City. She is a founding member of TELLUS, the Audio Cassette Magazine, a cassette –based magazine of experimental music and sound art published between 1982 – 1996.
About Harvestworks: Harvestworks is a nonprofit Digital Media Arts Center that presents experimental artworks created in collaboration with our Technology, Engineering, Art and Music (TEAM) Lab. The Harvestworks TEAM Lab is an environment that provides project expertise from consultants, technicians, instructors and innovative practitioners in all branches of the electronic arts. The New York Electronic Art Festival was created to provide a responsive public context for the appreciation of cutting-edge electronic artwork through concerts, workshops, and exhibitions of the highest quality across the arts and technology spectrum. NYEAF is produced by Harvestworks, an international digital media arts center with over 30 years of experience helping artists to get inside the electronics and to develop a hands-on, experimental and explorative approach to making art with technology.
Photo by Raymond Haddad
Sisyphus 2.0 (2013) Tapestry Hedge Imagine a 6’ tall, 500-pound galvanized steel sphere is programmed to ‘sing’ in response to the way it moves along the ground. Push it, pull it, roll it around to create different sounds. Internal accelerometers read the coordinates of the sphere and activate different sound files based on its position. With practice, you can learn to ‘play’ the sphere like a musical instrument. Use your ears as well as your muscle. Composer Stephan Moore also programmed the sphere as a giant sound puzzle – roll the sphere around to get the two pitches to match, then they reset and start over – you have solved the puzzle. The piece is an interactive sound installation that invites questions about technology, artistic authorship, and physical toil. Created by The Nerve Tank for a commission by Arts Brookfield, this installation was first seen in a live performance called Glory Road.
Photo by John Driscoll
Rainforest IV (1973) Garden Courtyard
Rainforest IV is an exploration where the audience moves freely among objects suspended in space, listening directly to the objects. 12-15 objects are activated with sounds, allowing the listener to hear what the object does to the sound as it passes through it. The effect is a rainforest of sound.
The piece is an electro-acoustic environment conceived by the late composer/performer David Tudor and realized by Composers Inside Electronics, a group of composers/performers dedicated to the composition and live performance of electronic and electro-acoustic music using both software and circuitry designed and constructed by individual composers. To date, Rainforest IV is one of the most performed contemporary music works, performed over 150 times in more than 40 locations worldwide.
Volume VI is an improvising quartet featuring electro-acoustic harpist Shelley Burgon, turntablist Maria Chavez, laptop artist Stephan Moore, and electro-acoustic flutist Suzanne Thorpe. Individually these players are singular voices in the New York scene, Together, they create an inimitable sonic entity, luminous and enigmatic, without obvious exit or entrance.
Multi-instrumentalist Shelley Burgon is best known for her improvisational work using harp and laptop. She is a member of the chamber group Ne(x)works, the bands Stars Like Fleas and Family Dynamics. She is a notable interpreter of avant-garde music and has performed for series such as the MATA Festival, Issue Project Room’s Floating Points Festival, Darmstadt Series and The Whitney Museum’s Christian Marclay Festival.
Avant-turntablist Maria Chavez’s work is focused on short solo electro-acoustic sound pieces. Her instrument is a collection of new and broken needles that she calls “pencils of sound” and a selection of records which provide the palette. She has been awarded an Emerging Artist Grant by the Jerome Foundation through New York’s Roulette Intermedium in 2008, and the Van Lier Fellowship in 2009. She has shared the stage with many notables, including Pauline Oliveros, Thurston Moore, Alan Licht, Phil Niblock, and Otomo Yoshihide.
Stephan Moore, curator of In the Garden of Sonic Delights and the Sonic Delights Festival, is a composer, improvisor, audio artist, and sound designer. As an improvisor and musician, he founded Volume VI, the electronic duo Evidence with Scott Smallwood, and has performed internationally with Christian Wolff, John Paul Jones, Pauline Oliveros, William Winant, David Behrman, Alex Waterman, and many others. From 2004 to 2010, he performed over 250 concerts wit the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, serving as their sound engineer and music coordinator, and as a touring musician.
Suzanne Thorpe is a performer, composer, educator, and arts-activist who strives for breakthroughs in understanding via sound. She composes site-specific works that employ psycho-acoustic phenomena, aural harmonies, and tuned filtering systems that have been presented at Issue Project Room (NYC), Judson Church (NYC), Diapason (NYC), Megapolis Festival (Baltimore), Activating the Medium Festival (SF), and more. She is a founding member of critically acclaimed Mercury Rev, with whom she has composed, recorded, produced, and toured from 1989-1998.
Canadian pianist Vicky Chow has been described as “brilliant” (New York Times), “a monster pianist” (Time Out New York), “virtuostic” (New Jersey Star Ledger), and “one of the new stars of new music” (Los Angeles Times). She is the pianist for the New York-based sextet Bang on a Can All-Stars and is also a founding member of DUO X88, a piano duo with Dutch pianist Saskia Lankhoorn and GRANDBAND, a six-keyboard ensemble with pianists Lisa Moore, Blair McMillen, David Friend, Isabelle O’Connell and Paul Kerekes. Most recently she gave the North American premiere of Steve Reich’s work ‘Piano Counterpoint’ and also the world premiere of a new evening length work by artist/composer Tristan Perich for solo piano and 40-channel 1-bit electronics titled Surface Image. Her next solo projects include commissions from American composers Chris Cerrone, Neil Rolnick, and Canadian composer Adam Basanta and releases on the New Amsterdam and nonesuch labels.
Vicky’s passion for new music has propelled her to work with an A-to-Z of leading composers and musicians such as John Adams, Louis Andriessen, Bryce Dessner (The National) Philip Glass, Glenn Kotche (Wilco), David Longstreth (Dirty Projectors), Steve Reich, Terry Riley, and Lee Ranaldo (Sonic Youth). Her recorded work can be found on the ‘tzadik’, ‘Cantaloupe’,’ innova’, ‘hinterzimmer’, and ‘altaVoz’ labels. In addition to performing, Ms. Chow also produces and curates “Contagious Sounds,” a new music series focusing on adventurous contemporary artists and composers in New York City. She receives continuous support from the Canada Council for the Arts and has received grants from the Fromm Foundation, Vancouver Foundation, and the BC Arts Council.
Originally from Vancouver Canada, Ms. Chow studied at The Juilliard School with Yoheved Kaplinsky and Julian Martin before continuing studies at Manhattan School of Music with Christopher Oldfather. Starting the piano at age 5, she was invited to perform at the age of 9 at the International Gilmore Music Keyboard Festival. She made her orchestral debut at the age of 10 with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and made her New York orchestral debut appearance at Alice Tully Hall with the Juilliard Symphony performing Bartok’s Piano Concerto No. 1.