Open your ears.
Sonic Innovations continues to expand Caramoor’s programming with an annual exhibition of sound art, curated by Stephan Moore, from artists working with sonic materials outside the traditions of concert music. Each artist has drawn inspiration from their chosen location, creating 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.
Free and open during Box Office hours (Monday–Friday, 10:00am–4:00pm) through November 16.
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Nafasi Yako ni ya Kijani (Your Place is Green)
Nafasi Yako ni ya Kijani
consists of a handmade white oak rocking chair and wooden sound vessels (speakers) suspended in nearby trees. When in use, the rocker signals the sound vessels and the sonic landscape shifts toward East Africa. The sounds are a combination of composed works, field recordings, birdsong, and conversation. All the birds in the piece are from the region in Tanzania where the artist’s late father grew up. Many of them sound remarkably like Caramoor residents and the blending of the two worlds is intentional. His late mother’s influence is also palpable since she was an artist and deeply supported his creative endeavors. The piece is a reflection on the way loss transforms over time. It is a celebration of those relationships, what we leave behind and what we carry forward when our loved ones are no longer here. Nafasi Yako ni ya Kijani (Your Place is Green)
was originally commissioned by Montalvo Arts Center.
Walter Kitundu creates kinetic sculptures and sonic installations, develops public works, builds (and performs on) extraordinary musical instruments, while studying and documenting the natural world. In 2008, he received a prestigious MacArthur Fellowship in recognition of his work and creative potential. His piece Nafasi Yako ni ya Kijani (Your Place is Green) will live this summer at Caramoor as an invitation for reflection and introspection.
woven by air
woven by air
seeks to create an intimate and reflective listening space, blending often hidden sounds specific to Caramoor, including those of its underground infrastructure (generators, basements, storm drains), its archives, and the electromagnetic activity in the area. Utilizing the Gazebo at the end of the Cedar Walk, there will be multiple points of quiet sound emanation within the structure.
Paula Matthusen is a composer who writes both electroacoustic and acoustic music and realizes sound installations. In addition to writing for a variety of ensembles, she collaborates with choreographers and theater companies. She has written for diverse instrumentations, such as “run-on sentence of the pavement” for piano, ping-pong balls, and electronics, which Alex Ross of The New Yorker called “entrancing.” She is creating a new installation work for Caramoor, appearing this summer.
is a site-specific sound installation that utilizes a quiet hideaway on the grounds of Caramoor to create an environment that is both familiar and otherworldly. The sole sound source of the piece is a collection of bell chimes that have been manipulated through increasing layers of digital processing as the path is traversed. The human element of the chime – with its familiar interplay of sound, weather and nature – is preserved, while the acoustic imperfections are highlighted, drawing attention to the physicality of the materials. As the listener approaches the center the sound of the installation begins to stand still while the sounds of nature and the outside world continue. The effect is a small temporal oasis of fragile and reflective sound, in which hearing becomes the listener’s most heightened sense.
The life and work of Taylor Deupree
are less a study in contradictions than a portrait of the multidisciplinary artist in a still-young century.
Deupree is an accomplished sound artist whose recordings, rich with abstract atmospherics, have appeared on numerous record labels, as well as in site-specific installations at such institutions as the ICC (Tokyo, Japan) and the Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media (Yamaguchi, Japan). He started out, in the 1990s, making new noises that edged outward toward the fringes of techno, and in time he found his own path to follow. His music today emphasizes a hybrid of natural sounds and technological mediation. It’s marked by a deep attention to stillness, to an almost desperate near-silence.
And though there is an aura of insularity to Depuree’s work, he is a prolific collaborator, having collaborated with the likes of Ryuichi Sakamoto, David Sylvian, Stephan Mathieu, Stephen Vitiello, Christopher Willits, Kenneth Kirschner, Frank Bretschneider, Richard Chartier, Savvas Ysatis, Tetsu Inoue, and others.
Deupree dedicates as much time to other people’s music as he does to his own. In 1997 he founded the record label 12k
, which since then has released over 100 recordings by some of the most accomplished musicians and modern sound artists of our time.
Deupree continues to evolve his sound with an ambition and drive that is masked by his music’s inherent quietude. He approaches each project with an expectation of new directions, new processes, and new junctures. Artist’s Website.
Stone Song (2014)
Created for 2014's In the Garden of Sonic Delights
, Stone Song
by Ranjit Bhatnagar was originally hosted by the Neuberger Museum of Art of Purchase College, SUNY and was brought to Caramoor in 2015.
"When I look at an old stone wall, I think about how the seemingly solid form has shifted and settled over time, through weathering and the erosion and compression of the soil. In order to explore this process through sound, Stone Song
is laced with pressure sensors and strain gauges, and sensors for humidity, temperature, and barometric pressure. All this information feeds into a drone synthesizer, whose fundamental tones shift slowly over the months as the stones settle. Daily weather and seasonal changes will produce smaller, shorter-term changes in the stones’ song, as will the weight of visitors who stop to sit on it and listen.
"I’ve designed Stone Song in collaboration with Hilary Martin, Akira Inman, and Evan Oxland."
— Ranjit Bhatnagar
discovered sound art around age 14, listening to weird late night programs on KPFA. He now works with interactive and sound installations, with scanner photography, and with internet-based collaborative art. Recent works have been exhibited at the Lawrence Hall of Science in Berkeley, the Parc d’aventures scientifiques in Belgium, Flux Factory in Queens, in the Artbots series at Eyebeam Atelier and the Pratt Institute in New York, and the Mermaid Show at the Williamsburg Art and Historical Center in Brooklyn. He recently taught “Mister Resistor” at Parsons School of Design, a studio course and rock band with homemade instruments.
Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Ranjit received a BA from U.C. Berkeley and an MS from the University of Pennsylvania, and was certified carnie trash by the Coney Island Sideshow School in 2002. He lives in Brooklyn next to a nice big park. Artist's Website.