Can mushrooms make music? What sound does a bog or a canyon make?
The Surrey Art Gallery invites you to explore these questions and more with musicians, sound artists, and researchers at its annual Sound Thinking symposium Conversations in the Field: Sound, Ecology, and Reciprocity on Nov. 15 from 12-5 p.m.
The event includes a panel discussion, refreshments and a live performance.
Admission is free.
The key speaker and panelists represent a rich diversity of artists who are using sound to actively participate in a “conversation” within their multiple areas of interest. Avant-garde composer David Dunn is the keynote speaker who is a pioneer of “environmental music.” In 1973, he travelled with three trumpet players to the Grand Canyon where they improvised with the spatial acoustics of rock formations and animals in the Canyon.
Dunn lives in Sante Fe, New Mexico where he is the current director of the Art and Science Laboratory.
Panelists include Stephanie Loveless, Matt Smith, and Paul Walde who are all Open Sound 2014 exhibiting artists. Paul Walde’s piece Mycolophonia is the latest installation to go up at the Surrey Art Gallery, inspired by the work of the American composer and amateur mushroom enthusiast John Cage.
This recording of mushroom spores as they are released into the air invites the listener to contemplate the relationship between music and mushrooms.
Matt Smith’s BogScape is a “naturalistic” installation that generates sound from weather data gathering systems located in or near Burns Bog. Stephanie Loveless’s quadraphonic sound installation Cricket, Tree, Crow uses voice to investigate the communication of insect, plant, and animal worlds.
These artists will be joined by Jenni Schine, an award-winning researcher, sound artist, and communication specialist whose ethnographic work explores the aural and oral heritage of British Columbia’s coastal communities. She will be discussing the Broughton Archipelago Sound Retreat project.
This event also features a performance by the Experimental Music Unit comprised of Tina Pearson, George Tzanetakis, and Paul Walde. Gabriel Mindel Saloman and Jordan Strom are the co-conveners.
Founded in 2008, Surrey Art Gallery’s Sound Thinking symposium is an annual one-day event which brings together practitioners and professionals in the field of sound art.
The symposium features leading sound artists, scholars, and researchers in the field of sound studies, along with visual artists who use sound as key components of their practice and musicians who experiment with the limits of music and sound.
Sound Thinking is part of Surrey Art Gallery’s Open Sound program, developed in 2008 to support the production and presentation of audio art forms as part of contemporary art practice.
Open Sound 2014: Sonorous Kingdom is a series of sound art installations that examine the relationship between vegetation and sound.
Surrey Art Gallery is located at 13750 88 Ave.
For more information, call 604-501-5566 or visit www.surrey.ca/artgallery