OLIVIA BLOCK / SARAH HENNIES / SONIC LUZ

International sound mavericks create beauty out of chaos with the help of oscillators, vibraphones and optosonic synthesisers

SAT 16/03

7.30pm
Old Fire Station / 40 George St, OX1 2AQ

PWYD (Pay What You Decide)

Olivia Block (USA)
October 26th, 1984

(found tapes, laptop, oscillators, breath, microphone)
45min

The piece opens with a man speaking to himself on a "found" micro cassette tape about his dying father. This voice is then accompanied and eventually blotted out by performed breath, white noise and found recordings from catastrophic weather events and eventually a flood of water. The combination of sounds reflects an overwhelming collective sense of human anxiety and grief about the destruction of the natural world and, the inevitable decay and obsolescence of Western (particularly American) culture.

Olivia Block is a media artist and composer. In addition to her solo performances, Block creates studio-based sound art compositions, scores for orchestra and chamber groups, site-specific multi-speaker installations and sound design for cinema. Her compositions include field recordings, amplified objects, chamber and orchestral instruments, and electronic textures. She performs her pieces for inside piano, pipe organ, amplified objects, shortwave radio, and many other sound-making materials. Feature articles about Block have been published in The Wire, NPR’s Morning Edition, MusicWorks, The Chicago Reader, Fluid Radio, and others. oliviablock.net

Sarah Hennies (USA)
Gather & Release

(vibraphone + 2 channel audio)
54min

Gather & Release is the result of years worth of composer Sarah Hennies’ exploration of the vibraphone in synthesis with her experiences of identity, obsession, anxiety, tension, grief, and loss.
Over the course of an hour, Hennies entangles highly focused percussion playing with field recordings, sine waves, signifiers from her personal & family history (including a 20+ year old recording of her grandfather reciting poetry), and bilateral stimulation, a tool for anxiety release and a major component of EMDR therapy (a branch of psychotherapy that focuses on relieving the patient of disturbing memories as a treatment for psychopathology).
Gather & Release is personal, immediate, yet reserved. Coppice welcomes Sarah Hennies to Category of manifestation: with this challenging new work of reclaim.

Sarah Hennies is a composer based in Ithaca, NY whose work is concerned with a variety of musical, sociopolitical, and psychological issues including queer & trans identity, love, intimacy, psychoacoustics, and percussion. She is primarily a composer of solo and chamber works, but is also active in improvisation, film, performance art, and dance. Sarah composed “Contralto,” a groundbreaking work for seven musicians and a film featuring seven transgender women speaking, singing, and performing vocal exercises.

She is a recipient of a 2019 Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants to Artist award, and a 2016 New York Foundation of the Arts fellowship in Music/Sound. sarah-hennies.com

Sonic Luz (AUT)
(Klaus Filip, Noid)

(optosonic sythesizer)
40min

The comeback of the optosonic synthesiser.
Live performance by noid and klaus filip bringing the technology of optosonic synthesizers into the era of DIY. Most traditional synthesisers put a strong emphasis on reproducibility and the stability of pitch. Therefor they need big and complex mechanisms usually realised inside a black box. For Sonic Luz the priority is a maximum of flexibility and the possibility for haptic interaction on all parts of tone production. By moving the lamps, the toneweels, the light sensors on the table, or changing the discs, the composition of the sounds is manipulated, quickly and intuitively. The machine has no interior that could possibly be hidden, everything is laid open for the audience and generates a performative aspect of great beauty.

Klaus Filip is a musician, sound artist and programmer based in Vienna. His main concern is with sine-waves, their appearance in time and at the threshold of perception, as well as their entanglement with acoustic instruments. As a sound artist he researches the interplay between sound and light. He teaches at a University in Vienna and was co-curator of the Reheat Festival.

Noid aka Arnold Haberl studied cello and mathematics. The composer, sound-artist, cello player and improviser sees his work as fundamental research, leading to a wide range of outcomes, like cello-solo and tape-pieces, compositions for ensembles, improvisation scores, performances with electronic / hybrid instruments, sound-installations, videos and imaginary music. He teaches at the Multimedia-Art department, University for Applied Sciences, Salzburg.  filipino.klingt.org/sonic_luz

audiograft is curated by the SARU (Sonic Arts Research Unit) at Oxford Brookes University and co-promoted by OCM.