sound collage

Something surprising and kind of magical happened this past Sunday during a musical performance in conjunction with my installation on the lawn of Comfort Station. I had invited Katherine YoungRyan Packard and Ben LaMar to improvise with the surrounding sounds based on some loose prompts provided by myself. When we set up the surrounding sounds included a large event across the street featuring rap battles, break-dancing competitions, and much more (for Chicagoans not familiar with the annual #writersbench event put on by Barry Allen and others... it's pretty incredible). The volume of the event seemed at first to be too loud for us to carry out this performance of discrete sounds, but the musicians graciously decided to give it a shot.
It was truly a unique sonic experience hearing the ambient bed of sound they created wrap around the beats and voices bleeding over from across the street. Part of my intention for this performance was to explore a notion of live sound collage, and the Writer's Bench event provided a whole lot of fodder for the musicians to juxtapose and play with. At times the two sonic zones operated separately, at other times they melded into one large, strange audio-organism that provided a very surreal soundtrack to everything happening--cars and people zipping by, wind blowing in the cicada-filled trees, the sun setting, dogs pooping...
Thank you to all who made it out for this event, and special thanks to Ben, Katie, and Ryan for their skills at sonic transmutation!