101 W 18th St. (Sound Observation #8)

sound installation, five channel digital audio (2011/12)

Sound Observations is a series of electroacoustic works live performances and sound installations that observe the qualities of live or recorded soundscapes.

"101 W 18th St. (Sound Observation #8)" is based on a one-hour audio recording made in front of 101 W 18th Street, New York, the last residence of John Cage and Merce Cunningham. This recording is split into four parts and assigned to the four speakers distributed around the exhibition space. The four parts play at the same time, thereby becoming superimposed.

Each of the four channels is filtered, so that only a narrow frequency band is audible. During the course of the piece, the frequency band scans the entire spectrum, from the very low to the very high. The dynamics change depending on the filtered material, so that the pitches float around in space.

In addition, a fifth channel is heard. It presents the full, un-filtered spectrum of frequencies of one of the other four channels. This recording is synchronized to the filtered sounds. It switches once within every minute between the four sources according to chance operations.

The duration of the loop is 15.

Binaural version first presented at "Membra Disjecta for John Cage Wanting to Say Something About John. Exhibition at Freiraum Quartier21 International, MuseumsQuartier Wien.

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© Volker Straebel kein Abdruck ohne schriftliche Genehmigung des Autors / no reprint without author's written permission