Thursday, October 4, 2012

72 St. Louis Musicians Record the Soundtrack for Laumeier Sculpture Park

Posted By on Thu, Oct 4, 2012 at 7:29 AM

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Eric Hall posted the artists' contributions on his Bandcamp, and it's fascinating to see the variety of reactions to the park's collection. I worried that my piece for "House Of The Minotaur" was too long, but its five minutes is only an eighth of N. Nomurai's take on "St. Louis Bones." I thought my interpretation of "Laumeier U-ME-UM" may be too abrasive, but many other locals took noisy routes with their sculptures. Most fascinating to me are the tracks with words, ones like Mikey Wehling & The Reverbs' "Walking Roots" (with its awesome Neil Young goes jazz guitar solo) and Death Of Yeti's sludgy "Eclipse"; writing a quasi-conventional song for an abstract sculpture seems to me like a daring venture.

This experience has made me rethink my attitude towards visual and sonic pairings. I don't feel that the musicians of Site/Sound are bossy, that they set out to create the definitive sound for each sculpture. I have probably harbored a negative attitude toward music videos as well. I recently saw a screening of Koyaanisqatsi, a film of brilliant cinematography set to the music of Philip Glass. Some of those visuals are intense - bombs, building implosions, hot dog factories - but I find it possible to hear Glass's music without thinking of stop-motion photography, unless I really want to.

I am curious to hear what people think about Site/Sound, not so much about the music itself but how the tracks coordinate with the artworks. I am sure some will be received more positively than others, that some will be replayed while others will rarely be listened to in entirety. I am sure some will leave heads scratching as to how the sculpture could inspire its soundscape. I am positive I will hear a few hesitant "Uh...good job..." responses about some of my pieces.

The best thing this exhibition can accomplish, the greatest thing any piece of art can hope for, is an open discussion - about art, sound, vision, noise, music, composition, improvisation, form, structure, time, space, energy. Even if we're not all better people after Site/Sound, we'll at least have something to think about.

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