Judson Church

collaborative installation and performance

Ear to the Earth Festival, 2012

Concept and realization by Daniel Neumann and Gill Arno
Local participants: Andrew Lafkas, Barry Weisblat, Ben Owen, Dave Ruder, David Galbraith, DIA, Jason Brogan, Jennifer Grossman, Madeleine Shapiro, Richard Kamerman, Theres Wegmann (graphic design), Tyler Wilcox.

International participants: Alan Courtis (Argentina), Bernd Schurer (Switzerland), Ernst Karel (U.S.), Estherb (Canada), Gil Sanson (Venezuela), Gilles Aubry (Switzerland/Germany), Jason Kahn (U.S./Switzerland), Joda Clément (Canada), John Grzinich (U.S./Estonia), Jordan Paul (U.S.), Martin Janicek (Czech Republic), Pali Mersault (France), Patrick Franke (Germany), Patrick McGinley (U.S./Estonia), Sebastien Roux (France), Simon Whetham (United Kingdom).

About the music

Gill Arno and Daniel Neumann organize in space and time the field recordings sent by multiple phonographers from many countries. A group of local sound artists and musicians, performing with acoustic as well as electronic instruments, create an acoustic topology of where we are in a world of non-place spaces, of presence and solitude.

The concept of non-place is based on anthropologist Marc Augé’s observation that airports, railway stations, leisure parks, hotel chains, and supermarkets, for examples, are places of transience that are not significant enough to us to be considered places in our lives. They are non-places because they do not relate to us, or contain a history that we share, or an identity that is ours, whereas we have a relationship and feel a history and identity with what we think of as places. In Augé’s words, “Non-places are the real measure of our time …” They suggest a perspective of, as he calls it, supermodernity, in which travelers feel part of a larger world yet feel solitude, as if they are always yet never at home.

Daniel Neumann explains the concept as represented in the music: “The musicians on-site in Judson Church are confronted with an acoustic environment of displaced recordings which address the notion of non-places. Gill and I have specified different modes of listening as the ‘score’ for the concert, which the musicians follow in their reactions to the environment and to each other. We chose musicians that have a vocabulary of textural, unusual sounds rather than traditional, expressive melodies, and in their listening and reacting, we ask them to remember that neither places nor non-places ever exist in pure form. One can have characteristics of both and can change into the other.”

The program to download.