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TIMELINES

Timelines Slider_100115

TIMELINES

A Sonic Exploration

 

We compartmentalize the world, breaking days into hours, art into genres, people into groups, continents into

nations. While this gives us the pleasure of organizing an inherently chaotic life, it also obscures the greater

connections between everything, making it difficult for us to see the essence of our shared existence.

 

Musically, I’ve been confounded by the need to separate sound art and pop music. One has been deemed

introspective, complex, and difficult, while the other is social, simple, and fun. The visual art world found

strength in the synthesis of gallery and pop years ago, but sound art and music have rarely found each other

in the wild. Timelines is a reaction to this, an effort to make pleasing music safe in a conceptual space.

 

In first considering how to bring music into the gallery, I settled on time as a conceptual framework for

experimentation. Time is essential to music, both for its natural power of even division and for its flexibility,

creating groove and feel. Similarly in life, we use reliable units of time to organize our actions, while conversely

feeling time’s unstable fluctuations (time flies, a slow day, and so on).

 

I arrived at the idea of using sand as a musical medium, since it is the standard metaphor for passing time.

Upon experimentation, I found that sand poured over guitar strings, in the style of an hourglass, creates a

mesmerizing, meditative drone. This drone symbolizes the eternal now we exist within, the moment we focus

on in meditations, that we try to escape in moments of pain, or try to never leave in moments of joy.

 

Timelines is a manifestation of these thoughts. You will move through the room in a compartmentalized

fashion, following each segmented step, much like hours segment the day. As you do, you will influence the

sound of the room as you engage with the installation. Your effect is finite and leaves with you. The drone is

the never-ending moment. It remains unchanged.

 

Use the experience to reflect on your relationship with time.

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          – Nick Byron Campbell, curator

 

This installation would not be possible without the incredible help of a few individuals:

James DeDakis, the co-creator, honed the concepts and installation elements at each stage.

Matthew Guenther designed and built the sand guitar towers, with James and myself assisting.

Timothy Shull built two of the interactions, designed sound effects, and consulted on the technical side of the

installation overall.

 

Music and performance is by Wages: Nick Byron Campbell, James DeDakis, Dustin Robles, Matthew Rumley

 

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