Carlo Mombelli will be leading a day-long exploration of sound and music-making as part of the 2013 Johannesburg International Mozart Festival on Sunday 10 February at King Kong in Doornfontein. Seven musical sets will be interspersed with discussion panels. For more information visit: http://www.join-mozart-festival.org/programme-2013/schedule-of-events/choreography-of-sound/
Manipulated cellphone audio recordings from global social protests are transformed into a large-scale sonic installation by award-winning composer Angie Mullins in a group exhibition that opens on Wednesday July 4 at 18h00 at the Bag Factory Artists’ Studios. ‘Mass Effect’ is a collaborative artwork by Mullins and visual artist Nathan Jansen van Vuuren that references mob mentality and mass hysteria. The Johannesburg? based artists share a fascination for the way in which human behaviour responds to exceptional social stimuli. The cellphone recordings sample protests in countries including South Africa, the UK, Canada and the North African region during the Arab Spring.
This work forms part of an interdisciplinary exhibition ‘Sounding Out’, which broadly concerns the intersection of contemporary music and visual art. Professor Achille Mbembe of the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research (WISER) will officially open the exhibition.
Other artworks include a sound installation by artist and musician João Orecchia of small objects transformed by technology to tell “quiet stories” of piano pieces by musician Jill Richards. A silent video of two hands in gold gloves performing a single clap on repeat, shot at 5000 frames a second, by artist Josh Ginsburg resonates with a violin sculpture by artist Lynette Bester rendered supposedly mute by a 10-pound hammer. Yet ‘Medusa’ has apparently acquired a new voice: it is reassembled with horsehair and speaks eloquently of both violence and fragility. Brendon Bussy, meanwhile, literally alters the way we hear with ‘Ear Shells’ that in a more playful vein offer visitors to ‘Sounding Out’ the opportunity to re?engage with listening. And ‘Pose and Repose’, a collaborative performance piece by Josh Ginsburg and Jared Ginsburg, will take place in the gallery space during the second week of the exhibition run.
Composer?librettist Neo Muyanga, meanwhile, offers animated digital sketches with music and lithographs created in preparation for his new operetta ‘The Flower of Shembe’, a mythical tale about fate and destiny. His entire operetta comes up to Johannesburg for two nights to coincide with ‘Sounding Out’.
The exhibition also extends beyond the gallery walls through a radio art project where artists are invited to treat airtime as gallery space. This collaboration with Invisible Cities Pirate Radio (ICR) includes Bussy and Orecchia, Malose Malahlela, Jane Rademeyer, James Sey and James Webb. ICR will for the duration of the exhibition take up residence at the Bag Factory and broadcast the sound art in-between scheduled shows.
Exhibition run: Opens July 4; Closes July 18
Gallery hours: 09h30-16h30
An operetta about coming to terms with faith and destiny, through the metaphor of flight, makes its Johannesburg debut on Friday July 6 at the Dance Factory in Newtown.
‘The Flower of Shembe’, by Cape Town based composer-librettist Neo Muyanga, coincides with ‘Sounding Out’, a July group exhibition at the Bag Factory Artists’ Studios that broadly concerns the intersection of visual art and contemporary music.
Muyanga says: “It is true that we live in cynical times; times in which factionalism and war mongering prevail indiscriminately both in the secular and the spiritual worlds. Perhaps the act of making a work about hope and the possibility of transcendence feels a little anachronistic but I believe it is also necessary in order to power the collective imagination of now.”
Muyanga, who is also part of acclaimed acoustic duo Blk Sonshine and co-founder of Pan-African Space Station, an online archive of sound and art, is a participating artist on ‘Sounding Out’. He exhibits characterisation sketches created in preparation for ‘The Flower of Shembe’.
Muyanga is joined at the Bag Factory gallery by artists including Sanell Aggenbach, Brendon Bussy, Lynette Bester, Gordon Froud, Jared Ginsburg, Josh Ginsburg, Nathan Jansen van Vuuren, Angie Mullins and João Orecchia.
The exhibition also extends beyond the gallery walls through a collaboration with Invisible Cities Pirate Radio (ICR). For its two-week duration, ICR will broadcast from the Bag Factory on 102.2FM a series of sound artworks. Bussy and Orecchia are joined by Malose Malahlela, Jane Rademeyer, James Sey and James Webb in this radio art experiment.
Brendon Bussy will run a participatory public workshop Tracking Secret Sounds of the City on Saturday July 7 at the Bag Factory as part of the Sounding Out programme. Subtitled, “Finding and using useful sound”, Brendon says cities can be overwhelmingly noisy but not all that you hear can be easily harvested. Knowing what to hear, how to hear and how to use what you hear, are skills which need to be developed and practised.
“This workshop will explore a range of playful techniques aimed at improving listening skills, such as selective hearing and remembering sound (without electronic means). We will also engage with the conceptual skills needed for finding ways to use what we’ve discovered. And we will learn to use a few simple but useful tools such as sound maps, listening tubes and, depending on weather conditions, wind resonators (for tracking invisible sound sources),” he adds.
The workshop is suitable for: visual arts and sound practitioners and anyone interested in integrating sound into their creative practice; adults, young adults and creative practitioners.
Date: Saturday July 7
Time: 09h00 - 12h00
Duration: 3 hours
Venue: Bag Factory: 10 Mahlatini Street, Fordsburg
GPRS: -26° 12’ 13.65”, +28° 1’ 34.51”
Workshop convener: Brendon Bussy
Visit: http://brendonbussy.wordpress.com for more on Brendon’s practice.
To reserve your place in this workshop, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Bag Factory Artists’ Studios on 011 834 9181 before Monday 02 July 2012. There is a participation fee of R150.00 which must be paid upfront in order for your place at the workshop to be confirmed.
Review of ‘Radio Territories’ in Liminalities, a journal of performative art (Vol. 3, issue 3), 2007: