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Singing with Sines I
sound work by Gail Priest

Singing with Sines (excerpts) from Gail Priest on Vimeo.

Singing with Sines
in 3 parts—continuous

Part I: test toning (2mins)
Part II: rebeepbeep (4mins)
Part III: eeyeaaehhh (4:30mins)

Headphone soundworks and wall tracing

An exploration of the interplay of pure and raw sounds—sine tones and voice.

The sine tone is a valuable tool for investigating the frequency properties of sounds and their relation to the harmonic scale. I bring a very limited education in physics to my work as a sound artist/composer relying rather on the nebulous idea of ‘musical instinct.’ In Singing with Sines I attempt to explore this contrast: the organic way that I understand music through the voice, and the synthetic manufacture of notes through technology.

This exploration inadvertently treads lightly in the footsteps of pioneering artists such as La Monte Young, with his sine tone works exploring the psychoacoustic properties of the harmonic spectrum; and Alvin Lucier with his interplay of sine tones, instruments and acoustic space; but I cannot admit to a similar rigor of process. In comparison with much of my previous work, this piece is very restrained in its use of digital effects and trickery, however Singing with Sines is far from a purest psychoacoustic exploration, gradually progressing from a minimalist elemental investigation through to an almost baroque choral conclusion.

While presenting this kind of work on headphones limits the interplay with space and the resulting psychoacoustic phenomena, it does provide a focused zone in which the piece can seem to emanate from the listener’s own consciousness. The wall tracing of the waveform of the final composition serves as a map to help orient the listener in the invisible loop of gallery playback. It is a notation of sorts for artists working beyond the stave, also offering its own elegant graphic signature.

opening July 2, 3-6pm
July 3-31
Friday to Sunday, 12-5pm.
SNO gallery
Level 1, 175 Marrickville Rd, Marrickville
www.sno.org.au

 

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