Year in Ears 2014 #11 #12

Best Drones

Apropos of the difference tones / retinal effects of Andy Puls, 2014 had a lot of intentional and unintentional drones that I sought out, or sought me out, or happened because of me, and without me I can be sure according to the artifacts. They are all staying with me. Here are two in particular.

July 3, 2014
The Norman Conquest
Luggage Store Gallery, San Francisco

Norman Teale is back, enrobed, and just short of breaking all the 3rd story windows in the Luggage Store Gallery with his one evolving note. I was ready to be patient. After all, this is the artist who took as long as it was going to take to create a recording of 10,000 things. The light from another astonishingly actually summery summer evening faded to twilight. Our gallery was re-illuminated in a series of warming sodium blue, ash and amber from the Market Street lamps, throwing TNC into dark silhouette. I know the set ended (I mean, we’re here,yes?) but part of it is still going on since that time. At least every time I’m in the neighborhood and I look up at that place.

July 27, 2014
Soundwave ((6)): Music for a Changing Tide
Ocean Beach, San Francisco

MEDIATE Art Group’s biennial has developed a signature for placing performance in public places, usually interstitial ones between the built and natural worlds. This composition by Nat Evans was made for a moment at Ocean Beach, which, for once this year, was as properly cold and miserable as it could be for the too-small audience assembled for the sunset edition. I loved it for what it intended to do, and for what it unintentionally revealed:

  1. It was clear by the staggered ending that 20 people can’t press Play at the same time. The phasing of performance off by milliseconds is probably super interesting but we’ll never know. That wasn’t the piece.
  2. Over-ear headphone signal in a natural environment eventually begs to be abandoned. I thought about staying for the night edition with one ear in and one ear out. I got a hold of myself before I did, and instead returned a couple days later and watched the tide go out again: sitting there without any gear listening for Nat’s composition in the air. Sounded great.