The idea of the book, cont’d: As source of music

Posted by Rob Walker on April 8, 2010
Posted Under: Artists,Music

Friend of Murketing Randy Ludacer points out two pieces by Steve Roden that are relevant to this site’s occasional series on the idea of the book.

Steve Roden. Click for more.

From 1999, a piece called Observatory.

the piece was inspired by a quote from joseph cornell’s diary regarding the 5 things he always saw from his kitchen window. he oftern referred to his kitchen as his ‘observatory’. 5 tape loop compositions were composed; each using one of cornell’s 5 things seen. there were electronically transformed tape loops from the sounds of birds, trees, sun (in this case the sounds of the sun harnessed through a magnifying glass burning a contact mic), snow (tv static) and rain.

each of the 5 loops was placed in a cassette player that was concealed in a hollowed out book. each book had a speaker embedded in its spine, so that the audio equipment was concealed and the sounds seemed to quietly eminate from the books. MORE

Steve Roden. Click for more.

And from 2008: “When books are like butterflies.”

i began by notating every sound in the book as well as every color that appears in sequence, and used these lists to generate a sound work, a text work, and a set of images. the installation consisted of a series of 15 sculptural forms, each using two books and an audio speaker. the text and images exist in the form of printed dust jackets which cover the books, and visually frame the sound as it eminates from the speaker. the text follows the description of every sound in the book, in sequence, with each text also following the color sequence of the book. the images are mostly background images from victorian photographs i have collected over the years, that somehow relate to the generator of every sound in the text (such as swan’s wings, or a bell). MORE

Steve Roden. Click for more.

Further diversion may be found at MKTG Tumblr, and the Consumed Facebook page. Tags:

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