writer & sound artist Portland, Oregon
collage as thinking, restoring, remembering, summoning, dialing, listening, speaking. experiments in sound & language
It was at the end of 1956 that the real shift occurred. At this time tracts were distributed announcing the existence of a Voice of Free Algeria. The broadcasting schedules and the wavelengths were given. This voice `that speaks from the djebels,' not geographically limited, but bringing to all Algeria the great message of the Revolution, at once acquired an essential value. In less than twenty days the entire stock of radio sets was bought up.
--Franz Fanon, "This is the Voice of Algeria"
My work is a way of listening in the human voice for traces of our moment in history, our convictions, emotions, our unique abilities--sometimes brief and situational--to speak our truth.
I am especially interested in the voices of people speaking spontaneously on matters of deep importance to them. These moments of speech contrast dramatically, and significantly, with other, more pervasive types of speech--types regulated predominantly by conventions, manners, and protocols. While more common types of speech are, in many contexts, functional and efficient, I worry about a culture wherein people lose the ability to speak powerfully, a culture wherein standards of functional speech are so widely and effectively distributed and enforced that people forget the sounds of power we are capable of.
In my practice, I listen through repetition--sometimes excessive repetition--and through the deconstruction and reconstruction of words and phrases. I isolate and repeat a solitary vowel, divide words into many parts and resequence them--hearing them differently within new relationships--or I explore layers of words and consider the shifting harmonies of chance, or I crowd them densely to produce drones of timbre. And sometimes, I isolate and dwell on the sounds between the words, ambient remnants or reverberations of place.
For source material, I work mostly with radio broadcasts and used records. The broadcasts come from all over the world, and the records mostly from Portland, Oregon (records that are free or under a dollar). Radio voices are haunting and magical for me, so disembodied and yet so potentially unifying and energizing of bodies over great distances. And records come so marked by history. Which records I discover is a matter of history and place. And on records we hear the sounds recorded, the scratches accrued, and the atmospheric dust, composed of so many things, that on the exposed vinyl's surface settles.
I try to work quickly and let things be raw. There is no "pristine" or "clean" sound I look for. I use a lot of old broadcasts and weathered records, and I look to embrace the sounds I discover. Bad microphones, tape hiss, shorting cables, feedback, the brownian motion of electrons within my own synthesizer--together these things speak to a context--the mechanical and human dimensions of the enterprise. I call the works "transmissions" because they feel to me like thoughts or short statements. They are what I am processing, thinking about, reflecting on, and trying to say. And they are transmitted in the sense that they are beamed away, beamed out there, sent off on their own journeys and encountering others without me.
Memoir/Cross-Genre Prose, This is abstract and so entirely without utility, Hobart - http://www.hobartpulp.com (Guest Editor Amanda Goldblatt)
Professional Development Grant, Regional Arts & Culture Council
Installation and Live Performance, Shootout Figure, Beacon Sound - Portland, OR (August 27, 2016. Installation and live performance with artist Angela White.)
Fiction/Cross-Genre Prose, 2012: "the shape of punk 2 come," my blood still whispers, Volume 1 Brooklyn - http://www.vol1brooklyn.com/2015/12/06/sunday-stories-2012-the-shape-of-punk-to-
Sound Design, Savage Conversations, University of Georgia - Sound design for staged reading of LeAnne Howe’s play, “Savage Conversations.”
Sound/Transmission/Memorial, this morning, Split Lip Magazine - http://www.splitlipmagazine.com/#!15-d-sound-art-feature/c1kkh
Sound/Transmission/Memorial, lesser known, Split Lip Magazine - http://www.splitlipmagazine.com/#!15-d-sound-art-feature/c1kkh
Sound/Transmission/Memorial, in come the wineries, PANK - http://pankmagazine.com/piece/in-come-the-wineries/
Memoir/Cross-Genre Prose, Gathering Dust, Silk Road Review - http://silkroad.pacificu.edu/issues/issue-11/
Memoir/Cross-Genre Prose, a place 4 higher beings, Birkensnake - http://www.birkensnake.com/higherbeings.php
Sound/Transmission/Memorial, dial H-I-S-T-O-R-Y, The Collagist - http://thecollagist.com/the-collagist/2012/3/10/dial-h-i-s-t-o-r-y.html
Memoir/Cross-Genre Prose, humboldt waterfronts, Fringe Magazine - http://sundresspublications.com/fringe/tags/humboldt-waterfronts/
Memoir/Cross-Genre Prose, what happens when a rose plucks coyote, Tattoo Highway - http://www.tattoohighway.org/20/dwwhathappens.html
University of California, Davis
– • Davis, CA
University of Virginia
– • Charlottesville, VA