Deep Time, Slow Dance: Propositions
Lecture Theatre 1, School of Music
The speaker is Samuel Hertz (Composer/Sound Artist)
In his book Earth Sound, Earth Signal, Douglas Kahn proposes the idea of “Earth Magnitude” to describe an understanding of dynamic energetic flows of large-scale geophysical and atmospheric events. Through works of art that re-enact or actively participate in these slow or ethereal events, one creates a closer proximity to the temporal and micro-/macroenergetic scales of events at the Planetary level. Following from this notion, my research on Infrasound — sound below the level of human hearing — uses sub-audible sound as a lens through which to re-think, re-orient, and re-touch environments: to what extent might hearing be considered environmentally collaborative, and what are ways in which re-imagining hearing from the perspective of atmospheric or seismic events shift our sensual and conceptual relation to environment?
At this moment, I do not propose answers, I only propose:
Propositions for sonic arts at Earth Magnitude, new ways of being with deep time and large-scale processes, an aural dance with environment.
Hold your partner close, feel the rate of their breath; hold them at a distance, feel the slow muscular tremble in their hands on your hips. The band is playing on the stage, but the music is only felt in your feet, in your gut, in your nervous system. There is no rhythm — just a slow rumble — and yet you and your partner are perfectly, gracefully in time.
This talk centres on my ongoing artistic research between perception, sound, and environment as the recipient of the 2017 DARE Prize in association with The University of Leeds and Opera North. The talk will be followed by a performance and temporary installation at the National Museum of Science and Media in Bradford.
Samuel Hertz is a Berlin-based composer and researcher working at the intersections of psychoacoustics and expanded listening practices. He received his MFA at Mills College, studying composition with Pauline Oliveros, Fred Frith, and Zeena Parkins. His solo and collaborative work has been recently shown in Sweden, France, England, Ireland, Germany, Belgium, and Austria, as well as Center for New Music, BAM/PFA, and Gray Area Foundation for the Arts (USA), among others. Recent collaborative residencies include UltimaVez Studios (Brussels, BE), ICI/CCN (Montpellier, FR), and ImPulsTanz RRRADIOSHOWWW Research Project (Vienna, AT). As a recipient of the 2017 DARE Prize for Radical Interdisciplinarity (University of Leeds/Opera North: Leeds, UK), his current research project concerns affective crossings between humans, environment, and ecological soundings, and geophysical/atmospheric infrasonic sound. In association with Studio Tomas Saraceno and GeoHumanities scholars, Hertz has published essays and presented in research in conferences in the US, UK, and Germany.