Serving the San Francisco Bay Area New Music Community

Thu, Sep 22 2016 9:00 PM

UNSEEN series | Synthesized Acoustic

Gray Area’s UNSEEN Series presents site-specific, collaborative performances by Bay Area artists and explores current practices in immersive media, including expanded cinema, video and sound art, experimental music and technology. The UNSEEN series is curated by Oakland artist Matt Fisher, and presented in 8 channel surround sound with audio engineering and equipment by Recombinant Media Labs.
Tickets: $8 Presale / $13 Day of Show / $15 Door. Cash bar available to those 21 years and older.

8:00 Doors
9:00 Show

Thomas Carnacki is a Bay Area-based sonic entity, primarily functioning as the performance and recording outlet for Gregory Scharpen. Carnacki recordings and performances tend towards the textural, the subtle, the disquieting and unsettling. The live performance instantiation of Carnacki consists of a varying (if moderately consistent) rotating cast of participants, and the Unseen performance will include the full roster: Cheryl E. Leonard, Gregory Hagan, Jesse Burson, Sheila Bosco, and Jim Kaiser, along with frequent video/projection artist co-conspirator Jerry Smith. Notable collaborators include luminaries such as Carla Bozulich (Evangelista, Geraldine Fibbers), Carla Kihlstedt and Matthias Bossi (Rabbit Rabbit, Tin Hat, Sleepytime Gorilla Museum), Marielle V Jakobsons and Agnes Szelag, and Dawn McCarthy (Faun Fables). Outside the Carnacki context, Scharpen has performed with Steven Stapleton (Nurse With Wound), Colin Potter, Leyna Marika Papach, and irr. app. (ext.), among others.

TV­IV by Scott Arford is a live performance for 2 video monitors and sound. The monitors are modulated by the sounds of their own picture tubes. A microphone is attached to each of the tubes and this sound is processed. This (audio) signal is sent to the PA as well as to the video inputs of the monitors.

It is a deliberately crude translation of sound to video / video to sound. A reluctant audio ­ video feedback loop achieved through the misuse of semi­compatible technologies (audio as abstracted video image, video as audio oscillator). The resulting sounds and images are both haunting and beautiful. The interaction between the sound­light forms is a dense, flickering dialogue that progresses from a mantra­like drone to highly animated rhythmic pulses. TV­IV was awarded an Honorable Mention in the 2005 Prix Ars Electronica.

Also, a debut performance of Synthesized Acoustic by Fluorescent Grey, and the culmination of years developing custom software interfaces for arrays of mid-90s rack-mounted digital synthesizers with a focus on physical modeling synthesis. Fluorescent Grey aims to create sounds never heard before via his own purpose-built 2016 tools to 90s-era synthesis hardware that, while mathematically complex and ambitiously developed at Stanford, remained in the realm of novelty when it comes to practical application. The listener will be enveloped by a fully synthesized, multi-channel, modern classical sound palette comprised of string and brass ensembles and other faux-acoustic modulations. Keen ears will soon begin to pry apart the feeling generated by the aural uncanny valley as what sounds at first like processed acoustic instruments reveal themselves as synthesized textures. The technique used in this work have been adapted by French programmer Rudy Verpaele for use in his ’VL-Wizard’ program.

VR artist Ray McClure will be projecting a virtual room running on a 3D engine that interacts in real time with Fluorescent Grey’s performance. In a simulated space resembling an abandoned hybrid cathedral theatre and Soviet WWII-era bunker, sun rays generated by the sounds created begin to leak through the windows and cracks, casting shadows and creating blooms and flares.