Audium’s historic first residency cohort spent four months creating a fantastic show, Audium: New Voices. These three artists all had their own unique aesthetic and demonstrated creativity in the design of fully immersive spaces.
Victoria Shen is a sound artist, experimental music performer and inventor born and raised in San Francisco. Shen’s sound practice is concerned with the spatiality/physicality of sound and its relationship to the human body. Her music features analog modular synthesizers, amplified objects and other self-built electronics. These instruments are designed to electronically reproduce chaotic systems which are highly sensitive to small changes in their initial parameters. The resulting music eschews conventions in harmony and rhythm in favor of extreme textures and gestural tones.
LEXAGON aka Alexa Burrell creates collages composed of narrative film, animation and soundscapes that center the Black femme experience. As a trained musician, her visual work is always informed by the logic of melody and rhythm to produce hypnotic afro-surrealist psycho-somatic experiences. She often compares the micro and macro, the scientific and spiritual, and the historical and mythical, to evoke the complexities of coloniality, gender, time travel and black feminist thought.
Noah Berrie is a composer and sound artist from New York, currently finishing his MA in composition and computer music at Stanford. A classically trained violinist, his recent work explores the perceptual and spatial subtleties of sound. His practice spans multichannel audio, audiovisual work, sound installations, instrument building, songs, and score-based composition.
Scenes from Orientation Week:
Scenes from the residency workshop 12/7/21:
Not only did these sound residents create custom sound environments for the space, they also worked with Audium staff to develop entirely new controls for sound movement. The tools and systems they created will live on to serve future generations of sound artists.
Finally, after months of composing and work, Audium: New Voices premiered! The show ran each weekend from Feb 10- April 2, 2022.
Here are some glimpses of the resident’s work in the lobby installation:
Victoria Shen composed a four-dimensional love letter to Audium . Drawing from the analog modes of composition and music making within her own art practice, Shen tailored her piece using analog synthesis, record manipulation, electroacoustic instruments, and reclaimed piano wire. Shen has also built custom equipment allowing her to dynamically control the extreme textures and gestural sounds of her piece in real time, producing an experience as singular as the Audium itself.
Alexa Burrell’s A(Void) Fire is an afro-surrealist techno-horror fairytale about a Black woman who is haunted by a demonic embodiment of her comfort zone. Climate catastrophe, emotional contradictions and tensions between the natural and digital world come to a head as she summons the spirit of Calafia to break free.
Noah Berrie’s Organ Music is a conversation between the body and space. The body, wired to transducers, becomes a resonator; speakers click, snap, and throb to life; the entire building activates as a sympathetic, vibrating, encompassing mass. It is about dissolution of form and imagining a truly free body – formless, unbounded, and flowing.
Audium’s Sound & Space Residency Program is funded in part through a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.