Paths (2002)16:23David Eagle
stereo mix of 8-channel performance
Without Beginning, Middle, or End — Transforming Sounds in Motion
Paths is a kinetic sound installation and performance that immerses the listener within a texture of moving sounds — sounds from the environment, imagined sounds, instrumental sounds, voices and spoken words. They are always moving, following different paths, being transformed along the way, and transforming the listener in the process.
Where does a circle begin? In the installation, eight speakers are arranged in a circle around the listeners. And like a circle (and unlike most compositions) Paths does not have a clear beginning, middle, or end. The passage of time and music is experienced differently and the expectations of both the listener and the creator are not as conventionally goal-directed. When we walk along a path and listen — for instance, in the mountains or a forest — we do not expect a contrived climax to arrive, rather we experience and immerse ourselves in the environment. This is the way to experience a sound installation, to listen openly and without expectation, to listen both spatially and temporally.
Paths is an interactive work for an interpreter performing on a laptop computer with a sound diffusion system that together make up the musical instrument. The performer uses a visualization map to create sonic gestures and textures, many of them using chance and aleatoric techniques. Gallery visitors are encouraged to ask questions and talk with the composer/performer who is really part of the installation. As in a sound walk, they listen, explore, stay still or walk around as the sounds are processed, transformed and diffused live.
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