On August 13 + 14, Norte Maar with Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T.) hosted the Irish electronic (experimental) sound group Strange Attractor in collaboration with Harvetsworks, at the historic Harvestworks location in SoHo.
The durational performance lasted 4 hours and was both meditative and provocative. Bells, sticks, rocks, strings, drums, guitars, mini record players, trash bags, and more were played. Questions arose about seeing the sound versus hearing it. How does our experience of the sound change when we know how it is made? The group played with morphology of sounds and included recordings of John Cage’s voice throughout the night.
Irene Murphy created transient process based works, using dice and sand, stones and sticks, drawing and carving. The projection of this magnified on-going creation felt at times like watching stop-action animation. The geographies of her blue-backed landscapes constantly evolved with the dice reminding us of taking chances.
The group was joined by Stephen Vitiello whose sublime guitar sounds contrasted with the amplified record scratches and wire brush scrapes produced by pioneering sound artist Danny McCarthy. Mick O’Shea’s long arching wires were played with rubber hammer and bow. David Stalling produced rich electronic tones and recycled sounds from the performance. Anthony Kelly introduced the connection with chance and I ching when he tossed a pack of cards about the space, returning to his gong and accenting the atmosphere with mini drum beat pulses.
The second evening was punctuated with spontaneous movement from our own Julia Gleich, navigating the space, the sound, energy and furthering the John Cage connection by quoting from one Merce Cunningham’s Field Dances.
Harvestworks was a brilliant host venue, recording and videoing both nights. Thanks to Carol Parkinson, Paul Howells, Julie Martin of E.A.T and all volunteers for their work.