Of listening and mediation within ecological sound art
This talk aims to provide insight into the listening practices of ecological sound art, including its technological mediation, through examples from the author’s own practice. By sharing documentation of performance, curation and composition I will detail how phenomenological variation is inherent to its technologically mediated processes, as well as in the analytical forms of listening enacted through stimulated recall and micro-phenomenology. As a result, the presentation will share a light on the multi-entity at play in such listening practices.
Violinist, composer, and curator Halla Steinunn Stefánsdóttir is born in Iceland but based in Malmö, Sweden. She has been the artistic director of Nordic Affect since its inception in 2005 and made numerous appearances with the ensemble at festivals and concert venues in Europe and USA. Her compositional output and commissions have spanned everything from electroacoustic compositions to sound and media installations. Stefánsdóttir’s playing and compositions are featured on albums by the Carrier Records, Brilliant Classics, Musmap, Bad Taste Records, Tally, and Sono Luminus labels.
With degrees from The Royal Danish Academy of Music and Indiana University School of Music Halla Steinunn Stefánsdóttir now holds a PhD position in artistic research at Lund University.
Þytur* is a sound installation of 9 mono-channels created for the site of National Trust Formby as part of Stefánsdóttir’s site-specific public work “Spherical White with Diamond”. The work was commissioned by Curated Place (UK) in collaboration with the National Trust (UK) for NATUR-North Atlantic Tales. Þytur is a sonic response to the site which is one of shifting shores and part of UK’s largest sand-dune system. The composition grew out of activations with various materials, field recordings, site-specific score, sonifications, archival digging and improvisations. At the same time Stefánsdóttir used the site’s morphing landscapes and transmogrification, as a key to its composition.
The text in the work is constructed by Stefánsdóttir around Angela Rawlings’ work “Hocket barnacles” found in “Sound of Mull” (Rawlings, 2019). Performers of text material are Maja Jantar, Angela Rawlings, and Halla Steinunn Stefánsdóttir.
Length: continuous duration.
Mastering: Kent Olofsson.
As part of the event, Stefánsdóttir will perform “Violin with Þytur” (Olofsson & Stefánsdóttir, 2021) on Wednesday, 22 November at 17:30 within the installation at IAC.
*Icelandic for ruffling or whistling.
Photo credits: Jason Lock