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Tempo Reale - Villa Strozzi - Via Pisana 77 50143 Firenze
Scientific & Music Program May 20-22 2011



David CHAPMAN Louise K WILSON Falkland: a sonic investigation of place.

This illustrated presentation (with audio extracts) will explore the process behind the collaborative sound art project by David Chapman and Louise K Wilson centred on the Falkland Estate in Fife, Scotland, which was realised in May this year (2010). The Estate, previously established as a Royal Hunting Park, was extensively developed in the nineteenth century with the landscaping of burns that skirt the house and gardens (allegedly tuned to produce different ‘notes’ as water descended down a series of cascades) and the construction of a number of temples and monuments. Falkland has a rich vein of intriguing geological and archaeological features and historical narratives that were investigated to inform the creation of a number of site-specific sound works. The various mobile and installed sound pieces drew on both our personal responses to the site and the testimonies of others (such as local residents and workers, art historians, poets, geologists etc.) with a specific relationship to Falkland.

One aspect of this project was the exploration and application of the techniques of reconstructive acoustic archaeology to historical structures on the Estate. One site in particular, the ruin of the 19th century structure the Temple of the Decision, prompted our curiosity about the sounds of lived space and of spaces outside of range of oral history. Using ‘convolution reverb’, to colour other recorded sounds (created by acousticians from the University of York), we simulated the experience of listening inside the Temple when the building was intact, employing this material in an HD video entitled Temple of Decision.

In addition, Cascading, a 6-channel sound work incorporated data from the frequency analysis conducted on the ‘tuned’ cascades. Cascading explored this dynamic process of data collection and deliberate landscaping with the blending of recordings made with a stereo microphones, hydrophone, computer-generated tones and human voice. The voices – one male, two female, from the St Andrews Renaissance Group – attempted to embody the cascades by voicing the tones. Since Cascading was installed in a room in the House of Falkland, which didn’t overlook the cascades directly, the listener would carry the memory of their sound(s) and then combine these memories with the artwork. It sought to playfully remind us that this is most overtly a designed human landscape and we are embedded in it.

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David Chapman’s current work investigates the sonic mediation of the natural world and the durational exploration of place and environment through audio-visual installation. He also has a background as both a musician and as a documentary filmmaker. His work includes the installations Hark (2005) and Hark 2 (2007), which map through sound and image sites in the Lee Valley, London and Steel-Cello / Bow-Chime (2005), a documentary that examines the performance history of the sound sculptures developed by artist Bob Rutman in the 1960s. His more recent projects includes Octo: Sotto Voce (2009), a site-specific sound installation for the Chapter House of York Minster and he has just completed a major project , with Louise K Wilson Re-sounding Falkland (2010), a series of sound and video installations based on the Falkland Estate, Scotland.

Louise K Wilson is a visual artist who makes installations, performances, sound works and single channel videos. Processes of research are central to her practice and she frequently involves the participation of individuals from industry, museums, medicine and the scientific community in the making of work.
She has exhibited widely in North America and Europe, most recently in Comeback, Kuenstlerhaus Dortmund, Germany (2010); Re-sounding Falkland (with David Chapman), Falkland Palace and Estate, Scotland (2010); I Hear Too: Live at York Minster (2009); Composure at Impressions Gallery, Bradford (2008); Post-Cinema, RMIT Project Space, Melbourne (2007) and Sonic Arts Network Expo in Plymouth (2007). Her published writing includes an interview with Paul Virilio (CTHEORY, 1994), a commissioned essay for Private Views: Artists Working Today (Serpents Tail, 2004) and artist pages for Zero Gravity - A Cultural Users Guide (Arts Catalyst, Cornerhouse books 2005).

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