JEFF TALMAN – resonance3
steel tuned to the sound of space
SHOW DATES: 10 24 02 – 11 30 02 OPENING RECEPTION: 10 26 02, 6-8PM
Jeff Talman, sonic artist, works in sound and space. Living in Europe, he was influenced by the vastly different sounds of large interior spaces – cathedrals, castles and museums. He became increasingly aware of space, architecture and himself in the space. He experienced sound-space as a phenomenological event in which being becomes expressed as it is further delineated.
Interiors resonate sonically, much like a seashell. As shown by digital analysis the resonance of different rooms varies greatly. In resonance3 Talman multiplies this native resonance by tuning the resonance of steel objects to match the resonance of the space in bitforms gallery in a massive 24-channel soundspace installation. The isolated resonant frequencies of the space have been digitally culled from the mass of the space’s silence (room tone). This resonance is then projected into steel cylinders, pipes and tubes which have been cut to produce the same resonant frequencies. When the sound emerges from the other end of a tube, it has been re-resonated by the perfectly-tuned cylinder. Because the sound originated in the gallery’s resonance, the emerging re-resonated sound is also resonant to the space where it is re-re-resonated by the gallery acoustics.
The installation, presented in the two gallery spaces of bitforms, is a diptych featuring two simultaneous and interrelated sound fields: sound cylinders and sonic columns. sound cylinders features a series of long pipes hung vertically and horizontally from the walls and ceiling. The presentation recalls wind chimes and organ pipes, but also features abstracted configurations that de-objectify the steel cylinders as literal instruments. In sonic columns eight ‘columns’ of pure sound are realized. By placing truncated eight inch lengths of pipe above and below each other with empty space between, columns with no mid-sections are formed. The eye and the ear complete the voided columns as the extreme object quality of steel is further displaced. The art object is released in sound and the ephemeral space that lies between the mundane objects of cold steel. Talman’s sonic installations have been presented at the MIT Media Lab, Eyebeam Atelier, The Kitchen, Columbia University, Massachusetts College of Art, The Tang Museum, Yaddo and others. Classically trained as a composer, pianist and orchestral director, he began shaping sounds with computers in 1984. His precedent-setting installations are now regularly featured in museums, galleries, universities, large scale religious buildings and other large, dramatic and historic spaces. Talman was born in Greensburg, Pennsylvania in the USA and was raised in Pennsylvania. Aside from living in Prague, the Czech Republic, he has lived primarily in New York City where he attended and eventually taught and directed orchestras at City College and Columbia University. He is currently Artist in Residence at Emerson College in Boston.