Sunday, August 13, 2017

Next Month Begins with a New Window Gallery Exhibit

This past Friday this site announced that in exactly two weeks the Center for New Music (C4NM) will host its third annual fundraiser to support the exhibits in its Window Gallery. Entitled Soundsmiths 2017, this free event will conclude with a concert featuring invented instruments that have been displayed in Window Gallery shows. It therefore seems appropriate that, at the beginning of next month, C4NM will launch its 2017–2018 season with an opening reception for a new exhibition in the Window Gallery.

The title of the exhibition is shiver me timbres (note the spelling); and it has been prepared by instrument builder Phil Dadson. Dadson is based in New Zealand, but in the summer of 2016 he had a residency at the Headlands Center for the Arts in Sausalito. The campus includes the grounds of Fort Barry, which was opened in 1908 as part of the Coast Artillery Corps and was decommissioned in 1974. It was subsequently transferred to the National Park Service.

Many of the 1907-era buildings now serve Center residents and operations. However, Dodson found Building 961, an old wooden structure that used to be a Post Exchange (PX for those of us who grew up with WWII lingo); and he was able to convert it into a “sonic play-space.” In other words the whole structure became an expansive instrument in which he both worked and performed.

shiver me timbres will present a range of the instruments and sonic objects the Dodson devised during his residency. The instruments include the Gloop spring-string-drum, song/stones, gliss-flutes, and the BartHarmonic, named after Bart Hopkin, to whom the instrument is dedicated. The sonic objects include the “rocker-gamelan” (which is an adapted rocking chair), the “rung-ladder,” and structures of wires and rods fixed to the walls and floor. The exhibit will also include video and audio documentation of Dadson’s solo performances with his creations:

One of Phil Dadson's instruments (courtesy of C4NM)

The opening reception for this exhibit will begin at 6 p.m. on Thursday, September 7. At 7 p.m. Dadson will give a talk through video-chat. The talk will be augmented with demonstrations of some of his creations and will probably also allow time for performance. As has always been the case in the past, these receptions are free and open to the general public.

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