ABYECTO – Sonic Environment
Miami Beach Urban Studios Gallery, 2014
Design by MONAD Studio / Eric Goldemberg + Veronica Zalcberg
Music performances by Scott F. Hall (guitar) and Jacob Sudol with Alex Lough (laptop and transducers)
Design Team: John Gioello, Stephanie Colon, Matt Barnard, Manuel Perez-Trujillo, Jack Garcia
‘Abyecto’ is an interactive installation that brings together architecture, design, and music through spatial performance. An ironic play of words, the title refers to recent discussions about object-oriented ontology in contemporary design. The piece sets up a productive ambiguity between object and environment privileging multiple readings as the removable guitar is un-docked from its intense geometrical environment in order to generate sound, only to return to the sonic mural as passive docked object. The geometry of the piece is generated by the multiplication and modification of the guitar’s profiles, extending the qualities of the object onto a larger rhythmic field of three-dimensional curves and subtle variations that resonates with the sonic ambiance of the music performance. The three-dimensional profiles of the extended instrument are magnified and disseminated throughout the space once the sonic qualities of the installation begin to reverberate, activating a multi-sensorial field of perception that ranges from the visual to the tactile and the aural. Ultimately, the room, the mural, the guitar, the performers, and the public will be involved in the shaping of a complex, collective sensorial object.
The surface of this complex topological environment is further activated and becomes interactive using computer-generated sounds created by composer/computer musician Jacob Sudol. These sounds are emitted directly through the 3-D printed mural by means of handheld transducers that activate the installation as if it were the cones of a speaker to fill the space with constantly changing fields of sonic activity. The sound structures include pure waves, subtle modulations, feedback structures, and pulsations that reflect and sonically comment on the resonant shapes of the installation itself and, also, constantly vary based upon where the transducers are placed and how the listeners are situated in relationship to the installation and the space in which it exists. Multiple performers will explore the installation with sounding transducers around the work in a performance of a new work by Jacob Sudol titled “…spaces to listen to from within (ii)”. Participants will also be able to engage with the installation by touching the sounding transducers against the sculpture to personally explore the work’s complex resonant structures.
The removable single-stringed guitars incorporated into Abyecto each contain a central neck, string, and pickup structure invented and fabricated by the sound artist Scott F. Hall. The first one Hall refers to with his unique moniker “monobaribasitar”: a single-string electric baritone/bass guitar normally played in touchstyle. In this instrument which Hall performs on continually for a quarter of an hour, minimal design and two-handed tapping technique allows articulation of notes at several times typical speed. Though monophonic, the sonic illusion of complex polyphony occurs.
The second neck structure Hall has invented, fabricated, and plays he refers to uniquely as a “double-slide dyadichord”. Though single-stringed, each note Hall plays on the dyadichord produces two pitches sounding out together as a harmonious--or dissonant--chord. As an omnitonal cross between between the old clavichord and more recent slide guitar, the dyadichord may be used to create sound ranging from twelve-tone music to microtonal experimentation to complete noise.