CAMP, Aulus les bains, France
A five-day residential workshop in the epic French Pyrenees, led by Phill Niblock, Julia Kent, BJ Nilsen and Tim Shaw
The concept of Deep Listening, as coined by Pauline Oliveros when her nascent Deep Listening Band descended into an underground cistern to perform using the space's 45-second reverb, has become increasingly vital in modern music. She described Deep Listening as "listening in every possible way to everything possible to hear no matter what one is doing".
The first of our Deep Listening workshops for 2020 focuses on located sound, durational music and spatialisation. Leading the workshop: pioneering composer and filmmaker Phill Niblock, acclaimed cellist/composer Julia Kent, located-sound specialist BJ Nilsen, and sound walk guru Tim Shaw.
Phill Niblock is a New York-based minimalist composer, multi-media musician and director of Experimental Intermedia. He has been a maverick presence on the fringes of the avant garde since the 1960's, influencing wide sections of the modern music landscape with his intense vision of deep, minimal drone. Niblock's music and intermedia performances have been presented at venues across the world, including MOMA, the Pompidou Center, ICA London and the Akademie der Kunste in Berlin; he has collaborated with Susan Stenger, Thurston Moore, Lee Ranaldo, Kevin Drumm, Kasper Toeplitz, Jim O'Rourke, Ulrich Krieger, Seth Josel, Petr Kotik, Tom Buckner and others. Since 1968 Phill has also put on over 1000 concerts in his NYC loft space, including Suzanne Ciani, Ryoji Ikeda and Zbigniew Karkowski. During a full day of workshop, performances and films, Phill will take his own music as a launch-point to explore themes of deep listening, durational music, microtones, overtones and spatialisation.
NYC-based cellist and composer Julia Kent first surfaced playing with Brooklyn cello trio Rasputina before launching her solo career with the release of "Delay" on Important Records in 2007. She signed to Leaf Label in 2013, and subsequently released a trio of highly acclaimed albums - "Character" (2013), "Asperities" (2015) and "Temporal" (2019). She has collaborated with Swans and Anthony and the Johnsons; composed film scores for Paolo Sorrentino's "This Must Be the Place", Michael Maren's "A Short History of Decay" and Ariel Nasr's "The Boxing Girls of Kabul"; and appeared at Primavera Sound, Meltdown Festival, Reeperbahn Festival, CTM festival, 24-Hour Drone and Unsound. Julia will explore repetition and pattern in music, how that can relate to repetition and pattern in nature, and how climate change is disrupting natural patterns. Incorporating field recordings, found sounds, and Julia's own live-looping practice, we will explore the translation of data into sound, pursuing a sort of meditation on humans' relationship to the natural world.
BJ Nilsen is a composer and sound artist based in Amsterdam. His work primarily focuses on the sounds of nature and how they affect humans - recent work has explored the urban acoustic realm and industrial geography in the Arctic region of Norway and Russia. His original scores and soundtracks have featured in theatre, dance performances, and film, and his recorded works include the highly acclaimed 2013 album "Eye of the Microphone" (released on Touch), "The Invisible City", and "Storm" - his collaboration with Chris Watson. As well as having worked with Chris, Benny has collaborated with Hildur Gudnadóttir, Jóhann Jóhannsson, Stilluppsteypa, Z'ev, Alan Courtis and others. In 2014, Benny co-edited Acoustic City with Matthew Gandy; the book is a series of cutting-edge essays on sound and the city accompanied by a specially commissioned CD.
Over two days, Benny and the group will explore the acoustic environments of the alpine landscape. Through field recording, we'll discover the different layers of sound in and around the area. Together we will expand on them, analyse them and give them a voice through recordings and compositions, which will result in individual short sound pieces for a final presentation on the second day of the workshop. Following an introductory session outlining basic principles, the workshop will include active listening sessions, excursions and practical exercises, and the exploration of changing soundscapes through walking and listening. Benny will give advice on recording techniques (from monophonic to ambisonic, to contact, hydrophonic and EMF recording techniques), sound manipulation and composition.
Tim Shaw's "Ambulation" sound walks incorporate performance, walking and field recording, offering a sound responsive journey through a landscape, immersing listeners in a familiar yet abstracted environment. Participants wear wireless radio headphones, receiving an audio feed of live recordings, locational radio broadcasts and electromagnetic energy from their immediate environment. These sounds are processed, layered and re-introduced live by the artist directly into the participants' headphones as the walk continues. Using a selection of listening technologies and a variety of different microphones a diverse range of sonic material is collected, processed and broadcast. After an introductory sound walk lead by Tim, you'll experiment with the technology and techniques, under Tim's guidance, to produce your own sound walk.
Info & booking: www.campfr.com/deeplisteningphase1