A spider hears with his or her legs! I  referring here to how the fort or castle is filled with spiders and that all spiders “hear” with their legs. How is this even relevant to Intermedia and the MFA, you ask? Hold on to your Charlotte’s Web and let’s see…

FLOW ’17 live: this is becoming my way of describing Gene Felice’s FLOW event this year at Fort Knox. I decided to play the hurdy-gurdy but also invited a guest. My musical composition became more situational rather than the way music is ordinarily done with what we call manuscript notation or song form. My authority, as we might call it, as a composer will take us to a certain point, then open up our thinking and allow for what I am referring to as plasticity– for music to begin anchored to an idea– then take off.

Spiders inhabit the fort but all spiders do not have ears. However, spiders do hear footsteps and they can hear music! They hear sound with the little hairs on their legs. By asking the reader to consider spiders, I am steering this towards installation— with the music felt to have a dialogue with the space.

All of the artists at IMRC are invited to write news essays like this, not just me, so I am giving you just my own point of view. I think that spiders listening to the hurdy gurdy is an interesting thought. And there’s all sorts of technology to my gurdy, (actually called a tekerolant) but mostly I think about musical composition. Most of the drama in my composition is in the planning and then inviting someone– in a broader sense searching for musical partners to form a team as I progress through this program. Mark Tipton plays the conch shell. Stash played the singing bowl also provided a sanctuary-like setting with a central flame and orbiting, tiny pools of water.

The echo one hears is 100% natural, nothing added, then I make the assumption that the primary local residents are numerous spiders! Maybe a few baby spiders, too, called spiderlings. The stone chamber is an acoustical space that magnifies sound. So, I was expanding the acoustics here, intentionally expanding sound. There are, turns out, numerous sub-genres within acoustical explorations and installations, so I’ve bumped into Fluxus thinking, also drone sound, also pyscho-acoustics and metaphysical happenings. Sonification would be the analysis of the frequencies that are being recorded here. Action based composition means that I am banking on the choice of people around me rather as a trade of to the usual god-like control over harmony.

Visual music refers to hearing music stemming from visual imaginary. Here Ido the opposite and ask the listener to “see” the space via its reflected sound.

“Hearing is another form of seeing, thus the engagement of the viewer, forced participation in real space and responsive thought (along with) illusionary space and thought.”

  • Hellerman, William, and Don Goddard. 1983. Catalogue for “Sound/Art” at The Sculpture Center, New York City, 1983.