Byron Westbrook

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Corridors, 2007

Multi-channel Sound and Video , Dimensions Variable, Duration Variable


CORRIDORS is a body of works for audio and video that have been developed over the last five years utilizing a specific process of preparation and performance.

In this process, an instrumentalist is recorded improvising, with minimal instruction. These recordings are then edited, choosing only the moments where the performance appears to be the most energetic and intuitive. These moments are processed using esoteric noise software to remove the representation of the instrument, but retain and emphasize the energy of the playing, with the end result being approximately 6-15 sound files of static texture.

For performance, these files are loaded onto multiple minidisc players or iPods. Each piece contains a set bank of sounds used as building blocks that are “mixed” live over a 5-7 channel audio system and “played” dynamically, responding to the performance space. Speakers are placed strategically around the space while I control the performance from the center of the room. This allows height and distance to be used along with range of frequency as dynamic compositional tools to shift the perceived size of the room over time and gradually envelope or release the listener. Custom speakers have been developed to act as specific voices and to allow for easy placement throughout a space. Some works also use live guitar feedback distributed through the same multi-channel system.

Up to three channels of video projection are used to accompany each piece. Video elements are sources of light processed to reduce identification of form, object and location. The video acts as a pacing device and is intentionally repetitive to draw attention to the very slow changes that take place in the audio.

Artworks by Byron Westbrook

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