Cities Are Natural (Composition One)
Clocktower artist-in-residence Melissa F. Clarke performs with Leila Bordreuil and Byron Westbrook. Positioned in front of a transforming video installation made of glass, paper and metal, Clarke, Bordreuil and Westbrook create sounds that integrate the building’s infrastructure and ideas of the city as natural. The sound begins at 5PM with Melissa playing glass, paper, and metal, along with field recordings and data taken from Red Hook and Pioneer Works. Soon there after, Leila Bordreuil plays cello and overlaps the existing sounds with her own collage of texture variations, phantom overtones and sometimes pitched utterances, through a unique approach to amplification. Bordreuil’s work becomes prominent in the piece as Clarke's sound drifts out. Then Byron Westbrook performs synthesized sounds influenced by the gestures of urban location recordings, responding to the performance space with dynamic layers of perceived space and time. The entirety of three performances become a single audio-visual composition recorded by Clocktower radio and captured within Clarke’s installation as visuals.
Leila Bordreuil is a cellist, composer, and sound artist. Through a unique and original vocabulary of extended techniques, preparations, and imaginative amplification methods, her instrument is used as an abstract resonant body to challenge conventional cello practice. Her composed works draw from a similar texture-based musical aesthetic, but also focus on the relationship between sound and space. In her site-specific electro-acoustic compositions, architecture is the foundation of the piece and musicality arises from an organized spacialization of sound. Leila has performed at the Whitney Museum, Roulette, Issue Project Room, The Kitchen, and the Performa Biennale among others. She works in close collaboration with Michael Foster, Lea Bertucci, and Eli Keszler.
Byron Westbrook is an artist and musician based in Brooklyn NY. He works with listening, perception and awareness, often pursuing routes of social engagement. His electronic sound interventions play with dynamics of perception of space, sometimes as multi-channel sound performances or as installation work using video or lighting. He has an MFA from Bard College, where he studied with David Berhman, Marcus Schmickler, Laetitia Sonami and Marina Rosenfeld. He has also worked closely with Phill Niblock at Experimental Intermedia Foundation in NYC since 2005. He has releases on Sedimental, Los Discos Enfantasmes, Three:Four Records and will have an LP out in 2015 on Root Strata. He has presented work at ICA London, Clocktower Gallery, ISSUE Project Room, Roulette, Diapason Gallery, Eyebeam (NYC), Human Resources (Los Angeles), Instants Chavirés (Paris), The LAB (San Francisco), International House (Philadelphia), VIVO (Vancouver), O’ (Milan), among others.
The Clocktower projects of Melissa F. Clarke are made possible by a grant from mediaThe foundation.