Experiencing Found Sound

I got the opportunity to spend some time watching Klimchak talk about the instruments that he had created, and even getting to play some of the instruments myself. I got to play the theremin which I have always wanted to do, and it was so cool. Klimchak talked a lot about the fact that what he does is improvisation. I have always had a hard time dealing with improvisation. I get really nervous, and I feel like I am not creative enough to come up with something that will be cool enough. I then freeze up really badly. This actually happened when he had us begin to start clapping out beats and coming in where we thought it was time for us to come in. At the same time we were supposed to come up with our own beat. I had a moment where I froze up completely. He knew I was having trouble with it, and he pointed out that “some people” were not participating. At this point I really had to jump in, so I came up with a beat from listening to the sounds around me and just jumped in! Even though I was not so crazy about the improvisation part of the lecture, I loved seeing all of the different instruments that he had made.
My favorite of course was the piece that has been in the gallery for some time now. This was the piece that has the balloons on top of it. One of the things that I love so much about it was that it looked like a fun goofy machine, and those are the kind noises that it makes. In fact that was the thing that I loved about all of his instruments in the gallery. The instrument that looks funny and goofy is used to make funny goofy noises. The instrument that looks like it is dark and slightly scary is used to make the noises of a big storm. Even the instrument that is used as bass in cuban style music looks like it would sound and taste spicy. I loved too learning that the way to make sounds sound more organic is to make them more complex. He layered sounds to make it sound more like an ocean surf, and it worked. This reminded me of the way that we talked in class about drawing organic shapes. Organic shapes are not necessarily going to be nice and geometric. The thing that made the cloth look more realistic when we were drawing it in class was the many many different shadows that made it up. Organic things are more complex to capture it seems.
The final thing that really struck me about hearing from Klimchak was how his instrumentation and style of music reminded me of the music that we had heard in my music class from the 20th century. The thing that was so cool about the 20th century music that we had been listening to was the way that music became more abstract. People began to experiment more with their materials (instrumentation), and the way that they composed their music. I thought that this was an interesting parallel to what began to happen to art. I saw this in what Klimchak was doing. He was playing with the materials and the way that you played them to get different sounds and at times more complex sounds. Overall I learned a lot about both music, and materials while making some realizations about myself. I loved getting to actually talk to him, and hear what he thought about his pieces.

Published in: on February 24, 2010 at 1:42 pm  Leave a Comment  

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