For the 21st Biennale of Sydney, SUPERPOSITION: Equilibrium and Engagement, British artist Oliver Beer will present a new iteration of his ongoing series, Resonance Project. Resonance Project comprises a series of performances and films which has been a major touchstone of Beer’s work for more than ten years. Beer employs a technique that uses the human voice to find resonant frequencies innate to architectural spaces.
Working with classically trained singers to identify the resonant notes of interior spaces, the artist treats a building as a musical instrument, composing polyphonic scores that are woven into immersive live performances. The project has previously transformed sites such as the glass tunnels of the Pompidou Centre and the Louis Vuitton Foundation, Paris, the staircases of MoMA PS1, New York and the Victorian sewers of Brighton, England into resounding ‘architectural instruments’.
The artist is seeking eight singers who will comprise two SATB quartets (soprano, alto, tenor, bass) with whom he will work to develop a new composition that responds to unique interior spaces. The composition will be presented as an intimate 15-minute performance and will draw on the relationship between the singers’ own repertoires and the resonance of the spaces.
The artist will also work with the selected singers on the development of a site-specific video installation that will be presented as part of the 21st Biennale of Sydney. Singers should be classical soloists of a professional or experienced semi-professional level. The male voices should have confident use of falsetto range, to find resonant notes. Baritones, contraltos and countertenors are also encouraged to audition.
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Image: Oliver Beer, Resonance Project, 2014, architectural acoustic performance. Installation view at Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris. Courtesy the artist and Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, London. Photograph: Oliver Beer