Near Speakers
Marina Rosenfeld

Quest for Minetta Creek
Miya Masaoka

Michael Schumacher & Nisi Jacobs

Commissioned works
World premieres

Marina Rosenfeld

Miya Masaoka

Michael Schumacher & Nisi Jacobs

Friday, October 17, 8pm
Judson Church
55 Washington Square South
$15 / $10 students, seniors, EMF Subscribers

EMF commissioned six New York-based composers to create works for New York Soundscape. The goal in the commissions was to create a body of examples for others, not necessarily professionals, to follow. Marina Rosenfeld's Near Speakers, drawing its sounds from what she calls the 'acoustical bleed' of sound devices in crowded spaces, was the third of the commissions to be presented. Miya Masaoka's Quest for Minetta Creek, combining documentary and sound art in a quest to find a creek running under New York's streets in the West Village, was the fourth of the commissioned works to be presented. And composer Michael Schumacher's Eros-Ion, a multimedia work based on industrial sounds in Brooklyn, created in collaboration with video artist Nisi Jacobs, was the fifth commissioned work to be presented.

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↓ Concert program


Near Speakers ...................................................................................................... Marina Rosenfeld

Quest for Minetta Creek ............................................................................................. Miya Masaoka

Eros-Ion ...................................................................................... Michael Schumacher & Nisi Jacobs


Marina Rosenfeld
Marina Rosenfeld, composer who works with musical and visual media, has created large-scale performance works, installations, video projections, and photography. Her work has been commissioned by the Whitney Biennial, Creative Time, Tate Modern, The Kitchen, Artists Space, Merce Cunningham Dance Company, and presented at festivals from Warsaw to Vancouver, including Transit, Donaueschingen, Ars Electronica, Pro Musica Nova, Maerz Musik, Mutek, Wien Modern and The Wire's Adventures in Modern Music, among many others.
Miya Masaoka
Miya Masaoka, composer, sound/installation artist, has created works for solo koto, laser interfaces, explosive powders, model trains, laptop and video, sculpture installations. She often works with spatialization and sonification of data, and maps the behavior of plant, brain activity and insect movement to sound. Her work has been performed at the Venice Biennale 2004, V2 (Rotterdam), IRCAM (Paris), KunstRadio (Vienna ), Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (San Francisco), Other Minds Festival, and other venues around the world.
Michael Schumacher
Michael J. Schumacher, composer and installation artist, works with electronic and digital media to create computer-generated sound environments which evolve continuously for long periods of time and which use spatialization techniques to relate his sound work to the architecture. HIs works are published on XI Records and his composition Grid was included in the group show Between Thought and Sound at the Kitchen. Schumacher lives and works in New York City. His directs the Diapason Sound Art Gallery.
Nisi Jacobs
Nisi Jacobs, video artist, works with fixed media as well as live performance. Her video work has been screened at the Circulo de Bellas Artes (Madrid), Jeu De Paume (Paris), Haus der Kulturen der Welt (Berlin), SONAR (Caracas), Manchester Metropolitan University (UK), Tribeca Film Festival 2003 (New York City), Hong Kong Film Festival, and at other venues throughout the world. She has also created live video performances for pop bands at The Bowery Ballroom, PIANOS NYC, The Living Room, and at other venues in New York.


Marina Rosenfeld writes about her work:

"Near Speakers takes off from a series of field recordings, both actual and wishful, of the distinctive acoustical 'bleed' from cheap earbud headphones experienced in close and involuntary proximity in such places as trains and elevators. My quasi DJ set, using an original set of dub plates created for the festival, imagines a symphonic spread made from these tinny and distorted traces of the inner lives of strangers."

Miya Masaoka's Quest for Minetta Creek is subtitled 'The Search for the Last Living Natural Stream of Water in Lower Manhattan'. She writes:

"This piece explores the mythology and urban legend of the underground streams of New York City, and in doing so, the people and their relationships to the natural world. Eric Sanderson of the Bronx Zoo Wildlife Conservation Society says that if humans disappeared from Manhattan, in twenty years the water-soaked steel columns that support the street above the East Side’s subway tunnels would corrode and buckle, turning Lexington Avenue into a river. However built up and urban Manhattan appears to be, the natural world asserts itself and makes its presence known from time to time. Unless one believes that humans will live forever on the planet, the future predictions are humbling, heightening the awareness that the streams will eventually prevail.

"This sound piece draws from interviews with residents of Minetta Lane and field recordings of water from the sewers of Minetta Creek and other water sources in New York City. Additionally, it draws inspiration from the essay by Alan Weisman, 'Earth Without People'."

Excerpts from two interviews

Michael Schumacher and Nisi Jacobs' Eros-Ion calls for two-screen projections and multi-channel sound. Schumacher writes:

"Eros-Ion is based on the industrial sites and sounds of Brooklyn's Sunset Park, the former major port of New York and currently a vibrant and diverse neighborhood that still contains many traces of its past as well as signs of future change. Field recordings are mixed with drums, synthesizer and electric guitar to create the musical composition. Footage of Sunset Park's Industry City, a vast array of warehouses and factories on the waterfront, are processed and layered to create the video.

"The idea behind Eros-Ion is the transformation of the New York City soundscape — an assault of sirens, HVAC systems, 18-wheelers, car alarms, Mr. Softee Ice Cream trucks, Harley-Davidson motorcycles, 1000 watt audio systems — into something beautiful.

"I started with rhythm, transforming field recordings of traffic and other city noises into rhythmic loops, adding a pilfered drum track from a well known jazz composer. I then improvised a ragged, distorted guitar solo over the mix, resulting in a churning, droning and hopefully beautiful piece of music.

"At the same time, video artist Nisi Jacobs collected footage of Industry City, a rough industrial landscape in Sunset Park, Brooklyn (where Diapason Sound Art gallery is located), and applied extreme video filtering and layering to find the "beauty in the beast". We worked carefully and in parallel to create structural connections between the video and sound. The piece is a fixed composition with some possibilities for improvisatory additions during presentation."

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