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Sound Installation at Frontispace

Press Release for Sounding Spaces: Passage

Senso di Voce (Esin Gunduz and Megan Kyle)

Exhibition dates: February 10 – March 3, 2022

Frontispace is at the entrance to the Art and Music Library

Rush Rhees Library, University of Rochester

Frontispace is pleased to announce a sound installation by Senso di Voce, Sounding Spaces: Passage.

Describing the work, the artists say:

Sounding Spaces: Passage is a six-speaker sound installation that reimagines our live performances in a soundscape form. Like our performances, this installation explores resonances among early music from historically disparate traditions. But here, time has been collapsed. Multiple fragments of material are heard simultaneously, moving and changing to draw out powerful connections in the music. We conceived Sounding Spaces as a moveable project that would morph and grow in dialogue with each new installation space. Its first iteration was in the Handley Room in Buffalo. In this latest version designed for Frontispace, we explore the concept of “passage,” as a transitional space and as a process of transformation.

Our music has always sought to build transformative passageways: to join ancient and new, to connect across geographies and cultural traditions, to weave together the familiar and unfamiliar. In Frontispace we have the opportunity to create inside a literal passageway, a space that carries visitors through an art experience as they travel to and from the Art and Music Library. We have chosen to generate the sounds of the installation using exciters, a type of audio transducer that amplifies sound by generating vibrations in physical surfaces. These transducers and their resonators form an additional passageway, as the recorded sounds of our duo are transformed from electrical signals through the motion of each exciter into the vibrations of six foam board squares. Finally, the squares are positioned all around the gallery, passing the sound through the acoustical space of the gallery room itself. During each step, the conversion is imbued with the characteristics of the object doing the converting, and so the resulting sounds are indelibly changed. A visitor walking through the space will hear the sonic results of these transformations in a spatialized way, with the sounds interacting and changing as the visitor moves.

In this way, Sounding Spaces: Passage in Frontispace extends the passages we build in our live performances, through new layers of transforming materials, to create an experience that resonates the transitional space between the past and the now.

Senso di Voce

Described as “transformative” and “wildly innovative” by their audiences, Senso di Voce is Esin Gunduz (voice/composition/harmonium) and Megan Kyle (oboe/English horn).

Senso di Voce’s work is about resonances, physical and metaphorical. They build new compositions and improvisations around their interpretations of ancient and early music from Western and non-Western traditions. They illuminate connections of timbre, embodied sensation, and emotional impact in order to bridge apparent divides of history and geography, and to create a captivating emotional experience that they share joyfully with their audiences.

The ensemble has created projects for the “post-industrial cathedrals” of Silo City, a collection of monumental repurposed grain elevators in Buffalo, New York. During a residency at Avaloch Farm Music Institute in summer 2019 and in partnership with sound engineer Henry Birdsey, the duo used the reverb-profile of the silos to reimagine the project in a surround sound version for gallery spaces that brings one acoustical space to life within another. More recently, they have appeared as part of PLAY/GROUND 2021 and performed at Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center.

In August 2021, Senso di Voce was awarded a Chamber Music America Classical Commissioning Grant to commission a new piece by Esin Gunduz inspired by the philosophical writings of the Sufi mystic Ibn ‘Arabi. On February 6, 2022, the duo will present a performance and talk in collaboration with the Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester. The event is the special exhibition "Renaissance Impressions: Sixteenth-Century Master Prints from the Kirk Edward Long Collection," which explores the emergence and transformative impact of the print medium on the visual culture of Renaissance Europe.


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