Walker Performing Arts Presents Free Music Series Sound Horizon in the Newly Re-Opening Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, featuring Stephen Vitiello, Byron Westbrook, and Olivia Block
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Walker Performing Arts Presents Free Music Series Sound Horizon in the Newly Re-Opening Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, featuring Stephen Vitiello, Byron Westbrook, and Olivia Block

Woman leaning over metal sculpture listing to headphones.

Exploring the interstitial spaces of live sound and visual art, the long-running music series Sound Horizon moves to the newly transformed Minneapolis Sculpture Garden this summer to animate the new outdoor spaces and sculptures with sonic intrigue. Three nationally recognized sound artists transform incidental atmospheric noises into mesmerizing soundscapes that reshape our perception of the art and greenery of the Walker campus.

Each of the three artists will arrive the day prior to the performances to sonically map the garden and surrounding environs with audio recording equipment. Landscape, trees, people, traffic, and even some of the newly installed sculptures will all be recorded to see what the reconstructed Minneapolis Sculpture Garden really sounds like. The recordings will then be featured in the short 20-30 minute performances on Target Free Thursday evenings where the material will be remixed into a live audio interaction that will vary depending on the artists’ equipment and methods. In case of rain, performances will be moved into the Walker galleries.

Sound Horizon 2017
Thursdays, June 15, July 13, August 3
6, 7, and 8 pm
Minneapolis Sculpture Garden

Thursday, June 15: Stephen Vitiello

“What more can you ask of a work of art than that it alter your breath — that it first make you aware of your own breathing and then slow it, shape it, sculpt it?” – Los Angeles Times

Richmond-based Stephen Vitiello is a visual and sound artist. Originally a punk guitarist he is influenced by video artist Nam June Paik who he worked with after meeting in 1991. He has composed music for independent films, experimental video projects and art installations, collaborating with such artists as Nam June Paik, Tony Oursler and Dara Birnbaum. In 1999 he was awarded a studio for six months on the 91st floor of the World Trade Center’s Tower One, where he recorded the cracking noises of the building swaying under the stress of the winds after Hurricane Floyd. As an installation artist, he is particularly interested in the physical aspect of sound and its potential to define the form and atmosphere of a spatial environment. Vitiello is a professor of Kinetic Imaging at Virginia Commonwealth University. He lives and works in Richmond, Virginia.

Stephen Vitiello Artist Site

Thursday, July 13: Byron Westbrook

“Brooklyn-based electronics-twiddling virtuoso Byron Westbrook … transmits a daydream nation of majestic waves of drones, methodically designing oscillating, streaking and humming soundscapes that are downright mind-expanding.” — The Village Voice

Byron Westbrook is an artist and musician based in Brooklyn, NY. He has been performing and showing experimental sound work internationally since 2008, and has shared bills with Tony Conrad, Oren Ambarchi, Rhys Chatham, Keith Fullerton Whitman, Eliane Radigue, Lawrence English among many others. He holds an MFA from Bard College, where he studied with Marina Rosenfeld, Marcus Schmickler and David Behrman. He also worked with Phill Niblock’s Experimental Intermedia Foundation from 2005-2014. Following two well-received releases under the moniker Corridors, his debut LP under his given name (Precipice on Root Strata) was named #4 Best Experimental Album of 2015 by Pitchfork Magazine. He is currently Visiting Faculty in the Fine Arts Department at Pratt Institute.

Byron Westbrook Artist Site

Thursday, August 3: Olivia Block

“Block’s intriguing blend of sounds “plays with or even erases the distinctions between kinds of sound: natural and man-made, acoustic and electronic, musical and incidental.” — Chicago Reader

Olivia Block is a composer and media artist based in Chicago. Block’s recorded compositions combine field recordings, chamber instruments and electronic textures, and others. Block creates multimedia installations and performances utilizing field recordings, found sounds from micro cassette tapes, video, and curated 35mm slides. Block’s current work reflects her interests in site specificity, ethnographic sound, architecture, and found/archival materials from the 1950’s-1990’s. Block often performs her own solo pieces, utilizing electronically processed amplified objects, found recordings on tapes, and various techniques inside grand pianos. Her studio based compositions are published on And/Oar, Cut, Erstwhile, Glistening Examples, NNA, and Sedimental, among other labels. She has created site specific multi-speaker installations for The Sanitorium in Sokolowsko, Poland, The Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park, Chicago, and the Olympics in Turin Italy, among others. She has performed and premiered pieces in festivals throughout America, Europe, Scandinavia, and Japan. Block has been interviewed on NPR’s Morning Edition, Wire Magazine, Musicworks Magazine, Blow Up, Chicago Reader, and many additional podcasts, publications and radio programs.

Olivia Block Artist Site

Olivia Block on NPR

Music Season media partner: 89.3 the Current

Minneapolis Sculpture Garden
Open daily, 6 am – 12 midnight
The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, one of Minnesota’s favorite summer destinations, reopens June 3.

The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is a project of the Walker Art Center and the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board.