This multiple channel audio installation includes conversations with six people who took the artist on walks in New York that were special for them, plus environmental sounds and my own improvised singing in the locations. The walks visited Inwood, the 9/11 Memorial, the High Line, Brooklyn and Queens. The work relates to my ongoing project Shadow-walks, which has occurred in twenty-two cities and towns in USA, Europe, Asia, Canada and Australia.
Each of the six walkers is assigned to a specific speaker, while the other speakers contain singing and sounds.
Opening Friday January 8 2016 at 7pm
Special live solo performance will last approximately 20 minutes on Friday.
Open to the Public: Saturday Jan 9 and Sunday Jan 10th from 4 – 7 pm
Location: Harvestworks 596 Broadway #602 New York NY 10012
Phone: 212-431-1130 Subway: F/M/D/B Broadway/Lafayette, R to Prince, #6 to Bleecker
This installation forms part of my project Shadow-walks, which has been ongoing for about twelve years. It explores people’s relationship with familiar places and how that relates to their personal histories and memories. So far the project has taken place in twenty-two cities and towns in USA, Australia, Canada, Asia and Europe.
An engaging idea attributed to James Joyce is that places remember events – as if everything that happens leaves traces that we might be able to sense. If a person walks through certain places repeatedly, along the same route, does that act of walking impose a trace that can be mapped across time and space? In a sense Shadow-walks is an attempt to make a person’s traces audible through my singing voice.
The process of creating the work is straightforward. I choose a place, in this case New York, and ask local inhabitants to show me walks that are personally meaningful. We walk together and I record our conversations, then later I return along the same route alone, attempting to get a sense of my previous companion’s traces on the walk. Then I sing what I feel using wordless improvisations.
In New York six people took me on walks. Two live in Inwood where both walks went through the forest, one strolled along the High Line and another led me to the 9/11 Memorial. One man took me from Greenpoint to three cemeteries in Queens and the sixth person showed me her daily walk from home to work.
Conversation topics included how to live in the city while maintaining access to nature, surviving the loud sonic environment, the socio-economic characteristics of the place, walking as art, exercise or transport, along with personal stories and reminiscences. Two experiences of 9/11 were described, and one person remembered her sense of disorientation after relocating to New York, which she tried to recreate as we repeated her walk.
Each version of Shadow-walks is different from the last and that is reflected in the various methods of dissemination that have occurred. These include radio art, installations, performance and a GPS-guided soundwalk. This is the first time that the work has been presented as a multiple channel installation. My aim was to make the experience more immersive and also to remove some of the overall control from myself. Previously I have always decided exactly what the visitor hears by my selection of recorded elements for the final, edited version. This time I edited less to allow visitors more participation and increase their options for listening. They may choose to be immersed in the overall soundscape. However, each person who took me on a walk is assigned to a specific speaker so there is the opportunity for a visitor to listen to just one person’s story by standing close to their speaker even when other stories, singing and sounds are happening at the same time.
Viv Corringham is a British vocalist, sound artist and composer, now resident in New York, who has worked internationally since the late 1970s. She was a McKnight Composer fellow in 2006 and 2012 through the American Composers Forum. She has an MA Sonic Art from Middlesex University, London, UK and is certified to teach Deep Listening by composer Pauline Oliveros. She is a 2015 artist in residence at Harvestworks, NY.
Recent work has been presented at Ohrenhoch Sound Gallery, Berlin 2015; Vitamin S Festival, Auckland, New Zealand 2015; Emily Harvey Foundation, New York 2015; Syros Sound Meeting, Greece 2014; SoundOut Festival, Canberra, Australia 2014; Around Sound Festival, Hong Kong 2013; Tempo Reale Festival, Florence, Italy 2012; Soundworks, ICA, London, UK 2012; Her Noise Festival, Tate Modern, London, UK 2012 and Deep Listening Institute, Kingston, NY, USA 2012.
Invited residencies have occurred at soundpocket Hong Kong; Montalvo Art Center CA; Memorial University Newfoundland; Cal State University CA; Syros Greece; Cobh Art Centre Ireland; Radio Papesse Florence Italy; Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art Porto Portugal; NAISA Toronto; Soundworks Cork Ireland; DLI Kingston NY and Binaural Media Nodar Portugal.
Articles about her work have appeared in many books and journals, including In the Field (UK),Art of Immersive Soundscapes (Canada), Organised Sound (UK), Reflections on Process in Sound (Internet), Musicworks (Canada), Catskill Made (US), Playing With Words (UK) and For Those Who Have Ears (Ireland).
Recordings are available on Innova, Deep Listening, Linear Obsessional, Slowfoot, NoMansLand, ARC Music, MASH, Slam, Rhiannon, Jungle Records, Emanem, Move, Artship and Third Force.
“Shadow-walks in Kingston,” a Deep Listening residency. (audio/video by Viv Corringham):
“Together then created a journey that both forgot” (voice Viv Corringham, video Helen Petts)
• PRESS QUOTES
Corringham’s enchanting musical journey…possessed a quality that set the pulses racing.
She coos, sputters and howls – but also lets fly with some rather beautiful wordless singing, at times sounding like a flock of ghostly doves, at others like a softened Theremin… Corringham is an experienced and skilful improviser, capable of marshalling all sorts of sounds and vocalisations, from the melodious to the abrasive. But it’s the juxtaposition of the field recordings and Corringham’s improvisations that really differentiates it.
(We Need No Swords)
Ethno-cyberpunk diva. (Her) voice is a thing of wonder, ranging from lilting folkiness to speaking-in-tongues wildness.
(Baggage Reclaim programme notes)
• WEBSITE AND SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:
• NAMES OF ANY COLLABORATORS:
My thanks to all who took me on their walks: Aliza Aufrichtig, Julia Lee Barclay-Morton, Monique Buzzarte, Dillon de Give, Sarah Weaver, Vicky Virgin.
• PAST INTERVIEWS AND PRESS COVERAGE
1. Resonance FM, London: https://www.mixcloud.com/Resonance/sensing-cities-episode-1-viv-corringham
2. Wavefarm, NY: https://wavefarm.org/archive/qvj0bz
3. PBS, Australia: http://pbsfm.org.au/taxonomy/term/696/2015-04-05