[May 28 – Oct 31] The Ear Hut + Listen Ahead, a listening station created by Miya Masaoka.

We are pleased to present The Ear Hut + Listen Ahead, is a listening station created by Miya Masaoka. The Ear Hut was originally commissioned by Sonic Innovations, a program of the Caramoor Center for Art and Music in Katonah, New York, for composer and sound artist Miya Masaoka and was exhibited there in 2019-2021.

Location: OUTDOOR PLAZA at Building 12 Nolan Park Governors Island

Open to the public everyday

May 28 – October 31, 2022

Meet the Artist Day: Saturday June 11, 2022

The Ear Hut + Listen Ahead

The Ear Hut, a listening space by Miya Masaoka

The Ear Hut + Listen Ahead, is a listening station created by Miya Masaoka. The Ear Hut is a listening space, a contemplative space that directs the attention of the viewer towards an awareness of their sense of listening over their sense of sight, and how this shift in emphasis might be experienced in an impactful way. There are Ear-Dows rather than windows that line the walls, and these ear-level openings encourage a listening experience of the mixing of sounds of the interior and exterior, allowing sounds from the outside soundscape to mix with the embedded sounds emanating from hidden loud speakers in the bench. The focus on active listening gently alters the experience for the listener, and encourages a perception and way of being in the world. The public is invited to sit, watch and listen to the active soundscape of the Governors Island waterfront and the embedded compositions coming through the Ear-Dows. The Ear Hut will include several composers and sound artists, and will begin with renowned artist Stephen Vitiello.

Listen Ahead sign

Listen Ahead is first encountered through traffic signage whereby the audience begins to imagine, conceptualize and anticipate a space for listening. Positioned on the walkway to Building 12 are 2 Listen Ahead yellow traffic signs that whimsically alert the public for a “listening experience” ahead, and thus the title of the work, Listen Ahead.

Bio – Miya Masaoka is a composer and artist based in New York City. Classically trained, her work operates at the intersection of spatialized sound, frequency and perception, performance, social and historical references. Whether recording physical objects, plants or the human body, within architecturally resonant spaces or outdoor resonant canyons, she creates incongruencies that reflect current realities.

Her interconnected artistic practices include notated composition, alternative personas,
and hybrid acoustic-electronic performance on Japanese traditional string instruments
such as the koto and ichigenkin. Her work includes writing new Noh music, instrument
building, wearable computing, and sonifying the behavior of plants, brain activity and
insect movement and orchestra works. Her work has been exhibited nationally and
internationally, including the Venice Biennale, MoMA PS1, Kunstmuseum Bonn,
Institute of Contemporary Art Philadelphia.


Masaoka is an Assistant Professor of Practice at Columbia and the Director of Sound Art
MFA, and previously taught at the Milton Avery School of the Arts at Bard College. She
is a Park Avenue Armory Studio Artist in 2019. She has a commission to create an
outdoor sound installation for Sonic Innovations at the Caramoor in 2019.
She has exhibited at the Contemporary Art Chicago, and the Laboratorium for
Contemporary Art Museum at Ujazdowski Castle and Siggraph. She was the keynote
speaker for NIME (New Interfaces for Musical Expression) in Brisbane, Australia and a
Fulbright Fellow to Japan in 2016. She has been the recipient of such grants and
commissions as the Doris Duke Artist Award, the Alpert Award in the Arts, The Gerbode
Foundation, The Electronic Music Foundation, the MAP Fund, The NEA, The Montalvo
Arts Center’s Lucas Artists Residency, STEIM, Issue Project Room (Siloh), The
Headlands, and others. Masaoka has taught at New York University and at the Sound
program at the Milton Avery School of the Arts at Bard College. She has recorded dozens
of CD’s, and most recently a double CD with Anthony Braxton. She is named a Park
Avenue Armory Studio Artist in 2019, as has a commission to create an outdoor sound
installation for Sonic Innovations at the Caramoor in 2019.


The BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and Glasgow Chamber Choir premiered her
work in Glasgow, Scotland in 2018 (Ilan Volkov conducting). Other premiers include
the Bang On a Can Allstars, Either/Or (Richard Carrick conducting), So Percussion, Del
Sol string quartet, the La Jolla Symphony (Steve Schick conducting), Joan Jeanrenaud
(formerly of Kronos), members of the Gugak National Orchestra (Seoul, Korea),
Kathleen Supove, James Ilgenfritz. She has scored dance works for Movement Research
at Judson Church and a full ballet for Alonzo King.
Composers Pauline Oliveros and Toshiko Akiyoshi have written pieces for her. Her
teachers at Mills College include Alvin Curran, David Tudor and Maryanne Amacher. In
improvised settings, she has performed and recorded in large groups with Cecil Taylor,
Henry Brandt, Christian Wolfe, Dr. L. Subramaniam, and in smaller ensembles with
Steve Coleman, Fred Frith, Ingrid Laubrock, Myra Melford, Zeena Parkins, Andrew
Cyrille, Reggie Workman, Pharoah Sanders, Vijay Iyer and most recently she recorded a
double CD with Anthony Braxton.

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About the Art and Technology Program on Governors Island

Produced by Harvestworks, The Art and Technology Program on Governors Island is centered on art works created at the intersection of art and technology. It includes exhibitions of digital media art, public workshops, performances and our educational research library.  Our goal is to provide exhibition opportunities to electronic media artists and also to educate the public about new technology and how artists use it for artistic expression.  www.harvestworks.org

Program subject to change.

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