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Past Installations

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Installations presented on 2020

Story Trees
By Don Hill
January 14 to March 29, 2021. Open 10am to 4 pm everyday except Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
In-person at NAISA North Media Arts Centre, 106 Ottawa Ave, South River and online at storytrees.ca
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STORY TREES is an interactive installation that serves as a tool for listening & learning -- how we listen -- to echoes from an era that is open to reinterpretation.

While digitizing old reel-to-reel oral history interviews, Don was surprised by how things were said at the time in northern Ontario, and how many gestures of speech are no longer heard in common day-to-day parlance. It wasn’t the content of the conversations that first caught his ear; it was the little asides, the nuanced bits of intonation, inflections of speech, as if northern Ontario had a different dialect way back when. As the towns and the province grew, he heard a shift in the patter. He also heard something - an emergent literary voice, a kind of wisdom - that wasn’t accounted for by words alone.


Recordings & Interactive Design: Don & Anne Hill
Digital Coding Consultation: Kyle Elliot Mathewson
Responsive Architecture Consultation: Jim Ruxton
Voices (1975): Sam Allen, Russell Brown, Bernard Clay, Dorthea Coates, Art Lees, Buzz Lein, Viola Moody, Don Parrott and Diana Taft

Produced with Support from the Canada Council for the Arts

Don Hill Sound artist & designer, writer, broadcaster, musician and interactive media producer, Don Hill is a former national host of CBC Radio One’s Tapestry. His newest work STORY TREES is a modified ‘responsive architecture’ & interactive online exhibition. Don’s prior investigation of psychoacoustics of ‘place’ inspired his augmented reality app Edmonton Soundwalks, a 3D audio guide for mobile phones. Special Places: Writing-On- Stone is an immersive 360 video presentation that scales from full-dome screens to VR (virtual reality) headsets. In residency with the UK’s renowned Blast Theory he made WRGO (what’s really going on), a surreal 3D audio narrative.
By Matthew Rogalsky
June 25 to August 17, 2020. Open 11 am to 3 pm everyday except Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
NAISA North Media Arts Centre, 106 Ottawa Ave, South River
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Octet is a sound installation with eight SM58 vocal microphones wired in reverse to become tiny loudspeakers, and eight modified archival birdsong recordings by William WH Gunn (1951, with permission of the Macaulay Library of Environmental Sound, Cornell University).

This sound installation, which re-purposes common stage vocal microphones as tiny loudspeakers - eight of them hanging from the widespread branches of a tree - is part of ongoing research with Laura J. Cameron into the life and work of William W.H. Gunn, early Canadian environmental sound recordist. Octet is a creative response to Gunn's practice, and it was followed in 2017 and 2018 by two other sound installations exploring his sound library.

Beginning in 1951, Gunn recorded environmental sounds all over Canada and around the world. He gave numerous public lectures on birdsong and to reveal its intricacies he often played his tapes back at slow speeds. This presentation of the piece employs eight birdsong recordings made by Gunn in Ontario in 1951. You will periodically hear Gunn’s voice introducing a recording, followed by playback slowed down by 80%. Each microphone-speaker is a unique source.

The piece, situated in a tree, plays with the culture of “soloist” birdsong recording (isolating one bird from its surrounding “noise” as much as possible), the notion of birds as performers, the “reversibility principle” of microphones and loudspeakers, and Gunn’s encouragement of birdsong identification and appreciation through his lectures and the “Sounds of Nature” LP series he produced from the 1950s into the 1970s.

Matthew Rogalsky is a composer, sound artist and musicologist. Since 1985 he has presented work regularly in performances and gallery exhibitions across North America and Europe. His areas of research include histories, reconstructions and new performances of late 20th century electronic and experimental music. He has given performances of the music of David Tudor, Alvin Lucier, Phil Niblock, John Cage, David Behrman, Rhys Chatham and Terry Riley, among others. His writing has been published in Leonardo Music Journal, Canadian Theatre Review, Social and Cultural Geography, Public, and Musicworks. An exhibition catalog with DVD, entitled "When he was in high school in Texas, Eric Ryan Mims used a similar arrangement to detect underground nuclear tests in Nevada," is available from the Agnes Etherington Art Centre at Queen's.
Constant Plancks
By Bentley Jarvis
July 30 to September 21, 2020. Open 11 am to 3 pm everyday except Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
NAISA North Media Arts Centre, 106 Ottawa Ave, South River
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This digital sound sculpture uses algorithmic composition techniques to create a musical response to traffic noise. The piece listens to the traffic, ponders for a while, then responds by playing an improvised passage through resonant structures. Traffic sounds are picked up by a microphone and broken up into several spectral bands. The contents of the different bands are used to influence a generative electroacoustic music system. All programming is done with Max/MSP software from Cycling 74. Multiples of Planck’s constant, the quantum of electromagnetic action that relates a photon’s energy to its frequency, 6.62607015×10?34 are used throughout the piece to determine pitch relationships. The highly resonant structures that produce the electronic sounds are constructed from cedar planks and loudspeakers.

Bentley Jarvis has been composing and performing electroacoustic music since 1975 and teaching Sonic Arts and Electroacoustics at the Ontario College of Art and Design University in Toronto since 1983. In 2004 he began teaching computer modelling and animation at OCADU. Born in Balmertown, Ontario in 1949, Bentley studied visual arts and electronic arts at the Three Schools in Toronto in 1970, electronics at Fanshawe College in 1972 - 1973, computer science and visual arts at the University of Western Ontario (1974-76), electronic music composition and system design at the University of Waterloo (Honours BIS 1982), and computer modelling and animation at Fanshawe College 2001-2003. Bentley has sat on the Board of Directors of the Canadian League of Composers, has been president of the Forest City Gallery (London), and vice-president of the Canadian Electroacoustic Community. Most of his work integrates electroacoustic music with a visual element such as dance, slide or video projection, computer prints, or sculpture.
Porch Radio
May 21 to September 21, 2020. Open 11 am to 3 pm everyday except Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
NAISA North Media Arts Centre, 106 Ottawa Ave, South River
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Enjoy NAISA Radio without internet, without computers, and in the open fresh air. Porch Radio is an outdoor listening space on the porch of the NAISA North Media Arts Centre at 106 Ottawa Ave. with seating for up to 4 people.
Audio Bench
June 25 to September 21, 2020. Open 11 am to 3 pm everyday except Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
NAISA North Media Arts Centre, 106 Ottawa Ave, South River
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Works from NAISA’s first online Sound Travels compilation will be available for listening at the picnic tables outdoors at the NAISA North Media Arts Centre. A headphone extension will be provided for you to plug in your own headphones and listen while you enjoy a take out beverage from the café at NAISA.
From the Edge
By Teresa Connors
September 24 to December 21, 2020. Open 10am to 4 pm everyday except Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
NAISA North Media Arts Centre, 106 Ottawa Ave, South River
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From the Edge is an audiovisual installation that explores the environment of East Coast Newfoundland. The work is part of a series that expands on Connors’ use of environmental data-sets as an artistic device to create nonlinear artworks. The creative system is coded to live-stream data off the SmartAtlantic St. John's Buoy, located 1 KM offshore of Cape Spear, Newfoundland. The buoy is capable of measuring and transmitting a variety of atmospheric and surface conditions, including surface temperature, wind speed and direction, wave height, period and direction, and current speed and direction. From the Edge live-streams, then parses these data-sets to trigger and shift parameters of the audiovisual work, which continually evolves depending on the transmitted measurements. Embedded in the creative system are improvisational music files specifically created for this work, plus audiovisual material captured off this coast, with video artist Shannon Lynn Harris. This material, in turn, is randomly triggered, depending on the ocean data.
Teresa Connors is active as a creative coder, opera singer, and audiovisual installation artist. Her works have received awards and support, including ICMA Award, Canada Council for the Arts and British Columbia Arts Council, and have been presented at international conferences, film festivals and galleries and published in leading journals. Having recently completed postdoctoral research with the International Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation, Teresa’s current artistic focus is the live-streaming of environmental datasets as a co-creative device for public engagement artworks.