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Sound American: The Music of David Dunn

Fridman Gallery
Event organized by Fridman Gallery

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Release Event, featuring performance by Null Point

Sound American is delighted to announce of the release of its latest issue, focused the music of David Dunn, a composer long unsung for his key contributions to site-based sound, interactive music, field recording, music and language, sonic engagement with plants and animals, and more. To celebrate the release, guest editors Ethan Hayden and Colin Tucker, directors of the experimental sound initiative null point, give a talk introducing Dunn’s work as a whole and discussing their experience producing the recent, belated premiere of the composer’s early durational outdoor piece PLACE.

The talk is followed by a Q&A, and then by a performance-installation featuring the East Coast premiere of excerpts of Dunn’s PLACE. With the gallery’s front doors opened to include outdoor ambient sound in the performance, live electronic systems weave cyborg sonic assemblages, suspending distinctions between ambient sound and music, artwork and environment, observer and observed, and nature and culture. In part 4 of PLACE, portable recording devices asynchronously record and re-record, yielding an unpredictably accumulating thicket of layered, increasingly distorted ambient sound; concurrently, processes of re-recording make manifest the materiality of microphones and speakers. In part 5, real-time audio from two microphones placed at opposite ends of the gallery is fed into a ring modulator.

David Dunn on Null Point’s realization of PLACE: “They have brought an enthusiasm and sense of purpose to the task that exceeds anything I could have imagined when I originally wrote the piece.”


null point is an initiative for new concert music and sound art in Buffalo, NY. Null Point’s events re-imagine musical and sonic presentation formats, focusing on works by living artists neglected by normative arts institutions. Past projects include new site-specific sound works written for presentation in vacant historic industrial sites, concerts focusing on limit situations of performance and audition, and participatory workshop-concerts in working-class neighborhoods. A null point is a location where vector fields (e.g. magnetic fields) have zero strength, where fields cancel each other out.

Null Point has presented world and continental premieres of works by Alejandro Acierto, Abby Aresty, David Dunn, Tim Feeney, Jez riley French, Sarah Hennies, Eva-Maria Houben, Ben Isaacs, Evan Johnson, Christian Kesten, Dmitri Kourliandski, Joseph Kudirka, Christof Migone, David Pocknee, Matt Sargent, James Saunders, and Andrea Steves, at venues including Artpark (Lewiston, NY), Constellation Frequency Series (Chicago), Contact Contemporary Music (Toronto), echo Art Fair (Buffalo), Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center (Buffalo), Squeaky Wheel Media Arts (Buffalo), and Silo City (Buffalo), with support from New Music USA, numerous universities, and the arts councils of NY and Toronto.

Colin Tucker (artistic director) is a composer and curator whose compositions explore thresholds of audibility, physicalities of performing and listening, and cultural meanings of melody; recent collaborators include ensembles dal niente, East Coast Contemporary Ensemble, Linea, S.E.M., Surplus, and Uusinta. As a curator of experimental music and sound, he focuses on form, site, community, and institutional structure in relation to the de-industrial American city.

Ethan Hayden (technical director) is a composer and performer whose music has been performed at concerts and festivals around the world, most recently at Ljudbio (Uppsala, Sweden), INTIME (Coventry, UK), Toronto Electroacoustic Symposium (Toronto, ON), and E-Poetry (Buenos Aires). He is the author of Sigur Rós's ( ), published as part of Bloomsbury's 33⅓ series.

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