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Lyn Goeringer by Christopher Auerbach-Brown   05.14.14

In this second installment of interviews between The Vault guest curator, Christopher Auerbach-Brown, and the sound artists participating in Apopheny – Epiphany: What is Random?, Lyn Goeringer sheds some light on the power of sound, the robust Cleveland sound art community, and the inspiration behind her newest piece. If you'd like to hear what she's making for The Vault, come to the opening on May 30th, or have a listen at SPACES through July 22nd.

CAB: How did you first get started as a sound artist/experimental musician? What is it that attracts you to the wonderful world of sound?
LG: My start in sound art and experimental music comes from a few different places. The first was watching the Denver Symphony Orchestra play Penderecki's Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima when I was in elementary school.  I'd never heard musical instruments perform with extended techniques, so I was hooked. I wanted to hear those things, to write those things down for other people to play. When I finally got to college to start learning composition, I gravitated towards different boundaries and sound ideas, different modes of composition and such. I was also really invested in how sound works, and the physics and psychophysics of music and sound. My composition and art practice became not only about what sounds I made, but how we listened to them. For me, sound has power, real, tangible power that can transform space and time, and by doing so it can affect our human existence. Sound is pretty much the best thing ever. 

CAB: How does Cleveland's experimental music scene inspire your work?
LG: I'm somewhat new to Cleveland's experimental scene, as I moved here only a year and a half ago. What I can say is this: Cleveland's experimental music scene inspires my work by being so visible, so eager, so willing and ready to embrace new composers, new performers, new sound artists and really making it possible for people to get their music and sounds out there. Seriously! I have never seen or heard of such a vibrant community any where else. I'm so lucky to be here to take part in it. 

CAB: Give us a hint as to what your work for the Vault exhibition will be like, without divulging too many details. Think of this as an enticing peek at your piece and your working process.
LG: When asked to participate in this show, you gave a few brief guidelines that focused on using the resonant frequencies of the room, a list of those frequencies, and the basic concept of the show, which would focus on random connections that we make between images and sound. I was lead to a path of hidden things: a space I would not be able to explore hands on while working on the piece, accompanying video content that I would have no knowledge of before hand, and a collection of pitches that were provided to me that I would have to trust were accurate and gathered in a way I could understand. Indeed, making the piece would be engaging deeply with the concepts of apophany, of coincident and randomly occurring events that may or may not have a perceivable meaning when joined. Knowing these things, and trying to make connections of my own, I have chosen to work with algorithmic processes to generate the sound environment (music? maybe) that I'm working with. The piece focuses heavily on geomantic principles, where the timing structure is based on various esoteric writings by Aleistar Crowley. Though the 'numbers' within the system I have designed are pre-determined (the pitches used in the piece, possible duration and volumes of notes heard), the piece is largely dependent on randomizing structures within the computer environment it is designed around. 

CAB: How does the work you're making for The Vault connect with your future projects (or not)?
LG: Over the next few months I'll be working on a new album, and its basic structure will have an influence over The Vault piece.  I'll be performing in the area a bit this coming fall (dates and times TBA), and I also have a large installation that uses light bulbs to make sound. I'll be posting on my website and twitter feed with dates and locations as things are determined.  


Author: Christina Vassallo, Executive Director
Category: Exhibitions

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