Saturday, October 13th, 1:00PM
Arts Court Theater
2 Daly Ave.
How does space shape sound?
in conversation with Barry Blesser,
Gordon Monahan and Jesse Stewart
Each of the participants in this opening discussion brings a unique perspective on the integral relationship between the world around us and the sounds we perceive. Meshing experience and research in music, acoustics, sculpture, engineering, architecture and anthropology this panel will lay a rich foundation for the lively conversations to follow.
Dr. Barry Blesser has spent the last 40 years exploring the influence of cognitive and perceptual psychology on the design and implementation of technology. As one of the pioneers of digital audio technology during the 1970s, he transformed his fantasy of a portable concert hall into the first commercial artificial reverberation system, which was used extensively in the creation of recorded and broadcast music. While Dr. Blesser has focused on creating and implementing technology as a technical and management consultant, he also integrates the arts and social sciences into the design process. As an independent scholar, he has spent the last 5 years researching the new concept of aural architecture, which led to his current passion: the social consequences of functional deafness when in corrosive acoustic environments.
Gordon Monahan's works for piano, loudspeakers, video, kinetic sculpture, and computer-controlled sound environments span various genres from avant-garde concert music to multi-media installation and sound art. As a composer and sound artist, he juxtaposes the quantitative and qualitative aspects of natural acoustical phenomena with elements of media technology, environment, architecture, popular culture, and live performance.
Jesse Stewart is an award-winning percussionist, composer, improviser, artist, instrument builder, educator, and writer. A dynamic and inventive performer, Stewart has a remarkable ability to coax unexpected—even magical—sounds out of virtually any resonating object or material. He has performed with many internationally acclaimed musicians including George Lewis, Roswell Rudd, Bill Dixon, William Parker, Evan Parker and many others. He teaches music composition at Carleton University in Ottawa.
Moderator: Matthew Edwards
Matthew Edwards is a young Contract Instructor, Musician, and Architectural Designer from Ottawa who is interested in the crossing(s) of music and architecture. His Master's thesis, titled S.o.A.L SEARCHING: An Explorative Composition of Architecture, Audition, & Acology in I I I Movements was an inquiry into the role that sound plays within our experience of space, mainly from phenomenological and poetic perspectives. He believes that how spaces sound is one of the most important and most neglected areas of architectural design today, outside of specializations such as the concert hall, but hopes that can change. Currently pursuing his Ph.D. in Architecture at McGill University in Montréal, Edwards hopes to further the research he began in his Master's studies through a more thorough and empirical examination of how the sonic dimension of architectural space affects the psyche.