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June 9: “Soundscapes” event opens Caramoor grounds and sound art exhibit

May 16, 2024 | By 21C Media Group

Clockwise from top left: Dyning in the Dovecote by Liz Phillips; in”C” by Trimpin; Stone Song by Ranjit Bhatnagar; Nafasi Yako Ni Ya Kijani (Your
Place is Green) by Walter Kitundu; Piano Garden by Annea Lockwood; Wild Energy by Annea Lockwood and Bob Bielecki; t(ch)ime by Taylor Deupree

(May 2024) — Caramoor’s idyllic grounds officially open for the 2024 summer season on June 9
at 12pm with “Soundscapes,” a free afternoon of events that features live performances along
with this season’s Sonic Innovations sound art exhibition. Composer Majel Connery and cellist
Felix Fan perform Connery’s The Rivers are our Brothers, an electronic song cycle on ecological
responsibility told from the point of view of the land. Also on the schedule is Darian Donovan
Thomas’s Safe Space installation, as well as a live set featuring the genre-bending composer and
multi-instrumentalist along with trombonist Kalia Vandever and guitarist Mike Haldeman.
Sound artists Senem PirlerStephan MooreLiz PhillipsTaylor DeupreeAnnea Lockwood,
Bob Bielecki and Ranjit Bhatnagar will all be on hand interacting with audience members, who
can also try their hand at the theremin during workshops with the New York Theremin Society.
Thereminist Rob Schwimmer will perform on the world’s oldest electronic instrument, in
recognition of Caramoor co-founder Lucie Bigelow Rosen, an important patron and one of the
earliest practitioners of the theremin, while Dorit Chrysler will give a talk titled “When Lucie
Rosen Met Theremin: Discovering Caramoor’s Archives.”

Conceived and curated by Chicago-based sound artist Stephan Moore, Sonic Innovations
expands Caramoor’s programming with an annual exhibition of sound art from artists working
with sonic materials outside the traditions of concert music. Sound art allows each artist to draw
inspiration from their chosen location and its unique characteristics – acoustic, historic,
architectural, or natural – and has been an integral part of Caramoor’s world-class programming
since the groundbreaking exhibition In the Garden of Sonic Delights in 2014, which won Arts
Westchester’s Innovation Award. Two new installations debut this summer: interdisciplinary
artist Senem Pirler’s Seismic Grief, which incorporates seismic data from the 2023 earthquake
in Turkey and Syria; and Moore’s own Promenade, an interactive sound piece installed in a
covered walkway with sounds evoking Caramoor’s past, present, and future. Returning works are
Dyning in the Dovecote by Liz Phillips, an interactive sound installation stirred into subtle
action by the presence and activity of its audience, as well as sunlight and wind; In“C”, a
site-specific sound-sculpture commissioned from MacArthur Grant recipient TrimpinWalter
Kitundu’s Nafasi Yako Ni Ya Kijani (“Your Place is Green”); Taylor Deupree’s t(ch)imeRanjit
Bhatnagar’s Stone SongAnnea Lockwood and Bob Bielecki’s Wild Energy, which takes
visitors on a fantastical tour of sounds occurring outside the range of human hearing; and Annea
Lockwood’s Piano Garden.

Upcoming 2024 Caramoor Summer Season
Highlights of Caramoor’s 2024 summer season of live performances include a gala
performance by longtime Caramoor friend Wynton Marsalis with the Jazz at Lincoln Center
Orchestra (June 22). Two large-scale movement-centered events are featured this season: a
new street-dance infused production of Purcell’s The Fairy Queen from Les Arts Florissants
led by William Christie and choreographed by Mourad Merzouki (July 20), and the Caramoor
debut of the Mark Morris Dance Group (Aug 1)The Knights and Aaron Diehl give their first
complete live performance of Mary Lou Williams’s Zodiac Suite following their recent lauded
recording (June 30); two concerts with Orchestra of St. Luke’s feature guitarist Miloš (July 14)
and pianist Jeremy Denk (Aug 4); and Cleveland period ensemble Apollo’s Fire performs a
program of Vivaldi and Handel led by Jeannette Sorrell (July 28). The Sphinx Virtuosi present
music by a vital group of contemporary Black and Latinx composers, much of it written for them
(July 7); “Our Song, Our Story: The New Generation of Black Voices” with music director
Damien Sneed honors the legacies of Marian Anderson and Jessye Norman (July 25); and the
free world premiere of Douglas J. Cuomo’s community project THE JUMP UP! features
Sandbox Percussion and collaborating volunteer percussionists (July 21). The Concerts on
the Lawn series features Grammy winners Roomful of Teeth (June 28) and Time For Three
(July 26), Cuban cuatro sensation Kiki Valera (July 6), and Zimbabwean Afro-fusion band
Mokoomba (Aug 16); chamber performances include the Calidore String Quartet and harpist
Bridget Kibbey (July 5), the Abeo Quartet (June 27), and Owls (July 11), plus solo recitals from
violinist Kevin Zhu (July 13) and pianists Richard Goode (Aug 2)Joyce Yang (July 19), and
Clayton Stephenson (Aug 3). The annual Jazz Festival features the already storied young pianist
and bandleader Matthew Whitaker (July 27); and the American Roots Music Festival is
headlined by Grammy winner Madison Cunningham (June 29). Roots events later in the
summer showcase the Lost Bayou Ramblers (July 12) and Rhiannon Giddens (Aug 3);
Broadway star Sutton Foster gives a solo performance (July 13); and special events celebrate
Pride with drag artist Jasmine Rice LaBeija (June 13) and Juneteenth with Charles Turner &
Uptown Swing (June 16).

Sonic Innovations 2024
Senem Pirler: Seismic Grief (2024)
Seismic Grief is a sound installation that incorporates sonic inflatable sculptures that are
designed and shaped using seismic data that was captured during the earthquake in Turkey and
Syria on February 6, 2023 from two different sites in Turkey and the United States. Borrowing the
term “material witness” from Susan Schuppli and accompanied by Sara Ahmed’s work “The
Cultural Politics of Emotion,” this installation positions itself as a study of sound as a material
witness to grief.

Senem Pirler is an artist, sonic improviser, and educator based in Brooklyn and Troy, New York.
Pirler’s interdisciplinary work crosses over into sound engineering, sound art, performance, video
art, movement, and installation. Born in Turkey, Pirler studied classical piano at Hacettepe State
Conservatory and sound engineering and design at Istanbul Technical University/MIAM. Pirler
earned her M.M. in Music Technology – the Stephen F. Temmer Tonmeister Honors Track – from
NYU Steinhardt, and her Ph.D. in Electronic Arts from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Pirler has
been awarded a NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship in the category of Music/Sound in 2022 and the
Malcolm Morse Award in 2018, which honors the work of Pauline Oliveros and Deep Listening.

Stephan Moore: Promenade (2024)
Promenade comprises three stations perched along the covered walkway. As visitors walk by,
their presence stirs up sounds evoking Caramoor’s past, present and future – ghostly voices and
instruments, the natural sounds, and concerts both remembered and imagined, all remixed and
orchestrated anew at each interaction. If a visitor approaches and lingers at a station, possibly
raising their hand to touch it, they find themselves able to further activate these sonic memories,
drawing forth a stream of sounds as if playing an instrument.
Chicago-based sound artist Stephan Moore is currently the curator of sound art at the Caramoor
Center for Music and Arts in New York. As a performer, organizer, and maker, he has been
working at the forefront of the experimental audio world for the past 20 years. He has designed
over 20 dance and theater productions in New York City, including the “Bessie” award-winning
Dark Horse/Black Forest, and the “Bessie” nominated The People to Come, both with the
performance collective A Canary Torsi. Evidence, the band he formed with Scott Smallwood in
2001, has performed extensively across five continents and has released a dozen recordings.
Stephan Moore received his MFA in 2003 from the Integrated Electronic Arts program at
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where he studied with Pauline Oliveros and Curtis Bahn. From
2004 to 2010 he was the touring sound engineer and music supervisor for the Merce Cunningham
Dance Company.

Liz Phillips: Dyning in the Dovecote (2023)
Dyning in the Dovecote is an interactive sound installation stirred into subtle action by the
presence and activity of its audience, as well as sunlight and wind. The sounds of water, insects,
dove calls and bird wings flicker and fly around the dovecote in Caramoor’s sense circle, while
underwater sound transducers create ripple patterns on the surface of the fountain. Four lace-like
metal forms hang from the dovecote’s roof, cast from local tree barks, and shaped as the
impression of a face from different angles. These are wired to radiate capacitance fields, or ether
waves, like a theremin – recalling Caramoor and Lucie Rosen’s place in the history of music

Liz Phillips is a pioneering figure in the development of interactive and sound installation art.
She creates responsive environments sensing wind, plants, fish, audience, dance, water, and food.
Audio and visual art forms combine with new technologies to create elastic time-space constructs.
Sound is often the primary descriptive material.

Trimpin: in“C” (2021)
MacArthur Fellow Trimpin’s in“C” is a site-specific sound-sculpture created for Caramoor’s 75th
anniversary and inspired by its acoustical environment: the birds singing, the wind in the trees,
and the blissful absence of street noise. It takes the form of a 16-foot-high double-letter C located
in the entry plaza, welcoming guests as they arrive and inviting them to interact through both a
motion sensor and push-buttons. The push-buttons activate the structure’s chimes to play
pre-composed short pieces, each one to two minutes long; in addition to Trimpin’s own music,
these include works by Caramoor-commissioned composers Christopher Cerrone, Anna Clyne,
Missy Mazzoli, and Nico Muhly, and as Caramoor continues to work with composers the library
of pieces will grow. When in“C” is in its education mode, a MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital
Interface) keyboard enables visitors to make their own chime music, as the chimes respond to the
strikes on the keyboard.

Trimpin is an internationally acclaimed composer, musician, visual artist, and inventor, engaged
in commissions and exhibitions at venues around the world. “My work is an ongoing exploration
of the concepts of sound, vision, and movement,” he says, “experimenting with combinations that
will introduce our senses of perception to a totally new experience.” A MacArthur Foundation
“Genius” Award recipient and a Guggenheim Fellow, Trimpin has been commissioned by Lincoln
Center, San Francisco’s Exploratorium, Merce Cunningham Dance Company, and Seattle
Symphony, among others.

Annea Lockwood & Bob Bielecki: Wild Energy (2014)
Annea Lockwood and Bob Bielecki’s Wild Energy takes visitors on a fantastical tour of sounds
that normally occur outside the range of human hearing, beginning with solar oscillations
recorded by the SOHO spacecraft, sped up 42,000 times, and ending with ultrasound recorded
from the interior of a Scots pine tree, slowed down ten times. As the creators describe the piece:

“Wild Energy gives access to the inaudible – vibrations in the ultra and infra ranges emanating
from sources which affect us fundamentally, but which are beyond our audio perception, many of
which are creating our planet’s environment: the sun, the troposphere and ionosphere, the
earth’s crust and core, the oxygen-generating trees. … A generating image for the piece is of
Caramoor’s trees funneling these energies into the oxygen we breathe as we walk near them or lie
under them.”

Born in New Zealand in 1939 and living in the US since 1973, Annea Lockwood is known for her
explorations of the rich world of natural acoustic sounds and environments, in works ranging
from sound art and installations, through text-sound and performance art, to concert music (see
also under Piano Garden below). Bob Bielecki has worked in the media arts field for more than
forty years, creating unique instruments and sound designs for installation and performance. He
is known for his innovative use of technology to develop distinctive electronic effects and
environments and is engaged in ongoing research in psychoacoustics, sound localization, and 3-D

Ranjit Bhatnagar: Stone Song (2014)
Stone Song, a meditation on time and change that was originally hosted by the Neuberger
Museum of Art of Purchase College, SUNY, and moved to Caramoor in 2015, was designed in
collaboration with Hilary Martin, Akira Inman and Evan Oxland. Bhatnagar says:

“When I look at an old stone wall, I think about how the seemingly solid form has shifted and
settled over time, through weathering and the erosion and compression of the soil. In order to
explore this process through sound, Stone Song is laced with pressure sensors and strain gauges,
and sensors for humidity, temperature, and barometric pressure. All this information feeds into a
drone synthesizer, whose fundamental tones shift slowly over the months as the stones settle.
Daily weather and seasonal changes will produce smaller, shorter-term changes in the stones’
song, as will the weight of visitors who stop to sit on it and listen.”

Ranjit Bhatnagar discovered sound art around age 14, listening to weird late-night programs on
KPFA. He now works with interactive and sound installations, with scanner photography, and
with internet-based collaborative art. Recent works have been exhibited at the Lawrence Hall of
Science in Berkeley, the Parc d’aventures scientifiques in Belgium, Flux Factory in Queens, in the
Artbots series at Eyebeam Atelier and the Pratt Institute in New York, and the Mermaid Show at
the Williamsburg Art and Historical Center in Brooklyn.

Taylor Deupree: t(ch)ime (2017)
t(ch)ime is a site-specific sound installation on a quiet path under the trees on Caramoor’s
grounds, an otherworldly addition to a familiar environment. The sole sound source of the piece is
a collection of bell chimes that have been manipulated through increasing layers of digital
processing, so that the sound evolves as one walks down the path. Thus, the human element – that
is to say, the physical experience of hearing chimes activated by wind in natural surroundings – is
combined with a gentle digital manipulation that calls attention to the acoustic properties of the
materials from which the chimes are made. The effect is a small temporal oasis of fragile and
reflective sound, in which hearing becomes the listener’s most heightened sense.

Taylor Deupree is an accomplished sound artist whose recordings, rich with abstract
atmospherics, have appeared on numerous record labels, as well as in site-specific installations at
such institutions as the ICC (Tokyo, Japan) and the Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media
(Yamaguchi, Japan). His music today emphasizes a hybrid of natural sounds and technological
mediation. It’s marked by a deep attention to stillness, to an almost desperate near-silence.

Walter Kitundu: Nafasi Yako Ni Ya Kijani (Your Place is Green) (2017)
Nafasi Yako Ni Ya Kijani (Your Place is Green) centers on a handmade white oak rocking chair
that activates speakers suspended in nearby trees, with sounds that combine composed works,
field recordings, birdsong, and conversation. The piece is a meditation on absence, specifically
that of the artist’s late parents. Kitundu’s mother was an artist and deeply supportive of his
creative endeavors, and the bird recordings all come from the region in Tanzania where his late
father grew up. Many of the birdsongs are similar to Caramoor’s resident birds, and the
juxtaposition is intentional: the piece celebrates both what is left behind and what is carried
forward when loved ones are no longer present. Nafasi Yako Ni Ya Kijani (Your Place is Green) was
originally commissioned by Montalvo Arts Center.

Walter Kitundu creates kinetic sculptures and sonic installations, develops public works, and
builds (and performs on) extraordinary musical instruments, while studying and documenting
the natural world. He is the inventor of a family of Phonoharps, multi-stringed instruments made
from record players that rely on the turntable’s sensitivity to vibration. Kitundu has created
hand-built record players driven by the wind and rain, fire and earthquakes, birds, light, and the
force of ocean waves. In 2008 he received a prestigious MacArthur Fellowship in recognition of
his work and creative potential.

Annea Lockwood: Piano Garden (1969-70; 2021)
Piano Garden is one of four installations in a series entitled Piano Transplants. In each piece in
the series, Annea Lockwood positions a piano beyond repair in the natural world and invites the
elements to consume it. Audiences are welcome and encouraged to play the piano until
environmental forces make it dangerous or impossible to do so. The score for Piano Garden reads:
“Dig a sloping trench and slip an upright piano in sideways so that it is half interred. A small grand
piano may be set down amongst bushes etc. Plant fast-growing trees and creepers around the
pianos. Do not protect against weather and leave the pianos there forever.” This installation of
Piano Garden is presented in collaboration with ISSUE Project Room, which honored the artist in
2021 with a global staging of Piano Transplants.

Annea Lockwood is known for her explorations of the rich world of natural acoustic sounds and
environments. Her sound installation A Sound Map of the Danube has been presented in Germany,
Austria, and the U.S. Other recent projects include Ceci n’est pas un piano, for piano, video, and
electronics, commissioned by Jennifer Hymer; Jitterbug, commissioned by the Merce Cunningham
Dance Company, a six-channel soundscape with two improvising musicians; and In Our Name, a
collaboration with Thomas Buckner based on poems by prisoners in Guantánamo. Her music has
been issued on CD and online on the Lovely Music, Ambitus, EM, XI, Rattle, Lorelt, and Pogus

Getting to Caramoor
Getting to Caramoor is simple by car or public transportation. All parking is free and close to the
performance areas. Handicapped parking is also free and readily available. By car from New
York City, take the Henry Hudson Parkway north to the Saw Mill River Parkway north to I-684
north to Exit 6. Go east on Route 35 to the traffic light (0.3 miles). Turn right onto Route 22 south,
and travel 1.9 miles to the junction of Girdle Ridge Road where there is a green Caramoor sign. At
the junction, veer left and make a quick right onto Girdle Ridge Road. Continue on Girdle Ridge
Road 0.5 miles to the Caramoor gates on the right. Approximate drive time is one hour. By train
from Grand Central Station, take the Harlem Division Line of the Metro-North Railroad heading
to Southeast, and exit at Katonah. Caramoor is a 3.5-mile drive from the Katonah station.

A FREE shuttle from Metro North’s Katonah station to and from Caramoor runs before and
after every afternoon and evening concert, beginning June 9 for the “Soundscapes” event.

About Caramoor
Caramoor is a cultural arts destination located on a unique 80-plus-acre estate with Italianate
architecture and gardens in Northern Westchester County, NY. Its beautiful grounds include the
historic Rosen House, a stunning mansion listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Besides enriching the lives of its audiences through innovative and diverse musical performances
of the highest quality, Caramoor mentors young professional musicians and provides
music-centered educational programs for young children.

Click here to download high-resolution photos, and here to download Caramoor’s summer


“Soundscapes” Schedule

Sunday, June 9
Caramoor Grounds

Majel Connery, vocalist & keyboard with Felix Fan, cello
Darian Donovan Thomas, violin with Kalia Vandever, trombone, and Mike Haldeman, guitar
Rob Schwimmer, theremin
Dorit Chrysler, speaker

Tapestry Hedge
Safe Space installation by Darian Donovan Thomas

Friends Field

Friends Field
Rob Schwimmer: Theremin demonstration & performance

Audience invited to explore the 2024 Sonic Innovations sound art exhibition throughout the
grounds. Artists may be encountered near their respective works during this time.

Sunken Garden
Majel Connery & Felix Fan performance

Spanish Courtyard
Theremin Workshop with the NY Theremin Society

Friends Field
Darian Donovan Thomas, Kalia Vandever, Mike Haldeman performance

Music Room
Lecture: When Lucie Rosen met Theremin: Discovering Caramoor’s Archives with Dorit Chrysler

#     #     #

Caramoor is proud to be a
grantee of ArtsWestchester with
funding made possible by
Westchester County
government with the support of
County Executive George

The Summer Season is made possible by the
New York State Council on the Arts with the
support of the Office of the Governor and the New
York State Legislature.

© 21C Media Group, May 2024

21C Media Group
200 West 57th Street, Suite 602
New York, NY 10019



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