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Contact: Andrew R. Chatfield, Press & Marketing Manager
Center for the Arts, Wesleyan University
283 Washington Terrace
Middletown, CT 06459-0442
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Wesleyan University's Center for the Arts and Green Street Arts Center present
MiddletownRemix: Hear More, See More – A Festival of Art and Sound
Saturday, May 11 from 2pm to 5pm
Festival to celebrate the city’s acoustic identity, and feature four world premieres of works commissioned for the festival, three live DJ sets, two art/sound installations, a laptop orchestra, a flash mob dance, food trucks, and gallery walk.
Middletown, Conn.— Wesleyan University’s Center for the Arts and Green Street Arts Center and community partners (see full list below) will present MiddletownRemix: Hear More, See More – A Festival of Art and Sound on Saturday, May 11, 2013 from 2pm to 5pm along Main Street in the North End neighborhood of Middletown. After a year of exploring, sharing, and remixing the sounds of Middletown on the MiddletownRemix website (www.middletownremix.org), the festival will celebrate the city's acoustic identity, and will feature live sets by DJ Arun Ranganathan and Wesleyan student DJs; the world premiere of the sound installation "Lighthouse, beside the point" by Wesleyan University Professor of Music Ronald Kuivila; the world premiere of "MTRX" (2012) by Jason Freeman of UrbanRemix performed by Wesleyan's Toneburst Laptop & Electronic Arts Ensemble, directed by Assistant Professor of Music Paula Matthusen; and a recreation of David Tudor's "Rainforest IV" (1973).
The festival will also feature a commissioned flash mob dance, choreographed by Wesleyan student Kelsey Siegel '13 to a hip-hop soundtrack created by DJ Arun Ranganathan, incorporating sounds from MiddletownRemix, at 2:30pm in front of It’s Only Natural Market at 575 Main Street. The flash mob dance will be made available though YouTube (www.youtube.com/wescfa), and is open to all levels of dancers. The general public is invited to learn the dance and perform it as part of the flash mob at 2:30pm on May 11.
The festival will also include a North End Gallery Walk; and commissioned art/sound installations: "Camera Obscura," a temporary 16' X 8' “camera,” by photographer and filmmaker Joe McCarthy and woodcut artist, bookbinder, papermaker, and muralist Peter Albano; and "Projected World Experience," a temporary, site-specific installation with multiple projectors, mirrors and speakers, by Marc Pettersen in collaboration with animation artist Cheryl Elliott and DJ and video artist Matt Weston. Food trucks featuring cupcakes from NoRA’s Cupcake Company, grilled cheese from The Whey Station, tacos from Lucky Taco, and seafood from High Tide Gourmet will be located in the parking lot of the Green Street Arts Center at 51 Green Street during the festival.
Please see below for more information about the MiddletownRemix project, and the festival commissions, gallery exhibitions, and recreation of David Tudor's "Rainforest IV" (1973). The festival will take place rain or shine. Program and artists subject to change without notice.
"MiddletownRemix: Hear More, See More – A Festival of Art and Sound" is presented by Wesleyan University's Center for the Arts and Green Street Arts Center. The festival is made possible with support from the Connecticut Office of the Arts, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the Middletown Commission on the Arts; and in partnership with the City of Middletown, Middletown Public Schools, WESU 88.1FM, Community Health Center of Middletown, It's Only Natural Market, MAC 650 Gallery, Middletown Framing, North End Action Team, NoRA Cupcake Company, and The Buttonwood Tree Performing Arts & Cultural Center. The festival is also a part of the year-long campus and community-wide exploration “Music & Public Life.” Please see below for more details about “Music & Public Life.”
MiddletownRemix is a collaborative, place-based sound project that enables people to develop and express the acoustic identity of greater Middletown. In so doing, participants understand more about themselves, their neighbors and where they live. The goal is to create works of art that express the essence, breadth and depth of greater Middletown using a database of sounds. MiddletownRemix is a project powered by UrbanRemix, a program hosted by professors at the Georgia Institute of Technology that combines location-based cell phone technology, a database, and a web application to explore, share and remix the sounds of Middletown. The general public is invited to capture and contribute sounds from Wesleyan and Middletown using the free UrbanRemix app for iPhone/iOS and Android devices, available at www.middletownremix.org, and then to remix the sounds. The MiddletownRemix project exists on the internet, on the radio at WESU 88.1FM, and in events, performances and installations that have occurred in greater Middletown throughout the 2012-2013 academic year.
For more information about MiddletownRemix, please visit http://www.middletownremix.org.
About the Commissions
Numerous artists have been commissioned to create new works for the festival, ranging from DJ remixes and a flash mob dance to art/sound installations and a piece for laptop orchestra:
- A 30-minute remix based on the sounds of MiddletownRemix by DJ Arun Ranganathan of Middletown will be performed live at both 2pm and 4pm on the main sound stage outside of It’s Only Natural Market at 575 Main Street, interspersed with remixes by Wesleyan student DJs.
- A flash mob dance, choreographed by Wesleyan student Kelsey Siegel '13 to a hip-hop soundtrack created by DJ Arun Ranganathan incorporating sounds from MiddletownRemix, will be performed at 2:30pm in front of It’s Only Natural Market at 575 Main Street. Ms. Siegel will teach the dance in advance to students at the Green Street Arts Center, MacDonough Elementary School, Moody Elementary School, the Middlesex County Y.M.C.A., and Wesleyan University. The flash mob dance will also be made available though YouTube (www.youtube.com/wescfa), and is open to all levels of dancers. The general public is invited to learn the dance and perform it as part of the flash mob at 2:30pm on May 11.
- Wesleyan University's Toneburst Laptop & Electronic Arts Ensemble, directed by Assistant Professsor of Music Paula Matthusen, will perform the world premiere of "MTRX" (2012) by Jason Freeman of UrbanRemix at 2pm, 3pm and 4pm at the Green Street Arts Center at 51 Green Street. The work uses a text-based performance interface to create, share and transform rhythmic motives built from a collection of sounds recorded as part of MiddletownRemix. Mr. Freeman is an Associate Professor of Music in the College of Architecture at Georgia Tech. As a composer and computer musician, Mr. Freeman uses technology to create collaborative musical experiences in live concert performances and in online musical environments, utilizing his research in mobile music, dynamic music notation, and networked music to develop new interfaces for collaborative creativity. His music has been presented at major festivals and venues, including the Adrienne Arsht Center, Miami; Carnegie Hall and the Lincoln Center Festival, New York; Transmediale, Berlin; and Sonar, Barcelona; and it has been covered in the New York Times, on National Public Radio, and in Wired and Billboard. Mr. Freeman received his B.A. in Music from Yale University, and his M.A. and D.M.A. in Composition from Columbia University. For more information about Mr. Freeman, please visit http://distributedmusic.gatech.edu/jason/.
- "Lighthouse, beside the point," a world premiere sound installation by Wesleyan University Professor of Music Ronald Kuivila, will be located in the beautiful glass pavilion atop the Community Health Center at 675 Main Street. Mr. Kuivila describes the work as follows: "Coastlines, rivers, doorways, hallways, stone fences—all such boundaries seem to hold a certain fascination as things to behold, and as structures through which to behold. The ocean with the coast in view seems less disturbing than without land in sight. But the boundaries of attention are only revealed at the moment of their disappearance. 'Lighthouse' sets out to create such moments: telephones ring, but their messages can only be fully heard with an ear and an eye on the outside world. Audible sound is diffused on narrow beams of ultrasound throughout the rooftop pavilion creating a purely sonic geography that further gesture to the sites that lie beyond the pavilion. And occasionally those sites gain voice engulfing the shelter of the pavilion in sound." Mr. Kuivila graduated from Wesleyan with a B.A. in Music and Mathematics in 1977, and an M.F.A. from Mills College in 1979. Since that time, he has presented work throughout North America and Europe in traditional contexts such as MASS MoCA, the Musical Instrument Museum, Berlin, and the Walker Arts Center; and unconventional contexts such as a bridge crossing the Rhine river in Cologne, Germany; a tunnel extending into a hillside in Graz, Austria; and the Piazza Poggi in Florence, Italy.
- "Camera Obscura," a temporary 16' X 8' “camera,” will be installed on the corner of Main Street and Grand Street by Middletown residents Joe McCarthy and Peter Albano. The environment created inside the installation will "recompose" the sights and sounds of the festival, simplifying the sights and expanding the sounds. The design of the installation is meant to leave viewers with the notion that their perspective of the world is powerfully influenced by the lens through which they choose to view it. A native of Bristol, Mr. Albano graduated from the Hartford Art School. He has spent time in Tuscany, Orlando, and Newport, Rhode Island; and currently works out of his studio in Hartford. Mr. McCarthy attended both the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and the New York Film Academy in Los Angeles. In his photographic pursuits, he uses the element of time to aid in either narrative or documentary storytelling, and has brought a new fascination of map-making to his most recent bodies of work. He has opened gallery shows and shown films in the United States and in Europe. For more information about Mr. McCarthy, please visit www.joe-mccarthy.com.
- "Projected World Experience," a temporary, site-specific installation, will be created in the alleyway between 484 and 500 Main Street by Middletown resident Marc Pettersen, in conjunction with animation artist Cheryl Elliott, and DJ and video artist Matt Weston. With multiple projectors, mirrors and speakers, the viewer will be immersed from all sides with video, animation and MiddletownRemix sounds. A native of Higganum, Mr. Pettersen currently Iives in the MAC650 Artist Cooperative in the North End of Middletown. After obtaining a B.F.A. degree from the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan, he moved to California for nearly a decade. Mr. Pettersen is a recipient of an artist grant from the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development’s Placemaking Initiative. He also teaches animation part time at the Green Street Arts Center.
About David Tudor's "Rainforest IV" (1973)
David Tudor's "Rainforest IV" (1973) will be reconstructed by Wesleyan University music students inside of 635 Main Street. Wesleyan University Professor of Music Ronald Kuivila described "Rainforest" as follows: "Musical instruments produce sounds of extraordinary beauty specific to the instrument. A bassoon does not sound like a piccolo. Why shouldn't there be loudspeakers that do the same? That image of a chorus of loudspeakers prized for the differences in their sound is the germinal idea underlying the series of live electronic pieces collectively entitled 'Rainforest.' The fourth version is intended to be presented as an immersive environment filled with found objects transformed into loudspeakers. Mr. Tudor described the musical goal of this work as creating a 'tuned space' where each and every object speaks and listeners are free to walk amongst them." Mr. Tudor, who became an Associate of the American Guild of Organists at the age of sixteen, was closely associated with vanguard composers of the mid-20th century such as Stefan Wolpe, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Morton Feldman, Christian Wolff, and Earle Brown. Pieces were written for him by composers ranging from Sylvano Bussotti to Yoko Ono to LaMonte Young. But he is probably best known for his long-standing musical partnership with John Cage. "Rainforest IV" grew out of a workshop held in the summer course "New Music in New Hampshire" organized by Petr Kotik. Mr. Tudor always took pains to credit the work as a collaboration with the students in that workshop. Many went on to form the new music collective Composers Inside Electronics, including Paul de Marinis, John Driscoll, Phil Edlestein, Ralph Jones, Martin Kalve, Linda Fisher, and, of course, David Tudor.
About the Exhibitions
The festival will include a special North End Gallery Walk, with participating exhibitions at MAC 650 Gallery, the Green Street Arts Center, the Buttonwood Tree Performing Arts & Cultural Center, and Middletown Framing. Each location will display artworks related to the themes of Middletown and sound:
- “Hear More, See More Photography Exhibition” at the MAC 650 Gallery at 650 Main Street. Curated by Carolyn Reeves, President of the MAC 650 Artist Coop, the exhibition is a photographic tribute to Middletown, Connecticut that will feature photographs from novices to professionals, and will show a variety of angles of the city.
- The Green Street Arts Center and the Project to Increase Mastery of Mathematics and Science are currently exploring the intersections of art, math and science through their After School Program. In their MiddletownRemix class this spring, students in grades 6 through 8 have collected sounds from around Green Street—sounds of their hip hop dancing classmates, sounds of the school buses driving by, sounds of the traditional and non-traditional instruments played around the building, and more. They have learned about how sound works, and have heard from a range of special guest speakers. The students have worked together to create a final compilation using their own sounds and others collected from around Middletown and the North End. Their final compositions will be on display during the festival at 51 Green Street. The Green Street Solstice (which begins on Friday, May 10) will also be taking place during the festival, celebrating student work from the After School Program.
About "Music & Public Life"
Today, the private and public worlds of music often overlap and intersect in virtual networks, community musicking, and public policy. During the current academic year, Wesleyan University has been celebrating and studying the sounds, words, and spirit of music in public at the local, national, and transnational levels through concerts, workshops, gatherings, and courses, all designed to cross disciplines and engage the campus and Greater Middletown communities.
Upcoming “Music & Public Life” events this spring include the Indonesian Performing Arts & Public Life Symposium (April 25-27, 2013) including University of California Santa Cruz Professor of Theatre Arts Kathy Foley, Yale University Associate Professor of Ethnomusicology Sarah Weiss, and Wesleyan University Professor of Music Sumarsam, Artist in Residence I.M. Harjito, and Professor of Theater Ronald Jenkins.
“Music & Public Life” is supported by grants from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the New England Foundation for the Arts, and is co-sponsored by the Allbritton Center for the Study of Public Life, the American Studies Department, the Center for African American Studies, the Center for the Arts, the College of the Environment, Iguanas Ranas Restaurant, the Middletown House Concert Series, the Music Department’s George Jackson Fund, the Office of Academic Affairs, the Office of the Dean of the Arts and Humanities, the Office of the Dean of Social Sciences and Interdisciplinary Programs, the Shasha Seminar for Human Concerns, and the Wesleyan Writing Programs.
For more information about “Music & Public Life,” please visit www.wesleyan.edu/mpl.
About the Center for the Arts
Wesleyan University’s Center for the Arts is an eleven-building complex on the Wesleyan campus that houses the departments of Art and Art History, Dance, Film Studies, Music, and Theater. Opened in 1973, the CFA serves as a cultural center for the region, the state and New England. The Center includes the 400-seat Theater, the 260-seat Hall, the World Music Hall (a non-Western performance space), the 414-seat Crowell Concert Hall and the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery.
Crowell Concert Hall and the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery. The Center for the Arts gratefully acknowledges the support of its many generous funders and collaborators, including the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Middletown Commission on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, the New England Foundation for the Arts, the State of Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development’s Office of the Arts, as well as media sponsors the Hartford and New Haven Advocates, ShorePublishing, WESU 88.1FM, and WNPR.
For more information about Center for the Arts, please call (860) 685-3355, or visit http://www.wesleyan.edu/cfa.
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