A Young Melville, Knee Deep, Cultivating Occasional, Brief, Clarity

After much miniature modeling of what the remainder of Brent's animation machine is going to look like we leave Troy NY and the loving machinery of EMPAC soon to head to Switzerland via NYC! Before going though, here is a bit about the beautiful sounds of experimental media I encountered while here....and something about ice cream! And whales!

The piece currently on display at EMPAC is a two part sound installation by CĂ©leste Boursier-Mougenot. The first part is made of two pianos that are wired to the computer network of the building, simultaneously playing scores that are created through the keystrokes of those typing within the space. The verdict is still out on whether you can tell what someone is typing based on the sounds but it is still an eerie thing to see as the keys jolt into music making action seemingly unprovoked in their own message making! The second part consists of three small pools of water filled with ceramic bowls and glasses. The water is slightly agitated making the bowls circle around the pool, hitting eachother as they pass. The sounds they make are intensely beautiful, like some kind of distant prayer bells calming you just by being in their presence. When my good friend Emily was visiting she seemed in complete awe upon seeing the piece, a soothing excitement in its simplicity, a sonic wave of fleeting song- awesome!

We ended our second to last night here in Troy with a trip to Snowman Ice Cream, yeah, it was beautiful in all it's throwback neon glory (above!)! As we ambled through the streets of Troy we ended up at the Hudson River where a shanty sign said "Herman Melville Park." My historical marker instincts kicked in turning around only to find Herman Melville's house! Where he wrote his first two novels! Like a magnet we were somehow drawn to this exact spot! All this is especially fitting being that Brent has a bit of a Melville obssession which you might have noticed in more than a few lines in Gravity....tomorrow is, sadly, our last day here and then we embark on our next adventure- full steam ahead!



Donna K. is a recent transplant to the Midwest where she can be found exploring culture at large through film programming, writing and her general interest in the world- both on and offline.