sounds

I am often carrying around digital and analog sound-capturing tools that I use like diaries or notepads. I collect mundane sounds I encounter throughout the day, as well as never-before-captured stories from elders about their lives. When developing the compositions linked below, I am often pulling from an archive of sounds collected over many different spans of time and throughout many different geographies. I collect sounds as a way of breathing. As a way of loving. 

When I set out to compose a sound piece, I aim to tell a new story or complicate an old story. Much of the process involves searching my own archive for sounds and textures.

2019

These compositions were recorded onto a cassette tape and played during a live performance reflecting on my family’s participation in The Great Migration from the South to the North for automotive jobs. During the performance at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, I played a synthesizer along with this composition that was connected to a sculpture containing speakers, seeds, soil and wood. The vibration from the sounds I played, caused seeds inside the sculpture to escape onto beds of soil atop the sculpture. In agriculture, the random spreading of seeds is called broadcasting. 

2018

These compositions were recorded onto a cassette tape and played during a live performance reflecting on the relationship between black music and ecology. During the performance at the Cranbrook Art Museum I played a synthesizer along with this composition that was connected to a sculpture containing speakers, seeds, soil and wood. The vibration from the sounds I played, caused seeds inside the sculpture to escape onto beds of soil atop the sculpture. In agriculture, the random spreading of seeds is called broadcasting. 

2017

This piece was commissioned for “Queer Tropics,” a group exhibition during Prospect New Orleans (P.4). Through headphones, listeners experienced the re-staging of a 19th century agricultural experiment utilizing experimental machinery to process ramie plants into cloth.

2016

This is a playful experiment and homage to Detroit techno. I utilized sounds collected on a cassette recorder during the month-long process of turning harvested stinging nettle into cloth to make a techno beat. Most sounds were collected at the Rouge River in Detroit while birds chirped, cars passed by, and my friend videotaped me harvesting nettle. Other sounds reflect the part of the process taking place inside my studio, where I use carders (special brushes for cleaning and combing fiber) to prepare the nettle for being spun into yarn.  

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