“Speak Out — Berkeley Sonic Prayer Flags”
© 2020 Multichannel Sound Installation
Inspired by Berkeley’s rich history as chronicled in archival recordings from KPFA and the Pacifica Radio Archives, “Berkeley Sonic Prayer Flags” is an eight-channel sound installation featuring an eclectic mix of audio clips from the past and present. From intimate interviews and personal performances to gatherings of celebration and protest, these sound elements span a range of over 70 years including voices from the 1940s peace movement and the 1960s free speech era. This piece invites listeners to witness the sounds of the poetry, music, progressive voices, radical thinking, and activism that makes Berkeley what it is today.
This piece is dedicated to Erik Bauersfeld who served as the Director of KPFA’s Drama and Literature Department for over 30 years and who mentored scores of sound artists with his love, knowledge and appreciation of the arts.
Commissioned by the Civic Arts Commission of the City of Berkeley.
Histories of the Present is a multichannel site specific sound installation featuring field recordings from Berkeley’s urban, industrial, and natural environments interwoven with recorded multilingual texts sourced from the City of Berkeley’s municipal codes. The collage of recordings is digitally processed and synthesized to create a harmonic composition which moves through the plaza space. The installation is a meditation on the contingent relationships between the array of human activity taking place in Berkeley and the area’s ecological systems.
Maggi Payne is Co-Director (since 1992) of the Center for Contemporary Music at Mills College, Oakland, CA, where she teaches recording engineering, composition, and electronic music. She also freelances as a recording engineer and editor and a historical remastering engineer.
Her electroacoustic works often include visual elements which she creates, including video, dance, transparencies, and film. She enjoys collaborating with other artists and has worked with video artist Ed Tannenbaum for over twenty years. She is also a flutist, and has written several works for flute as well as other acoustic instruments.
"Immersion-Bay Area Soundscape"
Running from July 18 through October 17, 2019, the downtown BART plaza will feature a new immersive sound installation called “Immersion—Bay Area Soundscape” is a discrete eight-channel installation using sounds of nature the artist recorded in the Bay Area over many years. The sonic environment this work creates is reminiscent of sounds that once likely existed in this very location—windstorms, thunder, rain, streams, a seashore, underwater sounds, frogs, crickets, and birds. “Immersion” follows water from storm to creek and ocean portraying nature’s water cycle, which is so critical to the life of this planet. Sounds travel both laterally and through the four pairs of speakers, providing an immersive experience for people standing still or traversing the space.
Edmund Campion has been active as a composer, performing artist, software developer, collaborating artist, sound artist, and educator for over 25 years. He is a Professor of Music at the University of California, Berkeley, and is the Director at the Center for New Music and Audio Technologies (www.cnmat.berkeley.edu). Campion has received major recognition for his work and has been commissioned by leading ensembles in the world. His major solo performing career began in 1996 with a commission from IRCAM at the Pompidou Center in Paris where he developed the first version of NatSel, a computer/piano hybrid instrument that he has continued to develop through the decades. In 2015, he was co-commissioned with video artist/composer Kurt Hentschläger for a 25-minute work the Ensemble Intercontemporain. In 2016, Campion received a commission from the Gugak Orchestra in Korea to compose a piece for a full orchestra of ancient Korean instruments. With a 2016 Guggenheim Fellowship, he was able to travel to Korea to study the traditional Korean instruments with the world-class musicians of the orchestra. The piece is being reprised this coming Fall at the National Gugak Center in Seoul and will be recorded for CD
The work includes singing voices from the University Chamber Choruses at UC Berkeley, led by the Director of Choral Programs, Wei Cheng. Steve Adams provided the saxophone fragments and Jeremy Wagner, from the Center for New Music and Audio Technologies (CNMAT), assisted with recording and spatial audio mixing
"Berkeley Rain" 2019
Running from April 18 through July 17, 2019, the downtown BART plaza will feature a new immersive sound installation called "Berkeley Rain" by composer and sound artist Edmund J. Campion. “Berkeley Rain” is a site specific music composition and sound installation created for the Berkeley BART Plaza. It is a timepiece, not for telling time, but one whose mysterious sonic repetitions express a continual and immersive now. Inspired by the unifying effects of rain and resonance, the sounds drip and pulse as they spatially accompany each passer-by. This audio soundscape is thirty minutes long and repeats on the hour and half hour.
The soundscape, ‘The City The Block’ A Village Amongst Us…, represents and reflects the diverse culture and history of the City of Berkeley, and our Nation; while enhancing the BART PLAZA experience, with multi-layered tableaus of sound, emanating in and out, and from all around.
Throughout his lifetime, Robinson has personally experienced the City of Berkeley’s rich and diverse history and culture.
Our young and old; our mothers and fathers, sister and brothers; and fellow earthly citizens; from all backgrounds and cultures, can sit, eat, relax, stroll, and imagine what life was, what it is, and hopefully what it will be while listening to this soundscape on the BART Plaza beginning on January 18, 2019.
"I’m proud and privileged to be one of the artists selected to create and share my vision of history, culture, hope and inspiration." – Greg Robinson
‘The City The Block’ A Village Amongst Us… (2018)
represents and reflects the diverse culture and history of the City of Berkeley, and our Nation...
Theatre Sound Compilation…
a representation of Gregory's work
Through the generosity of the City of Berkeley and the Civic Arts Commission the Plaza is excited to feature Home by local sculptor Michael Christian. Home was selected by the Civic Arts Commission and will be on display on the plaza for one year.
Michael Christian has lived and worked in the San Francisco Bay Area since the summer of 1995 and has been in his current studio, Xian Productions in Berkeley, for the past 11 years. Some of Michael’s work have found permanent homes in the Bay Area as well as abroad.
“I’m inspired by the genius of nature and build things that make me smile. I attempt to use the simplest language and smallest words possible. I build large fun and playful sculptures.” – Michael Christian
The City of Berkeley and the Civic Arts Commission the Plaza is excited to feature a sound installation called Flow In Place by local composer Chris Brown. Chris’s original piece is the first sound art installation commissioned by the Civic Arts Commission for the new sound poles located on the plaza. Chris’s installation will run for two months. Check the schedule for run times.
Chris Brown is a composer, pianist and electronic musician. He makes music with self-designed sonic systems that include acoustic and electroacoustic instruments, interactive software, computer networks, microtonal tunings, and improvisation. His compositions are designs for performances in which people bring to life the musical structures embedded in scores, instruments, and machines. Chris is a founding member of The HUB, the pioneering network music ensemble and was Co-Director of the Center for Contemporary Music (CCM) at Mills College in Oakland, California from 1990-2018. http://www.cbmuse.com
“Collaboration and improvisation are consistent themes in my work, along with the invention and performance of new electronic instruments and software.” – Chris Brown
Flow In Place (2018)
Chris’s sound installation for the Berkeley BART plaza suggests conversations between distant places, environments, people, rituals, and parties on a global scale. The plaza’s eight sound poles create a sonic corridor through which excerpts of stereophonic recordings of outdoor music performances and natural sounds from Cuba, Bali, India, and the U.S. move in a free-flowing collage to accompany the movement of pedestrians to and from the BART station. Polyrhythms from many cultures and places merge together, interpreting everyday movement as dance.
Check out more examples of his work below with "Imaginary Birds" and "The Thorn".
Imaginary Birds (2008)
Piano solo, or piano, cello, and percussion, with interactive computer; based on Olivier Messiaen’s Oiseaux Exotiques.
The Thorn (2017)
Recorded excerpt from live performance at the De Young Museum in San Francisco, 11.18.2018; with Chris Brown, keyboard and electronics, and William Winant, percussion.