Echoes and Reflections is a series of 9 sound works created by Juliana Venter, Iti, Natasha Barrett, Sharon Phelan, Dorit Crysler, Aurélie Ferrière, Rob Brinkworth, Nora van Tonder, Victoria Keddie, Cobi van Tonder. These works bring a unique experience to listeners by combining virtual acoustic heritage sites with composition, whilst reflecting on the myth and meaning of Echo.
Everything about our consciousness seems to be a continuing process of mirroring - from language, behavior, empathy, sharing tweets and internet memes. Music is the most delightful mirroring of consciousness that ripples in our minds to continue its evolution. Music can also be the matter that crosses all boundaries between interior (body-mind) space and exterior world, which in turn is so beautifully mirrored in architecture with its play between exterior landscape or elements and interior closeness or safety.
This album starts with a conversation about echo: the myth of Echo a cursed nymph, who loses sovereignty over her voice so that she can no longer do anything but ‘repeat the last of what is spoken and return the words she hears. (Ovid, The Metamorphoses, book III, v (tr.A.S Kline). Athanasius Kircher, in Phonurgia Nova (1673), defined two meanings for echo—in the first case echo is—reflected (or repeated) voice. The second meaning as expressed in Latin is resonance. When wavelengths fit optimally into a space to vibrate the structure, create interference patterns 'seen' by the ear and body.
The 9 pieces in this album also reflect on current research in sonic archaeology and architectural heritage acoustic studies, that focus on acoustic measurements of heritage sites as well as a branch that extends into forensic acoustic simulations of ruins that no longer exist in the prior form. This fascinating work begs to be in conversation with audible experiences - to listen to heritage through contemporary, futuristic, poetic, and playful ways. To poke virtual acoustic spaces with whatever sounds we are curious to explore in complex and intuitive musical ways.
The artists have been invited to select or suggest sites (including imaginary sites), and their echoes as musical material. Working with sound and space through diverse approaches and combinations for example spectrally, by listening to the resonances and qualities of the reverberations of a space and developing sounds around this or driven by the mythology connected to a space (Venter, Chrysler). For some of the artists a direct approach capturing the space via field recordings (Barrett, Keddie and Brinkworth). For some the architectural form of a space becomes a graphic score. By bringing a musical tradition and instrumental practice into a space as a new juxtaposition (Iti, Nora). It can also be partly or completely abstract, philosophical or imaginary place (Ferrière, Phelan).