The IEA welcomed back Brett Sroka of Brooklyn, NY as our artist in residence over the week of March 30th. A composer, musician and sound artist for film, dance, installation who has released five records with his electro-acoustic jazz trio Ergo, and melodronoise duo Cherubim, Brett is an accomplished jazz musician, proficient with the trombone and an array of other instruments, as well as an electronic musician and Max/MSP composer.
The primary focus of Brett’s residency was a new project entitled Syllable from Sound, a participatory installation that integrates the voices of it’s visitors into a modular composition. Volunteers from the community were invited to speak into a mic Brett’s Max patch was processing live, sampling and distorting the sounds, and having this sound play from one of four speakers positioned in the room. When a new sound was introduced it would be sent to a different speaker in the room and, when all of the speakers filled, an newly introduced sound would push the previous sound down in priority and eventually out of the composition entirely. A constantly shifting audio space full of the fleeting history of those who have passed by is created, with the potential for participants to impact the work in the same fleeting manner.
Brett also performed his piece Sine Qua Non during his time at the IEA on Wednesday, April 1st. Developed at the IEA and Vilnius Academy of Art – Nida Art Colony in Lithuania, Sine Qua Non is an improvisational performance that transforms into a generative sound installation. It was premiered at Roulette in Brooklyn, NY in 2014, with pianist Carl Maguire and has been performed at other venues since then. For the performance at the IEA Brett was accompanied by Jeremiah Cymerman, a composer, clarinetist, producer and sound engineer who has been described as “an impenitent genre-breaker whose membership among today’s greats must be granted now” (Massimo Ricci, Touching Extremes). Brett and Jeremiah held a Q & A session after the performance and the installation component of Sine Qua Non was installed and ran in the Immersive Gallery space throughout the rest of Brett’s residency.
Below are images of Brett’s residency and a video of the Sine Qua Non performance.