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Thinking With Your Ears

Sound is an all encompassing art form.

Sound is an all encompassing art form. “You only need those two holes in the sides of your head to participate,” says Bruce Odland, a sound artist, whose Hudson River work Hearing Space is now being shown at ArtsWestchester’s Gallery 9 in White Plains. “Hearing is a connective sense, with your ears always connected to the environment,” says the artist. “Unlike closing your eyes to go to sleep, your ears never close.”

So if you wander into Gallery 9, you can expect to be surrounded by sound composed by nature, with a little help from Odland, a musician, composer and listener.  You might say he actually has his ear to the ground.  Says Odland: “For a year I walked the interface of water and land between the Croton and Hudson Rivers where Croton Point and the extended shorelines play out a story of humans, infrastructure, nature, seasons, weather, land. I made audio recordings of the most intimate voices of nature, constructed instruments to be played by rain, snow, wind, tides, waters, ice and documented these recordings in video and still images. The result is an installation that drops the observer into a world of things we normally pass by without noticing, a deep and vibrating world of micro-nature, hidden voices, the life of the space around us when we truly listen.”

You may have an urge to know more about sound art, which Odland calls “thinking with his ears.” In fact, sound art at its most complex incorporates acoustics, psychoacoustics, electronics, noise music, audio media and technology. It’s far from simple. So, stop by ArtsWestchester and widen your senses, with art that’s essentially audible and breaks the sound barrier.

“Hearing Space” is on view through February 16, 2013, along with artist Paul Clay’s video and multi-media installation “Sketches and Memories,” as part of Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art’s Peekskill Project V. Gallery 9 is located on the 9th floor of ArtsWestchester, 31 Mamaroneck Avenue, White Plains. Exhibition hours: Mon-Fri, 10am-5pm, and Sat, 12-5pm. Please call in advance: 914-428-4220 ext. 306.

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