Sunday, May 8, 2016
This is a radio performance of soundscapes layered upon soundscapes from Jackson Park and 63rd St Beach, time folded in on itself with echoes of Ida B. Wells writings on the absence of the black body at this site mixed with recordings from Lou Harrison, Artistic Heritage Ensemble, Exploding Star Orchestra, Robert AA Lowe, Anthony Braxton and Josh Abrams. My expectation is that this piece gives us the space to contemplate and meditate on our own presence.
Jackson Park was an integral part of the World's Columbian Exposition in 1893. Ida B. Wells published “THE REASON WHY The Colored American is not in the World's Columbian Exposition. The Afro-American's Contribution to Columbian Literature”
This pamphlet protests the absence of African-Americans at the fair and also protests the booming prison industrial complex and lynching of black men all across America. She also highlights the progress of African Americans since the emancipation as equally important and intertwined with the progress of America. Recently, there has been an effort to restore the dune ecology at the 63rd Street beach, and the restoration of the Wooded Isle. Jackson Park and the beach is also an active hub for recreation and cultural activity in the community. I have been recording a diverse body of programmatic, architectural and ecological spaces that comprise Jackson Park. The Rebuild Foundation is a key factor in the cultural, architectural and urban restoration of the communities surrounding Jackson Park. These programs and site offers us a re-presencing in the face of an abscencing of the black body due to violence, corrupt criminal justice system and the prison industrial complex.
Saturday, March 26, 2016
This is a compilation of synth improvisations played with field recordings I've made from Hyde Park 2010-2012. I'm exploring performance set ups where I do not need to work from my laptop during performances. I'd like to step away from using my laptop temporarily for artistic, financial and security reasons.
I've been exploring analog synthesizers and improvising with them since January of this year. Last year I was able to buy a Korg LittleBits synth kit from a radio shack that was going out of business. My initial interest was exploring ways I can incorporate this kit in installations with its clicks, drones and rhythms. My inspiration for these installations center around the work of Rolf Julius and African and Afro Caribbean Altars.
Time passed and I didn't have a studio space anymore so I shelved that idea. However I was still listening and thinking about how I wanted my work to sound. An important thing to think about! I was not happy with how I was manipulating my samples on my computer. I wasn't able to use the midi controllers the way I wanted in a live situation and when I did i wasn't happy with the range of sounds I was getting from my mangled samples. So I experimented with my synth kit and found that the synths were easier and more fun to control and improvise with my field recording samples.
At this point I should probably shed some light on the "in to the breaks" quote and how it fits in with my interest in dub processing and black subjectivity. The key term in the above quote is slippage. You're between nodes of time standing still and moving ahead. Slipping between being on beat or off. I have used the sounds and processes of both dub and the many glitch genres that have popped up in art and music as a point of departure from the idea of slipping in to the breaks.
But what about black subjectivity? Is my work about race? As far as black subjectivity goes, I think there is a slippage between an awareness of self and DuBois' double consciousness. The uses of echo, delay and other technology by reggae producers like King Tubby exemplify this idea that consciousness, identity and memory are fluid and synchronic. Bringing this back to my work. My field recordings (and sound walks) can be seen as performances that are then remixed and re-presented. Meaning that there is no fixed way of representing those actions. More on this later.
One more thing. Is my work about race? Not all the time but I have to be conscious of place, memory and identity and how that affects race, gender and sexuality as I have to work with others who may not be like myself. More on this later.
For these sessions, I used arturia's microbrute analog synth, korg little bits synth kit, korg monotron delay, sony pcm m-10 and a behringer eurorack 602A mixer
Monday, March 14, 2016
'scapes from normanwlong on Vimeo.
‘scapes incorporates the sound and cultural landscape of the West Loop and Union Park in Chicago to present an improvised experience and installation. I am making strange the very familiar via process field recording, sound-walks, mapping, and audio/visual processing. By incorporating glitch and dub technology into my objects, video, and sound components sourced from the area, I am “versioning” the West Loop, offering an alternate way of moving through personal and public space.
spectroscape from normanwlong on Vimeo.
Video from spectroscope that reads chemicals in the air, sound is sourced from reader that converts spectra to sound.
Mapping , 2015
Glitched maps of Norman’s studio and the surrounding neighborhood
Friday, October 2, 2015
Monday, August 31, 2015
Chicago Humanities Festival
Wednesday, December 9 | 6-7 PM
The Arts Club of Chicago
201 E Ontario St | Chicago, IL | 60611
Students and Teachers: $5
I am humbled an honored to be included in this program and festival.
Please stop by if you can.
Thank you for listening.
Sunday, August 23, 2015
Thanks to Edra Soto of the Franklin for inviting me to lead a sound walk of her neighborhood. The sound walk was paired with the opening reception for Hardcore Architecture by Mark Fisher. We started with a walk around the block and ended the program with a walk to Garfield Park lagoons. These walks basically focus on listening as a way of learning about your community. We focus on the sound we make and the sounds that are made and how they define a community and differ from space to space but make up a more diverse soundscape than what we would notice if we were not mindful of what we are hearing.
photos by Victoria Sky