"Mediums" relates to the theme of Culture and Sustainability in a number of ways. The work directly encourages performers to interact with non-traditional musical spaces, including urban and natural settings. These interactions yield compelling musical materials crafted in an effort to interact with and ornament traditionally "non-musical" sounds. In recycling these sonic objects through the vocoder-based system designed for the piece, performers and audiences alike are encouraged to find new value in their sonic environments and the way they interact with them.
In the spring of 2015 I traveled with the members of Yarn/Wire to several different locations across New York City. In each location performers (Laura Barger and Ning Yu) used a keyboard and vocoder-based system to explore, filter, and otherwise interact with the resonant qualities of their spaces. The pitches of the vocoder were determined by the resonant qualities of the spaces the performers inhabited. These performances were recorded and filmed and would later be orchestrated out to members of the ensemble in live performance.
The title, "Mediums", refers in one instance to media itself and the process of transcription, which played a significant role in the creation of the piece. It also refers to the practice of Mediumship, in which individuals known as "mediums" purport to moderate communication between the living and the spirits of the dead.
"Mediums" was composed for and performed by Yarn/Wire: Ian Antonio and Russell Greenberg, percussion; Laura Barger and Ning Yu, pianos, and was produced for the project Yarn/Wire/Currents which explores the intersections of composition, technology, installation, live performance, and music theater.
David Bird is a composer and multi-media artist based in New York City. His work explores the dramatic potential of electroacoustic and mixed media environments, often highlighting the relationships between technology and the individual. His work has been performed internationally, at venues and festivals such as the MATA festival in New York City; the Gaudeamus Festival in Utrecht, Netherlands; the Wien Modern Festival in Vienna, Austria; the SPOR festival in Aarhus, Denmark; the IRCAM Manifeste Festival in Paris, France; the Festival Mixtur in Barcelona, Spain. He has composed and collaborated with groups like the Ensemble Intercontemporain, the Jack Quartet, the Bozzini Quartet, Yarn/Wire, the Talea Ensemble, Mantra Percussion, the Mivos Quartet, the Austrian Ensemble for Contemporary Music (OENM), AUDITIVVOKAL Dresden, Ensemble Proton Bern, Loadbang, the TAK Ensemble, andPlay, and the Nouveau Classical Project.
He is a founding member of the New York-based chamber ensemble TAK, and an artistic-director with Qubit New Music, a non-profit group that curates and produces experimental music events in New York City.
Mediums is a standalone video piece, it can be programmed on a concert situation as a pre-recorded video with stereo playback, or on loop in an installation format.
“Mediums” is copyright work of composer David Bird