[ISEA2016] Artists Statement: Lee Cheng — Musical Noice 2.0: City Ambient Sounds

Artists Statement

Musical  Performance in Public Space, 2016, 1:00’00’’

“Musical Noice – City Ambient Sounds” is a musical performance that captures the city’s ambient sounds as an artefact for textual building in the collaborative free improvisation by iLOrk, a laptop orchestra/ mobile device ensemble from the Hong Kong Institute of Education led by Dr. Lee Cheng. A collective of ambient sounds representing various cityscapes of this city will be recorded, which will then be magnified, distorted and/or synthesized to convert the meaningless signals to artefacts of this event. Values and meanings are therefore injected to the ambient sounds of the city, which are usually regarded as unwanted noise to the citizens. In this semi-structured and interactive performance, iLOrk members will collaboratively make music with ‘sonic trees’ – microphone and speaker stands that hanged with digital/electronic instruments and amplifiers – that surround the in-door and open space performance venue. Audiences are welcome to participate by responding to the city’s soundscape via interacting with those sonic trees. Art should be made to communicate ideas and values, and provide meanings to its audience. Musical performance as an art form should therefore be able to anchor people’s sonic experience, triggering their reflective thinking on the ambient sound that surrounds in everyday life. The title of this musical performance, Musical Noice – City Ambient Sounds, offers several meanings – it could mean an accented version of the word “nice”; taking out one stroke from the letter “N” it becomes “Voice”; interchanging the letter “c” with “s” it becomes “Noise”. Musical Noice responses to the sub-theme “Noise Contra Signal”, that noise can be interrupted, intervened and reinterpreted as a meaningful artefact, which contributes as part of the musical context. The emphasis on economic development and fast pace of life in this city have ignored the invisible layer of its ambient surroundings, considering the ambient sounds of this city as unwanted noise (and meaningless signals in the electronic understanding). The proposed event attempts to raise people’s awareness of the ambient environment through imbuing new meanings from the sound that susurrounds them, and therefore diverging people’s perception on noise and unfolding the possibilities on the involvement of noise in  art-making.   ilork.com

2015-16  iLOrk  members: Cheng Lok Sze, Chan Lok Yiu, Chau On  Ki,  Chung Cheuk Wun, Ho Sze Man, Joelianio Billy, Kwong Hiu Ying,  Lam  Ching Tung, Lam Hiu  Man, Lam Tsz  Ching, Law Kwan Yee, Leung Tsz Ying, Tam Yi Wing, Wong Ka Yan, Wong Tsz Ho, Wu  Hiu Tung

  • Lee Cheng (HK) is an interdisciplinary artist-teacher and researcher at the The Hong Kong Institute of Education.    leecheng.info

Full text and photo (PDF) p. 66-67