This symposium considered the place of Audio Testimony in artistic practice, and explored the ways in which artists use sound to enable new forms of testimony, and create new artistic configurations, which engage public consciousness. It aimed to open a discussion on this topic and form the start of a network which will continue exploration of these themes. It did so through a two days of presentations focusing on particular works and via a social activity of collectively making audio testimony.
Key Note Speakers
Prof. Wlodarski is an award-winning scholar and teacher, who's research explores the complex expressive relationships between Jewish music, trauma, memory, and the tragedies of World War II and the Holocaust. Her two monographs - Musical Witness and Holocaust Representation (2015) and George Rochberg, American Composer (2019) -have both received accolades from leading musicological societies, and she is currently working on projects related to the sonic curation of trauma and the reception history of the Ghetto Terezín repertory. In addition to written scholarship, Prof. Wlodarski has regularly presented pre-performance programs for major musical institutions, including the Los Angeles Opera, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the New York Philharmonic. As an educator, she specializes in courses that explore the aesthetics, ethics, and politics of creative practice in music ranging from 1750 to the present and conducts the Dickinson College Choir.
John was born in New Zealand to English and Italian parents. His output includes multi-channel acousmatic pieces, large-scale radiophonic work, and music combining instruments and electroacoustic sounds. His music focuses on the use of computer technology to transform, disassemble and reassemble sounds in new ways. This involves fusion of sounds recorded in natural environments with more abstract material developed through electroacoustic processes, drawing on the capacity of ‘real-world’ sound to evoke novel imagery and natural points of reference for listeners. He has also used oral history and archival recordings in a narrative-based approach to electroacoustic music. John studied at the University of Canterbury, where he completed a PhD in musicology, and is currently Professor of Composition in the Institute for Sonic Creativity at De Montfort University (Leicester) having previously been Senior Lecturer and Director of the Electroacoustic Music Studios at the Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. His research has been funded by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council, The British Academy, The Swedish Institute, Arts Council England, Creative New Zealand and the New Zealand Composers’ Foundation. He has received several international awards, with first prizes in the 1996 Stockholm Electronic Arts Award (1996) the Bourges International Electroacoustic Music and Sonic Art Competition (2007), Musica Nova, Prague (2018) and the KLANG! competition, France (2019). In 2015 he held a KEAR Residency at Bowling Green State University (Ohio). Recent works include Abwesenheit (2017) for the Vienna Acousmonium; Magnetic Resonance (2017) in collaboration with pianist Xenia Pestova (University of Nottingham) and Andrew McPherson (QMUL); Sweet Anticipation (2018) for Sound Junction, Sheffield; To the Red Sky (2015/2019) based on oral histories of first world war veterans, and; Once He Was Gunner (2020) based on his father’s WWII oral history. Two solo discs of his work are available on the Empreintes DIGITALes label