Composer-performers Antonia Barnett-McIntosh and Jessie Marino’s Susceptible Chambers is an EMPAC-commissioned performance, which draws lines between the worlds of sound art, handcrafts, and experimental theater. It begins with the re-construction of a simple microphone.
Musicians have historically augmented familiar musical instruments with alternative materials to change their, and the audience’s, relationship to that object from a sonic and cultural standpoint. By designing and building specially-crafted objects, and experimenting with instrumental expansion, we can hear these materials interacting with one another—and experience the possibilities of a completely new sonic landscape, which can be discovered by playing with (a) particular combination/s of materials.
Developed during a series of residencies, Antonia and Jessie have laid the groundwork for an audio-visual performance that is both whimsical and rigorously executed. Composed from manifold permutations of “extended” microphones, the composer-performers experiment with different microphone filters and casings as well as speakers, light, and color arrangements.
Susceptible Chambers collects technologies from bygone eras—pulley systems, pianolas, needlepoint, sodium vapor lamps—and places them in conversation with bespoke, handmade and electronic objects. Antonia and Jessie's newest production draws the audience into an unusual, idiosyncratic, and playful sonic and visual world, experimenting with and challenging generally accepted practices of today’s electronic music, and contemporary music more broadly.