“My art practice organically floats between architecture and sound and improvisation and written music and classical, experimental noise.”
Sound artist, vocalist, and composer Ken Ueno has the ability to completely transform the nature of spaces with sound. Loudspeakers become ceremonial objects. Megaphones become musical instruments that shape feedback in the room and amplify its natural resonance. Ueno’s breath is woven into the electronic parts, slowly introduced so they become a complex background texture upon which he layers live vocalizations. Instead of treating feedback and white noise as sounds found in a city to be ignored or eliminated, Ueno places them around the room in such a way that they can be heard as individual colors, encouraging the listener to open their ears to hear not only this music, but also hear their own daily environments as musical. At times Ueno’s incredible ability to control his breathing makes it sound as though he is channeling a radio transmission from another galaxy. In the artist’s own words, “My art practice organically floats between architecture and sound and improvisation and written music and classical, experimental noise.”
Ueno’s intense performances reveal the acoustic power and complexity of the different audio ecosystems surrounding us every day from all directions. His music asks: How do we open our ears to the sounds of our cityscapes? In our efforts to control the spaces around us, do we lose our humanity? In exposing the rawness of our humanity do we alienate others? How do we stay open in a time when technology allows us more and more to be isolated and closed off?
Dates + Tickets
EMPAC Fall 2019
EMPAC Fall 2019 presentations, residencies, and commissions are made possible by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, with additional support from the National Endowment for the Arts; New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; and the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts. Additional project support by the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; the NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship Program; and Creative Scotland.