Cluster 00 (2015)

Cluster 00 was a performance exploring the potential of sound as a driver in shaping emotional space through its capability in blurring personal associations to specific spatial configurations. Place, as the geographer Yi-Fu Tuan defines it in his publication “Space & Place: The Perspective of Experience”, is a space in which a “concretion of value” is manifested; articulating an anonymous expanse with mechanical potentialities into one which is overlaid with an emotional attachment or functional purpose. Product of this concretion of value arises not only through our own enterprise in space, but also through the manifestation of the space itself, with its combination of sensual stimuli; which among these are sonic events. Place, although attached to specific physical locations, is a human construct , and hence not tied down to its coordinates; therefore, it can be transposed, modulated, or projected unto other spatial configurations. The success of this however depends on the representational integrity or associability of the space in question to the events which attempt to project Place. By taking advantage of this flexibility, Cluster 00 encouraged the evocation of remembered and/or constructed Place through an exploration of the listener’s range of associative capabilities.

With an understanding in the Phenomenological Architecture concept of Atmosphere; a much more precise term for emotional space; my work during this period was developed with a sensibility towards the balance between imposed concept and extracted concept, relying on the properties of vagueness which sound is intrinsically entwined with both materially and intellectually. Vagueness, in my work was used as a tool to create an anchor for the listener to associate with the piece. Similar to dreaming, or being inebriated, just enough vagueness permits the engagement with the piece by avoiding a direct association to sounds which might contain a different meaning depending on the person’s past experience. The avoidance of directed meaning becomes a potential meaning, aided by the contextual framing of the space and presentation, which set the mood and category of the content, but not the content itself. Hence, the pieces and their projected spaces remain subjective enough, but capable of a degree of objectivity. Applying this idea to a spatial composition means, that by the injection of a specific aural atmosphere, the space does not only become re-configured geometrically through the interaction between subject, space, and sounding object, but also between emotional subject, potential place, and aural atmospheric driver.

Cluster 00 was composed and performed at the opening of the Sound/Place Exhibition held at St. James Hatcham Church (Goldsmiths University) in response to a call for works. It was diffused on a 12.1 system.