Wellington Soundpostings #1

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Wellington Reveals itself Through Sound and Space New Project by Sonic Artist Lewis Gibson to Launch in February ...Wearing a pair of headphones, you are guided through the streets by a voice.…

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Wellington Reveals itself Through Sound and Space
New Project by Sonic Artist Lewis Gibson to Launch in February

...Wearing a pair of headphones, you are guided through the streets by a voice. You catch glimpses of what has been before. Time splinters, illusions unfold and layers of memories dislocate your senses. Wellington Reveals itself Through Sound and Space
New Project by Sonic Artist Lewis Gibson to Launch in February

...Wearing a pair of headphones, you are guided through the streets by a voice. You catch glimpses of what has been before. Time splinters, illusions unfold and layers of memories dislocate your senses.People, buildings, sounds, and frames of time converge. Schizophrenic city, you are here. Welcome to soundpostings...

London-based composer Lewis Gibson will introduce a new way to expereince Wellington's spaces, sounds, and sense of place when his Soundwalk project is launched in February 2004. This creative endeavour, officially called soundpostings#1: konei, konã, korã, involves binaural recordings from Wellington's urban and pedestrian environment. The result, which will be introduced as part of Wellington's 2004 Fringe Festival, is a creative experience designed to be listened to during a walk from Cuba Mall to Civic Square. In development for three months, and including both the voices of people in our community and natural sounds captured on location, the soundwalk was produced entirely during Mr Gibson's stay in new Zealand.

"I borrowed three Maori words for this project's title," explains Gibson, "each containing a different shade of meaning for places and frames of time. The soundwalk will enable someone in Wellington to listen to the space around them in a different way, to visit memories of the city, meet ghosts of the community and peek through cracks in time." Gibson further explains that the recording is presented, by way of headphones, in a binaural way. The result is a stereo effect, offering the same sonic reference as our ears experience live sounds and conversations.

"It is a unique idea, and one that combines a documentary approach, natural and wild sound, and an artist's touchstone," says Eric Holowacz, Community Arts Co-ordinator for Wellington City Council. "The result, a type of alchemy, will provide our community with a way to discover itself, to really hear the spaces around us, and to walk within the layers of culture and heritage that wrap around our world."

While working on his project in Wellington, Gibson partnered with the city's Community Arts Office, which is helping distribute the Soundwalk CD, build audiences for the experience, and locate creative partnerships in the community. Beginning in February, Wellington residents and visitors will be able to check out a CD copy of Soundpostings#1: konei, konã, korã at library branches and at special Fringe Festival outlets, and then undertake the journey that Gibson has created.

"Art can be a provocative and magical thing, whether it is in a film, a poem, or a sculpture", says Holowacz. "In this case, it is a recording and a simple walk about town. Lewis Gibson's sonic art gives our community, and the people in it, an opportunity to think about who we are and the spaces we inhabit. Along the way, and not without a small dose of magic, we will learn even more about where Wellington is going".

New Zealand's capital is the first city chosen by Gibson to produce soundpostings, and future projects are now slated for Kuwait City and Tokyo. This creative experience is free and open to everyone, and the public is encouraged to participate. To learn more about Soundpostings#1: konei, konã, korã , contact the artist, Lewis Gibson by email at soundpostings@hotmail.com, or consult the 2004 Fringe Festival programme. Thanks to an initiaitve of Wellington's Community Arts office, copies of the Soundpostings CD will also be available at any Wellington Library branch from early February on. Mr Gibson will be returning to England in late January, to continue working on a post-graduate degree in music.

For additional information, please contact:

Eric Vaughn Holowacz
Community Arts Co-ordinator
Wellington City Council
04-385-1929
arts@wcc.govt.nz

Written by

Eric Vaughn Holowacz

17 Jan 2004

Eric Vaughn Holowacz was born in Princeton, New Jersey and grew up in Columbia, South Carolina. He attended Irmo High School, and was a member of its National Championship academic Quiz Bowl Team in 1986.

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