Pierre Gerard, Andy Graydon, and David Papapostolou

Performance Saturday 06.04.2013 20:00
with Andy Graydon, Mario Asef and Gilles Aubry

Installation 02.04.-07.04.2013 12:00-18:00 Tue-Sun

Images by Kostís Lierós

Instrumental is a performance installation that explores sound’s engagement with time and process, and the productive tensions between the notions of sound-as-object and sound-as-becoming. The installation uses recordings from an intensive six-day series of improvisations (open daily to the public) and remaps them across the space of LEAP, creating a sound environment that will be altered daily by the artists.

The work culminates in a live performance event on Saturday April 6th in which Mario Asef and Gilles Aubry will play in collaborative response to the installation’s sound.


From March 5th to March 10th, 2012 Pierre Gerard, Andy Graydon, and David Papapostolou shared a studio at Q-O2, the residency program for experimental contemporary music and sound art in Brussels.

The six days were divided into morning and evening sessions, each lasting between three and five hours, during which the three artists performed durational free improvisations, developed rules-based systems for guiding behavior and sound making, and engaged in extended conversation about how to proceed and what might or might not be taking shape between and around them. The trio found themselves engaged primarily in three modes of action that, while formative of the sound, were also outside of (or virtual to) the moment of sound-making itself: Briefly, they could be identified as listening, writing, and recording.

“Listening” here meant the silent repose and attentive readiness to one’s entire surrounding field in the present moment, in which environment could lead to gesture, but had not yet resolved into an intention or a form. “Writing” included talking, setting rules, giving and following cues, the arrangement of furniture and objects in the room, as well as actual written instructions – all forms of inscribing an action on the moment ahead. “Recording” involved a concrete process in which a room recording was made of every moment of every session of the residency, resulting in an average of seven hours of recording per day. Each morning, all of the previous days’ recordings were lined up and started in synch with the beginning of the new session. At any point in time, the artists could turn up the sound of any or all of the previous days’ sounds on loudspeakers in the studio. This opened a window into the room from that corresponding moment in the past, allowing the artists to both hear and play along with previous versions of themselves, while also adding it to the recording in process for that day. The present moment became materially distributed between its anchoring in the past and projection into the future.

What could be the result of the interaction of these three approaches, these languages? At the end of their collective work the artists found that what they were creating was not a performance, not a composition, not a record, but a kind of instrument. This instrument is part process, part material, and part spatial experiment. This presentation at LEAP represents the first reconstruction of this instrument-installation and its premiere outside of Q-O2.

For six days at LEAP (corresponding to the original six days in residence at Q-O2 in 2012 , and maintaining the reference to biblical creation) a separate pair of loudspeakers voices one entire day of recordings from the residency sessions. All six days are run in sync, so that each morning session and each evening session begin at the same time, overlapping from distinct positions around the room. Graydon will arrive every day to listen to the unfolding of the recorded sounds in space. He will then move any or all of the mobile speaker elements around the space into a new configuration, based on his reaction to the present moment of listening to the room. This new setting will remain in place for the remainder of the day. Gerard and Papapostolou, who will not be present in Berlin, will write an ongoing series of texts, suggestions, and instructions that will guide Graydon’s actions remotely. These texts will be left in the space in the form of small notes, traces of the work in progress.

On the evening of the fifth day, coinciding with the original public performance at Q-O2, a public performance of the work will be given in which Berlin-based sound artists are invited to improvise along with the ongoing sound work. In so doing they become co-inventors of the future shape of the work, of the instrument and its process.
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