Olivia Block

Olivia Block

Olivia Block website

DISSOLUTION is here!

Dissolution, my latest LP is now out on Glistening Examples. Each limited special edition version (sold out) is a clear vinyl LP with 35mm slides embedded in the record (thank you Jason L. and Heather for this amazing invention) and a layered 35mm slide assembled by myself.

To purchase info: There are many regular edition LPs still available at distributors like Forced Exposure, Experimedia, and Erstwhile, among others. Hope you can grab a copy before they are all gone.

Text about the LP: 

Dissolution is a reflection upon human “webs of significance,” and an investigation into the ways that electronic communications and recording technologies, both past and present, facilitate, complicate and transmute the formation of these webs. Sounds of shortwave radio, municipal broadcast recordings, fragments of found microcassette tapes, tones and instruments dramatize the fragility and failures of communication and language in shaping memory and experience. 

This album is dedicated to Adam Sonderberg, without whom I could not have completed this project.

credits

released November 11, 2016

Credits: 

Lesley Swanson - flute

Shaun Flynn - clarinet

Musicians were recorded at Experimental Sound Studio, Chicago IL
in January 2015. The session was engineered by Alex Inglesian. 

Special thanks to Seth Nehil

Mastered by Jason Lescalleet at Glistening Labs USA

Yarn|Wire Premieres Calibration Circle

I am pleased to announce the premiere of Calibration Circle by the wonderful NY based ensemble, Yarn|Wire.

This event will be presented for members of The Arts Club of Chicago. The performance is on the evening of November 10th.

Here is a description of the piece:

Calibration Circle, by Olivia Block, composed for Yarn/Wire, utilizes techniques and “found” or archival documents from 20th Century cinema. Calibration Circle is, in a sense, a Foley score for an imageless film.

Percussionists will perform Foley sound to a video of a house demolition. Pianists will be reading vintage 35mm film leaders as scores, playing both the keys and the inside of the piano.

 Calibration Circle draws attention to the dominant nature of seeing in the world of the arts and cinema. Further, Calibration Circle offers the possibility for immersive sound worlds to eclipse those dominant visual aspects of art. 

Coming soon: Dissolution on Glistening Examples

My solo LP (and download), Dissolution, is scheduled to be released on Jason Lescalleet's Glistening Examples label in the late fall 2016. Limited special artist edition LPs will include layered 35mm slides from my collection, individually signed and packaged.

Text:

Dissolution is a reflection upon human “webs of significance,” and an investigation into the ways that electronic communications technologies, both past and present, facilitate, complicate and transmute the formation of these webs. Sounds of shortwave radio, municipal broadcast recordings, fragments of found microcassette tapes, field recordings and instruments dramatize the fragility and failures of communication and language in our everyday world.  Dissolution will be released on Glistening Examples in November, 2016.

 

Credits:

 

Musicians:

 

Lesley Swanson-flute

 

Shaun Flynn -clarinet

 

Musicians were recorded at Experimental Sound Studio, Chicago, in January 2015. The session was engineered by Alex Inglesian.

 

NIST WWV recordings from http://swling.com

 

Thank you:

 

Jason Lescalleet, Seth Nehil

 

Dedication:

 

To Adam Sonderberg, without whom I could not have completed this project.

Summer residencies: Notam in Oslo and Sanatorium of Sound, Sokolowsko, Poland

June 13-28 Oslo:

I am looking forward to working in the surround sound studio at Notam in Oslo, where I will create a 16-channel version of my recently completed piece, Dissolution (forthcoming on Glistening Examples, fall 2016).  The 16-channel version will premiere in the US in late 2016 or early 2017 (more info tba)

August 1-14 Sokolowsko, Poland:

Sanatorium of Sound commission:  I will complete a two-week residency at Sokolowsko, Poland, working on a site specific installation in a dilapidated sanatorium previously used for treating TB patients. Additionally, I will perform on August 13th at the festival.

Installation description: 

Open Air: sound and visual installation

by Olivia Block

August  2016

Sanitorium of Sound Festival, Sokolowsko sanatorium, Poland.

 Olivia Block will complete a two-week residency at Sokolowsko, creating a sound and visual piece for various rooms in the beautiful, dilapidated Sokolowsko sanatorium.

 Layered breath sounds will quietly emanate from multiple speakers, coalescing with the atmospheric sounds of the space like ghosts. Large curtains made from loosely woven cotton surgical gauze, will be suspended from the ceiling and over the windows inside the sanatorium. The curtains will catch the circulating air, billowing and floating—animating a flow of energy.

Open Air draws attention to the movement of air in various forms-- literally and metaphorically. The piece is inspired by the history of sanatoria, including related historical concepts of illness and transmission mechanisms and treatments of Tuberculosis. 

 

 

 

Two NYC openings May 3rd, 2016: CONTEXT NY and Museum of Arts and Design

If you are in NYC this weekend, there are two exhibitions opening which include works by myself, plus interesting pieces by additional artists. 

Sound Positions, curated by Christoph Cox, is a sound exhibition in CONTEXT NY, featuring a wonderful group of artists. The exhibition includes my piece for layered found recordings, List of Objects and Values

Olivia Block, Lists of Objects and Values (2015), 11:03

Exhibition text: 

This composition is constructed from a collection of 1980s and 90s microcassette recordings bought on ebay. Interested in the way people used microcassette recorders for keeping logs and documenting intimate conversations, Block noticed that many recordings resemble one another in terms of subject matter, style, and rhythm, and began looking for patterns. For this piece, she was drawn to recordings of people listing objects and monetary values. Block conceives these recordings as inadvertent expressions of what anthropologist Igor Kopytoff calls the “methodological fetishism” of things. Lists of objects become catalogs of waste during a decadent period in American history.

 Atmosphere for Enjoyment: Harry Bertoia's Environment for Sound curated by Shannon Stratton, is opening at The Museum of Arts and Design (Mad) in NYC.  The exhibition includes an excerpt recording (in stereo) and photos of Sonambient Pavilion, my multi-channel installation in Millennium Park, which premiered in November 2015. The installation was created from the sounds of Harry Bertoia's Sonambient sculptures, located at the Aon Center in Chicago.

Fall 2015 Events and news

 

   Olivia Block Fall 2015

 New release on NNA tapes and stream at The Wire

 

I am pleased to announce my latest solo release, Aberration of Light, a new iteration of my expanded cinema soundtrack from 2011-2013, is available now on NNA tapes . 

The release has received some lovely reviews already from Tiny Mix Tapes and Avant Music News

 

Many thanks to Toby and Matt at NNA for making this happen!

 

The Wire is streaming the entire track! Have a listen here

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Sunday, September 13th   San Francisco, CA

 

I will be presenting an immersive, surround-sound version of my new release, Aberration of Light for the San Francisco Electronic Music Festival.

My performance is Sept 13, 2015, 8pm at Brava Theater Center, 2781 24th St, San Francisco with Doug Lynner, Kevin Blechdom & Aqulaqutaqu 

Check the link above for more info about the concert and the entire schedule for the festival.

 

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October 8th-16th Stockholm

 

I am looking forward to working in the excellent facilities at EMS. Additionally, the generous support of EMS has made it possible for me to travel and perform in Stockholm.

 

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Friday, October 16th Stockholm

 

I will be presenting an immersive, surround-sound version of my new release, Aberration of Light for ROOM40 openframe: three days of radical listening . 

 

My performance will be at Oct 16th at Fylkingen gallery. The whole weekend looks great, so check out the link above to see the schedule. It will be a pleasure to share the bill with Lawrence English (AU), Andrea Belfi (IT).

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October 27th Chicago

 

Elastic Arts

 Looking forward to a trio performance with Adam Sonderberg and Tomas Korber (Switzerland). Additionally, Konus quartett will perform Korber’s piece for saxophone quartet, The Idea of Fields. More info TBA

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Friday, Oct 30th – Sunday, Nov 1st NYC

 

I will be performing at Amplify Fest, curated by Jon Abbey of Erstwhile records.

 More info TBA

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November 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22 Chicago

Sonambient Pavilion sound installation

The Jay Pritzker Pavilion at Millenium Park, Chicago

 

Please see the following for information:

 Experimental Sound Studio

 

Sonambient Pavilion preview

 

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Wed, Nov 11th and Thursday, Nov 1212   St, Louis, MO

 

 Includes a performance, workshop and two artist talks, curated by Jeremy Kannapell of New Music Circle 

 

Weds, Nov 11 - Artist talk at Washington University Art Dept 

Weds, Nov 11 - Concert at 8:00 pm with Circuit des Yeux 

Thursday, Nov 12 - Artist talk / workshop at Lindenwood Belleville University (IL) 

More info TBA on my website and Facebook artist pages soon

 

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January 25-29 Tuscaloosa, AL

 

University of Alabama

I will be working with students and performing as a visiting composer. More info TBA

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Additional items:

 

The brand new Now Is podcast series, featuring interviews by Ben Remsen, will air a recent interview between Ben and myself very soon. It’s free to subscribe on iTunes.

 

I contributed a text score, based on a declassified 1941 U.S. military acoustics research document from Harvard University, to Compost and Height Wolf Notes #8