Olivia Block

Olivia Block

Olivia Block website

Sonambient Pavilion

Photo by Andrea Bauer

Photo by Andrea Bauer

Site/Sound check at Pritzker Pavilion (Photo by Alex Inglesian)  

Site/Sound check at Pritzker Pavilion (Photo by Alex Inglesian)

 

 Artist Note:

Sonambient Pavilion grew out of my admiration for Harry Bertoia's Sonambient sculptures, and an interest in the sonic aspects of architecture. I wanted to create an environment in which the visual layer of architecture--the curved, metal speaker trellis  over the Great Lawn at Millennium Park's Pritzker Pavilion, was overlaid with an invisible layer of aural architecture. This additional sonic layer was created from pointillistic, metallic chime sounds, originating from Bertoia's sculptures. The sounds "appeared" then dissolved  in various parts of the location, and floated above the lawn in moving swaths of rich drones. Over the duration of the piece, these sound objects created boundaries on an invisible map, shaping a new sonic territory. 

Additionally, considering the themes described  in the writings of architectural theorist Lebbeus Woods, I wanted to create a metaphorical bridge between two amounts of resistance to architectural structure.  The  dense grids of office buildings in the loop, situated to the West of the installation's location, represented a lack of resistance to structure (total structure). On the other hand,  lake Michigan, directly East of the installation's location, represented an extreme resistance to structure in its fluidity. Sonic Pavilion, including the metallic trellis and overlaid sound piece, created a porous partial-structure--a public location made of sound and a sprawling metallic framework, which was somewhat fixed in place, but affected by the outdoor environment.

Sonambient Pavilion was made possible by the generous support from the following organizations and donors:

Experimental Sound Studio, New Music USA, Graham Foundation, DCASE,  Jason Pickleman

Photo by Andrea Bauer for The Chicago Reader  

Photo by Andrea Bauer for The Chicago Reader