Artist and musician Jem Finer gathers sounds with a video camera to create improvisational soundtracks.
Invert the role of the soundtrack and discover the music of the stars with U.K.-based artist, musician and composer Jem Finer at the fourth performance in the Resonance series on Thursday, April 10. Formerly of the 1980s London punk band The Pogues, Finer has worked in film, photography, installation, and experimental and popular music since studying computer science in the 1970s. Much of his work explores systems and processes playing out over extremes of time and space.
The evening will feature a conversation with Finer and host Sarah Cahill and performances of "Original Soundtrack #5" and "Starfield." Finer's "Original Soundtrack #5" is an inversion of the usual supporting role of the soundtrack. Finer gathered sound using a video camera, then draws upon this raw material to compose improvisational films whose visual component is a byproduct of these sound juxtapositions. The Exploratorium performance of "Original Soundtrack #5" will also include new material recorded in San Francisco. In addition, Finer will perform "Starfield." Each star shines with a unique spectrum of light frequencies. By translating these into sound, Finer generated the raw material for this celestial composition.
Resonance, is a bimonthly exploration of unheard sounds, and undiscovered music at the Exploratorium, the world’s most experimental museum. The series features musicians and sound artists performing their work and discussing their ideas, techniques, and inspirations with radio host and pianist Sarah Cahill. Performances are at 7pm on the 2nd Thursday of every other month, and are held in the Exploratorium’s Kanbar Forum, an experimental performance space featuring a Meyer Constellation acoustic system. Seating is limited. Tickets are $15 for general admission, $10 for Exploratorium members and include museum admission. To buy tickets go to /resonance/calendar/original-soundtrack-5-and-starfield.
Visit the Resonance website /resonance to see video recordings of each performance, and a library of intriguing sound clips. Additional content exploring the science, art, and technology of music and sound will be added to the site in the future.
About Jem Finer
Jem Finer is a UK-based artist, musician, and composer. Since studying computer science in the 1970s, Finer has worked in photography, film, installation, and experimental and popular music. Much of Finer’s work explores systems and processes playing out over extremes of time and space. His best-known works include "Longplayer," a 1,000-year musical composition, and "Score for a Hole in the Ground," a permanent, self-sustaining musical installation in a forest in Kent that is activated by gravity and falling water. During a two-year artist residency in the Astrophysics Department at Oxford University, Finer created several works including two sculptural observatories that collected radiofrequency signals from space and translated them into sound. Finer is currently developing a massive, water-driven computer that composes music while performing its calculations.