Arte Realizzata interview

I did an interview with the website Arte Realizzata which you can read here:
https://www.arterealizzata.com/interviews/a-broadening-conversation-with-brett-sroka

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2021 year end news

“Acoustic space is where time and space merge as they are articulated by sound”

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Hello friends, happy holidays.
I hope you are all hanging in there, it’s been a long couple of years, seemingly beyond time and space… So it’s been a while since i had any news, thankfully 2021 brought a few exciting projects which I wanted to share.

The first one was the February release of We Hold These Truths, a film by multidisciplinary artist Shani Jamila, produced in collaboration with Park Avenue Armory, for which I created music and sound design. The film doubles as an introduction to the artists featured in season two of Jamila’s Lineage Podcast , which features in-depth interviews with contemporary, socially engaged Black artists, including Carrie Mae Weams, Reginald Dwayne Betts and Sonya Sanchez. I was humbled that Shani entrusted me with the task of making experimental music out of the voices of her grandmothers, taken from recordings made when she was a child.

My other main project, which capped the year was, the Woodland Symposium at Interface, in the Inagh Valley of Western Ireland. Interface is an artist residency I first attended in 2017, later contributing an essay to their book ‘From Dream to Dream’ in 2019 (which might also make a great holiday gift btw).

The Woodland Symposium gathered five artists to make work in response to the extensive reforestation/rewilding undertaking on the the thirty seven acres surrounding Interface. Over these initial weeks in November I listened to and documented its acoustic ecology, experimenting with this audio-video journal. With the intention to make ‘slow art,’ our symposium group will revisit the changing landscape and continue to develop our work over the next few years.

As Lévy Gorvy Gallery slowly opened up, I was able to curate a soundtrack for the exhibition, Eleanore Mikus – Voiceless Poetry. Drawing a musical parallel to Mikus’ aesthetic of subtly built textures, monochrome and irregular patterns, I compiled a program of music using drone, repetition, and spaciousness, from composers such as Pauline Oliveros, Meredith Monk, Alvin Lucier.

For the for opening night of the exhibition, Mickalene Thomas – Beyond the Pleasure Principle, I made a Nina Simone playlist. Songs like “Little Girl Blue,” “Four Women,” and “When I Was A Young Girl,” seemed in almost perfect confluence with Thomas’ prismatic collages of anonymous women from Jet Magazine pinup calendars of the same era.

The most amazing event of the year for me though was a personal one, this summer I got married to Sevgi Turkkan. Sevgi is a professor of architecture at Istanbul Technical University, we met while we were both residents at the Cité International des Arts in Paris in the summer of 2019, and without knowing what was to come, carelessly fell into our very long distance relationship. We survived being apart through the pandemic though and knew we could make it work, so presently I’m writing from Istanbul as we try to figure out what’s next…

I miss you all, please stay safe and please reach out and say hello.
Brett

www.brettsroka.com

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Eleanore Mikus – Voiceless Poetry

I made a playlist to accompany the exhibition Eleanore Mikus – Voiceless Poetry, opening at Lévy Gorvy Gallery in NYC today.

Mikus used rigorously built textures, monochrome and irregular pattern to achieve subtle, meditative works. To draw a musical parallel to those qualities, I compiled works using drone, repetition, spacious and abstract forms from composers such as Pauline Oliveros, Meredith Monk, Ikue Mori, Zeena Parkins, Morton Feldman and Alvin Lucier among others.

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We Hold These Truths

Launching February 18, 2021— in honor of the birthdays of literary giants Toni Morrison and Audre Lorde– We Hold These Truths is a new meditative film created and curated by conceptual artist Shani Jamila and produced in collaboration with Park Avenue Armory. The film introduces the artists featured in Season Two of Jamila’s Lineage Podcast + Portrait Project, which features intimate, in-depth interviews with contemporary socially engaged Black artists. We Hold These Truths includes inspiring reflections by artists across multiple disciplines, on some of the truths learned from their elders that have rooted them in these challenging times. Watch now for a first glimpse at the new season of Lineage, and stay tuned for bi-weekly audio interviews with each of the featured artists, beginning on Tuesday March 2nd. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Spotify to receive new episodes every other Tuesday.

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For Pierre Soulages

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10/17 Anthony Vine: For Pierre Soulages • 10/20 Eurydice

Hello friends,
I want to let you know about two events happening this week-

10/17 Anthony Vine commission: For Pierre Soulages at Lévy Gorvy

10/19-20 Doppelgänger Projects: Eurydice – upstate in Hillsdale, NY

This Thursday, October 17, through my role as cultural program curator at Lévy Gorvy Gallery we have commissioned a new work by composer Anthony Vine for the Rhythm Method string quartet in response to our exhibition Pierre Soulages: A Century, a prelude to the artist’s solo exhibition at the Musée du Louvre, Paris, opening in December 2019. Anthony Vine is a composer who crafts a meticulous, beautiful and fragile sound world that focuses the listener on the act of aural perception. Vine has drawn inspiration from visual artists who comparably play with the perception of light and color, saying:

“What immediately strikes me about Soulages’ work is the ephemeral identity of his highly reflective canvases. Forms continuously emerge and dissolve due to the room, lighting, and spatial orientation of the viewer. I am quite interested in a similar phenomena in sound—resultant tones, interference patterns, and sympathetic resonances that emerge from and react with the architecture they inhabit. In For Pierre Soulages, I use sustained tones, precisely tuned frequencies, and sinusoidal sounds to foreground and maximize this type of acoustical phenomena. The quartet presents a monolithic plane of tones—a sonic monochrome of sorts—that subtly flickers and reflects off the surfaces and bodies in the space.”

Next Sunday, October 20 at 1pm, I will perform a site-responsive environmental sound work as part of Doppelgänger Projects – Eurydice, a weekend of programmed art installation, viewings, and performance upstate in Hillsdale, NY, including artists Eryka Dellenbach, Katherine Finkelstein, Alison Kudlow, and Alex Wolkowicz. You can find the full schedule here.

“Eurydice, traversing lightly between the stones of a cloistered forest cemetery in Hillsdale, NY, acts as a gentle birdsong, quavering through the din of seclusion, calling to those who came and left before us. Placing objects, projecting light and sound, reading words in eulogy, and using figures and forms to honor and recognize those both present and passed, venerating the layers of deep time and memory we sink into, reaching out beyond the veil to a profound articulation of peace.”

I hope to see you there or somewhere soon.

newer everyday,
Brett

www.brettsroka.com

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‘from dream to dream’ book launch at Clifden Arts Festival

I’ve contributed an article entitled, ‘Pine Music and Polyphony; the trees, the water, you’ to the book ‘from dream to dream’ released by Interface Inagh in collaboration with Artisan House. Many, many thanks to the indefatigable artist, activist, singer and producer/editor of the book Alannah Robins
Book Launch – Three new titles to be launched by Dr Eimear O Connor: ‘from dream to dream’, ‘Hatchery’ and ‘Sehnsucht’

Thursday 26th September, 3pm at Omey Suite, Clifden Station House Hotel

in collaboration with Artisan House and thanks to LEADER – the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development: Europe Investing in Rural Areas and Galway County Council

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Sujin Lee – Language is Treacherous

I’m thrilled to have my music included in Sujin Lee‘s solo exhibiton ‘Language is Treacherous’ at the Wumin Art Center in Cheongju, South Korea.

I don’t know the ending—Я не знаю, чем это закончится (2017)
HD video, B&W, Color, Sound
06:56
2017

The English part of the title “I don’t know the ending” comes from Marguerite Duras’s essay Writing (translated from French to English by Mark Polizzotti). In Writing, Duras talks about the mystery of writing, and she refers to writing as “the unknown.”

I don’t know the ending—? ?? ????, ??? ??? ?????????? features “That never came” by composer and sound artist Brett Sroka from the album As subtle as tomorrow by Ergo. It took me over a year to find the images for the music. There was a lot of waiting, pausing, and erasing involved in the process. It was a nice surprise when I realized the footage I was shooting in Vladivostok actually “belonged” to the music. Working on the piece made me imagine a piece of writing, which is done over an extended period of time (even a lifetime)—in fragments, continuously rewritten and overwritten, consciously and subconsciously. The video is part of that writing and is also my homage to the art-making process.

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IN HOUSE – Artists Who Work at Lévy Gorvy

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ReSignifications Sound Collage


This is a bit of a sound collage (a bit that ended up on the cutting room floor) I made in response to artist and cultural worker Shani Jamila’s series of collages which were installed at the Manifesta12 Biennial this past summer in Palermo, Italy.

www.shanijamil.com
m12.manifesta.org

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