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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