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Seeing with Sound: AVIA and Jack Straw Accessible Youth Art Workshops

Brain Goreng: Paintings and Audio by Matthew Shoemaker

In May 2018, Jack Straw and Arts and Visually Impaired Audiences (AVIA) presented an accessible art workshop at Jack Straw in conjunction with the installation Brain Goreng, a collection of visual and sound art by the artist Matthew Shoemaker, who died in 2017. The installation was created by Jack Straw artists Dave Knott and Robert Millis in collaboration with Jack Straw and the Shoemaker family.

Matthew Shoemaker explored many non-traditional instruments in his music- and sound-making, including springs and Slinkys. Springs were used in the early days of sound reproduction to simulate the sound of an instrument in a large room. Springs can become a kind of antenna, picking up the sounds of the environment. When sound is sent through the springs, they make it possible to feel the sound.

Working with Dave Knot and Steve Barsotti, workshop participants began with listening and sounding games and exercises, exploring the textures and sound-making possibilities of springs, and finally recorded their own sound compositions in the studio. Through listening and touch, amplified springs allowed participants opportunities to practice listening exercises, as well as create their own short, sound-based pieces using both improvisational and compositional techniques.

Ensemble Recording 1 (listen below, download here)
Ensemble Recording 2 (listen below, download here)
Ensemble Recording 3 (listen below, download here)
Ensemble Recording 4 (listen below, download here)

Workshop participants play spring-based instruments in the Jack Straw studio A participant listens to a tin can and spring

Jesse Minkert describes the installation Brain Goreng for participants

A workshop participant makes sounds with a spring

Steve Barsotti demonstrates a spring-based instrument

Partiicpants record their sound pieces in Studio 2

 Participant plays a string stretched along the hallway at Jack Straw A participant plays a one-stringed musical instrument in the studio

Steve Barsotti demonstrates making sounds with springs


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For further information on our educational programs, contact:

Joan Rabinowitz, Executive Director
Jack Straw Cultural Center
206-634-0919

 


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