Lecture – Lesley Flanigan

Lesley Flanigan is an up and coming sound artist. She utilizes technology to create sound art that might otherwise be considered unwanted “speaker feedback.” By building her own microphones, circuit boards and speakers, she is able to create different tones when placing the microphone near the speakers. What started out as an installation, due to her sculpture background, has evolved into performance pieces. She is also a singer and incorporates this into her work, as well as other vocalists and musicians.

She creates beautiful wooden boxes to house the electronics and places many different ones around herself while performing. All of her performances are improvised to a degree. She has an idea of what sound will be created because she works with these objects so often, but she does not always have an idea of what order she will use them.

She describes her elements by defining noise as the raw material and sound as the refined result. The most interesting part of her lecture was the program she uses to create 3D imaging of the sounds. By inputting the sound into the computer, her technician is able to visualize the sound particles on a screen. The dots which represent each sound particle dance with the others in such an elegant way which may not be expected from her work.

Her performances and recordings change in locations and she seeks out any kind of uncommon room to test the acoustics. She has her own recorded CD now and has incorporated such instruments as the Piano, Cello, Violin, Bass Clarinet and the bells. She says, “I love the physicality of the mic[rophone]. It can be hands on and intuitive, the body is guiding the results as I work.” -She has definitely given me a new light into the world of sound art. What was once something I would pass off as bothersome or uninteresting has now become something to reconsider.

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