This Man Will Be Using You Tonight, To Channel The Sonic Soul of Cape Spear

Billed as “Ten Days That Will Change How Your Hear the World,” the Sound Symposium really is the most unique festival in the province, and maybe the country’s most original festival of music. This year they have more than 50 performers from 6 different countries

Billed as “Ten Days That Will Change How Your Hear the World,” the Sound Symposium really is the most unique festival in the province, and maybe the country’s most original festival of music.

This year they have more than 50 performers from 6 different countries. Read all about them here.

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As an example of the unique nature of these performances, Delf Maria Hohmann has composed Cape Spear Klang-Opus à la fin du crépuscule for Sound Symposium 2018.

The composition is said to be “rooted in the acoustic experience that comes from turning a whole space into a resonant body.”

As an attendees of concerts, we’re accustomed to performances where an audience sits in seating and stares at a performer on  stage. But in Hohmann’s performance tonight, “the space is understood as the instrument itself.”

In other words, tonight, the audience, venue, and performer become entwined.

“The audience will be placed on the platform in front of the first bunker in a rough circle facing inwardly while the music performance becomes a scored, fluid sequence of sound elements moving around the audience.”

The aim is to completely immerse the audience in sound to experience the composition.

“There will be no stage lighting in the traditional sense, but only a dimmed lighting scape as an overall safety measure, in order to guarantee the least visual distraction of the audience. The piece will be performed at the end of dusk.” That’s 8:30-ish pm.

Hohmann’s Background

In the mid-1970s, Hohmann met the American banjo player Hedy West, who acquainted him with the vibrant folk music community in the Eastern United States. In 1979 she introduced him to the most influential representative of the North American Folk Song Revival: Pete Seeger.

Hohmann and Seeger (who founded of the environmental project Clearwater) sailed up and down the Hudson River promoting environmental causes. He performed with Seeger at Carnegie Hall in New York, at Boston University, and at Massey Hall in Toronto.

Aside from his interest in Folk Music Hohmann has developed a keen interest in composing “new, exploratory, and microtonal music on acoustic instruments.”

This has led to the creation of various soundscapes, and the composition of Harbour Symphonies (Music for Ships’ Horns). His Harbour Symphonies have been given favourable reviews in the Neue Musik Zeitung, a well-recognized German periodical specializing in New and Exploratory Music.

After spending three winters as a guest at Stanford University’s Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA), he is exploring ambisonics, and multichannel sound diffusion for live performances and sound installations.

As a musician, Hohmann sings and plays folk music mainly from North America, and relies on an impressive repertoire of traditional and contemporary songs, accompanying himself on guitar, banjo, dulcimer, concertina and autoharp. The songs in English, French, Yiddish, German, Inuktitut, and Cree tell the stories and concerns of immigrants, fishermen, lumberjacks, and natives.

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