I tried to incorporate some themes of silence and movement, quietness and activity, into my artwork. Although I have been designing artist boxes for years, this is the smallest one I ever made, at just under 1 cubic centimeter. “Quiet Spheres” is inspired by the 5 LaGrange points in outer space, which are gravitationally ‘neutral’ in relation to the earth and the sun (or the moon). My artwork is part of the Moon Gallery, which is currently orbiting the earth every 90 minutes on the International Space Station.
Guy Livingston curated a mini-festival of music and silence in The Hague in June 2021.
Featured artists were flutist Ned McGowan, poet Nafiss Nia, writer and radio-maker Aletta Becker, violinist Monica Germino, and pianist Saskia Lankhoorn. Concerts took place in The Hague and Amsterdam. See the menu above for details. Each event featured musical or poetic themes of loss, disappearance, absence, calm, and quiet.
“Almost Silence”, a piano concert by Guy Livingston in a secret courtyard of The Hague.
Poetry of Nafiss Nia, with flutist Ned McGowan and pianist Guy Livingston. PLUS “Future Silence” with artists from HKU.
“Lost“, a reflection in words and music on the Pied Piper of Hamelin with theater-maker Aletta Becker and pianist Guy Livingston.
Music and Architecture have been linked philosophically and physically since at least the time of the ancient Greeks. In today’s world, some of these connections have been forgotten, while others have only become possible with new technology. The world of virtual reality, digital audio, wifi, and miniaturized electronics are opening up a magnificent spectrum of options.
Guy Livingston studied music and architecture at Yale University. He is currently in residence at a former embassy in The Hague, designed by Bauhaus architect Marcel Breuer. His studio is on the 3rd floor of this cold-war brutalist monument. He uses the space to record his weekly podcasts, and to host a concert series, both under the name: “The Bug,” an ironic nod to the spies who worked in the building.
Livingston is creating a new performance for piano, video, and electronics, which explores the links between space and music: an immersive program of piano, video, and electronics. Featuring Music for Airports (Brian Eno), Guy’s solo arrangement of Canto Ostinato (Simeon ten Holt); The Great Gate of Kiev by Mussorgsky (piano arrangament); Debussy’s Sunken Cathedral; a Talking Heads cover (Burning Down the House); an opportunity for the audience to “play the building” using an app on their smartphones.
Audible Architecture (for the Bauhaus Centennial)
In concert, Guy’s trademark relaxed style, honed through years of podcasting and radio work, is used as a narrative tool to bring us back to his freshman year in college, and his first architecture class at Yale, with the legendary art historian Vincent Scully.
photos from classic and rediscovered Bauhaus films
Seated unconventionally, breaking the 4th wall, or even lying on the floor during Canto Ostinato, this concert is an experiential, immersive one for the audience; an eye and ear opener.
From there Livingston guides us through his summer measuring medieval temples in the Thar Desert, then to his years living on the left bank, overlooking Nôtre-Dame, and then on up to the Bauhaus and how it came to influence him personally.
with piano, video, and electronics (plus an interactive audience app)
An interactive, immersive experience for the audience…the format resembles a musical TedTalk: High energy, with unexpected insights presented in an entertaining manner.
The visuals and the program sequence are being developed in conjunction with an architectural/acoustics firm TBA.
is silence tangible?
More about Silence
Suggested reading list on silence
John Cage: Silence (this is the bible of John Cage fans – full of insight and anecdotes)
Kyle Gann: No Such Thing as Silence (Gann was head music critic for the Village Voice)
Salomé Voegelin: Silence and Noise (a modern take on sound art)
Douglas Kahn: Noise Water Meat (a controversial rebuttal of many preconceived ideas)
Film: Die große Stille (a mystical documentary about a french monastery)
Movie: The Sound of Noise (Swedish alternative detective movie, hilarious, cult)
Suggested listening list
medieval music of the école de Notre Dame: especially Leonin and Pérotin