ABOUT THE EVENT
The first installment of Composing the Tinnitus Suites: 2016 is the premiere performance of Philadelphia Hearing Damage. This band of broken ears is a crowd-sourced creation of local Philadelphia artists. Fishkin worked with these musicians in the summer of 2016, teaching them how to play the Lady's Harp, and to apply its techniques to their own instruments. This assemblage does not consist of gifted virtuosos, rather kindred listeners-musicians whose relationship to sound might be fundamentally unstable.
Ben Bennett, percussion
Rachel Ishikawa, bicycle wheel, found objects
Hannah Judd, cello
Bennett Kuhn, synthesizer, tinnitus
Connor Przybyszewski, trombone
Daniel Fishkin, lady's harp, composition
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Daniel studied with composer Maryanne Amacher and with multi-instrumentalist Mark Stewart. He has performed as a soloist on modular synthesizer with the American Symphony Orchestra, developed sound installations in freight elevators and abandoned concert halls, and played innumerable basement punk shows. Previous iterations of Composing the Tinnitus Suites have received international press (Nature Journal, 2014); as an ally in the search for a cure, he has been awarded the title of "tinnitus ambassador" by the Deutsche Tinnitus-Stiftung. Daniel received his MA in Music Composition from Wesleyan University, and currently teaches courses in analog synthesis at Bard College.
ABOUT THE SERIES
In 2008, Daniel Fishkin's ears started ringing, and they never stopped. Composing the Tinnitus Suites: 2016 investigates the aesthetics of hearing damage through a performance series in the Sanctuary of the Rotunda, consisting of experimental music concerts and conversations with other thinkers who confront hearing damage in their own practice and personal lives. The series is anchored by the Lady's Harp: a system of 20-foot long piano wires activated by mixer feedback, using guitar pickups and pressure transducers to coax the strings into vibration, not unlike the cilia that transduce vibrations into electrical impulses for the brain. Fishkin says, "To make 'Tinnitus Music' is not just to compose sounds, but also to compose situations that can break the isolation of its experience."
Composing the Tinnitus Suites: 2016 has been supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.
The Rotunda is a West Philadelphia community-gathering place that is fueled by the belief that art is a catalyst for social change and that the arts can lead to the formation of meaningful partnerships between the University of Pennsylvania and surrounding neighborhoods. Over 300 events are offered every year, including live music, film, spoken word, theater, art, dance, education, youth programs, arts incubation, and various experimental genres. As an alcohol-free, smoke-free venue, The Rotunda provides a critical social alternative for all ages. At its core, The Rotunda is a shared space fostering learning, enrichment, and community support while empowering the public to present, produce, and promote their work.