ABOUT THE EVENT
The second installment of Composing the Tinnitus Suites: 2016 consists of solos and duets between Ellen Fullman and Daniel Fishkin. Fullman is the inventor of the Long String Instrument, an 80 foot long string instrument consisting of stainless steel wires that she strokes with rosined fingertips. Fullman has used her instrument to explore the acoustics of large resonant spaces for over 30 years. In her Philadelphia premiere, Ellen Fullman will install her Long String Instrument in the Rotunda Sanctuary. Though Fullman and Fishkin both work with long strings, their work is decidedly different. In this concert, the two will contrast their practices.
Featuring a conversation with the Maria Geffen Lab and Ranjit Bhatnagar.
Ellen Fullman’s career in music was launched at age one, when Elvis Presley kissed her hand. She went on to earn a BFA in Sculpture from the Kansas City Art Institute, leading her to create her “Metal Skirt Sound Sculpture,” which she wore to perform Streetwalker at the 1980 New Music America festival in Minneapolis. Soon after, Fullman accidentally discovered the sound of longitudinally vibrating long strings. Since then, she has been developing the Long String Instrument (LSI), and its abundant possibilities. Fullman has presented her work in art spaces, festivals, and museums in the United States and in Europe. She has been the recipient of numerous awards, commissions and residencies including: Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants to Artists (2015); Center for Cultural Innovation Grants (2008 and 2013); Japan/U.S. Friendship Commission/NEA Fellowship for Japan (2007); and DAAD Artists-in-Berlin residency (2000). Fullman’s work was cited by Alvin Lucier in his Music 109: Notes on Experimental Music (Wesleyan University Press, 2012) and by David Byrne in How Music Works (McSweeney’s, 2012).
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.
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.”