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Ways of Hearing (workshop)
with Supreme Connections

Saturday - 1:00pm (ET)
April 13, 2019

Holy Apostles and The Mediator
260 S 51st St (at Spruce) Philadelphia PA 19139
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Free, RSVP encouraged

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Ways of Hearing is a multi-part workshop lead by the artist group Supreme Connections that explores the complexity and nuance of Maryanne Amacher’s artistic practice and her idea of “perceptual geography” as an approach to composition. These events will include in depth listening and discussion of archival audio, and the presentation of unpublished images of scores, notes, and texts selected from the Amacher Archive. The workshop is open to all, but overall group size is limited. Advanced registration is strongly encouraged.

Please note: Holy Apostles & the Mediator Episcopal Church is not wheelchair accessible.  The entranceway to the main floor is approximately five steps above street level. The middle portion of the evening takers place on on the second floor of the building and requires going up and down one flight of stairs.  

This program runs from 1pm to 5pm. Breaks and light refreshments will be provided.


Today media exist which begin to mirror the sensitive range of our perceptual modes. As technologies develop to enhance the range and subtlety of our responsive energies, will the auditory arts do likewise? Will sound art explore emergent technologies to delve consciously into these expanded sensitivities? And in what ways? Taking VR (Virtual Reality 3D sonic imaging and graphics, telepresence, and cyberspace) as a point of departure, this workshop examines possibilities of individualizing sonic architectures for listeners and for spaces – an approach to composition as “perceptual geography.”

With today’s programmable immersive technologies, scenarios can be created which focus on multiple perceptual viewpoints as we respond to auditory events. Ways of hearing — how we locate, sense and feel sonic events — are in fact the specific factors which characterize experience in immersive sonic architectures; how we particularize acoustic information to construct distinct transformative experiences. How certain sounds are to be perceived — what perceptual modes they trigger, where and how they will exist for the listener — becomes as important in shaping an aural architecture as the acoustic information: frequencies, tone colors, and rhythms.

“Will certain sounds be locatable, seem miles away, feel close, pulsate vertically above our head, vibrate an elbow, suddenly appear in the space, dramatically disappear as though without a sound? Do we perceive the sound in the room, in our head, a great distance away: do we experience all three dimensions clearly at the same time? In the room, does the sound drift, float, fall like rain? Does it make such a clear shape in the air we seem to “see it” in front of our eyes? Is there no sound in the room at all, but we continue to hear “after-sound” as our mind is processing aural events perceived minutes ago? Do we experience sonic imaging very near, moving beside (outside and around) one ear only: “feel” patterns as they in fact, do originate and develop quite specifically inside, within our ears…

Excerpted from Maryanne Amacher’s “MUS 352B Workshop in Electronic, Electroacoustic and Computer Music Composition” course listing at Bard College.


In 2012 a group of Amacher’s former collaborators took up the baton, joining forces to collectively engage with the questions of the posthumous life of their friend’s site-adaptive work. Under the name SUPREME CONNECTIONS (the top secret sound lab featured in Amacher’s unrealised treatment, Intelligent Life), the loose formation developed a model for realizing Amacher’s radical approach in keeping with its complex conception of “the work.” Recreating the working methodology of Amacher’s later years through conscious interpretation rather than incongruously faithful reenactments, SUPREME CONNECTIONS created a series of large-scale “hearing as if” installations at the Funkhaus, Tate Modern, Bienal de São Paulo, and Stedelijk Museum. This iteration of SUPREME CONNECTIONS is comprised of Bill Dietz, Sergei Tcherepnin, Keiko Prince, Woody Sullender, Nora Schultz, and Amy Cimini.


This event is part of Maryanne Amacher: Perceptual Geographies

Major support for MARYANNE AMACHER: PERCEPTUAL GEOGRAPHIES has been provided by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, with additional support from the Musical Fund Society of Philadelphia and the Aaron Copland Fund For Music. Presented in collaboration with Blank Forms.

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