When last we heard from composer Nat Evans, he was in Portland taking people on a collective listening experience at Mt. Tabor Park. Ever exploratory and forward moving, Evans will be returning to our fair city this coming Thursday for a performance of Space Weather Listening Booth, a “northern lights inspired sound installation,” according to the man himself.
Details on where the event is taking place are scarce, as Evans asks you to e-mail him directly for directions (firstname.lastname@example.org). But you can read below all about the piece, which by all rights sounds absolutely mind-altering. Then check out the piece “In A Shifting Landscape” further down, a composition Evans wrote for viola, cello, and electronics.
Space Weather Listening Booth is an immersive acoustic and electronic performance piece based on the aurora borealis, by Seattle composers Nat Evans and John Teske. Listeners hear the collision of the different space weather events that cause the aurora borealis, realized through an electronic track in surround sound and live performers encircling the audience. Premiered as a sound installation with miniature private performances at Seattle’s ONN/OF Festival, Space Weather Listening Booth has since been adapted for live performance.
Teske and Evans used geomagnetic data, information about solar wind and other phenomenon, and interpreted this data through a series of sounds that interact and slowly change over time. Additionally, to represent the auroral band that rotates around the poles of the earth, the composers plotted a course for the sound to migrate and turn slowly around the listeners. Combined with live performers, Space Weather Listening Booth is a unique sound experience that allows one to hear and feel the movement of these great forces, and experience time and physical space through a new lens.