Architecture

Eli Fieldsteel performs a song using the sounds produced by vibrating metal bannisters in the Bass Concert Hall lobby on Wednesday as part of the Music in Architecture competition hosted on campus.

Photo Credit: Amanda Martin | Daily Texan Staff

UT students and Austin residents gathered to explore the relationship between music and architecture through artistic performances Wednesday afternoon.

Participants in the Music in Architecture competition created performances to explore how music can be inspired by architecture. The competition was held in various buildings around campus such as the LBJ Library, the Visual Arts Center and Bass Concert Hall. Members of the Center for American Architecture and Design, the College of Fine Arts and the Butler School of Music hosted the event.

“The competition is about writing music within architecture,” said Center of American Architecture and Design director Michael Benedikt. “Each performance was inspired by the space in which it was to be performed. It’s about unifying music, performance and architecture.”

In one performance, “hEAR TOuch Listen,” people were able to experience architecture of the Bass Concert Hall lobby within their bodies. “hEAR TOuch Listen” was created by Florian Tuerke, Rene Rissland and Eli Fieldsteel.

“Our purpose is to create an instrument from the architecture of the building,” Fieldsteel said. “Then the music is inspired by the natural frequency of the lobby.”

Wires were connected from a computer station on the ground floor to the metal railing balconies on the second and third floors. People were able to hear and feel the vibrations and frequencies throughout the lobby.

Another act called “Research Embodied,” created by Jeffrey Morris, assistant professor of Music at Texas A&M University and Autum Casey, assistant professor of Performance Studies, was performed at the LBJ Library. Actors walked throughout the hall carrying books to embody the research process.

“The performance was about consuming the research in the place, and how you ‘architectualize’ your research,” Casey said. “Our ideas were inspired purely by the music, and our goal was to perform and embody the research process.”

Another performance, “The Infinite Space Between” took place in the Visual Arts Center and was created by Kirsten Volness, Joshua Lantzy and Jacob Richman. Volness said the piece was about the distance between people, and she chose specific natural, intimate sounds to enhance its purpose.

In the performance, two dancers and one musician moved within spaces that had proximity sensors. The movements created by the dancers and the musician controlled an instrument that directed live musicians how fast or
slow to play.

“The building inspired the dancers, the dancers inspired the movement, and the movement inspired the music,” Benedikt said.

Interior design junior Bronwyn Hunt said each performance was different, but she enjoyed “The Infinite Space Between” the most.

“It was interesting. I had more of an emotional response to the performance by being free to experience the space,” Hunt said. “The music even affected the way people moved through the space.”

Printed on Thursday, October 20th, 2011, as: Performance integrates music, architecture