Barbie Kjar: Sonido/Sound

3 - 20 November 2017

The ears are our radar and antennae.

In this exhibition I am investigating the connection between sound and place (In particular Barcelona and Hobart ) and sound and colour.

 

Earlier this year I visited Barcelona, Malaga and Sardinia to record sounds and research music instruments.

 

In Sardinia, I visited the Sound Sculpture Garden in San Sperate with sculptures by Pinuccio Sciola populating the grounds. Pinuccio Sciola has been called the man who makes rocks sing - his standing rock sculptures are like ancient menhirs - stones with souls shaped and grooved to allow Pinuccio Sciola to access their inner resonance and their sonorousness.

 

In Spain, I recorded sounds from a range of sources including the street, the metro, flamenco bars, and various apartments. The noise was constant, especially in Barcelona where living conditions are very close. A friend described the noise as equivalent to the end of the world, where the sound is thunderous and jolting. It is common to hear the garbage trucks collecting rubbish at 3am, people shouting, singing, having sex, practicing piano and talking. Life is on the street.

 

The contrast in sound was striking when I returned to Tasmania and my house at Kingston Beach. I could hear the sounds of nature, cockatoos shouting at 6am, dogs barking, blackbirds, the rain and the sea lapping then pounding the beach.

 

This exhibition is also inspired by the relationship of sound to colour. Sound and colour are linked, In technical terms the colour of sound refers to the power spectrum of a noise signal – the spectral density of a noise is distributed over different frequencies and different spreads of frequencies are given different colour names, including white, pink, brown, violet, red, blue and orange ‘noise’.

 

Ultimately, this exhibition explores the relationship between the colour of sounds in Spain, Sardinia and Tasmania.

 

 

Walnuts - Poem by Rumi

 

Philosophers have said that we love music because it resembles the sheer sounds of union.

 

We've been part of a harmony before, so these moments of treble and bass keep our remembering fresh.

 

But how does this happen within these dense bodies full of forgetfulness and doubt and grieving? It's like water passing through us. It becomes acidic and bitter, but still as urine it retains watery qualities. It will put out a fire!

 

So there is this music flowing through our bodies that can dowse restlessness.

 

Hearing the sound, we gather strength. Love kindles with melody. Music feeds a lover composure, and provides form for the imagination. Music breathes on personal fire and makes it keener.

 

The waterhole is deep. A thirsty man climbs a walnut tree growing next to the pool and drops walnuts one by one into the beautiful place.

 

He listens carefully to the sound as they hit and watches the bubbles. A more rational man gives advice, ‘You'll regret doing this. You're so far from the water that by the time you get down to gather walnuts, the water will have carried them away.'

 

He replies, "I'm not here for the walnuts, I want the music they make when they hit."