THE SCOOP | New Adventures In Sound Art Set To Reopen In South River

L-R: The new NAISA centre; the Decomposing Piano installation (2) (Images courtesy of NAISA)

New Adventures in Sound Art (NAISA) is set to reopen their North Media Arts Centre in South River, Ontario. The newly renovated centre includes a fully accessible small scale performance and exhibition space, along with a café and community access space.

Located near Algonquini Park, the organization and centre are dedicated to experimental sound art. That includes increasing awareness of the potential for its many different forms through sound technology. NAISA organizes several annual events to that end, including the Deep Wireless festival of Radio & Transmission Art and the SOUNDplay festival, among others.

Nadene Thériault-Copeland, Executive Director, commented in a statement. “We are very excited to be re-opening in our newly renovated and accessible gallery and café and to welcome visitors back to experience media art. We have an indoor exhibition as well as an outdoor installation, and our internet café with seating will once again allow for many community connections and art-inspired conversations.

New Adventures in Sound Art’s staff and board of directors are very grateful for the funding received from the NOHFC that contributed towards the upgrades of NAISA’s new facilities. We are also thankful for the many donations received from supporters far and wide that contributed towards the purchase of this new location. This combined support will have a lasting contribution to the future vitality of NAISA as a media arts organization, as well as to South River’s community as a whole.”

Still from Tree Earth Sky by Wild Empathy and The Sound of Tree Rings by Simon Lysander Overstall (Image courtesy of the artist)
Still from Tree Earth Sky by Wild Empathy and The Sound of Tree Rings by Simon Lysander Overstall (Image courtesy of the artist)

Outdoors: The Decomposing Piano installation

The semi-permanent outdoor installation is exactly what it sounds like: an ongoing exploration of the Northern Ontario climate vs an upright piano. The piano naturally breaks down physically over time, revealing new sounds that are captured with contact microphones and other amplification systems. The public can play the piano as it transforms over the next year or two.

Indoors: The music of trees

Indoor exhibitions include Tree Earth Sky, and The Sound of Tree Rings. Tree Earth Sky, part of the Wild Empathy project by artist-researcher-educator Julie Andreyev, offers a VR experience that immerses participants int the sounds of the intact old-growth forests of Vancouver Island literally from the ground up. Visual and audio was recorded of the underground mycelium network that connects a specific grove of trees using 8K definition with ambisonic audio.

The Sound of Tree Rings by composer-media artist Simon Lysander Overstall used a “tree cookie” from an old growth cedar in Vancouver’s Stanley Park that fell during a storm in 2006. Simon calls his process an “evocative interpretation” rather than strict sonification, using a generative software system to determine pitch, volume, and bow pressure. That data is then used to play six one-stringed instruments using bows, roughly corresponding to the six strings of a bass. The sound is then synthesized.

The indoor exhibitions continue until January 30, 2023.

New Adventures in Sound Art is located in the traditional territory of the Anishinabewaki peoples covered by the Williams Treaty (1923) and Robinson-Huron Treaty (1850).

A ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place on January 17 at 1 p.m. at NAISA’s new location in South River. There will be performances on the Decomposing Piano and a chance to check out the indoor exhibitions and space. More information here.

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