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Tactile Music



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TACTILE MUSIC (2015-2016)

For one year I had the good fortune to undertake a series of music performances centered on the Deaf experience. Working collaboratively with artists and composers Pauline Oliveros, Tarek Atoui, Johannes Goebel, and Michelle Temple, Tactile Music is my term for the three performances I either co-developed (Closed Captioning and Prototonic Improvisation) or participated in (Haptic Trio) that featured music created expressly for the purpose of being perceived through touch and vibration.

Each performance unfolds as a structured improvisation, where participants took cues primarily through haptic and visual feedback. The intention was to compose music inclusive of an audience with a broad diversity of sensory experience.

Closed Captioning took place December 8, 2015 at EMPAC. Prototonic Improvisation and Haptic Trio were part of an evening of performance called Within organized by composer Tarek Atoui while he was in residence at EMPAC. Free and open to the public, Within took place on May 13, 2016 in the lobby of EMPAC.


Additional excerpts from the performance Closed Captioning (feedback piece) by Michelle Temple and Matt O'Hare. Recorded at EMPAC in Troy, New York, December 8 2015.

Closed Captioning (feedback piece) is a choreographed music performance of tactile noise that uses large-scale paper sculpture for the manipulation of analog feedback through bodily gesture. Developed especially for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community by artist and electronics fabricator Michelle Temple and artist Matt O'Hare, the two outsized kinetic sculptures --- referred to as "sails" --- utilize microphones embedded in large paper surfaces as a means of generating sub-bass sound intended to be felt as much as heard.

With the above in mind, it is recommended that the viewer place their hands on speakers capable of producing bass frequencies 40-250Hz as a means of experiencing the resulting audio through the body.