Sound Scene offers both scheduled events and installations that run all weekend. Scheduled performances and workshops are listed first on the schedule below followed by all-weekend installations.
Scheduled Performances & Workshops
Friday, June 3
3:00 PM – 7:00 PM Laurie Anderson Presents Lou Reed’s Drones with Stewart Hurwood. Tickets are required. For details and tickets click here.
For one time only, Grammy award-winning musician and multimedia artist Laurie Anderson presents a drone-based sonic outdoor experience as part of the yearlong celebration of Lou Reed’s 80th birthday. Anderson and special guests will perform live throughout the afternoon alongside an installation of guitars curated by Reed’s former guitar technician Stewart Hurwood. Reed’s instruments are arranged with a group of amplifiers to create an enveloping drone of harmonics that shift as the sound waves and the audience move through the space.
Saturday, June 4
10:00 AM – 1:00 PM Workshop: Maker Mornings (Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden, Across Jefferson Ave.)
Explore sound at our hands-on activity stations throughout the Garden. Build noise-makers, play in the tot “sound space,” and create a collaborative sound sculpture garden.
12:00 PM Workshop: Liberation Chant by Freedom Futures Collective (Hirshhorn Plaza)
Chants can be a meaningful tool for the movement of ideas and usher in cultural transformation. Join this workshop to learn more about liberation chants and to develop your own. Artists from the Freedom Futures Collective will outline foundational vocabulary including rhythm, beat and lyrics. Then, working in small groups, participants are invited to craft their own liberation chants to transform the Hirshhorn Plaza into a stage for positive social change. Duration: 40 minutes
1:00 PM Workshop: Theremin by Dorit Chrysler (Meet at the Sound Scene welcome table.)
The theremin is an intriguing and unique electronic instrument that uses electromagnetic fields to generate sound. Participants will learn to draw out the haunting sounds from renowned composer and thereminist Dorit Chrysler. Trust the invisible! Bring only your hands and the music will follow. Duration: 40 minutes
This artwork is supported by the Goethe Institut Washington, DC and the Austrian Cultural Forum.
3:00 PM Workshop: When the Others Lick Underneath Your Tongue by Ivetta Sunyoung Kang (Lerner Room, Third Level)
This small group workshop will be a creative, hands-on, demonstration of how the installation piece, When the Others Lick Underneath Your Tongue, was created. Led by artist Ivetta Sunyoung Kang, participants will learn about visual sonography and generate original scores from personal speech. Participants are invited to produce (and keep!) their own small music boxes as a part of the workshop. Duration: 1 hour
This artwork is supported by the Korean Cultural Center in Washington, DC, Embassy of the Republic of Korea, and the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario.
Sunday, June 5
11:00 AM Workshop: Sonic Meditation with Layne Garrett (Meet at the Sound Scene welcome table.)
Meet at the Sound Scene welcome table and then walk over to the Hirshhorn’s Sculpture Garden to participate in a very special sonic meditation inspired by the sound artist Pauline Oliveros. Sound and listening are acts of trust and through this guided and participatory sonic meditation you’ll connect with your own voice as well as the sounds of your environment. Duration: 40 minutes.
1:00 PM Interactive Performance: Offering with Leigh Davis and the Threshold Choir (Hirshhorn Plaza)
At a time when people all over the country are contending with so much individual and collective loss and grief, this sound rich community singing experience invites audiences to connect with their own voices, from the Hirshhorn Plaza, to bring light to the personal and universal aspects of mutual loss. Offering is a chance for these emotions to be processed in community and through song. Song sheets will be provided. No singing experience needed. (Please consider wearing a mask to support the safest environment for all participants.) Duration: 30 minutes
2:00 PM Workshop: Sounds Like Us: Creating Collaborative Musical Instruments with Code with Yeseul Song (Lerner Room, Third Level)
What song does humanity compose? What about a duet? In this workshop participants are invited to create a webcam-based interactive system where two people compose and activate sound together through collaborative body movements. A browser-based tool and machine learning library will be used, and participants will build an instrument based on a provided example so no programming experience is necessary. Participants will need to bring their own laptop computer and as such, advanced registration is required. Duration: 1.5 hours
Audio Art Installations
Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden (Across Jefferson Ave.)
Rainmaker by Dave Greenfieldboyce (Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden, Across Jefferson Ave.)
Trust the rain. Rainmaker creates a three-dimensional rainstorm soundscape with you as the conductor. Tune the effect to be the rain that you want or need at the moment, from a fine mist to a thunderous downpour to the gentle drips of a storm gone by. Galoshes optional.
Sound Scapers by Art Clay (Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden, Across Jefferson Ave.)
Explore original instruments crafted by Arthur Clay and sound scape the Hirshhorn’s Sculpture Garden. Through the combination and manipulation of acrylic, piezo electronics, mobile amplifiers, tension springs and your creativity, sound and space are transformed.
Spatial Garden by TCW (Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden, Across Jefferson Ave.)
An on-location musical journey through the history of the Hirshhorn Museum Sculpture Garden, “Spatial Garden” delivers a different kind of spatial music—composed to change depending on your movement, and evolving to reflect significant eras of the Garden’s past and future. After premiering at last year’s Sound Scene, the app has been updated with historical photos, facts, and even speeches from the Museum’s groundbreaking for you to explore. Just download the free app for iOS or Android (at home, on your data, or on the Hirshhorn’s WiFi) and begin walking through the Sculpture Garden for the full experience. Headphones are highly recommended for the full sound spatialization effects.
Spirit Houses for the Living by Barry Schmetter (Plaza)
Spirit Houses for the Living is a sculptural interactive sound installation that relates the states of housing, houselessness and living spaces to the process of mediation and equilibrium between the loss and regeneration of trust.
Trust in Response by Kelsey Bosch and Reuben Houser (Plaza)
Two participants work together to create a chain of unique improvised sonic events using a keyboard midi controller, which will directly affect a series of lights. The presence and quality of the sounds and light emitted describes the connection and interaction between them. By working together to create their sonic composition, the participants will engage in the collaborative aspect of building trust.
Trust Your Voice by KDC Guild (Plaza)
Step up and trust your voice to create a soundtrack for Sound Scene. Facilitated by the KDC Guild, audiences are presented with a question, and the invitation to respond into the mic by saying/singing/rapping/or expressing their answer however they feel best (example: When was the last time you were really surprised? What is your hope for the future of DC?). Fully formed concepts, abstract or poetic language, are all welcome. Backing tracks provided by KDC and if guests choose not to participate in recording their personal audio, they can support other guests’ participation in the performance, and/or write or draw their own responses on the community board.
Fruit Salad Collaboration by Jocelyn Frank (Lobby Level)
It’s ok to play with your food – in fact bring a friend! By connecting with others and trusting that connection, you can bring forward new music – with the help of oranges, bananas, pears and maybe a spritz of lime.
Trust Metric by Zara Karschay (Lobby Level)
Are you a trusting person? On what do you base your trust? Is the digital world to be trusted because of, or in spite of, the human hands that played a part in building it? And how fragile is judgment, when it is based on so many variables including image, text and sound? “Trust Metric” asks the audience to reflect on their experience of gauging and awarding trust online by participating in the same exercise as the subject of the piece. Viewers can mark their trust along a sliding scale from 0 (no trust) to 5 (absolute trust) and they are then invited to modify their responses over the course of the experiment.
Conversations with the Material World by Catherine Monahon, Elizabeth de Lise, Selena Loomis, Dominique Tutwiler, Deborah Czeresko (Level 2)
Conversations with the Material World invites audiences to explore the intimate topographies of four sculptures made of clay, glass, fiber and wood in an experiential installation that braids together soundscapes, narration and touch. Conversations can include observation, practice and learning. When we allow meaningful conversations to unfold with a material, we rebuild trust in our own tactile experiences and creative impulses; we create opportunities to better understand who we are, where we feel belonging and what our role in the world can be. In celebration of the queer, non-binary nature of the world around us, Conversations with the Material World is created by five queer and non-binary artists.
Video Credits: Stephanie Chiri, Glass Hand Studios, Chibueze Crouch, Char McCutcheon, Jeffery Strausser
Handphone Table by Laurie Anderson (Level 2)
The idea for The Handphone Table came to Anderson when she was writing on an electric typewriter and, in a moment of frustration, put her head in her hands, elbows on the table. She heard the sound of the humming typewriter transferred through the wooden table via the contact points of her elbows. The vibration traveled by bone conduction through her arms and into her inner ear. The Handphone Table was originally made for the Projects series at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 1978. This version was made by Anderson and the Exploratorium in cooperation with MASS MoCA, North Adams, Massachusetts. The music was composed by Anderson.
Up to two visitors at a time may interact with The Handphone Table. To experience the work, place your elbows in the depressions on the table and put your hands over your ears.
Trust Me I’m a Doctor by Katie Semro (Level 2)
Women are disproportionately affected by chronic illnesses, with one in every four women having an autoimmune disease. Daily life for these women can be a struggle, but their symptoms are often hard to treat. Walk in the shoes of nearly ¼ of all women by journeying through a sonically sculptured corridor. Through the layering and fragmentation of real-life stories from women across the country, Trust Me I’m a Doctor examines the struggles these women face in their search for healing.
Two Subtle Bodies (2022) by Yeseul Song with sound design collaboration from Jesse Simpson and Greg Halleran. (Level 2)
Two Subtle Bodies is an interactive auditory experience where two strangers walking inside a space experience the other person’s peripersonal space through sound coming from bone conduction headphones. The subtle body is a concept that appears in Taoism and Dharmic religions to indicate bodies that are neither solely physical nor solely spiritual, in contrast to the mind-body dualism that has dominated western thought. In neurology, the space surrounding a body is called Peripersonal Space and enabled by visuo-tactile senses. By recognizing and perceiving this soft and fluid space between us, we can unlock new ways of connecting with each other by extending the sense of self and others. Imagine you can hear a stranger’s subtle body through sound. Will this bring us closer? After the experience, participants are invited to make a drawing of each other’s subtle body on paper, which will become a collective perception of the aura of Sound Scene visitors.
This artwork is supported by the Korean Cultural Center in Washington, DC, Embassy of the Republic of Korea.
Nicola Talkback by Jess Shane (Level 3)
Jess Shane’s first radio documentary seemed like a great success. It was a non-narrated piece that followed gymnast Nicola, then 16 years old, as she was forced to retire from a sport she loved due to an unexpected injury. But then Nicola listened, and said she hated it. Nicola Talkback is a piece about what it means to be in, and to tell, someone else’s story. It’s based around a conversation between Nicola and Jess about the process of making the original documentary, and features outtakes from the original documentary.
In Which to Trust? by Jay Afrisando (Level 3)
“In Which to Trust?” invites us to rethink our understanding of sound. This work comprises videos and sound captions by five aurally diverse people that reveal how the sonic sources—the acoustical energy—actually “sound” according to their diverse hearing apparatuses. These differences between the sonic sources and the various captioners’ interpretations leave us a choice of what we should refer to when talking about sound: the objects triggering the sensations, our hearing apparatuses, or both? In which will you trust?
This artwork is supported by the Jerome Foundation through the Jerome Hill Artist Fellowship 2021-22.
Soothing Sounds of Superfund Sites by N.D. Austin, Jeremy S. Bloom, and Danielle Butler (Level 3).
Relax to the dulcet soundscapes of New York City’s often overlooked urban waterways. Too often cast in a misunderstood shadow of decay and toxicity. These waterways are actually teaming with life and beauty. Soothing Sounds of Superfund Sites leverages the classic popular genre of relaxation-oriented ambient field recording to decontextualize these urban spaces and capture the beauty that flows in their waters.
This artwork is supported by the Tideland Institute, which builds infrastructure, tools, and opportunities to help New Yorkers engage with water through creative interventions.
When the Others Lick Underneath Your Tongue by Ivetta Sunyoung Kang (Level 3)
When the Others Lick Underneath Your Tongue is an installation & participation-based work that consists: (1) thirteen sets of music boxes and music note sheets and (2) thirteen vinyl prints of the waves sharing the same musical notes with music boxes, and (3) thirteen sculptural bodies that mimic the personalized bodily apparatus of the artist’s stuttering. . The work generates an imaginary realm where socially, culturally and linguistically aphasic “tongues” can become musical instruments that score sounds to fill the space. It also is where opened vowels within the sculptures become lyrics for the musical dissonance of the scorings. Audiences are invited to forget the mistreatments in response to “allegedly wrong” utterances in historically colonial languages. The installation creates a world where the idea of imperfection and perfection in English pronunciations and utterances does not exist, and instead is transformed into a collective scoring activity.
This artwork is supported by the Korean Cultural Center in Washington DC, Embassy of the Republic of Korea and the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario.
Jay Afrisando (In Which to Trust?) is an award-winning music composer and sound artist. Employing multisensory approaches, he shares awareness of aural diversity, acoustic ecology, and our everyday technological interactions. His works invite others to (re)examine our notions of living entities, ecosystem, and technology through various approaches, including video, spatial audio, fixed media, and improvisation.
Laurie Anderson (Handphone Table, Lou Reed’s Drones) is one of America’s most renowned – and daring – creative pioneers. Known primarily for her multimedia presentations, she has cast herself in roles as varied as visual artist, composer, poet, photographer, filmmaker, electronics whiz, vocalist, and instrumentalist.
N.D. Austin (Soothing Sounds of Superfund Sites) is a New York-based experience designer and maritime historian.
Jeremy S. Bloom (Soothing Sounds of Superfund Sites) is an Emmy nominated sound designer focusing on podcasts, films, and immersive experiences. Past work includes the Statue of Liberty Museum, Radiolab, Nancy Podcast, and the film “Hail Satan?”
Danielle Butler (Soothing Sounds of Superfund Sites) is an installation artist who teaches design at Fordham University.
Dorit Chrysler (Theremin) is a Berlin-based composer and sound artist, as well as co-founder of the NY Theremin Society. Her work explores the application of the theremin instrument in various mediums. She earned her Master’s Degree in Musicology in Vienna and has performed her compositions worldwide. She has been commissioned by the MoMA, the Venice Biennale and her compositions are represented in permanent collections such as the Guggenheim Museum and Moderne Museet Stockholm. Collaborations and residencies include the San Francisco Symphony, Cern, Pioneerworks and the Gaite Lyrique. Dorit has written music for film and theater and produced a ten piece orchestra performance for the LA DisneyHall. Numerous recordings have been released on Bandcamp, InMyRoomRecords (DE), The Prurience Factory (US), Monika Enterprise (DE), PlagDichNicht (AU), PlasticTray Records (US), and Mute.
Arthur Clay (Sound Scapers) is an artist and collaborator who was born in New York and lives in Basel, Switzerland. He is a specialist in the performance of self created works and has appeared at international festivals, on radio and television television in Europe, Asia & North America. His recent work focuses on media based works and large performative works as well as spectacles using mobile devices. He has won prizes for performance, theatre, new media art and curation. He has taught media and interactive arts at various Art Schools and Universities in Europe and North America including the University of the Arts in Zurich. He is the initiator and Artistic Director of the ‘Digital Art Weeks’ in Zurich.
Deborah Czeresko (Conversations with the Material World) is a New York City-based artist and designer; she received her MFA from Tulane University in New Orleans in 1992. Her studio practice includes hot glass sculpting, performance, and collaboration. She has been a glassblowing instructor and visiting artist at many universities and schools, most recently at Tyler School of Arts in Philadelphia, College of Creative Studies in Detroit and LUCA School of Arts in Ghent, Belgium. This piece was made with the assistance of Jeffery Strausser.
Leigh Davis (Offering) is an interdisciplinary artist Her work explores grief, memory, and storytelling – how these universal experiences help define what it means to be human. In recent years, Davis has been producing a body of work about end-of-life experiences (ELEs) – in particular, how they help us understand the emotional intricacy of grief and the ways in which we construct our beliefs about human consciousness and a possible afterlife. She is a former member of the Threshold Choir of NYC.
Elizabeth de Lise (Conversations with the Material World) is a Philadelphia-based artist whose work bridges the gap between “experimental and widely accessible” (John Vettese for NPR). Their band Lizdelise released their EP, Body, with Sheer Luck Records March 2021 — a reckoning with dysphoria and celebration of queer identity. de Lise performs in Yara Travieso’s experimental film/theater works and as a company musician/composer with David Dorfman Dance at BAM, BRIC, Joe’s Pub, and Lincoln Center. They’re an associate producer/sound designer for the Material Feels podcast and music contributor to NPR’s Invisibilia.
Jocelyn Frank (Fruit Salad Collaboration) is a facilitator of the DC Listening Lounge audio art collective and excited by multi-sensory creative collaborations (and also dark chocolate). She’s a sought-after expert in podcast production and interactive art experiences. Her recent clients include The Atlantic, Smithsonian, NPR, BBC, CBS, Performance Today, Pushkin Industries and Slate. Jocelyn loves talking with strangers, leading workshops and audio field trips.
Freedom Futures Collective (FFC) (Liberation Chant) programs educational and multimedia experiences to support the movement for ALL Black lives. We bring together youth, young adults and established artists to collaborate, document, interpret, re-imagine, and (de)construct policing and organizing work.
Layne Garrett (Sonic Meditation) is an improvising musician and instrument builder based in Washington DC. He works with prepared guitars, found objects, and self-built instruments. He plays in the improvising duo Weed Tree with drummer Amanda Huron, as well as in regular and irregular collaborations with a spectrum of players from across the DC and Baltimore sound universe. He is a founding member and currently the director of Rhizome DC. http://laynegarrett.bandcamp.com
Dave Greenfieldboyce (Rainmaker) is an artist and performer in Washington, DC. He is the organizer of the yearly Mount Pleasant Lantern Walk.
Reuben Houser (Trust in Response) is a musician, data scientist, and guitar pedal fanatic and Kelsey Bosch is an interdisciplinary artist primarily working in digital media and installation. By collaborating they are merging their interests and knowledge of analogue and digital sound.
Ivetta Sunyoung Kang (When the Others Lick Underneath Your Tongue) (she/they) is an interdisciplinary artist based in Tkaronto/Toronto on the land now called Canada. She obtained an MFA from Concordia University. Her work has been presented/will be presented at Sound Scene in partnership with the Smithsonian Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden and Korean Cultural Center Washington, D.C. (2022), ArtScience Museum (2022), Dazibao (2022), The Korean Cultural Center Washington DC (2021), Arlington Arts Center (2020), among others. She has participated/is participating in artist residency programs at the AGO X RBC Artist-in-Residence (2022), ZK/U (2023) and DAÏMÔN (2019), among others. She has been awarded the RBC Newcomer Arts Award (2021) and was shortlisted for the Simon Blais Award (2016).
Zara Karschay (Trust Metric) is a creative producer and writer. She lives in Hamburg, Germany.
KDC Guild (Trust Your Voice) connects musicians, producers, comedians, artists, actors, and makers of all kinds; bringing together disparate voices and perspectives to create unique works of art. Co-founders KC Malone and David Brescia-Weiler organize and direct hybrid projects around cohesive themes, incorporating a wide range of genres and artistic fields. KDC Guild establishes a creative framework and communicates with each artist individually to find personal inspiration and connection to the overarching story, within this structure, the artists always come first and are empowered to express themselves freely and take risks.
Selena Loomis (Conversations with the Material World) makes fiber art and performances about soil, cycles, and the time the body keeps; they are curious about liberation and care from the homespace outward. Selena has a BA in Performance from Antioch College and is currently an MFA Candidate at Ohio University in Sculpture and Expanded Practice.
Catherine Monahon (Conversations with the Material World) produces and hosts Material Feels, a podcast exploring the intimate relationship between artists and their materials. Their work is informed by a life-long relationship with art materials, as well as their experiences as an art educator. An artist, writer and recordist, Monahon runs Waveform Ceramics, an audio-themed ceramics shop and clay classroom in Oakland, CA. Their writing has been published in The New York Times, WIRED Magazine, MIT Press, and the British Medical Journal.
Barry Schmetter (Spirit Houses for the Living) is a Washington DC area-based sound, visual, and installation artist. He creates ambient/experimental music and video art as @resonant_space. He is the co-founder of the DC Modular Collective. He has also worked as a coordinator for multiple arts organizations, including Artomatic and Filmfest DC. You can follow his work on Instagram and Bandcamp as @resonant_space.
Katie Semro (Trust Me I’m a Doctor) is an audio creator living in rural New Hampshire. She is currently working on a project called Til it’s Gone, which will be a feature-length audio documentary about all we’ve lost — places, objects, abilities, freedoms, dreams, identities, etc. — and how these losses have changed us. The documentary will feature voices from ordinary people all over the world and will be experienced through virtual and in-person listening events. Katie is a believer in the connective power of shared stories and seeks to disrupt grand narratives in favor of story with a lowercase s.
Jess Shane (Nicola Talkback) is a media artist from Toronto based in Brooklyn. Her work explores the intersection of capitalism and narrative. She is the co-founder of Constellations.
Yeseul Song (Sounds Like Us: Creating Collaborative Musical Instruments with Code) is a South Korean born and New York based artist and educator working with technology and interaction. She creates non-visual experiences that challenge human perception and its relationship with our society, culture, and the environment. Her work has been supported by Museum of Arts and Design (MAD Museum), New Museum’s NEW INC, Mana Contemporary, Clayarch Museum, Future Imagination Fund, Wave Farm, Engelberg Center, Art in Odd Places, and More Art, among others. She teaches at NYU’s ITP.
Sound Design Collaboration: Jesse Simpson & Greg Halleran
TCW (Spatial Garden) is a DC-based group/label focused on leveraging technology to compose and deliver music in different ways. Their spatial music applications, which leverage spatial movement as a primary compositional element, include “Year One,” the first known augmented reality album. They have also collaborated to build an augmented reality orchestra, “Spatial Orchestra,” with Cinema-Sonic. To learn more about how TCW composes music spatially, or to get started building your own music apps, visit TCWav.com.
Dominique Tutwiler (Conversations with the Material World) is a San Francisco-based furniture maker, designer and owner of Oaksmith Furniture, a business started with the mission to make handcrafted, custom furniture accessible for all. Their minimalist design aesthetic is driven by their belief that a piece should be just as functional as it is beautiful.