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New Garden Installation

Posted On April 16, 2014 | 13:16 pm | by lainw | Permalink

Dumbarton Oaks is thrilled to welcome the composer, cellist, and sound artist Hugh Livingston, who will install a temporary sound sculpture in the gardens this April.

Dr. Livingston will be installing a group of twelve organ pipes in the Lover’s Lane pool. The pipes, constituting a chorus of different voices, will create a soundscape composed of remixed recordings collected in the gardens and augmented by newly composed musical materials. From a distance (on the amphitheater steps), visitors will perceive the chorus as a melded whole. Up close, as one circulates the perimeter of the pool, the individual components and their counterpoint will become more obvious. Sound will resonate off the surface of the water and fill the enclosure created by the amphitheater, the bamboo to the east, and the steep slope to the west. The installation is planned to coincide with this year’s Byzantine and Garden and Landscape Studies symposia, both of which focus on the senses.

Hugh Livingston graduated cum laude in music from Yale, and received an MFA in contemporary music from the California Institute of the Arts and a doctorate from UC San Diego. As an artist, he draws on the history of outdoor music-making as well as natural sound and psychoacoustic principles to shape spatialized soundscapes. Hugh has recently been working in collaboration with Russian Riverkeeper in northern California to produce projects along the river. A permanent sound garden, Sound & Place, opened this past June at the Sonoma County Museum in Santa Rosa, and a preview of his river opera, High Mountains and Long Water, was performed in August along the Russian River in Healdsburg. The full opera will receive its premiere in June. Hugh was the 2012/13 McKnight Foundation Visiting Composer in Residence with the American Composers Forum at Caponi ArtPark in Eagan, Minnesota.