This output is a multi-component piece consisting of a suite of three performances and two documentaries. The performances premiered between 2014 and 2017 and investigate how new musical compositions can use the experience of aural impairment to create music which reveals itself in both visual and audio terms to engage audience (both those with hearing impairment and full hearing) in new ways.
Riley has created multi-sensory compositions, performances, documentaries and installation to create music that is not only heard but also felt. In total, this work represents a complex and multi-layered research process of creative investigation and practice.
Reserve for an output with double weighting
In conducting this research, I wanted to investigate how new musical compositions can be used to develop new ways for audiences to listen, both those with hearing impairment and full hearing. The aim was to create three pieces of innovative, flexible, music, performed by solo musicians, which could function in variable contexts and help explore resonance in different ways. The research also focused on the development of a software to enhance the interface and productivity of the musical engagement.
The research adopts a synergised approach in which composition, design and computer manipulation are equally weighted. The inner workings of all aspects of the creation are transparent, and part of the performance or installation aspect is that the listener is able to understand where sounds were created, where (and how) they are manipulated, and how transferences of energy through sound happen. It combines the world of concert music with art installation. Much research has considered new ways of generating sound through the applications of electronic and computer manipulation. Much rarer is the successful combination offered here of a cohesive and mutually-enhancing balance between the sonic dimension (the construction of objects, mechanisms, applications of acoustics, and computer processing) and the composition itself.
The research findings challenge existing artistic practice by demonstrating new possibilities for creating music for those with hearing impairments – the use of film, displayed-text, signing, cause and effect with objects, and utilising vibrating surfaces on which participants can sit or lie. The findings demonstrate a change in the way the different audiences listened, as their engagement with the senses of feeling and seeing was synergised in new ways with that of hearing.
The three pieces of music were performed between 2014 and 2017. The first one, Hanging in the Balance, premiered in London on 6th December 2014.