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Innovative New Arts Program: Found Sound by Null Point

The art of sound is alive and well in Buffalo. Whether it’s the line-up of great bands coming through town, or the angelic notes of the restored carillon bells that resound throughout our neighborhoods after years of silence, as the city reawakens, diverse sounds can be found around each and every corner.

From the moment we are born, until the day that we pass, we are able to learn through sound. When I sit up on my roof on a still summer’s day, I can hear the boats on the river, the trains in the distance, the planes overhead, and the cars passing along the streets. And that’s just the sounds of transportation. What we listen to tells us a lot about who we are. Do you know the different types of birds by their respective songs? What radio station do you listen to? Do you tune into the live music of Buffalo’s Super Killer Robots? Or do you prefer to listen to Artemis Quartet at Kleinhans?

Null Point, an artist-run platform for experimental arts in Buffalo, is setting out to open young people’s minds (and ears) to the wonders of sound. The collective will be running a series called Found Sound, where they introduce those who have no previous knowledge of the behavior of instruments to the wondrous joys of found sounds. A musical symphony can be created using found objects, in completely random yet inspiring locations. Through a series of free workshops, Buffalo’s youth will be able to explore the art of making sound through unfamiliar means, in ways that they never dreamed possible. 

After all of the workshops are complete, the program participants will partake in a concert sponsored by The Public. There is no musical experience necessary to attend the workshops, and all of the materials needed will be provided. While any age youth can attend, the programs are designed for ages 5 to 10.

Phase One

Creative Soundmaking with Everyday Objects

Participants will explore the sonic properties of pieces of paper, and will collectively compose and perform a composition for the sounds of paper.

April 1, 4:30-5:30pm, Gloria J. Parks Community Center (3242 Main St, Buffalo, NY 14214)

Creative Soundmaking with Groups of People

Participants will learn about playing music in a group, developing coordination strategies while playing simple percussion instruments. Participants will hone their listening skills, timing, reflexes, and flexibility, culminating in a short informal performance.

May 5, 4:30-5:30pm, Seneca Babcock Community Center (1168 Seneca St, Buffalo, NY 14210)

Creative Soundmaking with Architecture

Participants will explore the close relationship between sound and space, using simple portable electronics. Workshop features special appearance by guest artist Sarah Hennies (http://www.sarah-hennies.com/), and will culminate in a group performance.

While materials will be provided, participants are invited to bring their own portable sound devices (radios, mp3 players, phones, etc.) as well as sounding chambers (bowls, buckets, tubs, pots/pans, etc.).

May 10, 5-6:30pm, Old First Ward Community Center (62 Republic St, Buffalo, NY 14204)

Creative Soundmaking with Everyday Sounds

Participants will listen to everyday ambient sounds, and learn to map these sounds through basic notations. Workshop culminates in informal performance where participants transcribe everyday sounds and imitate them with found everyday objects.

May 18, 5-6pm, WASH Project (417 Massachusetts Ave, Buffalo, NY 14213)

Phase Two

Creative Composition

Participants will collaboratively create a new piece, to be presented at The Public’s event space in late June.

Workshops: May 26, and June 2, 9, and 16, all at 5-6pm. All workshops held at Old First Ward Community Center (62 Republic St, Buffalo, NY 14204); transportation will tentatively be provided from Gloria J. Parks Community Center, Seneca Babcock Community Center, and WASH Project (please contact these sites for details).

Final Presentation: late June, date/time TBA, The Public (1526 Main St, Buffalo, NY 14209) NB: If you desire to participate in phase two, attendance at all five events is highly recommended.

Find Null Point on Facebook |

For more information and updates: nullpointseries.wordpress.com

Written by queenseyes

queenseyes

Newell Nussbaumer is 'queenseyes' - Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside, Buffalo Porchfest, and Paint vs. Paint. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market on Elmwood. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at Statler City, the Hertel Alley Street Art Festival, and The Flutterby Festival.

Contact Newell Nussbaumer | Newell@BuffaloRising.com

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