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IN PLACE: An Experimental Sound Project at Silo City and Artpark

Author: Jordan Soldaczewski

Music plays around us every day. Whether you’re sitting in a waiting room, listening with your earbuds, or jamming on the car ride home from work, music is always there. While most people only think of the traditional form of song as music, there is a deeper sense to the word for Buffalo’s music initiative, Null Point.

Null Point is a project which pulls together emerging and established composers with musicians. They create sound in a nontraditional way by highlighting artists whose style is often neglected by traditionalist institutions.

Composer David Dunn has explored a multitude of artistic avenues with music. This year, Null Point will present work by Dunn twice throughout the summer.

Dunn’s project, titled IN PLACE, is one which explores music that can be found within certain spaces. Each performance is unique to the environment it is conducted in, and merges the sounds of nature with music. The performances will use the musical components of voice, instrument, electronic, bodily, and natural sounds. The natural materials will be found on the site to create an organic sound particular to that place. All these elements will be performed through structured improvisation and will blend into a peculiar symphony.

Each performance is unique to the environment it is conducted in, and merges the sounds of nature with music.

This project will conquer its world premiere in Buffalo’s Silo City from 2 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on June 17 with the rain date of June 18, and at Artpark from 2 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on July 16 with a rain date of August 13. Admission to the Silo City performance is $10, and free for people 18 or younger, and tickets can be purchased at the site with cash only. The Artpark performance will be free admission to all.

Silo City

Null Point Curator Colin Tucker explained the reasoning behind the choice of these places for this project.

“This work aims to build on and enrich the sonic tapestries already happening in a place. Both Silo City and Artpark offer intricate (and contrasting) soundscapes—numerous species of bird and mammals, humans, rivers, waterfalls, wind, distant traffic, boats, industrial fans, and more—together with acoustically striking landscapes,” Tucker said.

Since the project will take place over the course of the day, it is broken up in ten parts. Audience members are encouraged to bring a lawn chair and a picnic basket. They will be free to leave and come back throughout the day. In the final section, the audience will have the chance to join in with sound creation of their own, based on materials they find on the site.

IN PLACE will be performed by Null Point’s eleven performers, composed of the faculty and graduates of local universities along with three renowned experimental performers. Dunn crafted the idea of site-specific music creation in the 1970s and is piloting the project with hopes of growth. Dunn would like to commission new works under this idea by inviting artists of historically oppressed groups to perform in the series. Through this initiative he hopes to touch on issues like environmental destruction, corporate exploitation, racism, colonialism, and classism.

Save the date for this extraordinary once in a lifetime experience and check out Null City’s website for similar events in the future.

Program Information (online at PLACE, a Performance in Ten Parts, WORLD PREMIERE performance

Composed by David Dunn (1975), performed by Null Point, curated by Colin Tucker and Ethan Hayden

Saturday, June 17 (rain date Sunday, June 18), Silo City, Buffalo, NY, 2-8:30pm, $10 (18 and under free) (Facebook event)

Sunday, July 16 (rain date Sunday, August 13), Artpark, Lewiston, NY, 2-8:30pm, FREE

For more information:


Julia Cordani—solo voice, electronics, body, found materials

Leanne Darling—voice, electronics, body, viola, found materials

Jessie Downs—solo voice, electronics, body, clarinet, found materials

Bob Fullex—voice, electronics, body, percussion, found materials

Ethan Hayden—voice, electronics, body, trombone, found materials

Megan Kyle—voice, electronics, body, violin, found materials

Zane Merritt—voice, electronics, body, electric guitar, found materials (lead image)

Colin Tucker—voice, electronics, body, cello, found materials

With special guests:

Sarah Hennies (Ithaca, NY/Meridian) (—voice, electronics, body, percussion, found materials

Jonathan Hepfer (Los Angeles, CA/Monday Evening Concerts/California Institute of Arts) (—voice, electronics, body, percussion, found materials

Written by BRo Guest Authors

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