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Six Strange String Theories

Society for Nontrivial Pursuits 2021/22

Six Strange String Theories aims to spin threads between the ideas of three historical figures: Sun Ra, whose numerous radical innovations included creating the concept album Strange Strings with His Astro-Infinity Arkestra, calling it "a study in ignorance"; Bebe and Louis Barron, who pioneered designing cybernetic circuits with sonic behavior; Alvin Lucier, who invented ways to compose with the material agency of things, among others, long strings; and David Tudor, who invented ways to let the strange agency of electronic circuits and physical objects speak for themselves.

Our installation consists of six long strings stretched across the space, into which we can play source sounds; the resonances of the strings are picked up, and mixed with the sources; and when we send the resonance sounds back into the network of strings, they become a cybernetic feedback system, autopoietically creating their own sound world, which continues to evolve even without sources.

Within the Symposium, the following musicians will play with the Strange String network:

Sound Kite Ensemble with Florian Dombois, Quynh Dong, Fabian Gutscher, Jiawen Wang playing with the Maloja Wind, live-streamed from Sils Maria, Switzerland.

Avinoam Shalev, clavichord
Zihern Lee, gayageum
Andres Ortega, electronic guitar
Anne Wellmer, electronics
Oezcan Ertek, electronics
Alberto de Campo, polyharpye