Philip Blackburn likes the acoustic coupling of sound and space. Born in Cambridge and attending Abingdon School near Oxford, he recalls going weak at the knees at 11 with the opening crash of Carmina Burana, trying to play King Alfred’s Blowing Stone and make the Berkshire Downs echo, and walking into a San Diego roomful of the Harry Partch instruments at 16. He attended Clare College as a choral exhibitioner and studied composition with Kenneth Gaburo in California and Iowa City, where he earned a PhD and directed the Lynceus Consort, an experimental/early music choir. He has published the Enclosure series of Harry Partch archives, made field recordings in Vietnam, Cuba, and Belize, and produced nearly 400 albums as director of the American Composers Forum’s innova label. Apart from Partch and Gaburo, his pantheon includes Pauline Oliveros, Henry Brant, and the Eton Choirbook. His work as an environmental sound artist has made plants, sewer-, and eco-systems audible, and has animated harbors, science museums, children’s festivals, parks, parking lots, and deserts with extra opportunities for listening.
Duluth Harbor Serenade, Sewer Pipe Organ, Car Horn Fanfare (search these on Youtube)
For thousands of years, architecture has been described as ?frozen music.? I want to melt those edges and reinvigorate the use of sound in public art; to make musique concrÃ¨te with a mixer and trowel; to further the practice of listening; to make a camera obscura for the mind?s ear ? by subtly activating the acoustic environment and building magical resonant spaces: chirping stairs, fluttering walls, singing wires, throbbing sewers? Music with some assembly required.