Sound is ephemeral. It does not belong to anyone. It cannot be captured in words. Writing on sound art usually focuses on the same familiar figures, but this treatment will broaden the field to explore artistic practitioners like the godfather of movie sound, Walter Murch, the king of the jungle Chris Watson, naturalist and explorer Alexander von Humboldt, pioneer wildlife recordist Ludwig Karl Koch, American pioneer composer and master teacher James Fulkerson, uncompromising composer Eliane Radigue, visionary sound sculptor Edgard Varèse, offbeat composer Luc Ferrari, true maverick Maryanne Amacher, and sonic terrorist MSBR aka Koji Tano and others.
Sounding Things Out explains what it is like to work as a composer with sound and installation art. Drawing on anecdotal and personal insight as well, Esther Venrooij explores the spaces between sounds, and follows the subject through the cracks where it isn’t supposed to go, thereby making her sound art theory accessible to anyone with an interest in music and sound.
Following sound as a subject matter through the cracks where it isn’t supposed to go, and by exploring the spaces between sounds, Esther Venrooy breaks away from traditional writing about sound. She explores this subject in balancing of her experienced practice as composer working with sound and installation art, with critical reflection.
Authors: Allon Kaye, Clodagh Kinsella and Hans Demeulenaere
Graphic design by Arthur Roeloffzen
Proofreading by Clodagh Kinsella
Made possible thanks to the generous support of Onomatopee, OPAK Research Platform for Architecture and the Arts; LUCA School of Arts and KU Leuven, Faculty of architecure, Campus Sint Lucas Gent and Brussels.
Esther Venrooij considers her dual roles as artist and composer as occupying two different sensorial planes. She creates work in a variety of media, such as composed music, improvised combinations of electronica, video and site-specific installations. With a sharp focus, both in her studies and creative impulses on audio topography, she explores the way sound and movements inhabits space. Having collaborated live and in the studio with a variety of visual, sound and dance artists, Venrooij’s biography reads like a mixed media map of projects. She has performed and presented her works extensively for audiences in Europe, Asia and United States. In November 2015, she completed her PhD studies in Art at KULeuven with an exhibition of a series of sound installations and a dissertation: ‘Audio Topography: The Interaction of Sound, Space and Medium’. In 2018, she was granted a ZAP-mandate at KULeuven, in the field “Spatial Experiences: Spatial Experiences: Visual, Auditory, Sensorimotor, Tactile and Conceptual” and is she supervising doctoral research projects.