National Public Radio
"It's so haunting... if you could think about how stars should sound. I think they should sound just like this." said Jacki Lyden on NPR during an interview with sonic artist Jeff Talman, composer of "Nature of the NIght Sky."
The Sound of Stars
Talman's 50-minute work, made entirely of modeled star sounds in collaboration with Viennese astrophysicist Daniel Huber, was first presented as an installation in the Bavarian Forest, Germany. "A mystical sound installation in the forest," echoed the German press (Bayerwald Echo) about this quasi-symphonic work that's literally filled with the rich ambience of space and time.
Talman's work in stellar resonance is presented in this recording, his debut CD release, in binaural stereo format, which produces a rich immersive, surround environment if listened to with headphones or earbuds. Binaural stereo is otherwise perfectly compatible with home DVD and CD loudspeaker playback systems.
The guide Ralph Wenzl leads eleven people down a mountain trail just after sundown. Looking back I see a row of flashlights as the determined faces hovering above them descend into the forest gloom. We cross a small footbridge over a brook into a tree-ringed clearing where the slope of the mountain forms a natural forest amphitheater. Ralph speaks briefly about what we will hear – the sound of stars. The forest grows quiet. Then the night sky begins to sing and our faces are illuminated by the stars.
Stars create thousands of roaring resonant sounds that cannot penetrate the vacuum of space. But stellar seismology, the study of the oscillations of star masses, makes possible the scientific reproduction of their sound. Scaled to the range of human hearing the star sounds infuse Talman’s composition with a cosmic reality and the vast timelessness of space.
"Nature of the Night Sky," Jeff Talman's debut CD release is now available on disc and by download as the premiere release for New Domain Records, NYC.
Recognized as a pioneer in the use of resonance in art (Intuit, Oxford University) this visionary artist has created numerous important sound installations such as those in Cathedral Square, Cologne, for the MIT Media Lab, The Kitchen, Eyebeam, St. James Cathedral, Chicago, four installations in the Bavarian Forest, and those in Finland, the Czech Republic and Italy among others.
His major achievement is the decade-plus exploration of reflexive resonance, the process he developed in which ambient resonance of a site becomes an installation’s sole sound source. Talman’s work further investigates the nature of sound and other primal radiant and wave forces (light, gravity, the sea) and their effects in generating concepts of natural and architectural space, human presence, place and time. Talman was trained as a composer, but also studied visual arts as an undergraduate. He attended and eventually taught and directed orchestras at Columbia University and the City College of New York. He has been awarded major fellowships including those from the Guggenheim Foundation and the New York Foundation for the Arts. He has been working with computers and digital sound since 1984.
Currently working at the Sydney Institute for Astronomy, Australia and slated to move to a position with NASA-Ames in California in Fall 2011, this astrophysicist's main area of research is the understanding of the structure and evolution of stars, as well as the characterization of planets found around other stars.
Huber is an active member in a number of major research collaborations, including the NASA space telescope Kepler. His work has been published in internationally renowned magazines including Nature, Science and The Astrophysical Journal. Daniel Huber was born and raised in Vienna, Austria. He received his Master’s Degree in Astronomy at the University of Vienna in 2007 before moving to the University of Sydney to obtain his PhD in Astrophysics.
© Copyright 2011 by New Domain Records, NYC