From the wild interior of Indonesia's Mentawai Islands, ethnomusicologist Linda Burman-Hall has curated a rare and astonishing range of sounds created by—and performed by—unique species of birds, frogs, insects and female gibbons. These creatures have evolved elaborate vocal creations, including incredible duets sung from the tree-tops by the gibbons, all of which came to the attention of Burman-Hall and her colleague, biologist Richard Tenaza on their research travels.
MENTAWAI — Listening to the Rainforest is an experimental multimedia work braiding natural and electronic sounds and images captured in the field, more than 100 miles west of Sumatra. Inspired by her recent videos and Tenaza's archival field recordings and photographs, Burman-Hall has created an electronic sound collage from the songs of these rare and endangered species, and has interwoven the layers of sound with photographs and video images from the Mentawai rain forest habitat. Two of the movements include traditional vocal music of Mentawai clans from Siberut Island.
The natural sounds, Burman-Hall explains, have been electronically manipulated, overlaid, with pitch and speed adjusted. "Sometimes there is a human sound, drum or gong, or machinery juxtaposed with the natural sounds of animals and birds." The effect promises to be mesmerizing, and the ingenious collaboration of natural and electronically-nuanced sounds and images will be played without narration.
A brief panel discussion with UCSC scientists and artists will follow this world premiere presentation. Burman-Hall is a Professor of Music at UC Santa Cruz. Tenaza is a Professor of Biological Sciences at University of the Pacific in Stockton.
Mentawai - Linda Burman-Hall, sound collage composition and videography
Richard Tenaza, field recordings and photography
Hall opens at 7:00 pm, concert starts at 7:30pm. The event will be presented without intermission.
$10 seniors 62+
$8 youth and students w/ ID
Tickets available in advance at the UCSC Ticket Office (831-459-2159), the Santa Cruz Civic box office (831-420-5260) and at santacruztickets.com
photo: copyright Richard Tenaza