maya + rouvelle: The ambient performance of quiet spaces

27th November, 2015

The Ambient Performance of Quiet Spaces is a site-specific exploration of experience at the border of perception and imagination. It was set in Washington DC’s McKinley Theater in the Carnegie Library and performed continually between 8pm-3am. The Carnegie Library, the first public library in Washington, was decommissioned in the late 70’s and it is now a performance and event venue.

In this work, the shared physical, public space of the library is reconfigured so that its new visitors: the audience, robotic cameras and performers are equally engaged in moments of private and public reflection. The form of the work is the active transposition of subject and object and of content and meaning between these three constituencies. This process of transposition is a reference to contemporary digital culture’s ongoing assimilation of earlier cultural forms.

Working with performer Nick Horan, we each took turns on stage, quietly reading and at times engaging with the installation. Two PTZ IP cameras were programed to scan the stage, the audience and each other, similarly pondering their environment. The resulting images were projected onto the screen behind the stage. A soundtrack composed of ambient sounds from existing public libraries, recordings of the preparation of the materials for the installation and ambient sounds from recent installations played quietly throughout the performances.

The Ambient Performance of Quiet Spaces featured an installation of various materials on the stage of the theater that included: card catalog cards, *prepared books (with tape, acetate, LEDs/electronics/code), cables, computers, projectors and IP cameras.

*prepared books included:
> James Joyce’s Ulysses containing excerpts from Emmanuel Levinas’ Totality and Infinity
> John Beecroft’s Kipling: A Selection of His Stories and Poems containing card catalog cards for books related to technology and its impact on the library system
> John B. Noss’ Man’s Religions
> Milan Kundera’s The Unbearable Lightness of Being

Photo documentation

maya + rouvelle: an ideal space on the frontier w/lili maya

27th August, 2015

maya.rouvelle Topolo 2015
click here for the complete set on Flickr

An ideal space on the frontier is a topology of events and media realized for Stazione di Topolò in July 2015. The work includes an installation/performance with mezzo-soprano Carlotta Buiatti, a musical composition, handmade musical instruments, materials found on site, drawings and video.

Inspired by the location and its history on the Italian and Slovenian border, Stazione di Topolò was an ideal space for us to continue to explore with sound, light and movement the qualities of suspension that take place on the frontier; where the essential in-betweenness of all things is evoked, with its ever present shifting perspectives, dualities and parallels.

As an installation/performance, materials (including objects found on site and media we prepared beforehand) were installed and open to the public. Performances in the space by us and mezzo-soprano Carlotta Buiatti were also scheduled, during which we would play a sound work composed of pre-recorded and live sounds made with the materials in the space. The performance would cause the materials/composition of the installation to be rearranged and would remain until the subsequent performance.

Materials: objects found on site, hand-made paper assemblages, drawings, video projection, sound (a pre-composed soundtrack of digital and analog sources, live performance on hand-made acoustic instruments, vocals by Carlotta Buiatti, cassette recorders) and programmed LEDs.

This video was developed on site and includes footage captured in Topolò as well as unpublished material from earlier maya.rouvelle projects whose content foreshadowed this work. The visual echoes between the Topolò footage and the previous work footage form an isorhythm across time and space, another frontier. As a part of the installation/performance the video was projected onto drawings positioned over found objects.

The musical composition is a cross-synthesis of different musics from different times and media organized around the theme of the project.

This video presents the work in its installation form. The accompanying sound is an edited version of the audio track that was part of the work (link above).

maya + rouvelle: music from an ideal space on the frontier w/lili maya

21st August, 2015

Music from our installation/performance at Stazione di Topolò, July 2015.

maya + rouvelle: resownen w/lili maya

29th June, 2015

prelude to installation/performance work for Stazione di Topolo, July 2015


maya + rouvelle: a drift, a tempo w/Lili Maya

28th April, 2015

a drift, a tempo is an electro-acoustic music and live video capture performance.

maya + rouvelle: tiento w/ lili maya

18th January, 2015

our electro-magnet setup in sunlight on a cloudy, winter day. we made a live performance incorporating this work and including some of our glass objects called ballade (below). here is a link to ballade and our other sound recordings on soundcloud.

maya + rouvelle: ballade w/ lili maya

18th January, 2015

live performance with handmade glass objects and electro-magnets. the electro-magnet setup appears on its own in ballade, the video and sound piece above, and with our other works on vimeo here.

maya + rouvelle: Pilchuck Glass School Residency Documentation

8th December, 2014



click here for the complete set on Flickr

During our residency at Pilchuck Glass School, we expanded on work started at the Museum of Glass and we developed a series of new works involving sound making objects, printmaking and drawing. We gave two performances during our residency, and some of our printmaking was exhibited during November 2014 at the Pilchuck Glass School Exhibition Space. Additional documentation of our performances and print process are linked below.

Our sound work with glass involves the creation of shapes that can be bowed or struck to produce fundamental pitches and harmonics so that one instrument can sound more than one pitch. Working carefully with our expert gaffers, Manny Krakowski and Netty Blair, we were able to make several variations of vessel shapes that each produced a complex spectrum of tones. We were also able to develop methods of linking two or more objects on a rocking base so that two objects could be played simultaneously by one player and variations on timbre and attack through bowing, striking, rocking were possible.

For our performances we grouped objects in terms of their tunings and timbres making tuning changes (by reshaping, or filling vessels with water) where necessary to create a specific temperament. Once we created a temperament we improvised extensively with it and developed compositions for it. Our compositions are a mix of rehearsed sections/gestures connected by improvisation. While we usually decide how to start and end, the pieces are largely determined during the performance.

In both our sound and print work we used electro-magnet/neodymium magnet setups where the magnets moved in response to changes in the polarities of our electro-magnets that were triggered by fluctuations in the EMF of the space where they were.

As sound, the clinking/tapping of the magnets against glass added a percussive, chaotic element to our compositions; something that fueled our improvisations as the magnets never behaved the same way in each performance.

For the prints, we used the same set of circuitry, vessels and magnets, but as mark making elements. We set the magnets up on inked plates and let them roll until they were covered in ink and had left marks on the plates. We then made several prints with the plates, and then placed the electro-magnet setup on the prints’ surface in the same configuration and let the neodymium magnets deposit the ink they had previously gathered. Freshly inked magnets were also added in the process. As with the sound pieces, the electro-magnet’s polarity oscillates in response to changes in EMF around them.

Our drawings incorporate variations on the shapes of the goblet and the vessel, primary glassblowing forms that suggested to us the physiology of the inner ear. The drawings functioned as non-dimensional starting points for the development of our sculptural and sound making objects.

Our time at Pilchuck was special and we are grateful to the long list of wonderful people who made our experience so memorable including Tina Aufiero, Rebecca Arday, Jim Baker, Ben Wright, our gaffers Manny Krakowski and Netty Blair, our assistants Keunae Song and Anna Masowsky, Alex Gibson in the printshop, Rebekah Birkan, who constructed the amazing frame for the goblets from found metal in the Pilchuck metal shop and Zach Lorenzetti who made music with us and assisted behind the wheel!

maya + rouvelle: Electro-Magnet Print Process w/ Lili Maya

22nd October, 2014

This is documentation of our electro-magnet/neodymium ball magnet setup that we use in our sound performances re-cast as a mark making element for a print project at the Pilchuck print studio.

We set the magnets up on an inked plate and let them roll until they were covered in ink and had left marks on the plate. We then made a print with that plate, and then placed the electro-magnet setup on the print’s surface, in the same configuration, and let the neodymium magnets deposit the ink they had previously gathered.

The magnetic field oscillates in response to changes in EMF.

The prints we made will be exhibited in Seattle during November.

maya + rouvelle: temperament series w/lili maya

16th September, 2014

temperament series are new recordings of performances with glass instruments and electromagnets developed during our residencies at the Museum of Glass and Pilchuck Glass School.

images are on our flickr.