Beauty in the Bleak is the first edition of Art Assembly's Saisionscape - A series of sonic investigation into the seasons. Beauty in the Bleak reflects on the themes of midwinter - greyness, sparse and minimal landscapes, perhaps inspiring periods of inward focus and self reflection. And the notion that from these places focus great creativity and beauty can be born. In the first edition of the series we explore the theme of Beauty in the Bleak with artist Lauren Bon’s Requiem for Water in collaboration with Thomas Bloch and Kemper Norton. In addition, new emerging artists müllZimmer and The Cabinet of Living Cinema.
Along the shores of the now dry Owens Lake, at the foothills of the tallest peaks on the North American continent sits an industrial ruin. Lauren Bon’s Requiem For Water has turned these ruins into a musical instrument. This durational sound sculpture is meant to leave a stain upon the silence a sonic remainder of the water that once supported life in this valley.
Requiem for Water is a composition for glacial time. The industrial silos that were built to mine Silica from the dry lakebed have been in disuse for thirty years. The once grand Owens Lake has been dry for one hundred years, the water redirected to Los Angeles. Requiem for Water is a sound offering to mark the centenary of the opening of the LA Aqueduct. It is about the presence of absence. Lauren Bon.
Beauty in the Bleak is produced in partnership with BBC Radio 3’s Late Junction programme. Glass harmonica player Thomas Bloch, electronic artist Kemper Norton and from Lauren Bon's Sonic Devision, Douglas Lee and Aaron Ebensperger collaborated live from London Maida Vale studio with artists in the silos of Requiem for Water beside the Owen’s Valley dry lakebed in California. The artists in the silos included Lauren Bon herself, vocals from Dani Lunn and David Baine from the Sonics Division as well as a murmuring chorus made up of from the Owen's Valley community.
The Cabinet of Living Cinema and müllZimmer were selected by a panel including Radio 3's Late Junction, Art Assembly and Lauren Bon's Metabolic Studio to take part in the Beauty in the Bleak Collaboration and broadcast out on Late Junction. Their clips from the broadcast can be heard below.
We are very thankful to Arts Council England for supporting the Saisonscape series