We know James O’Callaghan‘s music very well. It often blends electronics and acoustic instruments in one of the most literal ways possible – by diffusing electronic sounds through the bodies of pianos, guitars, violins… James and his collaborators make birds fly out of books, and we’ve heard James project his own recorded voice through a foam cup held in his mouth. Unified, witty and sometimes sonically spectacular, this music suggests not only a different way of speaking to the world, but also a different way of hearing it.
Beavan Flanagan‘s string quartet is beautiful. His sonifications of NASA space data are so unapproachable they are actually hazardous to listen to for protracted periods. In person, he speaks very softly. Sometimes, in making art, we feel pulled in a direction, and sometimes, we throw ourselves to a new place – few composers can create instrumental textures as refined as Beavan’s, but our guest on April 7th is not one to rehash old formulas.