Colloquium: Birgit Ulher


Thursday, October 10, 4:30 p.m.
McLean Center, 112 S. Michigan, room 522

Birgit Ulher will deliver a performance and lecture based on her recent work, Radio Silence No More.

Ulher uses extended speaker, fed with radio noise in her trumpet mutes. The trumpet functions as an acoustic chamber and modulates the radio noise, thus the trumpet is transmitter and receiver at the same time. She also uses metal sheets as "vibrating objects". She creates  multiphonics by varying the pressure on the metal sheets, which are held against the trumpet bell.

"The sounds are rather territorial, perceived as a rough surface. I think that Ulher's background as a visual artist is reflected in this spatial thinking. Sounds begin and end with long pauses of silence. The tendency is sculptural or three-dimensional, but the sounds also tend to dislocate the listener, pushing the listener in different directions towards different borders. It is an album that one must listen to in a room and not in an iPod. Sometimes the speaker and the trumpet are so close that it suddenly feels that you are inside the radio, and then, suddenly, perceived from a distance.... There is something in Ulher's art that makes her a highly interesting musician. Sometimes I imagine her trumpet as some sort of microscope, with a set of lenses that unexpectedly turns a grainy image into brocade." (Johan Redin, review of Radio Silence No More)