olivia block / maria chavez june 13
Olivia Block creates original sound compositions for concerts, site-specific multi-speaker installations, live cinema, and performance. Her compositions often include field recordings, chamber instruments and electronic textures. Block creates electroacoustic pieces for recorded formats and scores for large ensemble, string quartet, and orchestra.
Her solo performances include partially improvised pieces for various instruments, including electronics, inside-piano, and amplified objects, played in a slow and deliberate gestural style that Steve Smith of the New York Times described recently as having “palpable sensations of volition and emotional involvement.” Block also creates multimedia works for spatially diffused sound and video.
Block has performed, premiered and exhibited her work throughout Europe, America, and Japan in tours and in festivals including Sonic Light (Amsterdam), Kontraste (Krems), Dissonanze (Rome), Archipel (Geneva) Angelica (Bologna), Sunoni per il Popolo (Montreal), and many others. Additionally, she has presented work at the ICA (London), MCA (Chicago), La Biennale di Venezia 52nd International Festival of Contemporary Music, The Kitchen (NYC), ISSUE Project Room and Experimental Intermedia (Brooklyn). She has completed residencies and premiered works at Mills College of Music, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and The Berklee College of Music. Block has presented talks at additional universities in film, music, and media arts departments, including Yale University and Indiana University.
Block has created sound installations for public sites and exhibition spaces including the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, the library at Wesleyan University in Connecticut, the Lincoln Conservatory Fern Room in Chicago, and at the “Echoes Through the Mountains” exhibit at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy.
Her latest LP/download release, Karren (Sedimental, 2013), recorded with the Chicago Composers Orchestra, has been chosen as “Best of 2014″ by The Wire, Pitchfork, and Artforum, among other publications.
Born in Lima, Peru, Maria Chavez is mainly recognized in the art community as an improviser, sound artist and curator.
Her sound installations, visual objects and live turntable performances focus on the values of accidents and it’s unique, complicated possibilities with sound emitting machinery like the turntable.
Influenced by improvisation in contemporary art, her work expands outside of the sound world straddling different disciplines of interest.
Chavez works as an independent sound art curator in NYC, collaborating with various organizations and art spaces, helping to produce events and festivals that present the latest of what is being shown in the sound art world. Being an independent curator helps to expand Maria’s artistic research when developing new projects for her own practice.
She was awarded the Jerome Foundation’s Emerging Artist Grant by New York’s Roulette Intermedium and became a recipient of the Van Lier Fellowship by The Edward and Sally Van Lier Fund of the New York Community Trust. Maria was an artist in residence with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, the Clocktower and the DIA:Beacon Museum. She has worked with Christian Marclay and the Whitney Museum of American Art in NYC as part of Christian Marclay: FESTIVAL and has shared the stage with renowned artists such as: Pauline Oliveros; Thurston Moore; Phill Niblock and Otomo Yoshihide.