Leaving is a generative four-loudspeaker composition created for Skaņu mežs by Marina Rosenfeld and Ben Vida, who perform as a duo and have recorded two albums in recent years, Feel Anything and Vertice. Drawing from both records as well as a remote performance that was filtered through the empty volume of New York’s Fridman Gallery during the hot summer of the city’s Covid-19 quarantine, Leaving is the artists’ meditation on the absence and presence, fragmentation and drift of our present reality, “a strange dialogue, dreaming of each other through communication of another order…”
(Francois Bonnet, on Vertice, 2020).
Marina Rosenfeld is a pioneer of relational music composition who addresses the resonances—social, situational, and acoustic—of particular sites through works of music and sound installation. In 1993 she mounted her first all-female electric-guitar ensemble under the name Sheer Frost Orchestra and, over the past twenty-five years, has continued to create experimental performances for large-scale ensembles. In Teenage Lontano (2008) she produced a “cover version” of György Ligeti’s 1967 orchestral work Lontano with forty teenagers. In Free Exercise (2014/16), she distributed a military band throughout a large space to explore relationships of cooperation and conflict. Rosenfeld is a prolific producer of acetate test-pressing records, or dubplates; she recently translated her sonic archive of these delicately degraded and fragmented recordings into patterns, repetitions and other parameters for two drummers (Greatest Hits, 2018). Rosenfeld has collaborated with a wide variety of artists, among them experimentalist George Lewis, turntablists Christian Marclay and Otomo Yoshihide, choreographers Merce Cunningham and Ralph Lemon, and dancehall singer Warrior Queen.
Ben Vida as an artist and composer, has been an active member of the international experimental music community for two decades with a long list of collaborators, projects and releases to his credit. Vida has performed as a musician in several bands since the mid-1990s. He co-founded the minimalist quartet Town & Country and continued to perform as a guitarist and trumpeter for the band. Vida was also a member of Pillow and Terminal 4 and recorded and performed solo as Bird Show and in the Drag City band Singer. In addition to his musical endeavors, Vida has exhibited his work as a contemporary artist in recent years. His work has been performed and presented in New York at the Guggenheim, Audio Visual Arts, and The Artist’s Institute; in London at The Institute of Contemporary Art and The Royal Festival Hall as part of the Meltdown Festival; in Chicago at The Museum of Contemporary Art; and other locations such as the Sydney Opera House, Leap Gallery, Berlin, and Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna.