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David Tudor and Composers Inside Electronics

October 21, 2019 – January 05, 2020

The Museum of Modern Art

MoMA’s inaugural presentation in the Marie-Josée and Henry Kravis Studio highlights a landmark work in the collection: the sound installation Rainforest V (variation 1) (1973–2015), conceived by pianist and composer David Tudor (American, 1926-1996)—an early pioneer of electronic music and sound installation—and realized by Composers Inside Electronics (John Driscoll and Phil Edelstein, with contributions to the sound library by Matt Rogalsky). Rainforest as a concept originated from a sound score Tudor created for choreographer Merce Cunningham’s 1968 dance RainForest, a multimedia performance featuring floating metallic balloons by Andy Warhol and flesh-colored costumes by Jasper JohnsTudor would work with Composers Inside Electronics (CIE) (active 1973–present) on multiple iterations of Rainforest over the next several decades. Rainforest V evolved from Rainforest IV, a collaborative performance installation developed during a workshop at the New Music in New Hampshire festival in 1973.

Rainforest V is an immersive installation animated by a computer program that brings together 20 suspended sound sculptures into a rich sonic and visual environment. It is constructed with designed and found objects, such as a sculpture made of plastic tubing, an oil barrel, and a vintage four-foot-diameter computer hard disk. Each object is fitted with a sonic transducer to amplify its resonant frequencies, providing each object with a unique “voice.” The resulting installation presents a polyphonic chorus created through a collective artistic process.

Additionally, through a collaborative workshop of musicians and artists working across generations and approaches, CIE will create a new realization of Tudor’s rarely performed Forest Speech (1976). In this piece, the performers will use the instrumental nature of the objects in Rainforest V (variation 1) to inspire new interpretations.

Organized by Ana Janevski, Curator, and Martha Joseph, Assistant Curator, Department of Media and Performance; performances produced by Kate Scherer, Manager, with Ginny Benson, Assistant Performance Coordinator, Performance and Live Programs.

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The exhibition is presented as part of The Hyundai Card Performance Series.

Generous support is provided by The Sarah Arison Endowment Fund for Performance.  

Images

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Rainforest V (variation 1). 1973/2015. Twenty objects, sound. Dimensions variable. Conceived by David Tudor, realized by Composers Inside Electronics, Inc. (John Driscoll, Phil Edelstein, and Matt Rogalsky). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Committee on Media and Performance Art Funds. © 2019 David Tudor and Composers Inside Electronics Inc. Installation view, October 21, 2019–January 5, 2020, The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Image © 2019 The Museum of Modern Art. Photo: Heidi Bohnenkamp

Rainforest V (variation 1). 1973/2015. Twenty objects, sound. Dimensions variable. Conceived by David Tudor, realized by Composers Inside Electronics, Inc. (John Driscoll, Phil Edelstein, and Matt Rogalsky). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Committee on Media and Performance Art Funds. © 2019 David Tudor and Composers Inside Electronics Inc. Installation view, October 21, 2019–January 5, 2020, The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Image © 2019 The Museum of Modern Art. Photo: Heidi Bohnenkamp

Rainforest V (variation 1). 1973/2015. Twenty objects, sound. Dimensions variable. Conceived by David Tudor, realized by Composers Inside Electronics, Inc. (John Driscoll, Phil Edelstein, and Matt Rogalsky). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Committee on Media and Performance Art Funds. © 2019 David Tudor and Composers Inside Electronics Inc. Installation view, October 21, 2019–January 5, 2020, The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Image © 2019 The Museum of Modern Art. Photo: Heidi Bohnenkamp

Rainforest V (variation 1). 1973/2015. Twenty objects, sound. Dimensions variable. Conceived by David Tudor, realized by Composers Inside Electronics, Inc. (John Driscoll, Phil Edelstein, and Matt Rogalsky). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Committee on Media and Performance Art Funds. © 2019 David Tudor and Composers Inside Electronics Inc. Installation view, October 21, 2019–January 5, 2020, The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Image © 2019 The Museum of Modern Art. Photo: Heidi Bohnenkamp

Rainforest V (variation 1). 1973/2015. Twenty objects, sound. Dimensions variable. Conceived by David Tudor, realized by Composers Inside Electronics, Inc. (John Driscoll, Phil Edelstein, and Matt Rogalsky). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Committee on Media and Performance Art Funds. © 2019 David Tudor and Composers Inside Electronics Inc. Installation view, October 21, 2019–January 5, 2020, The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Image © 2019 The Museum of Modern Art. Photo: Heidi Bohnenkamp

Rainforest V (variation 1). 1973/2015. Twenty objects, sound. Dimensions variable. Conceived by David Tudor, realized by Composers Inside Electronics, Inc. (John Driscoll, Phil Edelstein, and Matt Rogalsky). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Committee on Media and Performance Art Funds. © 2019 David Tudor and Composers Inside Electronics Inc. Installation view, October 21, 2019–January 5, 2020, The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Image © 2019 The Museum of Modern Art. Photo: Heidi Bohnenkamp

David Tudor. Forest Speech. 1978/79. Performed on Rainforest V (variation 1), 1973-2015, conceived by David Tudor, realized by Composers Inside Electronics, Inc. Performed by Phil Edelstein, Marina Rosenfeld, Stefan Tcherepnin, Spencer Topel, and Jeremy Toussaint-Baptiste. Pictured from right to left: Stefan Tcherepnin, Marina Rosenfeld, and Jeremy Toussaint-Baptiste. The Museum of Modern Art, New York, October 24, 2019. Image © 2019 The Museum of Modern Art. Photo: Heidi Bohnenkamp

David Tudor. Forest Speech. 1978/79. Performed on Rainforest V (variation 1), 1973-2015, conceived by David Tudor, realized by Composers Inside Electronics, Inc. Performed by Phil Edelstein, Marina Rosenfeld, Stefan Tcherepnin, Spencer Topel, and Jeremy Toussaint-Baptiste. Pictured from right to left: Stefan Tcherepnin, Marina Rosenfeld, Jeremy Toussaint-Baptiste, and Phil Edelstein. The Museum of Modern Art, New York, October 24, 2019. Image © 2019 The Museum of Modern Art. Photo: Heidi Bohnenkamp

David Tudor. Forest Speech. 1978/79. Performed on Rainforest V (variation 1), 1973-2015, conceived by David Tudor, realized by Composers Inside Electronics, Inc. Performed by Phil Edelstein, Marina Rosenfeld, Stefan Tcherepnin, Spencer Topel, and Jeremy Toussaint-Baptiste. The Museum of Modern Art, New York, October 24, 2019. Image © 2019 The Museum of Modern Art. Photo: Heidi Bohnenkamp

David Tudor. Forest Speech. 1978/79. Performed on Rainforest V (variation 1), 1973-2015, conceived by David Tudor, realized by Composers Inside Electronics, Inc. Performed by Phil Edelstein, Marina Rosenfeld, Stefan Tcherepnin, Spencer Topel, and Jeremy Toussaint-Baptiste. The Museum of Modern Art, New York, October 24, 2019. Image © 2019 The Museum of Modern Art. Photo: Heidi Bohnenkamp

David Tudor. Forest Speech. 1978/79. Performed on Rainforest V (variation 1), 1973-2015, conceived by David Tudor, realized by Composers Inside Electronics, Inc. Performed by Phil Edelstein, Marina Rosenfeld, Stefan Tcherepnin, Spencer Topel, and Jeremy Toussaint-Baptiste. Pictured from right to left: Stefan Tcherepnin, Marina Rosenfeld, Jeremy Toussaint-Baptiste, and Phil Edelstein. The Museum of Modern Art, New York, October 24, 2019. Image © 2019 The Museum of Modern Art. Photo: Heidi Bohnenkamp

David Tudor. Forest Speech. 1978/79. Performed on Rainforest V (variation 1), 1973-2015, conceived by David Tudor, realized by Composers Inside Electronics, Inc. Performed by Phil Edelstein, Marina Rosenfeld, Stefan Tcherepnin, Spencer Topel, and Jeremy Toussaint-Baptiste. The Museum of Modern Art, New York, October 24, 2019. Image © 2019 The Museum of Modern Art. Photo: Heidi Bohnenkamp