Some familiar objects

Other Worlds Festival invited artist Adam Basanta to spend a week in Blackpool at the beginning of March 2016 to develop a new piece of work to displayed during the festival.  ‘Some Familiar Objects’ will be exhibited at Abingdon Studios on  Saturday 9th April and Sunday 10th April

Adam Basanta – Some familiar objects

Bead curtain (white) – Sound sculpture. 2016.

88 pairs white ear buds, 16 channel sound, electronics.

Bead curtain (white) reconstructs a familiar (if outdated) object, emphasizing the transition between work and presentation spaces.

Much like the bead curtain, the ubiquitous white ear buds is used in everyday life to enable a separation between inside and out – the listener’s internal bubble and the surrounding environment – with the ear bud as visible “do not disturb” sign.

The 88 pairs of earbuds emit random patterns of white noise which mask nearby sounds despite the relative low volume of each ear bud, creating a permeable barrier through which visitors enter the presentation space.

21st century lullaby – Sound sculpture. 2016.

8 speaker cones, wood, speaker wire, rotating fan, electronics.

21st century lullaby reconstructs an enlarged version of a “baby crib mobile” using 8 speaker cones of various sizes, makes, and backgrounds.

Each speaker plays back a single lullaby at glacial pace. The 8 lullabies – originating from the British Isles, mainland Europe, Scandinavia, the Middle East, and Japan – intertwine with one another note-by-note to create a new hybrid melody.

As lullabies across all cultures share a similar musical syntax (generally, a limited amount of notes, repetition of phrases, and consonant cadences), the resulting intertwined lullaby is at times surprisingly convincing while at others increasingly dissonant.

As each lullaby contains a different amount of notes, the intertwined melody is ever changing and will not repeat during the duration of the exhibition.


Adam Basanta (b. 1985) is a Montreal-based sound artist, composer, and performer of experimental music. His work traverses sound installations, electroacoustic and instrumental composition, site-specific interventions, and laptop performance. Across disciplines and media, he interrogates intersections between conceptual and sensorial dimensions of listening, instabilities of instrumentality, and means with which site and space can be articulated.

His sound installations have recently been presented in North America and Europe in galleries and institutions including Carroll/Fletcher Gallery (London), National Art Centre (Tokyo), American Medium Gallery (NYC), New Media Gallery (CAN), Serralves Museum (POR), Edith-Russ-Haus fur Mediakunst (GER), Vitra Design Museum (GER), Laboral (ESP), Gallery B-312 (Montréal), Fonderie Darling (Montréal), Titanik Gallery (FIN), The Center for Contemporary Arts Santa Fe (USA), and BIAN 2014 Digital Art Bienale (Montréal). His installations have been awarded in the Prix Ars Electronica 2013 (honourable mention, Hybrid Art category), the 2014 Edith-Russ-Haus Awards for Emerging Media Artists, and the Excellence prize in the 2015 Japan Media Arts Festival. His work has been positively reviewed in publications such as Artforum, Hyperallergic, ETC Media, Neural magazine, Musicworks, Creator’s Project, The New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal.

His experimental concert music has been presented worldwide, including appearances in the MATA Festival (NY), Gaudeamus Musicweek (NL), CTM Festival (GER), Akousma Festival (CAN), and Mutek Festival (CAN), and have been awarded multiple national and international prizes, including Métamorphoses 2010 (Belgium) and the Grand Prize in the SOCAN Foundation Awards for Young Composers (Canada). Recently, his music has been released on Kohlenstoff Records (Montreal), Farmacia901 (Italy), and Cassauna (USA).

Adam holds a BFA in composition from Simon Fraser University (Vancouver, BC) and an interdisciplinary MA in composition and sound art installation at Concordia University (Montreal, QC).