Opening of Soundwaves in Moody – The Rice Thresher

Photo courtesy Sarah Morris

By Julia Li 01/25/22 11:34 PM

The Moody Center for the Arts is hosting its latest exhibit, “Soundwaves: Experimental Strategies in Art + Music,” to celebrate the history of artistic and musical experimentation, paying homage to visual artists and performers who blend the two in a melting pot of visual and sound elements.

This exhibition integrates the experimental strategies of art and music to illustrate the threads that connect these two seemingly disparate mediums. The exhibition addresses a range of themes, including perception, memory, the passage of time, the relationship between technology and the environment, and the struggle for social change.

Alison Weaver, executive director of the Moody Center, said the exhibit was particularly meaningful this year.

“The exhibition was inspired by the fifth anniversary of the Moody Center for the Arts and the 10th anniversary of Turrell Skyspace, the first [Skyspace] in the world to deliver an integrated speaker system,” Weaver said. “As we celebrate this anniversary year, we hope the experimental spirit inspired by Skyspace will continue to resonate through the next decade of the arts at Rice.”

The exhibition features numerous artists, including Nevin Aladağ, Raven Chacon, Jamal Cyrus, Spencer Finch, Idris Khan, Christine Sun Kim, Trevor Paglen, Anri Sala, and Jorinde Voigt, among others. The works present experimental and sensory responses with indeterminate results; Nevin Aladağ’s “Body Instruments”, Jason Moran’s “Gesture Paintings” and Naama Tsabar’s “Transition series” focus on the visceral body of the person who creates, interprets and experiences such sensory responses.

The exhibition will be accompanied by performances in the galleries and in the blackbox theater located at the Moody Center.

“We look forward to a season of programs and performances in collaboration with Rice’s faculty and Shepherd School of Music students, as well as guest artists and musicians,” Weaver said. “The first is February 17 at 7 p.m. conducted by conductor Jerry Hou of the Shepherd School, and the second [is] on April 14 by visiting Navajo artist Raven Chacon.

Two improvisational performances featuring students will also be included in the student-only opening on January 28.

“We plan to have free boba tea for the first 50 students in attendance as a treat to open the new semester,” said Marc Armena, co-chair of the Moody Student Collaborative which organizes the student opening.

Due to the focus of the exhibit, The Moody Student Collaborative reverses the flow of art inspiration from music by releasing “The Soundwaves Playlist”.

“We have launched an open call for proposals on our Instagram page. There will be six posts, each showcasing a different piece from the exhibit where students can comment on musical suggestions,” Armena said. “Each post is another way to increase their chances of winning a $25 Coffeehouse gift card. The completed playlist will be presented by DJ KTRU during the opening where the winner will be announced.

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