Flat Time / Sounding

Flat Time / Sounding

Research Project

2010 - 2014

David Toop

A commission by Whitechapel Gallery and Institute of Contemporary Arts with funding from the PRS for Music Foundation.

This output is the culmination of a research project centred on interaction with the work of the artist John Latham (1921-2006), begun in 1969. It took a new direction with ‘The Body Event’ (2009) which explored sound as an embodiment of memory, theory and presence. FLAT TIME/sounding resulted from a commission (2010) to compose a musical work for a sound performance (2 hours duration) at the Whitechapel Gallery, London. The performers and sound recordist were funded by the PRS for Music Foundation. Based on Latham’s concept of Flat Time and Event Structure, texts, images and durational markers formed a score for improvising musicians. Its purpose was to integrate research as a form of notation and to create a device that opened out the conditions of performance beyond familiar improvisational parameters.

FLAT TIME/sounding was performed internationally five times (once by a group with no previous knowledge of Latham’s work).

Toop’s peer-reviewed chapter on ‘The Body Event’, London (2013) elucidates his concepts of research on voice and recorded histories. An extended peer-reviewed chapter analyses the generation of new musical strategies through practice-led research, London (2013/14).

Toop has given several talks on this research including a keynote presentation, London (2010).

FLAT TIME/sounding scores were exhibited London (2011).

‘FLAT TIME/sounding’ (Liturgy of the Uncountable), an audio work, was commissioned for exhibition online in SOUNDWORKS, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London (2012).


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