The Accursed Sound
In research and pre-produciton.

The Accursed Sound is a project that considers how sound comes to meaning. It is also a study of the vibrational continuum of copper as a material formed in geological space millions of years ago during events of magma degassing, later extracted from the earth and formed into sound making devices. This speculative project posits that the sound of copper isn’t merely in the instrument immediately before us but projects from its earlier incarnation as liquid magma, as an ore mineral in the Earth, as a metal that is ductile and malleable, “non” magnetic, conductive, anti-microbial, one which travels through transformational temperatures on its way to the surface where it is eventually extracted, processed and formed into a cymbal, a bell, or a conductive wire...While this geologic and temporal travel accounts for much of the acoustic properties of a bell it does not specifically detail the cultural, economic and political realm of the material. The Accursed Sound will also engage these forces that act on and within this material. The project will tilt these interconnections threaded through its discovery, extraction, processing, colonial exploitation, human rights, environmental issues, religion & magic, and meaning as sound...

The Accursed Sound is a speculative project that considers what Hell (or hells) may sound like. One version claims the sound of hell is contained in cymbals. These musical objects whose provenance is in the molten layers of Earth only to ooze closer to the surface under great pressure to be extracted by the mouths of industry can surely only sound of Hell.

Consider Dante's connected downward layers of Hell in his Inferno, the spiral and concentric forms of the open pit copper mine where the raw elements of the cymbal come from, the concentric circles of the cymbal itself, and finally the spiralled grooves of a vinyl record as forming the aural and visual motifs for this body of work emerging over the course of 2021.

The project will include audio-visual installation work, stand-alone video and sound works, objects, materials, radio transmissions, performance and a vinyl record.


With the generous support of the Canada Council for the Arts.