Ambient art (artist's book).
For “Crickets,” artist Mungo Thomson has collaborated with composer Michael Webster to transcribe field recordings of crickets from around the world into a musical score. The result is a dynamic composition for a 17-person classical ensemble: violin, flute, clarinet, and percussion. The score contains 25 chapters, or “movements,” such as “12. Reunion Island, the Cirque de Cilaos at 1,300 m altitude, February 1998, nightfall in a banana plantation.” “Crickets” was performed in Los Angeles as part of The Pacific Standard Time Public Art and Performance Festival (2012), and this year a concert will take place on the High Line in New York.
Mungo Thomson is an artist whose work frequently touches on silence, blank space, and cultural motifs around reception. “Crickets” sums up Thomson's interests in ambience and in audience succinctly: crickets are such a ubiquitous aural backdrop that they have come to stand in for silence, and in the realm of performance, crickets are what is heard when a performance bombs.
Mungo Thomson (born 1969 in Davis, California) is an artist based in Los Angeles. Thomson's work in various media (film, sound, sculpture, photography, publications) explores backgrounds, negative space and atmospherics—whether material and phenomenological or social and historical. His artworks concern perception and cultural mediation, and often rely on existing forms of recognition and distribution.
Mungo Thomson has had solo exhibitions and projects at SITE Santa Fe (2013); the Times Museum, Guangzhou, China (2013); Aspen Art Museum (2012); the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2008); The Kadist Art Foundation, Paris (2007); and GAMeC, Bergamo, Italy (2006), among others. His work was included in The Istanbul Biennial (2011); The Whitney Biennial (2008); and The Performa Biennial (2005), among others.
Michael Webster (born 1966 in Berkeley) is a composer and recording artist based in Los Angeles. He is the author of many art songs as well as two chamber operas which have received performances in The United States, Latin America and Europe. He is known for a special sensitivity to rhetoric and the rhythms of speech—producing settings of text in which speed and meter are fluid. A founding member of the seminal LA psychedelic group "The Native Shrubs of the Santa Monica Mountains", Webster has also recorded two solo albums and worked in the studio as an arranger and sideman with artists as diverse as Tracy Chapman, Van Dyke Parks, the Circle Jerks and Winnie the Pooh. Webster has also worked with and for many visual artists including Sharon Lockhart
, Kerry Tribe, Bruce Yonemoto, and Jeff Koons, and is half of performance-art duo "Shakeys" with Joe Sola. He is currently finishing a multi-year project "Nice Day for the Races", an opera/film from a radio play by Samuel Beckett.