Where do you go to hear the voice of architecture?

At midnight, on the eve of the 14th Istanbul Biennial exhibition opening in 2015, we meet British sound artist Oliver Beer inside a 400-year old Turkish bath for an immersive acoustic experience. With microphone and recorder in hand, we follow him into the bath’s hot, steamy inner chamber, where young local opera singers are rehearsing for a one-night-only performance of his composition Call to Sound.

Revisiting our sonic encounter with the architecture of Istanbul is an opportunity to introduce the sound work that Oliver Beer brings to New York in 2019. Keep listening, to hear the site-specific project he created for The Met Breuer, home to the modern and contemporary art program of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Met’s first commission of a sound-based installation, Oliver Beer: Vessel Orchestra is a musical instrument, a series of live performances, and an installation composed of thirty-two sculptures, utilitarian vessels, and decorative objects from the Museum collection.

Call to Sound Composer: Oliver Beer | Musical Director: Eray Altınbuken (ITU/MIAM)
Singers: Seren Akyoldaş, Ufuk Atar, Başak Ceber, Nur Diker, Murat Güney, Recep Gül, Baruyr Kuyumcıyan, Deniz Özçelik, Alin Aylin Yağcıoğlu, Canan Tuğberk

Sound Editors: 2015 Kris McConnachie; 2019 Anamnesis Audio | Call to Sound performance audio courtesy Oliver Beer; Oliver Beer: Orchestral Vessel installation sound courtesy Oliver Beer and The Met Breuer | Installation views of Oliver Beer: Vessel Orchestra at The Metropolitan Museum of Art © Metropolitan Museum of Art 2019, Photography by Wilson Santiago

Fresh Art International
Beginning with research, networking, and field recordings, independent curator Cathy Byrd works with a team of creatives to script, direct, produce, publish, and promote a range of perspectives on contemporary art. Fresh Art International models the fresh thinking and positivity essential to building a sustainable professional practice in the field. With her supporters, Byrd has effectively invented a vital new art media platform that offers a globally-informed assessment and a virtual archive of contemporary art and culture.

For more than 20 years, Byrd has engaged in extensive field work, traveling across the U.S., and to Germany, France, Spain, the Netherlands, Portugal and Turkey. To capture the voices you hear in our Fresh Art International podcast series, she records in-person, via Skype and by mobile phone. Fresh Art International features the voices of Claire Tancons, Tania Bruguera, Theaster Gates, Joan Jonas, Jason Moran, Franklin Sirmans, Marinella Senatore, Cesar Cornejo, Antoni Muntadas, Janet Biggs, Valerie Cassel Oliver, Trenton Doyle Hancock, William Pope.L, and many more. Select sounds and photographs illustrate Fresh News and Fresh VUE features on Miami Art Week, São Paulo Biennial, dOCUMENTA, Venice Art Biennial, Istanbul Biennial, Lyon Biennial, SXSW, ARCO Madrid, Armory Arts Week, Frieze New York, Cartagena Biennial, Havana Biennial, and Prospect New Orleans, among other international exhibitions and events.

Notably, each Fresh Art International podcast episode features an introductory text, photo feature and signature sound. All are archived on multiple platforms, and the full series is downloadable for free on iTunes, Stitcher, SoundCloud, Android, Google Music Play, and Public Radio Exchange, where we make our podcast available for public radio broadcast.

Our Global Initiative
Since the launch of this platform, our reach has spanned the U.S., including residencies on Miami Beach, in Baltimore, Newcastle, Austin, Brooklyn, Chicago, and New Orleans. In Europe, we’ve set up shop in Barcelona, Amsterdam, and Berlin. Engaged with the diverse character of creative practitioners globally, we’ve recorded conversations with visual, performance and sound artists, curators, architects, and filmmakers, among other culture makers. We’ve toured exhibitions and art fairs, attended performances, experienced public art and explored architecture. We’ve captured field recordings worldwide in cities and remote sites including São Paulo, Brazil; New York City; Lubbock; Roswell, NM; Marfa; Baltimore; Washington, DC; Madrid; Lisbon; Istanbul; Bergen (Norway); The Hague; Frankfurt, Brooklyn; Providence, Rhode Island; New Orleans; Chicago; Atlanta; Austin, Texas; and Key West, Florida.