Over the past decade, harpist Mary Lattimore and ambient composer Julianna Barwick have each created their own inimitable universe of light.
Julianna Barwick is a master of ethereal soundscapes. They are often wordless, built instead around multiple layers of sound and unique mixing of her own voice. She’s released many records over the years, and often works on unique and stand-alone projects. In 2014 she recorded the Rosabi EP, a collaboration with Dogfish Head Brewery that incorporated recordings of the brewery into its pieces. She’s collaborated with many other artists, including Yoko Ono, Philip Glass and The Flaming Lips.
Her latest project was based at the Sister City Hotel in Manhattan. She collaborated with Luisa Pereira, a music technologist at New York University, to create a dynamic and perpetually evolving score. This piece of music, to be played in the hotel’s lobby, changed in response to the atmosphere and sky above the hotel. A camera was placed above the hotel and used Pereira’s programme to trigger sounds that Barwick had composed. Barwick scored different pieces and different sounds to accommodate all the events that could occur – pigeons, planes, clouds and stars. The music is played 24 hours
a day and acts as a pseudo weather forecast for those indoors.
Now based in Los Angeles, she is working on a variety of projects including having written original music for BalletCollective and a commissioned piece for The Ecstatic Music Festival in New York City.
Mary Lattimore is a Los Angeles-based harpist. She experiments with effects through her Lyon and Healy Concert Grand pedal harp. The improvisations and semi-structured noise that she produces centres on her Line 6 looping pedal. This allows for sounds that diverge from the expected on a classical harp.
She is well versed in collaborations herself, including co-writing a reimagined score for the 1968 experimental silent film, Le Revelateur. She writes and works with many of the top songwriters currently performing, contributing harp parts for the likes of Kurt Vile, Sharon Van Etten and Steve Gunn.
Her newest album, Hundreds of Days, sees Lattimore go further than the harp and prove her abilities as a composer of ambient music. The record centered around her two-month residency at the Headlands Centre for the Arts in Marin, California. She overlooked the Golden Gate Bridge and experimented on an array of instruments, including electric guitar, theremin and synthesizer. Her most important instrument in this project was her voice. She added her harp and pedals to this, and the result is a new sound and a broadening of her palette. Hundreds of Days is the best of Lattimore so far.
The Great South Pacific Tuning Fork and 95bFM are excited to welcome these two internationally acclaimed songwriters to perform one special collaborative show at the Tuning Fork on 19 June. It will be a soundscape unlike any other. (FINN MCLENNAN-ELLIOTT)
Tickets are available from www.ticketmaster.co.nz