The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Living Arts Department will present Sonic Cloisters, a virtual series of commissioned electronic music concerts filmed in the galleries and courtyards of The Met Cloisters, beginning Wednesday, June 3. The first electronic music series at the Museum, Sonic Cloisters features four revered producers of the diverse musical style commonly referred to as “Techno” music: Seth Troxler and Phil Moffa, appearing as Lost Souls of Saturn; jlin; and Dubfire.
Each artist or couple of artists will present an exclusive site-specific production inspired by the Met’s medieval art collection and the singular architecture of the cloisters and gardens. The series is curated by MetLiveArts in collaboration with Shawn Schwartz, founder of acclaimed Brooklyn electronic music venues Halcyon and Output. A new performance will digitally premiere every month through August and will be available on the Met’s website and online channels, including Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitch, where it will remain free and available to stream indefinitely.
“MetLiveArts has always engaged with performance artists who seek opportunities to challenge themselves,” said Limor Tomer, Lulu C. and Anthony W. Wang, Live Arts Chief Executive Officer, “and Sonic Cloisters continues that tradition. inviting these brilliant musicians to expand their artistic influence and creative process, placing an age-old art in dialogue with contemporary electronic music.These extraordinary producers and performers all bring their different identities and experiences to their music, a true embodiment of the progression of Techno as a global art form.
Schwartz added, “It is deeply humbling and gratifying to commission works from these celebrated artists in contemporary electronic music, knowing that they will be freely available to the Met’s global online audience of art and culture enthusiasts. Thanks to Inclusion in a space typically reserved for traditional performance arts, this groundbreaking series from MetLiveArts represents a bold step in the recognition of Techno as an art form by major American institutions.Especially now, in the context of the global pandemic , the juxtaposition of Techno-understood as a reflection of modern urban decadence and anguished art inspired by the plagues of the Dark Ages, seems oddly relevant and darkly poignant.”
Sonic Cloisters explores unexpected parallels between Techno and medieval art. Techno music emerged in Detroit’s underground music scene during the angst-ridden mid-1980s, and today the techno music spectrum both facilitates the euphoric communal experience and creates an inner space for peace. , reflection and faith. Much like the medieval art that surrounds every performance, modern techno expresses today’s angst, expectation and celebration, responding to iniquity, suffering and uncertainty with innovation and imagination. brilliant.
“It has been extremely exciting to see how these creative performers have responded to the evocative spaces and collections of The Met Cloisters,” said C. Griffith Mann, Michel David-Weill Curator in charge of the Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters. . “Since the building itself is composed of different architectural elements, the remixing and layering of sounds find surprising analogies and resonances in the distinct spaces of the museum, which come from disparate sources, regions and time periods.”
In conceptualizing their performances, the artists explored the main symbols and themes of the collection in consultation with curators from the Met’s Medieval Art Department and The Cloisters. Each transformed a different space at the Met Cloisters according to their vision. Using mediums and methods ranging from simple dramatic lighting to extended reality technologies, artists have created compelling imagery to accompany musical performances. Audio was captured live using three-dimensional Ambisonic microphones that capture the acoustics of cathedral-like interiors in stunning detail, delivering a pure and immersive sound experience.
Schedule of shows, spring and summer 2021:
Thursday, June 3, 9 p.m.
Performed in the Fuentidueña Chapel
The Lost Souls of Saturn (Seth Troxler and Phil Moffa)
Thursday, July 8, 9 p.m.
Performed in the Roman room
Thursday, August 5, 9 p.m.
Performed at the chapter house of Pontaut
Please note: Performances will be filmed on days when the Museum is regularly closed to the public.