Jenna Lyle

Sound Design

“Subject to Change”

Every person, whether aware of it or not, is an audience member in nearly every waking moment of life.  In the traditional sense and also subconsciously, one absorbs art and rhetoric presented in an abundance of forms on a daily basis.  And each art form one absorbs presents itself through a set of filters designed to make it more or less significant to a certain type of audience.  A single spoken statement, for instance, can have one meaning if spoken delicately, and another meaning entirely if spoken with force.  Similarly, a sound-recording can speak to the subconscious in differing ways depending on, for instance, its frequency spectrum (the types of frequencies that are boosted or attenuated by means of sound filtering).

In an effort to isolate the role of filtering in the art and rhetoric that unconscious audience members absorb every day, Lyle will build an installation presenting a single sound source, very intimate, exposed, and unaffected in nature.   She will then show the many ways in which it can be filtered and changed (by means of digital sound processing), varied sizes and qualities of speakers, spatialization, and placement of found objects near sound sources to alter sound direction and resonance).  As a result, perhaps Lyle’s audience will find that one sound (or message), if manipulated enough, can have innumerable meanings, some of them in complete contrast to the original.  The installation’s audience will have the freedom to distort, cover, and filter the sound output by moving acoustic objects near, away from, or in front of the eight-channel loudspeaker outputs placed around the acoustic space.

Lyle’s hope is that an audience experiencing this work will be prompted to consider the sources of what they hear, see, taste, and smell on a daily basis, that they might experience these things contemplatively, question intention, and recognize that varied outputs often share a common expressive source.

About the Artist:

Jenna Lyle, b. 1984, is a composer, vocalist, and sound artist from Carrollton, Georgia. Currently in Chicago, she is pursuing a Doctorate of Music at Northwestern University under the tutelage of Lee Hyla, Hans Thomalla, and Jay Alan Yim.

Jenna has worked with various ensembles and specialized in the performance and presentation of works by living composers. Her works have been presented throughout the U.S. and abroad, with performances recently by DMC Duo, NO EXIT New Music Ensemble of Cleveland, Seattle’s Young Kreisler ensemble under the direction of Jayce Ogren, and by performers at UCLA’s Hammer Museum as part of the Little William Theater project.

Sparse and dramatically expressive, Jenna’s works tend to be organic in nature and style, exploring the concepts of intimacy, human interaction, and body awareness while attempting to draw both performer and listener into a contemplative experience of sound and its production.  Her style has been described as having a “leave-’em-wanting-more approach, offering music whose brevity and surface uncomplicatedness enhanced its ear-grabbing ability.”-Gavin Borchert [Seattle Weekly, Aug. 2010]