Interview with Sound Artist Jay-Dea Lopez

Jay-Dea Lopez Notes ARI Remix in progress, February March 2016 Photo: Jay-Dea Lopez
Jay-Dea Lopez Notes ARI Remix in progress, February March 2016 Photo: Jay-Dea Lopez

 

PA:

 

Tell me about your work as an artist Jay-Dea, how where and when you began making art and why sound?

 

 

JDL:

 

I studied musical composition and performance for around 15 years so working with sound is a natural extension of that. About 6 years ago an interest in the way that sound informs and alters our perceptions of the familiar started to be of interest to me. Making field recordings and using them in raw and modified forms became a way to explore the way in which sound heightens our basic emotional states and our relationship with the world.

 

PA:

 

Tell me about the projects you have been working on recently?

 

JDL:

 

I completed a series with Radio National called “The Colour of Sound”. It follows the story of different philosophers, composers and scientists who were interested in finding the exact correlation between frequencies of colour and sound. Each episode features one colour on the ROY-G-BIV spectrum and the individual who laboured to find its corresponding pitch.

 

Around the same time I also curated an exhibition, “Auditory Visions”,  of seven printmakers whose work I interpreted through sound. It was a great experience working with some of my favourite artists;  G.W. Bot, Jan Davis, Rona Green, Alexi Keywan, Bruce Latimer, Travis Paterson, and Michael Schlitz.

 

PA:

 

Tell me about the process you used to make this particular soundscape?

 

JDL:

 

I started by listening to each interview. Hours and hours of interviews, each one paused and repeated so I could take notes for future reference. My initial plan was to use a lot of field recordings to provide some kind of historical tone to the piece until it became clear that the voices belonged in the present, that they were a living archive.

 

After several hours of interviews it became clear that a similar story was being told by all of the interviewees. Queensland in the late 70’s and 80’s, young art graduates finding themselves while developing their art practice, Bjelke Peterson’s presence being felt in the police state. It was these recurring themes that helped form the basic narrative of the sound piece.

 

It was quite a daunting experience in that I didn’t want to misrepresent anyone on the piece, it was important to not use a phrase spoken by one of the artists out of context. This was their history and I needed to be careful to not impose myself onto it.

 

PA:

 

Thanks Jay-Dea you kindly listened to many hours of artist recordings conversations and observations what sort of picture of the 1980s did these recordings evoke for you?

 

JDL:

 

As much as there were references to Bjelke-Petersen and his repressive police state it seemed as though a freedom existed within it. Being marginal/ised allowed a cloak of invisibility under which the artists who were interviewed were able to forge their own path. Brisbane sounded at once hostile and supportive, a place of dichotomies. So much seems to have changed, for better and for worse.

 

PA:

 

What are you working on now?

 

JDL:

 

I’m slowly putting together a proposal for another print and sound show.

 

Artist Website:

 

http://soundslikenoise.org/

 

 

Listen to ARI Remix Vox Pop (Local Colour Remix) here:

 

http://www.remix.org.au/project/ari-remix-vox-pop-local-colour-remix/

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