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Prelude & Altered Landscapes: A Sound Installation with Family Ties

There is a special opportunity for our Boston-area blog readers coming up. John and his son Kenny collaborated on a sound installation for artist Shelley Reed's beautiful exhibit at Wheaton College entitled Tiger in the Living Room.

Reed's artwork has "a contemporary edge, despite its reliance on centuries-old artworks. Her black-and-white palette imbues the work with a cinematic quality, and the large scale of the work (some life-size) invite the viewer to step right into her sumptuously charged environments, filled with figures and wild animals of all kinds in various states of tension with their surroundings and each other..." Read more at the Beard Gallery site.

Artwork by Shelley Reed

John described how this unique father-and-son project came about...

I had composed music for a film called "John Portman: A Life of Building" in 2011. The score came out very well and we had the opportunity to record some live instruments for it. Then in January of this year, John Portman asked me to create a surround sound mix of some of the cues from the score to be background music in one of his new hotels in Atlanta. For various reasons, the plug got pulled on that project –– especially unfortunate since the environment of sound came out really well! 
When I played it for my son, Kenny Kusiak, he said, “Well, you’ll just have to find another venue for it. How about a gallery or an artist?” I immediately thought of Shelley Reed, an amazing painter (and also the wife of Peter Rhodes, a film editor and friend I’ve known for years).
This past July I played the surround music for Shelley and she immediately responded to it. In a fortuitous coincidence, she was planning a gallery show of her artwork in the fall at the Beard Gallery at Wheaton College. After some discussion, we decided on one section of the music that was about 12 minutes long called “Prelude.” She mentioned that it would be ideal to extend it and create a total of 24 minutes of audio, which she said is approximately the average amount of time someone might spend in the gallery looking at her work. She requested something that had environmental sounds related to the imagery in her work.
That’s when I brought in Kenny, who is a sound designer and musician in Brooklyn, NY. He came up with a very cool ambient section created almost entirely with environmental sounds, sound effects and a few other audio odds and end. We called his section "Altered Landscapes.” When we put the two sections together, it became “Prelude & Altered Landscapes.”

You can view this exhibit and sound installation during gallery hours from October 23 through December 16, 2015.

Kenny and John will both be attending the Gallery Opening & Reception on Monday, October 26, from 5:30 to 8:00 PM and they would love to see you there. Stop by and say hello!

RSVP to the Facebook event here.