“We spend about one-third of our lives sleeping and dreaming, yet scientists still don’t know exactly why. In an average lifespan of 77 years that is 25 years of our lives”.
SleepWalks is a sound art project by Andrea Williams and Lee Pembleton that explores the impact of sound on dreams by playing to a sleeping audience who then journal about their experience in the morning. Pembleton and Williams use field recordings to improvise a thematic eight-hour musical composition for an audience that sleeps in the performance space. Coffee, tea, and a light breakfast are served in the morning as participants wake up and journal about their dreams and experience. The goal for this long-term project--that began in 2009--is to create soundwalks for dreamers, and to explore the boundaries of collective dreaming. Utilizing the timestamps of the EEG headband readers worn by participants and provided by scientist Todd Anderson and the sound sample timestamps by Pembleton and Williams, there is evidence that sounds can, and indeed do, shape the dreamworld of participating dreamers. Previous overnight SleepWalks venues include a NYSCA grant-funded multi-media dance performance collaboration with Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company at the Chapel + Cultural Center in Troy, NY; Issue Project Room, NYC; Soundwave Festival at Intersection for the Arts, San Francisco, CA; Diapason Gallery, NYC; Parsons Hall Gallery, MA; and Mills College, Oakland, CA as part of Deep Listening/ Ione’s Dream Festival.
TODD ANDERSON As a neuroscientist and creative coder, Todd Anderson builds systems that enable faster learning based on recent research into how memories are formed. Sleep is an important part of memory formation, as sleep is when new short-term memories are consolidated into long-term memories. In fact, by curating the sonic environment during both daytime studying and nighttime consolidation, a learner can boost their memory of their studies. This phenomenon was discovered in academic sleep labs around the world, and his company, Sheepdog Sciences, worked on a version for home use that was utilized to track stages of sleep and brainwaves of participants in the SleepWalks overnight performances.
LEE PEMBLETON Lee has been composing and performing music and art for over twenty years. The bulk of that time has been spent investigating sound environments and creating performative installations. He has been a member of several contemporary music/ performance ensembles & jazz bands along with the occasional rock, psychedelic & folk groups. He has performed his works at a variety of venues, ranging from the Smithsonian's Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden to Chicago's infamous punk club, the Czar Bar. His installations have been featured in museums, galleries and clubs in America and Europe. http://vime.org/http://earthboundmoon.com
ANDREA WILLIAMS Sound artist, Andrea Williams, utilizes site-specific elements and perceptual cues to reveal the unseen connections between people and their environment. Her compositions make use of field recordings, instruments, computer technologies and the sound of the performance space itself. She has led soundwalks based on concepts of acoustic ecology and Deep Listening in New York City, San Francisco, and also in people's dreams in the collaborative project called SleepWalks. She has shown and performed both solo and with various musicians and artists at galleries and alternative spaces internationally, such as the Whitney Museum, Eyebeam, Roulette, The Kitchen, Children’s Creativity Museum, NPR, and the Mamori sound artist residency in the Amazon rainforest. Andrea has created soundscapes for Hope Mohr Dance at Stanford University and video environments for Alyce Finwall Dance Theater at the Joyce Theater in NYC. She is a board member of the American Society for Acoustic Ecology, a yoga teacher, and she is studying our connection to water via soundwalks as a Ph.D. candidate in Electronic Arts at RPI in Troy, NY. http://www.listeninglistening.com