Longform Editions acknowledges the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, the traditional owners of the land upon which we operate.

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A gallery for listening

Composer and multimedia artist Anqi Liu intricately sculpts the internal fabric of sounds to unearth their latent sonic potential. With a keen ear for the delicate intricacies inherent in soundscapes, she draws attention to the often-overlooked subtleties of the auditory realm. Liu’s recordings and improvisations sometimes embody a ritualistic approach to sound, rooted in her Manchu-Mongolian heritage. At the heart of her work lies an exploration of human micro-kinetic capabilities and the psychological boundaries at the fringe of our physical and mental ecologies. Through her acoustic compositions, she probes these boundaries, seeking their limits. Her scores serve as heuristic maps, guiding performers into realms of introspection, allowing them to witness, experience, and ultimately transcend previously perceived limitations. In the electronic realm, Liu weaves samples from her acoustic pieces with her field recordings and improvisational sessions on synthesisers and laptops. Her design methodology in signal processing and patching orbits around the sonic evolution, defined by the inherent unpredictability of electronic systems and the tangible artistry of fine-tuning controls.

Artist notes:

This piece is a distillation of hours, days, and years spent diving into the myriad spectra of sounds. From the ephemeral notations of my acoustic compositions to the raw, unfiltered field recordings across the US landscape, every piece captures a moment, a memory, a whisper of the world. But it doesn’t stop there. The piece is also infused with the raw, electric energy of modular synthesisers, weaving tales that flit between introspective sonic soliloquies and expansive, atmospheric live performances. To address the philosophy behind these sonic experiments. I want to share a human experience back to the Song Dynasty’s (960–1279) Ru Porcelain. Artisans once tried, failed, and ultimately succeeded in capturing the ethereal blue of the sky on their creations. Yet, the true magic wasn’t just in capturing that blue, but embracing the unpredictable alchemy of iron in the firing process. A challenge intensified by the capricious nature of the iron, making each porcelain’s final hue an unpredictable marvel. Even with the most diligent adherence to the ancient craftsman’s techniques, the outcome remained an enigma until revealed, echoing the essence of real-time experimentation. This piece propels listeners into the vast expanse of the unfamiliar, challenging listeners to grapple with the raw, unpolished edges of sound. Materials have been meticulously curated, yet remains open to interpretation and discovery. At times unexpectedly jarring, and at others curiously comforting, it dares listeners to embrace discordant phenomena and serene resonance. Navigate the fine line between the known and the mysterious, as immersing in the nuances of a soundscape where perfection and flaw coexist.

Attuning oneself to the delicate tremors and nuances in sound, appreciating their ephemeral nature. Recognising that the journey of listening grows and changes, with unpredictabilities adding depth. Embracing the imperfections in sound as integral, strengthening elements of the listening experience.