Sound to Sight
Tyler Wilcox Plays Wm. Dilworth’s CountMarks
November 20, 2022
Live Performance at 7:45pm
The CountMark drawings are marks of days by William Dilworth, counting people Wednesday through Saturday 12-3 & 3:30-6 pm at The New York Earth Room.
They are stories without words, distinguishing days. They are also maps of days, making time visible.
On November 20, 2022 Tyler Wilcox will make the CountMark drawings hearable, bringing Sound to Sight, performing on the Ney at Anita Rogers Gallery.
The CountMark drawings began in 2003 in book form. There are a variety of drawings done alongside and in addition to the books. Some of these drawings are of weeks, months, and whole seasons. For this performance Tyler will play five drawings comprising the four weeks of November last year, and one drawing marking the whole month of November 2021.
The work of Walter De Maria has had a nearly mythical effect on me and has reoriented my sense of scale.
I was fortunate enough to strike up a friendship with Bill on one of my many visits to the Earth Room nearly 10 years ago.
My work with the Pipe Organ had just begun and was in many ways a response to the sublime scale of De Maria's work.
Through my conversations with Bill I learned about the early days of Dia when the office was around the corner from the newly bought building intended to serve Hiener & Philippa's (Sheikha Fariha Jerrahi) growing interest in Sufism, becoming a mosque, Masjid Al Farah. The confluence of contemporary art and Islamic mysticism expanded my sense of the possible.
Years later as I was finishing my thesis work at Bard College I finally visited the Masjid Al Farah.
Here I met my spiritual guide, Sheikha Fariha Al Jerrahi, one of the founders of the Dia Art foundation.
In 2020 she asked me to take up the Ney, an ancient end blown reed flute that has been played for five thousand years.
Having played saxophone professionally for 20 years it was humbling to work for three months before producing a sound.
The Ney is the most difficult reed instrument to play as it is by far the most subtle.
The Ney is seen as a metaphor for the human being that has been animated by the breath of God.
The work I have been developing is related to both the tradition of Ney improvisation within Islamic mysticism as well as the elegant process oriented minimalism associated with Dia artists. The work will feature a sound field or static sonic backdrop composed of sine waves and water recordings. The soundfield or drone will gently fill the space before and after the Ney performance. The Ney performance will be a sonic translation of Bill Dilworth's CountMarks. I will generate the parameters of the performance from these marks within the traditional form of taqsim of Modal improvisation. The maqam or scale is a set of notes and a process of moving through them, each Maqam has a character or mood. The Ney performance will last thirty minutes.