Co-presented by Marfa Live Arts and Fieldwork Marfa, Marfa Sounding is a series of performances, sound installations, screenings, and conversations that explore the relationship between music, movement, and site in Marfa, Texas.
Focused on the manipulation and disruption of time in relation to architectural space and environment—from extended duration to the unpredictable frequencies of wind—the series situates this embodied exploration in this small Texas town. Moving beyond the best-known history of this place as a site for the permanent installation of large-scale works by Judd and his contemporaries, this geographically and temporally bounded sounding engages complex histories of a community’s transformation. This project began with a 2015 curatorial residency at Fieldwork Marfa, a joint initiative of Nantes School of Art (France) and HEAD–Genève (Switzerland).
Taking place over three years each May, the project explores sound in relationship to landscape, movement, and sculpture.
Marfa Sounding 2016 highlighted the compositions of Alvin Lucier and Éliane Radigue through performances by cellist Charles Curtis. Focusing on how sound could measure the geographical and architectural specificities of site, this inaugural series highlighted the importance of personal relationships in the development of music.
Marfa Sounding 2017 turned its attention to the influence of choreographer Anna Halprin through performances by Stephen Petronio, Silas Riener and Rashaun Mitchell in collaboration with musician Phillip Greenlief, and films by Jacqueline Caux, Kevin Hayden, and Andy Abrahams Wilson.
Marfa Sounding 2018 focuses on the relationship of sound to both site and sculpture through the work by artist Tarek Atoui, in collaboration with musicians Amma Ateria, Jad Atoui, and Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe.
This website endeavors to make this performance series accessible to a wider audience while also facilitating an experiential understanding of the temporal and spatial connections between music, performance, and site. Engaging the active community of musicians, composers, and listeners invested in these histories and genres of experimental music and dance, Marfa Sounding hopes to integrate these conversations within a broader discourse of contemporary art. Photographs, sound recordings, and other documentation are presented alongside a series of newly commissioned texts that chart the relationships between artists, writers, and performers of different generations.
The Marfa Sounding website is edited by Jennifer Burris Staton.
Yoseff Ben-Yehuda (Graphic Designer: Print) is a designer and builder facilitating projects small and large including eco-friendly homes, artworks, and events. He studied art and architecture before moving to Marfa in 2011.
JD DiFabbio (Co-Founder and Producer) is the Deputy Director of Marfa Live Arts. She is an independent development advisor, grant writer, and nonprofit program producer. Based in Marfa, Texas since 2005, in addition to Marfa Live Arts, she has worked with the Fieldwork Marfa, Crowley Theater, Marfa International School, Nameless Sound, The Contemporary Austin, and Ballroom Marfa.
Jake Hobart (Graphic Designer: Website) is a young American graphic designer.
Jake Curreri (Developer: Website) is an Arkansas-based software engineer and owner of SmallWorld Consulting.
Ida Soulard (Curator) is a doctoral researcher in art history at l’ENS / PSL University and co-director of Fieldwork: Marfa, an international research and residency project run by les beaux-arts de Nantes and HEAD-Genève. In 2011 she co-founded a series of seminars and workshops titled The Matter of Contradiction (2011–2013) and in 2012 co-initiated Glass Bead, an online journal and research platform.
Cate Cole Schrim (Production Assistant) has worked with local nonprofit Marfa Live Arts producing artistic events since 2014. She is currently attending Sul Ross State University, where she will receive her M.Ed. in counseling with a focus on the arts as a means of therapy.
Jennifer Burris Staton (Co-Founder and Curator) is an independent curator, director of Athénée Press, and former resident at Fieldwork: Marfa. She has previously curated exhibitions at the Brooklyn Museum, New York; the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia; Haverford College, Philadelphia; and The Kitchen, New York.
Marfa Sounding is generously supported by the Beaux-Arts Nantes, Fieldwork Marfa (a joint initiative of Beaux-Arts Nantes in France and HEAD in Switzerland), City of Marfa, FACE Foundation’s the Partner University Fund, Texas Commission on the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, and the 2017 Season Sponsors. Education programs supported by Carl B. & Florence E. King Foundation. In countless ways Pierre-Jean Galdin, Ida Soulard, and the entire Fieldwork: Marfa team were instrumental in moving this project forward. Thanks are given to Nina Martin, Erik DeLuca, Mai Tran, Sylvie Christophe, Tim Johnson, Caitlin Murray, Abinadi Meza, Jenny Moore of the the Chinati Foundation, and Jennie Lyn Hamiilton of Marfa Live Arts.
In-kind support provided by Yoseff Ben-Yehuda, LaVenture, Bridget Weiss of Marfa Table, Linda & Don Shafer, the Chinati Foundation, Judd Foundation, and Marfa Brands. Special thanks to Jessica Allen, Big Bend Sentinel, Mercer Black, Zach Buie and Andrew Peters of Marfa Independent School District, Joe Pat Clayton, Tim Crowley of Crowley Theater, Mayor Dan Dunlap, Dan Fitzgerald, Darby Hillman, Christine Olejniczak, Chef Allison Jenkins, Allison Josefowitz, Erin Kimmel, Jennifer Lane & David Hollander of CineMarfa, Taylor Livingston, Minerva Lopez, Sara Melancon and Tom Michael of Marfa Public Radio, Park McArthur, Andrea Mellard, Rachel Monroe, Eric Namour, Robert Potts and Megan Wilde of Dixon Water Foundation, Robert Saltonstall, Dan Shiman, Gory Smelley of Marfa Recording Co., Francisco Staton, Laura Tucker, Cory Van Dyke, and K.Yoland.