Co-presented by Marfa Live Arts in collaboration with Fieldwork Marfa, Marfa Sounding is a series of performances, sound installations, screenings, and conversations that explore the relationship between sound, movement, and the social and geographic specificities of Marfa, Texas. This project began with a 2015 curatorial residency at Fieldwork Marfa, a joint initiative of Nantes School of Art (France) and HEAD–Genève (Switzerland), and was co-founded by JD DiFabbio and Jennifer Burris Staton.
Taking place over three years each May, the project became gradually more material: natural acoustics leading into physical movement before transfiguring into sculptural sound.
Marfa Sounding 2016 focused on the compositions of Alvin Lucier and Éliane Radigue through performances by cellist Charles Curtis, sound installations with the support of James Fei, and improvisational compositions in collaboration with members of Marfa's multiple communities. Sound's relationship to the natural landscape was foregrounded.
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 focused on the relationship of sound to the resonance of site through the work of 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, 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 Public Library, Nameless Sound, The Contemporary Austin, and Ballroom Marfa.
Jake Hobart (Graphic Designer: Website) is a young American graphic designer.
Rob Crowley (Production) is a Marfa-based lighting designer, engineer, and builder.
Jake Curreri (Developer: Website) is an Arkansas-based software engineer and owner of SmallWorld Consulting.
Emma Rogers (Production Assistant, 2018) studied Art History and Arts Management at the University of San Francisco, graduating with honors in 2013. In 2015 she moved to Marfa to intern at Chinati Foundation as an Education and Programs intern. She is a a freelance photographer and multimedia artist who is currently setting up a community dark room. Rogers has worked with Marfa Live Arts producing events and assisting artists since summer of 2017.
Ryan Rooney (Sound) is a Marfa-based artist-musician and sound technician.
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, 2016–2017) 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 Assistant Professor in Curatorial Practice at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore and an independent curator. She has previously curated exhibitions at the Museo de Arte Moderno, Bogotá; Brooklyn Museum, New York; the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia; Haverford College, Philadelphia; and The Kitchen, New York.