Whether recording burning or drowning pianos, the sound maps of rivers or the resonance of glass, Annea Lockwood is one of the most exploratory artists in experimental music history.
As part of being our Featured Artist at Counterflows at Home, she has shared with us this intimate new audio work, For Ruth, which threads together conversations with her late partner Ruth Anderson and field recordings of the places that are evocative of their time together. We are also pleased to share the world premier of film-maker Sam Green’s Annea Lockwood/ A Film About Listening – a spell-binding documentary on Annea’s life and work – and a text response piece for Annea & Ruth by writer, philosopher and editor of the New Socialist, josie sparrow.
In July, 1973 Ruth Anderson and I met for the first time and within three days we were joyously entangled. For the next nine months while I was teaching in her studio at Hunter College, NYC, and she was living in Hancock, NH on a sabbatical – composing, piling wood, swimming – we called each other by phone, often twice a day, “… together in our voices” as she wrote. Ruth recorded those conversations, and in ’74 she collaged fragments –– interweaving them with snatches of old popular songs, Yes Sir, That’s My Baby; Oh, You Beautiful Doll; and Bill Bailey into Conversations (’74).
It was a gift to me, a private piece. In a letter to me written at that time she says “Yes, conversations. Replayed at another time are like photographs, a framed, kept, high tuned awareness for flow of rhythm from a person, that person’s composition & a composition of that person, how people cope with that one medium we must all share, of speech.”
For Ruth. In June 2020, seven months after Ruth died, I returned to Hancock, wanting to be back in that peaceful world, and made field recordings in and around the village, at Willard Pond – an Audubon Sanctuary where we loved to swim, and Sargent Lake, weaving our voices from those same phone conversations in ’73 back into that origin place, and finally at Flathead Lake, Montana where she rests.
A.L. December 2020
Annea Lockwood/A Film About Listening
Sam Green’s intimate portrait of Annea Lockwood shares with us a glimpse into the enthralling world of sound that she has been exploring and creating for many years. It is a touching and personal story of imagination and love.
Birdsong, a passing car. The movement of water. A great dissonance of sunlight, glaring and sibilant, like a high peal of bells. Scattered fragments of conversation, trickling in and out. A little faded, a little fuzzy. The connection is fragile. And still, we commune.1 The word communication comes to us from the Latin commūnicō—I share, […]