Samson Young

Real Music

The catalogue ‘Samson Young: Real Music’ accompanies an exhibition of new and existing work by Samson Young premiering at Talbot Rice Gallery, University of Edinburgh in conjunction with the Edinburgh Festival in July 2019 before traveling to Monash University Museum of Art, Melbourne in 2020.

‘Real Music’ documents a major new commission created in collaboration with the Next Generation Sound Synthesis (NESS) research group at the University of Edinburgh.

Drawing on systems that model how a virtual instrument would sound in a specific environment (what would a brass instrument sound like played at 300° degrees Celcius?), Young has composed music for instruments that could never exist—bending the rules of both music and sculpture to create a host of ‘possible instruments’.

Also featured, ‘The world falls apart into facts‘, 2019, is the result of the artist’s research into two musico-cultural curiosities—the popular Chinese folk song Molihua (Jasmine Flower) and Japanese Togaku court music—as well as the phenomenon of ‘tourist instruments’.

Joining the hypothetical and the curious, the publication also explores a significant strand in Young’s practice—the series of ‘muted’ performances that the artist has been producing as video and sound installations since 2014, working in collaboration with different ensembles and orchestras.

Real Music’ provides insight into the artist’s widely acclaimed practice to date. The first to draw out the reverse ethnographic lens that informs his practice, the fully illustrated publication features essays by Alexandra Chang, Alexander Rehding and Joel Stern and a conversation with Stefan Bilbao about NESS research and its application in Young’s work.

Accompanies the exhibition ‘Samson Young: Real Music’, 24 Jul – 05 Oct 2019, Talbot Rice Gallery, University of Edinburgh and 2 May – 4 Jul 2020, Monash University Museum of Art, Melbourne.

Co-published with MUMA (Monash University Museum of Art, Melbourne).

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