Video Premiere: Pauline Kim Harris Performs “Long Waves and Random Pulses” (Gosfield)

The sounds of deteriorating and malfunctioning technology frequently permeate the works of composer Annie Gosfield. In Long Waves and Random Pulses, her recent work for violinist Pauline Kim Harris, she specifically turns to World War II-era jammed radio signals for inspiration, mimicking their sound through scratchy tremolos, ghostly bowing over the bridge, and wavering harmonics. Adrianne Pope’s video situates us in a cozy living room, gathered around the television and the radio, channeling the title sequences of iconic 1950s and 60s sitcoms like “I Love Lucy,” “I Dream of Jeannie,” and particularly the charming, wholesome animation of “Bewitched.”

Long Waves and Random Pulses is one of four works on Pauline Kim Harris’ latest album, Wild at Heart, the second release in a trilogy of recordings dedicated to reincarnations of J.S. Bach’s Chaconne for solo violin. Featuring works by Yoon-Ji Lee, Elizabeth Hoffman, Annie Gosfield, and John King, all of the compositions are unified in their scoring for acoustic solo violin, but each composition explores different timbral facets and extended techniques for the instrument.

Pauline Kim Harris--Photo by Chris Bradley

Pauline Kim Harris–Photo by Chris Bradley

Here’s what Annie Gosfield had to say about Long Waves and Random Pulses:

Long Waves and Random Pulses is inspired by jammed radio signals that were used to block radio transmissions in Italy, Germany, and the Soviet Union in World War II. The wild sound sources that are referenced include a six-note figure from an Italian radio jamming device, a buzzing pulse from a German jammer, and a quote from J. S. Bach’s Chaconne in D Minor as if being played on a jammed radio. Pauline Kim Harris brings the piece to life with her fire and virtuosity, and Adrianne Pope’s video is an imaginative and playful interpretation of the rogue signals overtaking the airwaves.

Wild at Heart is out now on Sono Luminus, and you can purchase the album here.

About Pauline Kim Harris

Violinist Pauline Kim Harris, aka PK or Pauline Kim, is a Grammy-nominated recording artist and composer. She has appeared throughout the US, Canada, Europe, Asia, and Australia as a soloist, collaborator, and music director. Known for her work with classical avant-punk violin duo String Noise, she has also toured extensively with Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and continues to collaborate with leading new music ensembles in New York City. Harris was the first Music Director for the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company and has been the featured solo artist for choreographers David Parker of The Bang Group and Pam Tanowitz. Active in the experimental music scene, her work extends into interdisciplinary worlds, crossing boundaries and integrating visual art, electronics, media, film, and dance, with music. She has premiered and recorded works by Alvin Lucier, Christian Wolff, John Zorn, Philip Glass, Tyondai Braxton, Catherine Lamb, Steve Reich, George Lewis, David Lang, Du Yun, and more. Harris has also recorded for Decca, Tzadik, Northern Spy, Nonesuch, New Focus Recordings, Infrequent Seams, New World Records, Chaikin Records, Unseen Worlds, and Cold Blue Music, and has been heard on PBS, BBC, NPR, WQXR, WNYC, WKCR, and WFMU.


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