He is a sound artist and composer who “investigates his fascination with the hidden world of electro-magnetic radiation and in particular how sound can be used as evidence of invisible phenomena”. On Ray Lee’s website we find an impressive list of exhibitions and performances, as well as beautiful image material of his recent projects Siren, Force Field and Swarm.
Visit www.invisible-forces.com to read more about these awe-inspiring projects.
Audio memory is fickle. Try to remember your earliest sonic memory and it’s really hard not to reconstruct the sound that you think you should have heard. Sound is ever present, but not ever conscious in our experience of the world. The sound we remember is replaced in our memory by a more recent version of the same or similar sound. I use this as an exercise in some of my teaching, asking my students to try and remember their earliest sound from childhood. It can be very revealing and is important in the way that it shows how we prioritise our senses.Composers/musicians have more of a chance because we invest more energy in conscious listening. My own memory of childhood sound is of listening to an LP record of Beethoven’s fifth that I secretly played on my brother’s Dansette when I was eight. I loved the drama and theatricality of the music and I happily conducted along to it. I’ve never lost my love of classical music.
As an artist I try to experience my environment with a sense of wonderment. I try to look with clear, unsullied eyes and listen with innocent ears. Sometimes I achieve this. Mostly the pressures of everyday life, of work, of hassles and problems get in the way, but every now and then I am stunned back into reverie by a birdsong, the sound of a buzzing insect in a tree, of water in a pipe, of something that takes me out of myself for a moment.However, I can see the world as well and I can be equally enchanted by the sight of cherry blossom on a tree or the heat haze shimmering on a road. I’m not interested in ghettoising sound. In my own art work I seek to synthesise sound and visuals to the point that they become functionally inseparable.
I toured the world extensively in 2009, spending three months away in the States, Canada, New Zealand and Australia. When I got back to England in spring, to Chipping Norton in Oxfordshire where I live I was struck by the wonderful and amazing birdsong that woke me in the mornings. I’d missed it, and I will always miss it when I go away.
Our eyes dominate our experience of the world. It is often stated that we can close our eyes but not our ears, but to an extent our brains do this for us. Most of the time we diminish sound in our perception, because unwanted sound can destroy our peace, infecting our mood, and troubling our soul.I have this idea to make some small cards that I would give people who were playing their personal stereos too loudly. On the cards would be written a website address: www.otherpeoplesmusicpissesmeoff.com. Not sure what they would find at the website yet…..
At the moment I wake up to the opening Aria from Bach’s Goldberg Variations and I am constantly and on a daily basis amazed by its astonishing beauty, even though it’s telling me that I have to get up. It starts very quietly, but I’m usually awake before the first two bars have been played. Sometimes I lie and listen for it to play through.Maybe if I was super rich and ultra decadent I would be able to employ a very good pianist to play me the opening Aria on a very nice grand piano from the other end of my obscenely large bedroom in Monte Carlo to wake me up in the morning. I can see some problems with this though, imagine, what if they played a wrong note!….so in my current non-super rich state I’ll happily carry on with a recording played on my mobile phone.