Featured projects

Ataraxia – sound art installation

A sound art installation and musical composition to be heard through physical contact between two people. Music is transmitted from a “human speaker”s arms to an audience members ears. What the audience member hears is a private musical mantra that says “Poc a Poc I Bona LLetra”, which in Catalan roughly translates to “ Take it easy” or “Remember to take things slow”.

Project by: Marquis’ McGee in collaboration with Djuna Llopis, Ryan Woods.

Photo taken at the Church of Santa Susanna, Montseny Nature Reserve, Spain, during Audiotalaia Sound Art Residency.

Tubal Cain – Instrument

A vibration sensing anvil. It is a midi-capable device that has looping and recording capabilities to capture and replay the patterns involved in the blacksmithing process. By giving more familiar musical cues to each moment in this creative process, it is able to showcase the musicality and order one can find in unexpected places.

Project by: Marquis’ McGee
Photo taken in Knoxville, TN, USA during Big Ears Music Festival

Worker’s Strike – performance art group

A performance art group centered around the musical nature of blacksmithing. It comprises Blacksmiths Preston Farabow and Daniel Scott of Ironwood Studios, and Marquis’ McGee, filling the role of Multi-instrumentalist and instrument designer. The general concept is that the head Blacksmith (Farabow) creates sculptural work on an anvil that responds musically to the strikes of his hammer (see description of “Tubal Cain” Instrument/ Design object). While the blacksmith creates a cadence from the forging process, He is accompanied by McGee and Scott who perform using blacksmithing tools and various instruments to create musical compositions live. The end result is a fully developed sculpture that has a sonic story attached to it.

Photo taken in Knoxville, TN, USA during Big Ears Music Festival.

Sound Sips – Prototype and sensory experience

Sound Sips is a sensory experience located at the intersection of taste and sound. Participants are presented with drinking glasses covered by a cap and straw.  While sipping their drinks, the participants begin to hear sound and music, almost as if the audio is coming from inside their head. This is made possible using the concept of bone conduction, which directs sound through hard surfaces, rather than the air.  The audio is communicated from their teeth, through their jaw, to the inner ear.

The sounds heard during this tasting are carefully created by myself, to work in harmony with different drinks. For example, if a mixologist creates a light and fluffy dessert drink, I would try to accentuate the tasting of their work by composing a cheerful or lighthearted tune–perhaps something incorporating a harp or birdsong. Or, in direct contrast to that same dessert drink, the audience could be treated to dark tones–something evil or even eerie sounding. Perception is a huge part of cuisine and drinking: what you see affects what you think something will taste like. And when we add sound to that, we introduce another dimension to this experience. To see if our assumptions are right, or to have them challenged, all we need to do is take that first sip.

While this project by extension incorporates all 5 of the traditionally recognised senses, the aim of this project is to explore the ways audition and taste can complement, meld with, and transform each other.

Project by: Marquis’ McGee