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The following interview excerpt was conducted and transcribed by Zoe Rosenblum for a book forthcoming from Timeless, Infinite LightPress in 2015.


Z: What do you collect?

N: I collect a variety of things. I collect boxes. I collect jars and ink. I collect pressed

flowers. I used to collect playing cards. I had hundreds of them. Wherever I went,

I’d purchase playing cards. My mother is an antique dealer. She was a florist

for a while. A lot of my most unique items come from her or are her findings.


Z: If resources and space were not an issue, how would you display your


N: I would incorporate the flowers and the boxes into a multimedia event with

sonic representations of the flowers themselves. I’d also display the flowers

alongside the visual art that I do. The boxes and jars I’ve used already in

performance, and I think that I will continue to do that—sonic pieces with my



Z: Describe the sonic pieces you’ve done with your jars and boxes.

N: For my master’s thesis in music, I utilized my collection by conducting

instrumentalists with jars and boxes. I created notations that would correspond

to the color of ink that was dripped inside the jars to xylophones and

glockenspiels and other keyboard instruments. The boxes were used to conduct

bass drums. I had two double bass, three cellos, a woodblock and some other

auxiliary percussion. The opening or closing of a particular box would

correspond to a song cue. Some of the boxes corresponded to only certain

instruments, so I would use them for improvisation–to be able to manipulate or

to conduct the ensemble on the spot. How much the boxes opened would

correspond to the dynamic level. I also synched up certain sonic gestures with

actual drawers opening. The second act was sonified flowers. I created a

notation for them, too, so the instrumentalists would be able to present the

sound of their color patterns.


Z: Can you speak about your system of notation?

N: The notation that I’ve been alluding to includes two-dimensional figures of

jars with various shades and hues of color.


That particular mapping that I’ve

grown attached to also seems to be consistent with the looks of what are called

Urine Circles.


Urine Circles are a predecessor to the color wheel. They were used to diagnose various

medical ailments. They were used by alchemists during the 14th

century. When I discovered them, it seemed both coincidental and very telling.

I’m interested in an aesthetic that has clearly been around for a long time.

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