Jul 31, 2022, 6pm

Ellen Arkbro & Marcus Pal


In their ongoing collaborations, Ellen Arkbro and Marcus Pal explore the effects and affects of the inner harmonicities of sustained tones in precision-tuned chordal harmony. The duo’s approach to sound synthesis and generative processes allows them to work with tone formation and just intonation tuning as aspects of one unified process. Chord by chord and tone by tone, Arkbro and Pal tune sound to space with attention to acoustic and psychoacoustic phenomena. While the duo works together frequently, their collaborative live performances are rare, singular events.

Ellen Arkbro (b. 1990) is a composer-musician-sound artist working with intervallic harmony and installation. Arkbro composes for acoustic instruments, synthetic sounds, and combinations of the two. She has presented her site-specific work at Barbican in London, Kölner Philharmonie, Serralves in Porto, Oude Kerk in Amsterdam, Silent Green in Berlin, Ina GRM in Paris, and Tempelaukkio Kirke in Helsinki. In all aspects of her practice, Arkbro focuses on the qualities of harmonic sound that reveal listening as an active process of creative participation, inviting the listener to gradually transform into the sound itself.

Marcus Pal (b. 1991) is a musician-sound artist-composer who writes about sounds and minds in a theoretical-philosophical manner. Much of their work is motivated by a deep fascination with listening experiences in which harmonic sound presents with very high degrees of intensity and clarity. Pal is interested in how our ways of conceptually making sense of harmonic sound and the nature of experience more generally limit and shape our phenomenal worlds. Their main writing project, “Enacting Harmonic Sound,” is on the epistemology of harmonic sound, concept formation, modality, and wonder. In this project, Pal is thinking with various Sanskrit philosophies, particularly tenth and eleventh-century Buddhist and Pratyabhijña Śaiva epistemology and philosophy of mind. They are also drawing heavily on contemporary work in enactive cognitive science such as the literature on participatory sense-making. In 2013 and 2014, Pal studied with La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela while living in the Church Street Dream House in New York. Since 2014, they have worked regularly with Catherine Christer Hennix.

This performance is located on the third floor of 468 Grand and is not accessible for those in wheelchairs.