Based in Los Angeles, Brandon Labelle is a sound artist known mostly for his installations presented across the United States, in Europe, and in Japan and his theoretical writings on the relations between sound, architecture, and listener. Some of his pieces have been released as albums and on compilations, but recordings invariably fail to convey the thought process they resulted from. Also a drummer (but not the same Brandon Labelle that was associated with space rock giants Hawkwind and their many side projects in the mid-'90s), he has recorded and performed with Farflung and iD Battery. Labelle grew up in Los Angeles. He began to play drums in his teens, but his studies in art dulled his interest in live music. A stay in London at the turn of the 1990s and exposure to the alternative punk scene there rekindled his interest in music as a practice. Back in Los Angeles where he pursued studies at CalArts, he formed the group Helianthus. In it he played drums with contact microphones attached. His interest gradually shifted to the device itself and for the first time music infiltrated art, after he had kept the two activities hermetically separated. While editing the arts-and-literature magazine Errant Bodies (started in 1994), he developed a series of installations that explored the properties of specific sites. Attaching contact microphones to ceilings and walls of exhibition spaces, he experimented with ways to make architecture audible and later explored the place of the listener in the triangle he forms with sound and space. Labelle's first exhibitions date from 1995, the year when he also published his first noteworthy papers and gave his first performances as a sound artist. A first solo CD, Prima Materia, came out in 1997 on Unique Ancient Tavern. Collaborations with Steve Roden (in and outside iD Battery) and Achim Wollscheid inscribed him in the current of art-museum sound installations that developed in the late '90s. His inventive ways to extract sounds from the crudest, most simple contraptions can be heard in Maps of Tenderness (1999, Selektion) and Music on a Short Thin Wire (2001, Ground Fault). Labelle also curated events and exhibitions such as the Beyond Music Festival at Beyond Baroque (Los Angeles, 2001) and co-edited books on sound art, like Writing Aloud: The Sonics of Language (2001, Errant Bodies Press). ~ François CouturePortions of Content Provided by Rovi Corporation.
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