Olivia Block creates electroacoustic sound compositions for performance, recordings, installations, cinema, orchestra and chamber music concerts.
Her solo performances include partially improvised pieces for electronics and amplified objects, presented in a slow and deliberate gestural style that Steve Smith of the New York Times described recently as having “palpable sensations of volition and emotional involvement.” Block also performs original pieces for inside piano. Her compositions often combine field recordings, chamber instruments and electronic textures. In addition to her compositions for solo recordings and performances, Block creates multimedia works for sounds and video and writes scores for large ensemble, string quartet, and orchestra.
Block has performed, premiered and exhibited her work throughout Europe, America, and Japan in tours in festivals including Incubate (Tilburg), Sonic Light (Amsterdam), Festival Del Bosque Germinal (Mexico City), Kontraste (Krems), Dissonanze (Rome), Archipel (Geneva) Angelica (Bologna), Sunoni per il Popolo (Montreal), and many others. Additionally, she has presented work at the ICA (London), MCA (Chicago), La Biennale di Venezia 52nd International Festival of Contemporary Music, The Kitchen (NYC), ISSUE Project Room and Experimental Intermedia (Brooklyn).
She has completed residencies and premiered works at Mills College of Music, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and The Berklee College of Music. Block has presented talks at additional universities in film, music, media arts, and anthropology departments, including Yale University, University of Chicago, and Indiana University. Her current interests include listening practices, ethnographic practices, and sound for cinema.
Block has created sound installations for public sites and exhibition spaces including the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, the library at Wesleyan University in Connecticut, the Lincoln Conservatory Fern Room in Chicago, and at the “Echoes Through the Mountains” exhibit at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy.
Her latest LP/download release, Karren (Sedimental, 2013) has been chosen as “Best of 2014″ by The Wire, Pitchfork, and Artforum, among other publications.
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