Katy Wright

Deputy Editor, Classical Music

Inaugural Dare Art Prize winner to explore beyond human hearing

9:52, 14th February 2017

A composer working with sounds below the limits of human hearing has been announced as the winner of the inaugural £15,000 Dare Art Prize.

Samuel Hertz will spend the next year collaborating with Opera North staff and researchers at the University of Leeds to create a piece of electro-acoustic chamber music, using transducers to produce low frequency sounds that can be felt rather than heard, and investigating their psychological effects.

Based between Berlin and San Francisco, Hertz has studied composition and electronic music with Pauline Oliveros, Fred Frith and Zeena Parkins, and has worked with Morton Subotnick and Alvin Curran among others. His work is influenced by his studies in experimental literature and musical techniques, and his pieces include a variety of acoustic and electronic media, including sensor technology, electro-acoustic percussion instruments, instruments of his own design and electronically modified traditional instruments.

Explaining that the project would investigate ‘the sonic and bodily relations between humans and the environment’, Hertz said: ‘I expect this year will be enlightening and productive both for my practice, and the practices of my collaborators in our joint expedition into the drama of the unheard realm of infrasound. I’m very thankful for this opportunity to work with the people and resources from both institutions, and cannot wait to begin.’

Aimed at challenging artists and scientists to work together on new approaches to the creative process, the Dare Art Prize is part of a programme in celebration of the tenth anniversary of the Dare partnership between Opera North and the University of Leeds.

The outcome of the year-long collaboration will be revealed in March 2018.


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