Call and Response by Christian Marclay & Steve Beresford

Siglio

May 10, 2022
Publication date: May 17

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Seeing music in the quiet of the pandemic: a dialogue between two protagonists of experimental music in photographs and scores.

Known for his ability to locate music and sound in the most unexpected contexts, artist Christian Marclay began photographing the emptied London streets when the world shut down in the spring of 2020. He found the quiet—the absence of all city sounds—both haunting and peaceful. On his daily walks, he began to imagine that there might be music in the landscape. An iron gate adorned with decorative white balls reminded him of a musical score, so he snapped a photo, sent it to his friend, the composer Steve Beresford, and asked: “How would this sound on the piano?” Beresford responded with a recording. Over the course of that spring, they connected virtually across the locked-down city: Marclay took more photographs which inspired Beresford to write more music.

In his introduction, Marclay writes, “I realized that all my pictures were of enclosures: gates, fences, windows, closed stores. A view of the world behind barriers.” The music both embodies and serves as counterpoint to these images of confinement, expanding space and, in its notation, reconfiguring the visual correspondences between image and sound.

Collecting twenty of Marclay’s photographs with twenty of Beresford’s scores, Call and Response reproduces the pairs of images and scores chronologically in an elegant, pared-down, and tactile volume reminiscent of a music notation book. Particularly for those who cannot read music, they are magical pairings in which the imagination fills the quiet and the eye conducts the music. For those who can hear Beresford’s scores, they reveal the possibilties of the musical imagination translating the visual world into the aural. In both cases, Call and Response is one answer to the question of how to connect in a world of dislocation and isolation.

HB / 10 x 7.75 / 48  pages, full color / contemporary art + music / 978-1-938221-30-9 / publication date: May 17, 2022 / preorder and use code EFLUX for 20 percent off until May 16.

Visual artist and composer Christian Marclay (b. 1955) is renowned internationally for his playful, experimental fusion of sound, video, collage, performance, and sculpture. Winner of the Golden Lion at the 54th Venice Biennale in 2011 for his 24-hour video The Clock, Marclay is a pioneering artist who locates sound, music, and sensory experience in environments and media that one might never consider auditory. His most recent large-scale solo exhibition, Christian Marclay Translating, was presented at the the Museum of Contemporary Art Japan, Tokyo.

Steve Beresford (b. 1950) is a British multi-instrumentalist (including the euphonium and various toy instruments) and composer with an extensive discography who has collaborated frequently with artist Christian Marclay, lectured on and performed works by John Cage, worked with pop artists like Ray Davis, The Slits, and The Flying Lizards, and was a member of the legendary Portsmouth Sinfonia.

About Siglio Press
Siglio publishes uncommon books that live in the rich and varied space between art and literature. Driven by its feminist ethos, siglio champions uncategorizable, unwieldy, and expansive works by artists and writers who invite readers to see the world anew by reading word, image, and page in unfamiliar ways. For siglio, "the book" is many things, above all, a space for heterodoxy, ambiguity, wonder, and play.