In 1978, during a collective exhibition titled Tower, curated by Jean Dupuy at PS1 gallery, Brooklyn, Peter Van Riper (1942-1998) took advantage of a 3-level, metallic structure erected inside the gallery to experiment with metallic resonances, in addition to room resonances from saxophone, Buddhist wood bell and tape. As Van Riper puts it: “Sounding the room, sounding the tower, sounding the acoustics of the room with different saxophones from different levels.” (quoted in Collective Consciousness: Art Performances in the Seventies, edited by Jean Dupuy, Performing Arts Journal Publications, New York, 1980). In an other piece from the 1970s, Greetings for Chow En Lai, for metal gong, Van Riper also experimented with sending resonances from metallic objects to the 4 walls of an art gallery. Later in the mid-1980s, he became better known using suspended aluminium baseball bats as percussion instruments.
♫ Though it looks and sounds like a mid-1980s artifact, the Sustainable Music undated cassette bears one track dedicated “In memory of John Cage”, which could date it to 1992. In any case, both tracks are collages of various Van Riper performances playing shells, hand bells, small percussion and aluminium baseball bats, interspersed with documentary or environmental recordings (building a fire, children playing, birds, wind, plane). Infused with Oriental philosophy, the metallic sounds resonate in various room acoustics and harmonics arise from the vibration of similar sound objects. Van Riper also experiments with room resonances from water gurgling or his own voice.
01 Susmusic #1 – Acoustic Cups (13:12)
02 Susmusic #2 – In Memory of John Cage (14:37)
Total time 27:49
Self-released cassette, Brooklyn, NY, undated
Re-uploaded Van Riper LPs: