by Robert Leeper
Most trips to the Caramoor estate in bucolic Katonah, New York end with a charming Italian Opera, chamber music, or maybe some jazz. One thing you wouldn't expect to hear is progressive sound art—but Stephen Moore, curator and artistic director of Caramoor's inaugural Garden of Sonic Delights aims to change that. Through November 2nd, the 90 acre campus features over 10 site-specific artworks, providing curious listeners the opportunity to linger among the leafy scenery so often neglected by those who attend only for a specific concert.
The long term installations are all Caramoor commissions, giving the artists a chance to create specifically for the space. Stephen Vitiello’s “You are the Sweet Spot” programs recordings of guitar and synthesizer drones that harmonize with the interior of the Italian Pavilion. The resulting effect is a heightened sense of pitch, echoing slightly and seeming to follow you around the space.
Betsey Biggs lets visitors compose their own, nonlinear piece by walking through her “Sunken Garden.” Electromagnetic waves given off by induction loops hidden beneath the surface of the garden are picked up by a monitor and transmitted to headphones given to each participant who enters. The loops slide into one another, overlapping and swirling—the experience is akin to exploring some underwater city.