Rainforest V, Conceived by David Tudor and realized by Composers Inside Electronics
Initiated in 1968 as a music score to Merce Cunningham’s choreography, ‘Rainforest’ was developed by David Tudor as a work-in-progress. From the beginning its main idea was to bring out the resonant voices of everyday objects. With the use of basic audio technologies (microphones, loudspeakers, amplifiers) normally quiet objects gained a new audible dimension – a voice.
The original objects used were smaller, table-top sized objects that acted as resonant loudspeakers.Tudor developed electronic circuits to stimulate these resonant objects, acoustically transforming the signals sent through them.
A breakthrough came in 1973 when Tudor invited a group of young artists and composers – later to be known as Composers Inside Electronics (CIE) - to collaborate. Among them were John Driscoll and Phil Edelstein. The workshop participants added a new dimension - a performed installation with large objects. In order for the large objects to better resonate they had to be suspended in the air. This element delighted David Tudor and added new visual character to the work. 'Rainforest IV’ evolved as a unique piece of art that revolutionized conceptions about sound installations, performance art and sound art. No equivalent work existed at the time. ‘Rainforest IV’ finally embodied David Tudor’s idea of a rich sonic architecture.
After Tudor's death in 1996, the members of his Composers Inside Electronics collective dedicated themselves to carry on his work with ‘Rainforest’ and other works in order to preserve his pioneering legacy. After numerous performances of ‘Rainforest IV’ they felt it important to expand the concept of Rainforest to include the option to have a self-running installation version. In 2009, Driscoll and Edelstein created an installation version ‘Rainforest V’ and designed additional new objects and sound files along with additional sound files by Matt Rogalsky. ‘Rainforest V’, as a project, blurs the lines between sculptural objects, a constantly evolving immersive sound environment, and a sui generis art form. Its reception depends wholly on one's individual experience and on a trajectory of the audience as they move freely within the installation.