174BPM - CURIOUS TRANSPOSITIONS

A New York City Jewellery Week 2021 Virtual Exhibition Project by Emma Gregory

 
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LIVESTREAMS

"As part of this Exhibition Project (EP), Emma (a.k.a. louswires) will be hosting two livestreamed DJ sets where she will be presenting songs that contextualise her artistic practice. She also wants to interact with the audience and answer any questions you might have about the EP! All you have to do to ask a question (or just say hi!) is set up a twitch account, which this exhibition hopes to inspire you to do anyways!"

Re-Watch the Livestreams here:

174bpm Curious Transpositions Opening Livestream - Thursday 18th November 2021

174bpm Curious Transpositions Closing Livestream - Sunday 21st November 2021

Or here below:

 
 

WELCOME TO
174BPM - CURIOUS TRANSPOSITIONS

 
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174bpm - Curious Transpositions


For years now, the biggest source of inspiration for my jewellery is music, specifically a subgenre of electronic dance music  known as Drum & Bass. 

Something that makes Drum & Bass stand out from other genres is its speed - most Drum & Bass tracks are written at 174 beats per minute.

I chose Curious Transpositions because my previous work had always been a form of transposition or translation of the music into a third dimension, but this project went a slightly different way:

 

[story time]

When the pandemic hit, I lost contact with the jewellery community. All my upcoming shows were cancelled, no exhibition openings or fairs to go to. Not having access to my jewellery atelier for months either, I tried to find another creative outlet. I chose to try writing and producing music. The work I made at that time though was forced and desperate and didn't feel instinctive. I was a bit overwhelmed by what was going on.

In the mean time, I saw one of my favourite DJs start doing livestreams on a platform called Twitch. So I set up an account and tuned in as regularly as I could. What really surprised me was the sense of community that developed so quickly. Despite being a bit of a "lurker" I felt part of something, and being able to interact with everyone (when I was feeling brave) was delightful. 

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It was also my first time getting to see a DJ at work so frequently. DJ's to me are like curators - bringing other people's artworks together in their own way to create something new. It was fascinating to watch how so many different styles could be combined into one set, or how different sets varied in their own overall energy. A set can even grow and change in itself, starting somewhere and meandering into a totally unexpected sound a few hours later!

I realised that I wanted to create something that honoured this practice, and specifically within the Drum & Bass community that I have been so delighted by. 

 

In my previous work I focussed on transposing the details of each track but for this EP I took a step back and looked at how a DJ set is structured. Each chain is made up of many many links or 'regions' indicating a section of song, 32 bars for example. The colours represent different tracks, and are arranged to created layers within the chains to symbolise the moment in a mix where two songs overlap briefly.
In a DJ set this is done by quietening the lower frequencies of the incoming track using dials on the DJ controller. This trick is used to keep the flow of energy going from one song to the next and can be used to great creative effect!

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When I was submitting my proposal for NYCJW21 earlier this year, I was thinking about how cool it would be to have the same interactive, musical experience within the world of jewellery fairs. I've always wanted to try DJ-ing, and it would give me full control over what tracks were used to give the most accurate context for my artistic practice. I have been very fortunate to have some wonderful friends and mentors who have taught me the basics and given me countless tips and tricks - I have appreciated your guidance immensely and know that this 'EP' wouldn't be the same without you!

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I suppose you could say that these new pieces, while still taking inspiration from music and drum & bass, draw from the culture and the experience rather than the detailed production techniques.

It's been a delight to have you here at 174bpm Curious Transpositions, I hope you enjoyed your stay and I would be thrilled to have you join me on Twitch during my livestreams later this week! Please don't be shy!