Sep 22 — 23, 2023



Grand Luxe Hall, Western Front


7:00, 8:00, & 9:00 p.m.


While in residence at Western Front, Alexi Baris produced a new twenty-minute octophonic composition titled Firedamp as a parallel event to Rachelle Sawatsky’s solo exhibition Vitals.

In Firedamp, Baris explores the sonic potentiality generated by a solitary feedback patch on a modular synthesizer. Analyzing how proximity, frequency, and distortion work together to synthesize sense from raw sensation, Baris examines the relations they deposit and the individual perceptions that they trigger. Taking its title from the phenomena of combustible pockets of methane gas found in coal seams, Firedamp evokes a physicality, where vaporous emergences exhibit. This work also furthers Baris’s ongoing interest in psychoacoustics—how the human auditory system perceives various sounds—and the mimesis of nature that can occur in synthetic soundscapes.

Baris’s eight-channel spatialized sound installation was presented as an immersive deep listening experience in the Grand Luxe Hall, with audience members seated in complete darkness at the centre of the speaker arrangement. Six performances of Firedamp were presented for up to twenty-five audience members. 

Presented with the support of the Government of Canada and SOCAN Foundation.
Four fluorescent lighting tubes on the floor of the Grand Luxe Hall illuminate an arrangement of black chairs. A speaker hangs from the ceiling, and other speakers positioned around the room are seen in shadow.
A darkened view of the Grand Luxe Hall looking towards the stage. A grid of black chairs are arranged in various directions. The seating area is surrounded by speakers – four on stands and two hanging from the ceiling – which are illuminated by lights on the floor.
An arrangement of black chairs facing in different directions takes up the centre of the Grand Luxe Hall. The space is dimly lit by tubular lighting fixtures positioned on the floor. A speaker is suspended from the ceiling, and several others are positioned on stands.
Black chairs facing in different directions take up the entirety of the frame.
A tubular lighting fixture positioned on the floor illuminates a square speaker on an adjustable stand.
A tubular lighting fixture positioned on the floor illuminates a large box-like speaker sitting next to it. Another speaker is suspended from the ceiling.

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Western Front is a non-profit
artist-run centre in Vancouver.

We acknowledge the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and səl̓ílwətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations as traditional owners of the land upon which Western Front stands.