Jenna Burchell Songsmith (Yorkshire Sculpture Park) 2017 | | Art in South Africa
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Songsmith (Yorkshire Sculpture Park) | Public intervention, 2017

Courtesy of Artist

Songsmith (Yorkshire Sculpture Park) is an experimental artwork that Burchell created while in residence at Yorkshire Sculpture Park in 2017. Burchell worked with clippings from a 500-year old yew tree. Song is composed with her ‘Signal of Memory’ process.

“During my residency at Yorkshire Sculpture Park I explored a new palette of sound making that I now call ‘Signal of Memory’. YSP was instrumental in supporting me in this endeavour and helping me acquire my first EEG device. My work started by inviting people long connected to the park and its history to sit with me and wear this EEG device. I asked them to close their eyes, and contemplate; ‘over the centuries, a richness of experience and emotion has seeped into the grounds of the Bretton Estate, your story is here also. I want you to think of a place on this estate and a memory that entwines you to this place. A memory that belongs only here.’ I would then let them remember for as long as they needed, recording their EEG data all the while. After they opened their eyes I asked them a series of questions about their memory. Based on their answers I associated their memory with musical tones. These tone assignments were based on Christian Schubart’s ‘Ideen zu einer Aesthetik der Tonkunst’ (1806) wherein musical cords are associated with emotional states. The outcome was fascinating.” - Jenna Burchell

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