Bruce Odland thinks with his ears. His work provokes one to reconsider the predominantly visual culture. His first public sound installation commenced in 1977 with Sun Song. Clouds of reverberant sound spread over a public festival in Denver, channeled from the Clock Tower. Since then, he continues working to remind our culture of the importance of sonic resonance and harmonic beauty in public space. He often draws upon the fractal music of nature and has transformed vast industrial soundscapes of cities into harmonic music.
O+A – Bruce Odland and Sam Auinger
In 1987, Odland founded O+A with Austrian fellow sonic pioneer Sam Auinger. Together they’ve developed a “Hearing Perspective” of the culture we live in. Their sound installations change one’s perception of public space.
For example, Garden of Time Dreaming, in 1990, was a sonic cosmology. It was installed at the Castle of Linz. There, over 400,000 visitors experienced a sonic journey through time.
Later, in the World Financial Center, Blue Moon created harmony from city noise. Requiem for Fossil Fuels, provoked a rethinking of the requiem mass in 4 virtuoso voices and an 8 channel orchestra of tuned cities. Sonic Vista, united two sections of Frankfurt Germany in a public art installation at the intersection of the north and south greenbelts. Harmonic Bridge, for MASSMoCA, has been transforming road noise into harmony since 1998.
Currently O+A are creating an atmosphere of sonic harmony for the Europaallee. This is a large scale urban development in central Zurich.
Odland collaborates with teams in film, dance, museum installation and theater. His work includes The Wooster Group, Peter Sellars, JoAnne Akalaitis, Wallace Shawn, Andre Gregory, Peter Erskine, Tony Oursler, Dan Graham, Robert Woodruff, Bill Morrison, Stacey Steers, Ron Miles, and many more talents that may be named here.
Recently he co-directed a permanent outdoor sound installation with Laurie Anderson for the Novartis Campus in Basel, Switzerland.
University and Educational Outreach
Odland is founder of The TANK Center for Sonic Arts in Rangely, Colorado. He offers separate lectures and workshops for universities where participants are expected to stretch underused auditory muscles, expand their reach and potential, and think with their ears.
Odland received artist awards from NYSCA, Foundation for Performing Arts, Bermont Foundation, the DAAD Fellowship, Rensaleer Polytechnic Institute residency, Golden Muse, Helen Hayes, Golden Reel, Focus, and Prix Ars Electronica.