Steve Peters creates music and immersive sound installations in live performances, galleries and public spaces. Much of his work is about connecting people to place. Peters works with found sound: putting microphones on cactus, recording the shrieking sounds of tiny red ants. "I hear them as evidence of Life in progress, a landscape being and becoming, a web of communication and interaction, time passing, presence."
In 1999, Steve Peters made a series of visits to a venue for site-specific environmental art in the New Mexico desert known as The Land, spending days and nights in silent listening. The resulting body of work, installation, booklet and CD, titled "Here-ings: a Sonic Geohistory", documented both the extraordinary soundscapes he encountered during his stay and his own gradual understanding of the nuanced beauty of his environment.
For "Delicate Abrasions", in 2003, the artist recorded his interactions with the surfaces of a storage shack near the Klaudia Marr Gallery in Santa Fe, NM. He then created an immersive 12-channel installation in the gallery to awaken listeners to the subtle creaks, thuds and scratching sounds of a place few care to visit. Like his 2003 project, "The Alchemy of Desire", which installed a form of "prayer-scape" in a historic church (photo), these projects evoke a deep sense of place and an awareness of the passing of human history within the cycles of nature.
"Ultimately, any attempt at documentation falls short of actual lived experience. But if this work can encourage others to slow down, be quiet, and listen deeply to the voices of whatever places they may visit or inhabit, I'll be satisfied. You don't get a sense of the beauty of the place from a quick scan. You really have to slow down and be with it and accept it on its own terms. And I think that's a really good lesson for all of us to carry over to all sorts of other areas in our lives."
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