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Charley Friedman: Soundtracks for the Present Future

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Charley Friedman: Soundtracks for the Present Future is an immersive auditory installation that combines over 70 second-hand guitars, mandolins, and basses to create a singular instrument. Suspended from the ceiling in a cluster, the instruments form a labyrinth of sounds and vibrations that perpetually shifts as viewers navigate the work. By weaving a sound tapestry through one’s response to different sounds and music, Friedman explores the relationship between humanity and music by activating the senses while straddling the line between one’s private experience and a collective musical experience. The compositions played conceptually explore the diversity of the medium and the imprint it can make. Music has the power to stimulate a full spectrum of emotions and memories, which, in turn, can build empathy and transcend political discord. This work aims to both dissect and affirm one’s relationship to music as a stimulant and as an art form. Soundtracks for the Present Future explores ideas around decentralization and diversity through the multiplicity of distinct instruments. Each is a unique character within a crowd, individual yet collective.

Soundtracks for the Present Future is organized by Rachel Adams, Chief Curator and Director of Programs at Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts.

Watch Charley Friedman discuss and demonstrate Soundtracks for the Present Future.

Composer and violinist David Fulmer performs a four-minute improvisation on artist Charley Friedman’s installation Soundtracks for the Present Future.

Exhibition Space

Listen to artist Charley Friedman and pianist/guitarist Paul Barnes talk to Genevieve Randall, host of the Friday Live Extra on Nebraska Public Media, about the Soundtracks for the Present Future installation when it was at the Bemis Center.