In 2012, I teamed up with the artist Matt Gilbert for a series of shows at Whitespec gallery in Atlanta GA. Gilbert created controller interfaces out of wood and metal that when touched could manipulate the sound design and music that I created.
The New England Primer was the first schoolbook used in the American colonies. It taught the fundamentals of spelling and grammar through rhymes, prayers, Bible stories and cathecisms to be memorized by the students.
The exhibit includes several homemade sound controllers. Visitors are invited to interact with them, triggering samples from recordings of the Primer’s lessons and manipulating the ambient sound in the room. Also included are schoolyard recordings and samples from the 1953 instructional film for children, “How Quiet Helps Us at School”.
"Selections from the New England Primer" takes the lessons from the Primer—based on rote memorization, strict discipline, and Puritan values—and turns them into material for free self-directed play and investigation.