The Importance of the New Renaissance Artist Title
To submit to a label chosen by society for myself and my work and my practice is to submit to the myriad of expectations, which fall within the box of existent knowledge of a particular role. Whilst, I may present as a composer, musician, performing artist, sound artist, recordist, producer, dancer, author, builder, coder, and a whole host of other roles that are known and unknown — each role is but a single part of a working unit that is named Elizabeth A. Baker — by taking control of the naming of my artistic practice and my being, I am able to afford myself the space for constant reinvention and redefinition. I am a new renaissance artist.
General Questions & Considerations
As an artist, I do not seek to tell people what to think, but rather create works that open up a dialogue between the artist and the audience, each individual audience member and their inner selves, as well as an exchange amongst community members beyond performances of my work.
My fundamental artistic questions throughout the years have included:
1) How can art explore the fundamental issues of human existence and venture into topics outside of traditional understanding?
2) Can art act as a catalyst to inspire deeper thought?
3) If access to thought provoking art is made universal, will that cause youth in lower socioeconomic situations a vehicle out of the cycle of poverty that has plagued their communities for generations by increasing their understandings of the possibilities in the world. Furthermore, can the success of these youth be a catalyst for revitalisation of communities from within as they accrue wealth and culture to provide for their families and neighbours?
4) If love and sound are universal phenomenon that evolve in every culture across the globe, can they be joined to promote peace and cross-cultural dialogue throughout the world?
5) How can quantum theories be explored within artistic mediums using sound and space?
6) Can a balance between ancient human ritualistic practices (such as pranayama breathing and yoga) and scientific theories be obtained at a single point in any given work; and what effects do the evolution of such conceptual works have on the performer and participant with increased exposure to these art rituals over time?
7) What is the nature of objects?
8) How does our hierarchical relationship with objects shape our understanding and behaviour?
9) How do disruptive technologies shape individuals and how fast does a specific individual react when presented with jarring content?
10) How can cellular memory and learned behaviours be effected by disruptive technology?
11) What is a sound removed from the specificity of human language or human definition?
12) How can music notation more closely interface with quantum time and its nonlinear representation?
13) What does form mean when work does not rest on human narrative?
Performance Notes Regarding Space
What I have learned over many years of working with both conventionally trained artists and underground DIY artists… is that people deeply struggle with the uncomfortable moments in between sonic events and they feel compelled to cut the negative space between events as soon as possible… but sitting in those spaces of frantic stillness is deeply important to me.
There’s an exercise that I used to practice with one of my drummer friends when we would work together… and I often tell performers of my work to consider trying it but I literally wish every single ensemble director in the United States would consider adding it to their curriculum. It doesn’t have a name, but if I had to name it here and now I would call it “The Event Economy.”
Here’s how it works… you get five sounds they can be made any way that the person can create sound including their body, their instrument, or any device they have on their immediate being but can only be played one time — a repeated sound is possible but it counts for each time it is played. The sound should not last longer than 30 seconds. First begin the exercise with a total time of five minutes, then three minutes, then one minute. As you decrease the time, decrease your library of sounds from five to three then two.
Silence is not passive it is very much active. People often associate sonic genius or technical mastery to the ability to create sonic events that are large and very fast… but there’s a quiet sort of power that has always astounded me, the ability to hold space and sculpt the negative space as detailed and richly as the sonic events.
You don’t always have to be doing things to matter. You can exist with things and find sublime beauty, y’all.
If you’re playing one of my pieces… you are probably creating too many sonic events, like way too many.