FIELD STUDIES is an active and evolving series of works by The Honourable Elizabeth A. Baker, that explore human presence in various sonic landscapes. The original iteration began as a series of collaborative improvisational performances with the environment that were one-shot field recordings without studio manipulation, although some iterations evolved into the format of short art films using field recordings and subtle studio sonic additions to the overall on location preoccupied core content.
During her time as a Harvard Radcliffe Fellow in 2022, Elizabeth clarified that:
“Field studies is less about a physical field within a preconceived notion of nature (buildings and landscapes touched by humans are a part of nature — there is no concrete divide because humans are always a part of nature, no matter how they try to extricate themselves ideologically from that empirical truth), but rather a realisation, that the energy of all things around us are equal, — and if we slowdown, with intention, to honour the energy in the space we occupy — a space that exists, without finite boundaries or borders — there are answers and moments of sublime beauty.
In these slowdown moments, the things we learn allow us to understand human life as part of a dynamic cosmic ecosystem, rather than an amalgam of resources to be exploited for our own desires.
FIELD STUDIES is less about the performative and more about the ritual.” – THE HONOURABLE ELIZABETH A BAKER, 2022
AGGRESSIVE PILLOW TALK is a series created by The Honourable Elizabeth A. Baker, that explores the question “What is a sound removed from the specificity of human language?” It employs manipulated samples of poetry readings from the Woodberry Poetry Room at the Lamont Library at Harvard University. The samples are used in a variety of methods from the creation of virtual instruments and MIDI programmed events to the pitch collection for improvisational pieces. It exists in several forms including live performance, digital media, audio recordings, as well as an immersive sound installation.
On GUMROAD you will find original samples from field recordings and studio gear created by The Honourable Elizabeth A. Baker and curated for sale for your creative use.
Sashay (2015) is the first of multiple piano works created by composer Nathan Corder for new renaissance artist Elizabeth A. Baker. The work, which appears as the first track on Baker’s debut album on Aeocade Music entitled Quadrivium, has been praised in reviews for both the subtlety of composition by Corder as well as a powerhouse performance displaying technical refinement and sensitivity by Baker.
In January 2019, the duo began extensive workshopping in Oakland, CA at The Paul Drescher Ensemble Studio, for a new solo piano work involving movement to be choreographed by Baker along with electronics designed by Corder, which extensively explore playing the instrument away from the keyboard by transversing pathways with transducer in hand to excite all manner of surfaces on the piano as well as the human body. The premiere of this new work occurred at MISE_EN PLACE Bushwick in April 2019.
Moving forward, Corder & Baker plan to create new works that interact with the piano as a solo instrument in nontraditional as well as traditional mediums that exploit Baker’s endurance and versatility as a performer. In addition to planned performances of the new piano works, Corder & Baker will record these new works for public release in both audio as well as visual format, and Baker will facilitate discussions of the process of working in collaboration with a living composer on the creation as well as presentation of performance works both with and without written scores at educational institutions along her tour routes.
Both Baker & Corder are passionate about inclusion and fostering safe spaces for art to experiment without judgement. In the creation of these new piano works, both artists push each other further in a way that redefines and stretches their own personal expression of the universe through art. As an African American woman, Baker is driven by a desire to obliterate the sonic expectations that are placed upon her as a black musician the moment that she sets foot on a stage — through Corder’s work which transcends gender, race, and class; Baker finds artistic fulfilment and a peaceful energy that radiates to audience members from diverse backgrounds. Through performances in nontraditional spaces as well as planned educational outreach, Baker & Corder fundamentally seek to provide access to disenfranchised members of the local communities particularly, school aged children that lack engagement with experimental music due to systemic socioeconomic barriers to inclusion.
While Baker & Corder started their collaborations through the medium of piano, they have recently come together to focus on improvisational performances with electronics and found objects.
LIST OF WORKS
waking sleeping bodies (2019) with choreography by Elizabeth A. Baker
invisible seams (2020) [a sound film]
March 26, 2019 – The BOP STOP at The Music Settlement (Cleveland, OH)
April 1, 2019 – Rhodes College (Memphis, TN)
April 12, 2019 – Curator Series at MISE-EN_PLACE Bushwick (Brooklyn, NY)
Modern Fables is Florida-based experimental string and object collaborative performance project between violinist Sarah Morrison and new renaissance artist Elizabeth A. Baker. Drawing inspiration from a variety of extramusical preoccupations including children’s tales, folklore, and the cosmos — Baker and Morrison approach the process of creation with serious respect for the preciousness of sound alongside the openness akin with childish wonder — the result is a refined body of spontaneously composed works alongside conceptual pieces that are accessible to ears of all shapes, sizes, and ages.
January 5, 2020 — Timucua Arts White House (Orlando, FL)
SURFACE STUDIES & OBJECT STUDIES are two interlinked series of thought compositions, which explore a number of topics related to “things” and our understanding of their nature including — the representation of things, the absorption of content, disruptive technologies, realty perception, preciousness, object identity.
SONIC THEATRE OF THE OPPRESSED
Inspired by the iconic book Theatre of the Oppressed by Augusto Boal, this project seeks to create a body of improvisatory works prompted from the various games and exercises outlined in the book. I encourage artists of all mediums to use my work as a jumping off point to create their own improvisational works inspired by the various topics in the book and my sonic explorations of the physical exercises.
A survey of the night sky from our vantage point on Earth is composed of white blips, but stars exist in many hues, and the music universe is a parallel. K-12 students are hardly exposed to the high-level experimental music and performance art; they are rarely afforded access to gear or practitioners of such art. Stars of Different Hues project puts these opportunities into the hands of students, while designed for students in my home state of Florida, has expanded to include university students across the United States.
The primary goals for this project are to broaden the exposure of K-12 students to avant-garde music and by so doing increase their perspectives of the world around them. By presenting these unique performance art pieces for the students in context (how did I achieve that sound) and without initial pretence (allowing the students to first experience the piece, depending on their age writing or drawing their first impressions of the work as they listen or watch, and then giving them the space to share their initial impressions if they wish with their peers) before I explain to them what the piece means to me and how major elements in the composition feel conceptually tied to my expression of the theme of the work. On the university level, the fundamental focus is on artistic entrepreneurship, and how to promote your individual artistic vision without compromising your voice by creating a self-sustaining independent career.