RON KUIVILA gives concerts and makes installations with electronic instruments of his own design. He regards installations and performance as complementary presentations that highlight different facets of those instruments.
Fast Feet, Slow Smoke arises from the transformation of speech into electronic sound complexes and the synthesis of speech from raw electronic sound. The piece is performed with a micro-processor based system capable of delaying and transposing sounds. The instrument also stores sounds and presents them in "slow motion" (i.e. it slows down a sound while preserving its original pitch). Chameleons at the Spring uses the same system to harmonize environmental sound with itself. This process reveals Musical Chameleons, sonic identities that remain hidden in their original context. The family of pieces collectively entitled Comparing Habits work with ultrasonic fields that translate motion into audible sound. Movements as subtle as the passage of air currents through a room can be detected with these fields.
Kuivila studied with Alvin Lucier at Wesleyan University and with Robert Ashley and David Behrman at Mills College. He has been an NEA Fellow at Creative Associates and an artist-in-residence at Media Study/Buffalo (1979-80). He was a 1980 CAPS recipient. He has given concerts at the Kitchen, P.S. 1, PASS, The Experimental Intermedia Foundation and the Bilhaud Gallery in New York. Other concerts have been presented at 80 Langton Street and Mills College in the San Francisco area, at Media Study and SUNY in Buffalo, the "Third Coast New Music Festival" in Houston, Real Art Ways in Hartford, and Wesleyan University in Connecticut. Installations have been shown at the San Francisco Institute, the Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art, Media Study/Buffalo, 80 Langton Street and P.S. 1.