Sound As Sight is a field recording project directed by Andy Slater featuring contributions by people who are blind or visually impaired. The project will explore the unique relationships that blind people have with sound. Using accessible IOS recording software, each participant will capture sounds from their life that may be comforting, frightening, irritating, or common to a routine. These recordings are to be perceived as sonic photographs captured by the ears of the blind recordist. Like a photo, the recording can show emotion and perception, nuance and texture. These sounds will be treated with more importance than basic documentation of a simple moment in time.
Sound As Sight is the first project developed for the Society of Visually Impaired Sound Artists (SoVISA). SoVISA was founded by Slater in an effort to encourage blind people to appreciate sonic art and create work of their own. SoVISA facilitates the inclusion of sound art in museums and promotes art education for the blind.
While at High Concept Labs, Andy will further develop the ideas of SoVISA by hosting accessible recording workshops and discussion panels. Through these events, artists can explore their interest in sound and realize their creative ideas.
Andy Slater is a legally blind musician, audio engineer, author, and disabilities advocate. He describes his sonic work as “art made because of his disability”. Due to his visual impairment, his ears function as navigation, safety, and problem solving tools. Because of this, he listens with great detail and focus making it hard not to listen critically.
Andy began composing experimental music as a teen in the early 90s. He moved to Chicago in 1994 to attend classes in the School of the Art Institute of Chicago Sound Department. After a decade away from school he returned in 2010 to complete his education. He graduated from SAIC in 2013 with a BFA focusing in sound composition and music history.
Andy has a large catalog of recorded music dating back 30 years that includes robotic synthesizer music, art-metal, acid-rock, musique-concrete, as well as scoring and sound design for film. He currently heads the experimental funk septet, the Velcro Lewis Group. Andy is an engineer at Chicago’s Frogg Mountain Recording studio where he obsesses over making every sound he hears perfect. It’s the curse of the overactive ear.
Andy has exhibited and performed at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Chicago, Sonophilia Sound Festival (Lincoln, UK), National Employment Lawyers of America conference, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Elastic Arts, Defibrillator, Comfort Station, Enemy, Buddy, Dogmatic, Workman, Bodies of Work, Quimby’s Bookstore, the Empty Bottle, and Hideout. He has been featured in the Chicago Reader, WLS ABC7, Clickhole, WFMU’s Free Music Archive, Ten By Ten, Jane magazine, High Times, Vice. He was the winner of the 2008 Miss Greenpoint Pageant pie-eating contest.