Jay Needham: Event #1

Listening to Jay Needham speak on Zoom was an incredibly interesting experience. I love when I get to hear about what work professors do outside of the classes they teach, because I know that those works are probably what the professor is most passionate about, because they chose to work on them in their free time.

Jay’s “Radio Piano” project was something that stood out to me the most during his presentation. Putting old radios around all the seats in the audience was a method of performance that I never would have thought to use like how Jay used it. I would think that the more contemporary strategy would be just placing more surround sound speakers around the auditorium. However, Jay’s strategy allowed for a more immersive experience, along with a different and older aesthetic because the radios being used were older than even a boombox would be right now.

Jay Needham displayed his work by showing us photos and playing audio tracks to provide us with a similar experience to what the audience would feel during the actual performance. Jay seemed really good about creating a unique experience for the audience member because of the unique body of work that he produces. As we listened to the “Radio Piano” track, the piano would sometimes play normal notes that would provide a soothing experience. And other times we would hear very jarring sounds coming from the speakers that didn’t even sound like they were coming from a piano.

I wish I could’ve been physically in the audience for this performance because it almost feels like an out of body experience with he radio speakers right next to the seats.

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