sound study

  • Darren Bader

  • Presented by — Sadie Coles HQ

  • Darren Bader, sound study, performance at Sadie Coles HQ, part of Performance Exchange, July 2021. Copyright Darren Bader, courtesy Performance Exchange and Sadie Coles HQ, London. Photo: Damian Griffiths.

The work has between 4 and 8 wind musicians (preferably no instrument played by more than one person) who play to/at un-popped popcorn kernels in hope that the quality of the sound waves produced by the instruments will pop the kernels. Some recommended instruments are: bagpipes, piccolo, trombone, trumpet or cornet or flugelhorn, Alpine horn or didgeridoo, baritone or bass saxophone.

A man playing the bagpipes in a gallery space at a shelf of un-popped popcorn kernals
Darren Bader, The Calder Foundation at the Brownstone Foundation, Paris, 2014

Conditions of Production

The musicians must be classically trained to above amateur standard. The musical line up must include bagpipes, and a trombonist as well is preferred. The musicians may play in concert or as soloists. The popcorn kernels should be scattered around on the floor in the performance space to a medium density — looking neither carpet-like nor accidental.