As a monument to Philadelphians’ voices and visions, Emeka Ogboh’s Logan Squared: Ode to Philly features a collaboration with beloved Philadelphia poet Ursula Rucker, members of the Chestnut Street Singers, and hundreds of Philadelphians whose ideas were documented during Monument Lab’s discovery phase. Throughout his work, Ogboh creates soundscapes to honor and understand cities. For Monument Lab, Ogboh conceived of a collaboration to channel public participation and reflection. Responding to the Monument Lab open dataset, Rucker composed an epic poem serving as the backbone of this composition. Visitors may access the sound monument at listening stations around the square where they can plug in their headphones to access the composition, or attend a special weekly multichannel sound installation on the Skyline Terrace of the Parkway Central Library. In the rooftop version, attendees are invited to experience a multichannel sound installation, including the sounds of Rucker’s poem and a special choral arrangement of Louis Gesensway’s Four Squares of Philadelphia: “Logan Square at Dusk,” as well a singular view of Logan Square.

 

Location: Site 03: Logan Square

Lab Hours: Wednesdays & Thursdays: 4pm – 7pm; Saturdays & Sundays: 12pm – 5pm

Library Installation: Sundays from September 24 – November 19: 2pm – 4:30pm

Logan Squared Listening Stations: 24 Hours

 
 
SPECIAL EVENT

SEPTEMBER 27

Monument to the Philly Poet
6pm – 8pm

 

#MonumentLab

Materials

Mixed-media sound installation

Logan Squared: Ode to Philly Collaborators

Justin Geller (Music Director & Producer), Nathan Lofton (Choral Arranger & Conductor), Drew Schlegel (Recording Engineer), Dave Schonauer (Assistant Recording Engineer), Morningstar Studios (Recording Venue), John Greig (Speaker Stand Design & Fabrication), Ric Allison and Anders Uhl (Listening Station Designers & Fabrication), Sharon Curley (Project Technician)

Speakers Provided by Eminence

Chorus: Kendra Balmer, Sonja Bontrager, Cory Davis, Michael Hogue, Michael Johnson, Elissa Kranzler, Hank Miller, Victoria Nance, Jordan Rock, Daniel Schwartz, Caroline Winschel, and Michele Zuckman

Special Thanks: Joe Benford, Gary Galván, Corinne Militello, and Janine Pollock

Logan Squared: Ode to Philly © 2017 Emeka Ogboh. All rights reserved.

All poetry © 2017 Ursula Rucker. All rights reserved.

Logan Square at Dusk from Four Squares of Philadelphia by Louis Gesensway © 1972 by Theodore Presser Company. All rights administered by Carl Fischer, LLC. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

Choral arrangement of Four Squares of Philadelphia: “Logan Square at Dusk” prepared with original score of Four Squares of Philadelphia provided courtesy of the Edwin A. Fleisher Collection of Orchestral Music at the Free Library of Philadelphia.

Partners

The City of Philadelphia, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, the Free Library of Philadelphia, and Friends of Aviator Park

Project Managers

Judy Hellman, Kristen Goldschmidt

 

 

Artist Statement

I have explored the historic and aural infrastructures of various cities—Lagos, Nigeria in particular—through my sound recordings and installations. These works try to understand cities, mostly through sounds they generate in the form of soundscapes, but also through audio materials found in the city’s archives, and in some cases, through entirely new compositions inspired by the cities.

My proposed work for Monument Lab intends to explore the city of Philadelphia through the concept of collective memory. Herein, I am interested in how Philadelphia remembers (or forgets) its past, and how over time these collective memories have been passed from one generation to the next.

The point of departure for this work begins with what the city of Philadelphia remembers and what it choses not to remember in terms of its history. The question is put across its citizenry in the form of research feedback, either online or offline (website feedback or real-time data collection), and then the resultant feedback is processed.

The idea is to create a musical composition for an orchestral/choir performance from the research feedback. This feedback will either inspire a composer to work with me in creating a new musical composition, or provide us with data that is converted into a musical score. This can be achieved by running the resultant data through an analytical software.

The final composition would be performed by a choir ensemble. I am interested in working with a choir ensemble. The musical piece will be performed by the orchestra/choir and recorded on separate channels for the individual voices and instruments. These recordings will be re-installed as a multi-channel sound installation in a public space.

 

 
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Tafawa Balewa Square, 2014. Photo by Emeka Ogboh.

About the Artist

Emeka Ogboh’s works contemplate broad notions of listening and hearing as its main focus. He transposes, inserts, and installs sounds in diverse locations to contemplate compelling issues surrounding migration, globalization, and post colonialism, amongst other topics. His sound recordings also consider the history and aural infrastructure of cities, Lagos, Nigeria in particular. These Lagos recordings have produced a corpus of work entitled “Lagos Soundscapes,” which he has installed in different contexts.

Ogboh has begun to explore audio archives, a recent interest in history, and how nostalgia and memory intersect in the conceptualization of the present. He is also working with music composers in creating new audio works that open the listener’s ears to locating narratives that are often embedded in sounds.

Ogboh is a 2014 DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst) grant recipient, the cofounder of the Video Art Network Lagos, and the 2016 Prize of the Böttcherstraße in Bremen winner.

 

Banner: Logan Squared: Ode to Philly, Emeka Ogboh featuring Ursula Rucker, Mixed-media sound installation. Logan Square/Free Library of Philadelphia. Photo: Steve Weinik.