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Alexander DeMaria & James Horgan. Middle Kingdom, 2013

Alexander DeMaria (b. 1982 US) &
James Horgan (b. 1984 US)

Workshops at Rauma High School, performances at cafe Soppi & Gallery 3H+K,
Sound for Syväraumanlahti 26.9. and
Pacific Pandemonium, Nokan Art Cottage 11.–13.10.

Residency: 12.8.–25.10.2013

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Music and art collective Middle Kingdom (USA) working at RaumArs-residency included experimental sounds, building both electronic and acoustic instruments, creation of music and performing in different squads. They started with sound and instrument workshops with Rauma High School students.

Working culminated to an exhibition and happening weekend Pacific Pandemonium on 11th – 13th October. The installation at Nokka Art Cottage and the yard hosted an immersive musical happening with performances by Middle Kingdom, five different bands and some music students. Inside the Art Cottage Alexander DeMaria and James Horgan build staggering sound installations and multi-dimensional decked stage on the rocks outside.

The installation included a variety of makeshift performance and listening spaces that were connected in various ways – visually, sonically or physically – in which musicians played instruments both traditional and of their own making. Performances took place on a loose schedule through out the day, often overlapping or combining with one another. The audience had the opportunity to move about the spaces, creating their own listening experience out of the combination of the installation’s inner workings and efforts of the performers.

Middle Kingdom’s music is rooted in an interest in experimentation, discovery and playfulness. In making music, sounds are sought after, discovered, processed electronically, broken and then remade in order to develop something entirely new and unexpected. While often sounds inspired by nature dominate, the over all effect can range from blissful droning to dissonant noise. The construction of instruments for playing this music follows a similar process, in which materials are found, moulded, used and amplified, sometimes in surprising ways.

Collective draws the influence and inspiration from a wide range of musicians both old a new; from Harry Partch to Nicolas Collins and from the Incredible String Band to Sunn0))).

By constructing makeshift performance spaces that alter the typical relationship between audience and performer, Middle Kingdom tries to allow musicians a new freedom to experiment and viewers/listeners an opportunity to experience sounds and music that they might never have expected.

Sound for Syväraumanlahti happening was carried out in the evening of 26th September. With the help of a handful of friends from Rauma, a chorus of homemade "tube" instruments echoed and bellowed from different geographic points in and around the bay to create one harmonious/consonant breeze of sound to were observed from the rocks of Nokka Art Cottage.

During the Pacific Pandemonium several groups were performing in addition to the Middle Kingdom: Tax from Tampere, Niilo Apukka from Turku, Banana Pill from Helsinki, Dva Zagorodnyh Doma from Petrozavodsk Russia, and Villit Hevoset (Wild Horses) from Rauma.


Middle Kingdom is James Horgan (b.1984) and Alex DeMaria (b.1982). They have done performances and installations together at the Wassaic Art Festival, Martos Gallery (NY), Anthony Greaney Gallery (Boston), Lufthansa Studios (Boston) as well as many DIY happenings all over New England, USA, over the last 4 years.


Many thanks to Inspira artist association.

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