BIOGRAPHY – International artist Jeff Talman has created installations with the sound of the stars and the Sun, with the polymetric rhythms of pulsars, the hum of the Earth, the sound of the ocean's depths, and that of a single kiss. His installations, often collaborations with scientists, have been presented in Cathedral Square, Cologne, Germany; the MIT Media Lab, The Kitchen, St James Cathedral in Chicago, Eyebeam and other locations including four installations in the Bavarian Forest. Recent installations include Mt. Wilson Observatory in California and St. Peter's Church in midtown NYC (both collaborations with Dr. Daniel Huber, astrophysicist and member of NASA's now completed Kepler Project) Marc Straus Gallery, NYC, St Paul's Chapel at Columbia University and Rothko Chapel, Houston.
Cited by Intute at Oxford University as a ‘pioneer of the use of resonance in artworks,’ his major achievement is the 20 year exploration of reflexive resonance, a process he developed in which ambient resonance of an installation site becomes the installation’s sound source. Talman's Vanishing Point 1.1 (1999) first used this process and The New York Times, Wired Magazine and other publications soon noted the installations. Awards include artist residencies and fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts (2003, 2016) and the Guggenheim Foundation (2006).
Frequently presented in large scale, historic sites, Talman's work further investigates the nature of sound and other primal radiant or wave forces (light, gravity, the sea) and minutiae of their potential in generating concepts of natural and architectural space, human presence, place and time. Technically the works involve recording, acoustic analysis, programming, sound composition, photography, installation of sound distribution systems, and possible use of video and sculpture. Project sound became more widely available in 2011 by way of the artist's New Domain Records label.
In April 2015 St Paul's Chapel at Columbia University presented When Soaring Sings, Talman's third installation in that space. A multi-channel sound composition in collaboration with the Macaulay Library at the Cornell University Lab of Ornithology, the installation is based on the songs, calls and choruses of over 100 species of birds that return to nest in New York State in the spring. Previous collaborator Dr. James Traer, a researcher with the Brain and Cognitive Sciences Department at MIT, provided state of the art acoustic analysis to better 'fit' project sound to the site. The New York Times invited the artist to write an article on the work, which they published in June 2015.
Born and raised in Pennsylvania, Talman studied piano and self-taught himself guitar, flute and sax, which led to gigs as a 16-year-old folk singer and rock musician. He attended and eventually taught and directed orchestras at Columbia University and the City College of New York. Later he taught at the Massachusetts College of Art and Emerson College. Studies in music composition were with Jack Beeson, Chou Wen Chung, Mario Davidovsky, Jan Meyerowitz and Lester Trimble. Visual art studies were with Seong Moy, Bill Barrett, Kathy Collins and George Preston. Jeff Talman lives and works in New York City.