Projects by Geography
Since 2006, Hugh has been finding unusual performance and installation sites in Bohemia, and collaborating with local musicians. Details on Hugh's Czech work here.
Hugh first traveled to China in 1999 courtesy of the Asian Cultural Council, and has been engaged with traditional and contemporary Chinese culture ever since. He has conducted research on traditional Chinese plucked string instruments and lectured frequently on instrumental technique as well as the state of contemporary music composition. He was in residence at the Conservatories in Beijing, Shanghai and Chengdu in the Sichuan province. Hugh commissioned and premiered many new works by Chinese composers. Most recently, Hugh was invited to design a sound installation for a giant courtyard garden in Guangzhou, a project with Xu Bing, Liu Jia Kun and Rem Koolhaas.
Hugh is designing a citywide project for the city of Venice that explores the strange acoustics that result from the non-orthogonal network - some say maze - of streets that result from the construction methods of Venice. Two methods will be used to explore, amplify, clarify and obfuscate these acoustic dimensions: first, the presence of church bells from the city's hundred belltowers; and second, a set of cello variations radiating from open windows at street level throughout the city. Visitors will be told recommended places to start their listening tour, and then the sound will draw them on an acoustic tour of each neighborhood. Cello players will be placed throughout the city, playing with the windows open, and each will be interpreting a slightly different variation of the same seed music.
Hugh's project for 2014-15 is an in-depth exploration of the historical missions of the center of the state, creating sound installation spectacles at each location, connected to the site, its history and its acoustic properties.
Colorado Rockies (Western Slope)
Telluride, Colorado has been the base for Hugh's explorations of the sounds and sights of the Western Slope of the Rockies since 2004. Hugh has done extensive recordings of the rivers and waterfalls, and continues to work with the Telluride Institute on documenting the local ecology and soundscapes.
Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Berkshires, Hudson River Valley
Hugh has spent many idyllic summers over the last 4 decades in the New England environs, with summer performances at Tanglewood Music Center dating to 1984. His grandmother owned a farm named April Hill where many formative years were spent exploring the outdoors. More recently, he has had artistic residencies in the area, working with rivers in Vermont and Massachusetts.
Russian River, Sonoma County, Northern California
All the details of Hugh's in-depth association with the Russian River watershed are here.
Hugh has lived in Oakland since he adopted it as his hometown after many years of cello touring, in 2000. Hugh has initiated many artistic projects and collaborations in the city of Oakland, notable among them the ARSTSHIP Recordings, which consisted of 54 CDs released in one year. With the support of the Open Circle Foundation, Hugh arranged musical performances along the hidden creeks. In 2013-14, Hugh is working with visual artist Kristi Holohan on a new project with Oakland youth, Oakland Invented Birds.
A rich source of sounds for Hugh's work, and also the site of the Wishing Well Tree installation created in 2008, at Delheim Vineyards, Stellenbosch.
Black Forest, Germany
A source of inspiration for many poets and composers - where does the strange sound of the wind originate, and how has it informed the creation of centuries of German art? There is a term for it, Waldeinsamkeit - one might say, the loneliness of the forest...
Twin Cities (Minneapolis/St. Paul)
For 2012-2013, Hugh Livingston is the McKnight Foundation Visiting Composer in Residence with the American Composers Forum, working on an outdoor sound and music spectacle to be staged at the Caponi Art Park in Eagan, MN. Fieldwork and recording began in October 2012, and will continue in Spring 2013, with the final event to be produced July 7 2013. Check Caponi Art Park for details.