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David Cunningham (b. 1954, Ireland)[1] and lives and works in London. Cunningham's work has ranged from pop music to gallery installations, including work for television, film, contemporary dance, and a number of collaborations with visual artists. His first significant success came with The Flying Lizards' single 'Money', an international hit in 1979.

Cunningham's most recent CD release is 'One Hundred (Staubgold 2009), a collaboration with saxophonist Yasuaki Shimuzu.

Since 1993 he has created a continuing series of installation works based on real time exploration of acoustics. 'The Listening Room', Biennale of Sydney (1998) was followed by 2 installation works in "Days Like These", The Tate Triennial of Contemporary British Art, Tate Britain 2003 and subsequent installations at ICC Tokyo, Ikon Birmingham and Camden Arts Centre London.

This body of work asks the question "What happens if you magnify the sound of a room?" Cunningham's response is to use subtle amplification to alter the sound of an architectural space in real time to allow its resonant frequencies to become audible and interactive. This process is modulated by very slight acoustic changes as people move around the room, by ambient sound, by humidity, by anything that causes air to move.

Cunningham states: "The presence of the spectator integrates the object of the work with its subject.

The work could be considered to be a sculpture in the sense that there is a consistent structure which is moderated by conditions of the space, just like a sculpture catching different patterns of light at different times of day or in differing locations. However, there is a musical function and unlike much other time-based work is responsive to musicological analysis. It creates a slowly shifting series of chords always related to a resonant frequency of the location."

Following his first album release 'Grey Scale' in 1976 he has worked as a composer and record producer; engaging with a range of people and music, from rock groups (This Heat, Owada) to improvisors (David Toop, and Steve Beresford), to Michael Nyman's music for Peter Greenaway's films, plus work with Ute Lemper and others. Most recently he has produced Joanne Robertson's 'The Lighter', embracing yet another genre, the solo singer-songwriter.

Live performance has involved collaboration and performances with John Cage, Kathy Acker, Michael Nyman, Peter Gordon, Panasonic, Michael Giles, Scanner and others.

Music for film and television has included Ken McMullen's films Zina and (in collaboration with Michael Giles and Jamie Muir) Ghost Dance, and a series of television collaborations with visual artists which has included John Latham, David Hall, Stephen Partridge, Bruce McLean.

Related work includes the production and treatment of sound for installation and broadcast artworks by Martin Creed, Brad Butler and Karen Mirza, Sam Taylor-Wood, Susan Hiller, João Penalva, Ian Breakwell, Gillian Wearing and many others.



  1. ^ Grove Dictionary of Music


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