Goldsmiths - University of London

The Talking Drum

Bulley, James and Price, Astra. 2018. The Talking Drum. Leonardo Electronic Almanac, 22(1), ISSN 1071-4391 [Article] (Forthcoming)

Image (Bob Bielecki and Bill Viola testing systems for 'Talking Drum' (1982). Photograph: Kira Perov. Copyright: Kira Perov.)
Bob-Bielecki-and-Bill-Viola-testing-systems-The-Talking-Drum-1982-Photo-Kira-Perov.jpg - Other
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Abstract or Description

The following paper reflects upon the authors’ experiences of assisting in the realization of the spatial sound work The Talking Drum by Bill Viola. Originally recorded as an exploratory performance between 1979–82, The Talking Drum was realized as an immersive sound installation at the Vinyl Factory Space, Brewer Street, London, from 13 October to 7 November 2015.
The paper is a collaborative endeavor, between Astra Price (California Institute of the Arts and archivist at Bill Viola Studio) and James Bulley (artist and researcher at Goldsmiths, University of London) who worked together with Viola and his partner Kira Perov in Summer 2015 to transform archival recordings of the originally site-specific performance recording into a spatialized sound installation. Here we seek to explore the contextual, theoretical and curatorial discourse that arose in the re-presentation of the work.

“Buildings talk, you can listen to them.”
Bill Viola, 1979

Item Type: Article


bill viola, kira perov, talking drum, brewer street, sound, installation, curation, site-specificity, james bulley, astra price

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Music > Unit for Sound Practice Research


1 August 2018Published Online
1 June 2017Accepted
1 August 2016Submitted

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

17 Sep 2016 14:58

Last Modified:

02 Jun 2018 19:46

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.

URI: http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/18942

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