Earlid | fall 2015
A sound artist worries: Is he a white guy telling Black people’s stories? DeLaurenti says this was the driving question while constructing his latest Protest Symphony, Fit the Description, a year after Michael Brown was killed by police in Ferguson, Missouri—one of many killings of Black unarmed men by white police officers.
DeLaurenti constructs terraced audio fidelities—hi- and lo-fi. In this composition, he takes a turn, reflecting what was uploaded only online rather than what he has collected himself on the ground. As a composer of sound gleaned far from the state of siege, DeLaurenti’s juxtapositions provide an eerie tension.
In this Earlid audio dialogue, we talk about collective memory and how the artist allows it to be whispered into the ear, potentially meeting these sounds with empathy more than complicit voyeurism. We weigh in with the writer Susan Sontag’s concepts of constructed memory, and a possible new moniker for DeLaurenti: a phonographer of conscience.