April 5th, 2021
A sound artist "on campus" this week will wrap up her time with a Zoom performance open to the public.
Zeerak Ahmed is in virtual residence with students in the art and music departments, visiting Slow Art for Fast Times, Music History, Jazz Ensemble, and Composition classes, hosted by Rachel Epp Buller, Ph.D., associate professor of visual arts and design, and Joel Boettger, M.M., and Christina Liu, Ph.D., from the music department.
Ahmed is a Cleveland-based Pakistani sound artist who performs under the moniker Slowspin. She teaches fine arts and liberal arts, and is the head of the liberal arts program, at Indus Valley College of Art and Architecture at the University of Karachi.
According to her bio, Ahmed is a “multidisciplinary conceptual artist and curator with a focus on experimental music and sound art.”
She works in “sound sculptures, installations and performance … [to explore] the emotive and expressive qualities of the elusive medium of sound, particularly voice.”
Ahmed has a B.A. in studio art and political science from Hiram (Ohio) College, and a Master’s in Creative Practice from the University of Plymouth.
While doing her graduate work, Ahmed began to transcribe chords and create an alternative scoring method for her experimental sound persona, Slowspin.
Her academic work has focused on the sound process and experience of seminal post-World War II (mid-20th- to early 21st-century) female performance artists and experimental musicians in the West, one of the topics she will be presenting to Bethel students.
More recently, she has been investigating the sonic and intellectual histories of female folk musicians from South Asia.
Also during the week at Bethel, Ahmed will “lead students in a discussion about some articles on sound art, and talk with students about her creative process, improvisation, sound and listening,” said Epp Buller.
Ahmed will give a public performance April 9 at 3 p.m. CDT. All presentations will take place via Zoom.
To get the Zoom link for the April 9 performance, e-mail Epp Buller.
“I’m excited for her visit,” Epp Buller continued, “because I think her focus on sound, improvisation and listening will build on some important aspects of our recent discussions in the Slow Art for Fast Times class.”
Ahmed’s visit to Bethel is made possible by several endowed funds – within the music department as well as the Carolyn Schultz Lecture Fund of the Bethel College Women’s Association.
Bethel is a four-year liberal arts college founded in 1887 and is the oldest Mennonite college in North America. Known for academic excellence, Bethel ranks at #14 in the Washington Monthly list of “Best Bachelor’s Colleges” and #26 in U.S. News & World Report, Best Regional Colleges Midwest, and earned its third-straight NAIA Champions of Character Five-Star Gold Award, based on student service and academic achievement, all for 2020-21; is Zippia.com’s highest ranked Kansas small college with the highest earning graduates; has the #10 RN-to-BSN program in Kansas according to RNtoBSN.com; and is #57 among 829 U.S. colleges and universities named by lendEDU.com as “Best for Financial Aid,” as well as #23 “Safest College Towns in the U.S.,” ranked by lendEDU.com for 2020-21. For more information, see www.bethelks.edu