Banrei - short bio
Banrei (Jake Harper) is a sound artist, mostly known for his work with sirens and large-scale public sound installation.
He has performed and exhibited extensively around the world, including at the Tate Modern, London; Centre Pompidou, Paris; and the National Gallery of China, Beijing. He was recently selected to represent Antarctica at the Venice Biennale of Art 2017.
Born in 1988 in Washington DC. Harper spent the early part of his career as a keyboardist and programmer in New York. His first recording credit was on a song produced by John Legend (though he was mis-credited as the cellist - he had in fact performed on keyboard). From 2006 - 2010, he performed in groups with a diverse range of artists including Theophilus London, Machinedrum, Jimmy Edgar, DMC (Run DMC) and M-1 (Dead Prez).
His work as a programmer often required chopping up music samples for looping in electronic music production. The procedure involves zooming into millisecond windows of a sample in search of the loop point - the exact moment that allows a sample to repeat correctly and form part of a beat. He discovered through this process a surprising class of sounds living in the dynamics of ultra-short time. The rejectamenta and leftover fragments of these early sampling projects became clearer over time, slowly evolved into the chop methodology and the burst central to his current work.
In 2010, he saw a photo of Soundwalk Collective in an issue of Purple Magazine and sent them a cold email. The email included a remix of their Ulysses Syndrome composition with a request to be allowed to intern for the group. He was invited to join as a full-fledged member shortly thereafter, leading to his first exposure in the international contemporary art scene with exhibitions at the Pompidou and the National Museum of China, and his departure from utilizing sound within a musical discipline to an exhibition-focused context.
From 2012 to 2015, he departed from making work to pursue a life as a Buddhist monk and priest in Nagoya and Tokyo, Japan. Upon returning to the US in July of 2015, he adopted the name 'Banrei', a word found on communal graves in a Buddhist graveyard that roughy translates as 'a myriad of souls', emblematic of sublime compassion. Shortly thereafter, he began releasing and exhibiting sonic works as a solo artist under the name.
In 2016, Harper formed Public Decibel, an architecture firm that seeks to solve urban design and placemaking challenges with sound.
DA ZA DE ZA DA
CHA N DA N CHA
"An American artist has created a brain-hacking sound that's impossible to ignore...finding a smart and potentially life-saving use in Malawi"
US +1 301 787 1114
BAN BAN (solo show)
Efrain Lopez Gallery, Chicago
Autre Magazine Homepage
Re: Re: Re: Re Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:
Pfizer Factory, Brooklyn
Antarctic Pavilion, Venice Biennale of Art
796 Bursts [radio premiere]
Concertzender FM, Netherlands
Cristopher Stewart Gallery, Chicago
Silent Funny, Chicago
De Montfort University, Leicester UK.
Everything Must Go Art Fair
Heaven Gallery, Chicago
Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio, Oak Park IL
Pfizer factory, Brooklyn , NY
Spies in the Wires
with Michael Bevilacqua, PACT Galerie, Paris
Drop Everything Biennial
Inis Oirr, Ireland.
Offprint London at the Tate Modern
Columbia College, Chicago
Get Clear On What You Think
Maxwell Colette Gallery, Chicago
Father’s to I’ve to Father’s
SMS messages to mobile phones
Silent Funny, Chicago
Thunder in Our Hearts
Noysky Projects, Los Angeles
Fabrik Expo, Los Angeles
Family Album Project Space, Chicago
Pershing Square, Los Angeles
San Diego Art Institute, San Diego
It's Too Late
Zhou B Art Center, Chicago
“MEDEA: Zig Zag Series” Audio CD, photo book, and travel diary
Published by Dis Voir (With SWC)
Drop Everything Biennial
Inis Oirr, Ireland (with SWC)
Centre Pompidou, Paris (With SWC)
Well / Well / Not-at-all Solo Festival
ESORABAKO, Tokyo, Japan
The Tank, New York.
PS1 Art on Air, NYC (With SWC)
EN Movement Showcase: Anew
Tokyo Salon, Tokyo
Festival of Ideas for the New City Biennial
New Museum (With SWC)
French Institute Alliance Française concert at Florence Gould Hall, NYC (With SWC).
Running Man (Opera)
Riverside Church, NYC.
Lectures / Papers / Demonstrations
”AMNMA” Demonstration and lecture. KISS2016 Kyma International Sound Symposium Emergence! De Montfort University Leicester, UK
"Performance Publishing" Artist Talk, Rhode Island School of Design
“The Sonic Garden: Interactive sound in Public Spaces” Demonstration and talk. Pershing Square Renew Technology Committee, Los Angeles USA.
Mana Contemporary Artist in Residence, Jersey City NJ
select exhibitions and performances
"Banrei's live performance and installation are used to frame a kind of ritual, within which audiences are asked to ponder subtle transformations of space and become aware of that which exists at the edge of perception."
"A former Buddhist priest–turned-performance artist based in Chicago is redefining the operatic experience with his new performance, Father's To I've To Father's, an opera that is performed entirely through text messages"
"The courage he had by sending me these bursts made him deserve broadcasting."
-Roland Kuit, programming at Concertzender FM, Netherlands
Banrei (solo show)
Efrain Lopez Gallery
Sept 9 - Oct 21
Preview Sept 7
BAN BAN is a multiburst
A multiburst is the way of knowing a collection of bursts.
The title is a phonic assembly kit for the generation of multibursts,
a play on the first syllable of the artist’s name.
BAN BAN BAN BAN
A multiburst is a database of bursts.
Whereas the musical suite is authoritatively successive,
The multiburst is simultaneous, as an arcade
Two monumental Funktion-One speaker stacks fill the gallery space with bursts of sound.
Funktion-One is synonymous with club-sound and club-time
As a method of control:
A jaw-breaking jargon
Sonic bodies and multiplexed ways of knowing.
In a collective environment, the experience shape is the limitations created by one's belonging to the moment.
Getting rid of the lyrical interference of the individual as ego.
Banrei makes use of sites/methods of control as the means for public sound installation, often utilizes equipment seemingly existing in a site by default: public address systems, ambulance sirens, mass SMS messaging services, native advertising.
Impulses, bursts, and sirens are the fundamental building blocks of Banrei’s work.
Constructed from the rejectamenta of the music sampling process, sources are obscured and listeners are confronted with the primal qualities of the wavelines – roughness, harmonies, shapes.
Bursts are experienced emotionally as well as physically, an imperative breaking apart linear narratives into a collection of simultaneously possible states. The listener is provoked to engage a cognitive crossroads between analysis and instinctive reaction, between the auditory cortex and the amygdala. Beyond the limitations of our irrational fears and our arbitrarily curated taste, the mechanisms of this crossroads cannot be possessed by experience. To give into it is to open one’s self up to the most abstract forms of human expression, a pathway to sublime compassion.