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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.

to 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.

As equipment: 

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.

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.  

extended bio

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.




audio extracts

released 2015


796 Bursts
released 2017


video extract

press excerpts/quotes

"An American artist has created a brain-hacking sound that's impossible to ignore...finding a smart and potentially life-saving use in Malawi"

"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

press links

select exhibitions and performances


BAN BAN (solo show)

Efrain Lopez Gallery, Chicago

Mass Notification

Autre Magazine Homepage

Re: Re: Re: Re Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

Pfizer Factory, Brooklyn

Mass Notification

Antarctic Pavilion, Venice Biennale of Art

796 Bursts [radio premiere]

Concertzender FM, Netherlands



Cristopher Stewart Gallery, Chicago

All Internal

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


Blantyre, Malawi.


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


The Garden

Pershing Square, Los Angeles

Ephemeral Objects

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

Eavesdropping Festival 

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)

The Passenger

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


US +1 301 787 1114

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