Kara-Lis Coverdale: Music for Sauna

  • Malcolm Yards Market
  • January 29, 2023
    5:00 pm

Sun, Jan 29, 5-7:30 pm (90 minutes)
The Great Northern Sauna Village at Malcolm Yards Market

This unique sonic thermal experience invites guests to explore a recording of “one of the most exciting young composers in North America” (The Guardian). Kara-Lis Coverdale’s singular composition Music for Sauna will take listeners on a sonic journey as they bask in The Great Northern Sauna Village’s largest on-site sauna, Superior Saunas’ Artist Sauna—providing a psycho-regulative, harmonic musical accompaniment inspired by wood, water, and sun.

The event includes open access to Sauna Village amenities, including cold plunge tubs and thoughtfully designed outdoor Room & Board vignettes and fire pits—allowing guests to experiment with heat, steam, aromatherapy, sound, and the natural winter air while listening to their own bodies’ needs.

About Music for Sauna:

Music for Sauna is composed on the premise that the thermal-material world is inherently expressive; composed of resonant and sounding bodies. The sound characteristics of thermally active spaces we occupy are resonant both internally and externally in a relationship that is intrinsically co-dependent. When we are aware of the subtleties of thermal material change through transcription and guidance, we are able to enhance and control thermal state in meditative transfixation.

Music for Sauna serves as a meditative guide through the various stages of physical experiences that arise during thermal therapy. In a sense, Music for Sauna is meant to be a sonic guide that engages narratives designed to detail and assist moving through the unique challenges of highly dynamic thermal spaces.

Music for Sauna (Music for Skarven) was originally composed in 2019 for Skarven, Sørengas Badstud, a floating hot-rock stove sauna heated both by wood and solar radiation that teems through a large glass face open to a view of the pristine waters of the Oslo fjord. The sauna’s design incorporates sky and water as direct experiential resources. Three “materials” influence the primary sound world: wood, water, and sun, which are supported secondarily by glass and metal. In this sense, the acoustic world is meant to mirror the sauna space in which it is heard to encourage material presence. The electromagnetic spectrum informs the music’s harmonic arrangement and maps an effect trajectory of thermal temperature fluctuation. Stacks and clusters shift and alter morphemically through dissonant passages (agitation) in a saturated cycle of harmonic processes that occasionally plateau in pitch centers of consonance (alignment). The often-challenging physical/chemical endurance of “passing through” the heat is audibly imagined through subtle entropic changes in frequency and tuning that unfold over a long period of time in the spirit of the thermally altering climate.