Dyning in the Dovecote

“Sonic Innovations,” Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts,  Katonah, NY, 2023-2024 Season

This interactive sound installation is stirred into subtle action by the presence and activity of its audience, as well as sunlight and wind. The sounds of water, insects, dove calls and bird wings flicker and fly around the dovecote in Caramoor’s sense circle, continually transforming shapes moving along ephemeral sound trails. The hanging bamboo and the vase vibrate and radiate sound becoming resonant speakers. They also make wave patterns on the surface of the mote. Interactive objects radiate capacitance fields, or etherwaves, like a theremin – recalling Caramoor’s and Lucie Rosen’s place in the history of music technology. The audience’s proximity and stillness near these objects shifts the soundscape.


Videos of Dyning in the Dovecote, Spring and Fall 2023

Teaching artists presentation at the New Sonic Innovations “Dyning in the Dovecote” at An Educators’ Evening at Caramoor in Katonah New York on May 9, 2023.
(photo by Gabe Palacio)

“Dyning in the Dovecoat” during Fall 2023, taken by Liz Phillips

Wave Hill Waves

“Light from Water,” Heidi Howard and Esteban Cabeza de Baca, at Glyndor Gallery, Bronx, NY, 2023

On exhibit in “Light from Water” is Phillips’ Wave Hill Wavetable, originally from 2008 and reimagined for Wave Hill in 2023. Since 1988, she has created a series of Wavetables, where live visual responses to sound and/or motion appear on water. This resonant table receives low frequency sine waves and local field recordings. Nodal patterns mix on the water’s surface. Like the Aquatic Garden pool, the Wavetable reflects the surrounding environment; the rippling surface of the water heightens the experience of the space and the people and objects reflected in it.

Video of Wave Hill Waves in the Collaboration Room by Mary Lucier, September 9, 2023. Sound and Waves, “Wave Hill Waves,” by Liz Phillips

Video of the Collaboration Room by Mary Lucier, September 9, 2023.
Sound and Waves, “Wave Hill Waves,” by Liz Phillips

Read the Epicenter NYC’s article on “Light from Water” here: Light from Water_ Heidi Howard & Esteban Cabeza de Baca, with Liz Phillips – Epicenter-NYC

Inside the Watershed

in collaboration with Annea Lockwood, New Paradise Laboratories, (Arbor on Schuylkill River) Philadelphia, PA, 2022-2024


Inside the Watershed brings the Schuylkill River’s vibrant underwater environment together with the high flickers of insects and frogs from Blackrock upriver, location-based underwater sounds, low frequency sound delivered to a listener’s body through the backs of two benches, and shifting ambience derived from live wind and environmental sensing.   Inside the Watershed was created as the companion piece to Lockwood and Phillips’ The River Feeds Back in the Academy of Natural Sciences’ Dietrich Gallery, and as the culminating experience of How to Get to the River, a sound walk experience designed by New Paradise Laboratories, celebrating water and the importance of the Schuylkill River to Philadelphia.

Liz Phillips, who helped design the ”Inside the Watershed” sound installation for the walking tour, and her husband, Earl Howard, listen to the sound of the Schuylkill River collected by a microphone suspended from a fishing pole. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Building designed by David Gordon, Produced by New Paradise Laboratories, and Commissioned by the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University for Water Year 2021-2022. Part of the large-scale project Watershed Moment with funding from the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage and the support of the Schuylkill River Development Corporation (SRDC) and the Philadelphia Park and Recreation Department.


excerpt of underwater Black Rock Frogs from “Inside the Watershed” by Liz Phillips and Annea Lockwood

excerpt “Underwater” from “Inside the Watershed”  by Liz Phillips and Annea Lockwood

The River Feeds Back

in collaboration with Annea Lockwood, The Academy of Natural Sciences at Drexel University, Dietrich Gallery,  Philadelphia, PA, 2022

sample of “The River Feeds Back” played through driftwood, Liz Phillips and Annea Lockwood


The River Feeds Back, an immersive sound installation created by artists Annea Lockwood and Liz Phillips will bring us into connection with the Schuylkill River watershed. Recorded at sites along the 135 miles of the Schuylkill River as well as its tributaries such as the Wissahicken Creek, Lockwood and Phillips have composed a layered sound map capturing glimpses of the river system above and below the surface, incorporating the underwater life of aquatic insects, eels, fish, and swirling currents, Participants will experience this dynamic sound work through a variety of listening modalities spatially arranged throughout the Dietrich Gallery. Benches embedded with transducers will provide a tactile visceral experience of the river, while hollowed tree trunks will transport listeners to the underwater worlds below the surface of the Schuylkill. A wooden table with a contour map of the Schuylkill will pinpoint the artists’ recording sites.

The Lenni Lenape call the Schuylkill, the Ganshowahanna, the roaring stream for its noisy course  over rocks and stones; and the Wissahicken, from Wisameckhan for cat-fishing stream. The River Feeds Back will attune us to this vital life-giving waterway, an important source of water for Philadelphia.
The River Feeds Back in the Dietrich Gallery of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University is a companion piece to Lockwood and Phillips outdoor installation “Inside the Watershed.” Both projects are presented in conjunction with Watershed Thinking: How to Get to the River, an interactive walk created as part of Water Year 2022, a yearlong celebration and investigation of water designed to bring Academy publics into a greater connection with their local waterways, and the vital need to protect them.

The Inquirer’s coverage can be read below

Read WHYY’s coverage here

Sound Benches made with Don R. Miller. Using transducers, sound is heard from these pieces. The following is a sample used to play through these benches:

Sample used in “The River Feeds Back,” played through the Sound Benches, Liz Phillips and Annea Lockwood

sample of Tulpihickin Peepers from “The River Feeds Back,” Liz Phillips and Annea Lockwood


Sound sculptures made by Heidi Howard


Sea Gestures: Sound Swim

a collaboration with Heidi Howard, Experimental Intermedia at Fridman Gallery, New York, NY, 2022

45 sec. video by Joan Logue, 2022

Full performance video below:

Curated by Phill Niblock for the Experimental Intermedia Gallery Series

This collaboration, Liz Phillips and Heidi Howard immerse the audience in an ongoing investigation into the life of water. The sonic elements of this piece use live samples of shells, fish and water, live fish, field recordings, and processing. Mari Kimura’s Mujic gesture interface (worn by Howard as she paints), lights sensors, contact microphones and hydrophones integrate and help synchronize the improvisation materials.

Technical and Sonic Assistants:
Isabella Stevenson
Cesar Garcia
Note about this video: This video is unedited from a live improvisation.
The beginning introduction talk for the event is placed at the end.