Indent Hours is a six-channel, generative audio installation designed for the courtyard space of Castle Williams. The piece is a constantly evolving soundscore consisting of melodies from music that was played on the island in both the military band school and in the prisoner’s fife and drum band that was active in the early part of the 20th century. Several of the pieces used as the basis for the piece are found in “The Drummer and Fifer’s Guide” by George Bruce, who was Principal Instructor of the School of Practice for U.S.A. Field Musicians on Governors Island up until the early 1860s. Taken together they form a new composition, its notes endlessly moving from speaker to speaker as it plays.

 

The title, Indent Hours, is an anagram of “in the rounds” with refers to the shape of both the structure and many of the rooms within it, as well as to the act of making the rounds, something that the workers at Castle William and on the rest of Governor’s Island had to do as a matter of course.

 

Indent Hours was presented as part of the New York Electronic Arts Festival, produced by Harvestworks. Special thanks to the National Park Service and the Governors Island Trust.