Dave Gould


Interactive sound sculpture with plywood, sound objects, snowballs, 2020.

Instructions: Throw snowballs (or felt balls provided in case there is no snow) at the sound targets to hear them. Applying his training as a percussionist in search of visceral connections with found objects, Gould created an interactive soundboard that is activated by snowballs. Each target is designed to create a different sound, and a skilled participant may generate a sequence as if playing a vertical drum box. Presented as sound art, Sno-Thro transforms the visual experience, and creates a soundscape through active participation. A viewer may chose to participate, or to simply read the 6’ x 4’ piece as a sculpture, or they may encounter a soundscape created by another passer-by.

More than a hundred years ago, modernism began to experiment with noise as a medium to generate an image. Futurists, Dada, Fluxus and contemporary electronic artists all claim sound as a visual art medium. Experiencing sound as a presence that takes up space is most relevant in the context of the pipeline trail where nature and culture meet in the public sphere above an essential urban utility. With the industrial sector as backdrop, Sno-Thro offers a mise-en-scène that sets the mood for the changing narrative of the local neighbourhood driven by global tensions.

In his artist statement, Gould says he is “addicted to improvising and live moments of discovery. It’s an environmental piece in my gamble for snow.” If the weather does not provide snowballs, the artist will.

Dave Gould began making his own instruments in Prince Edward Island (1998) where he developed a process for building bodhran folk drums. In 2010 he started creating more exotic instruments out of unique and rare things like whalebones, caribou antlers and antique toilets. Since 1992 he has enjoyed a continuous and celebrated career exhibiting, recording, performing, facilitating, instructing and music directing in numerous venues, festivals, galleries and museums, including Hamilton’s Supercrawl and the Hamilton Children’s Museum. Gould received the 2013 Hamilton Arts Award for performance.

Together with Edgardo Moreno, Dave Gould organizes the annual Corktown Winter Solstice Festival.