Prophet, Form 1



Site-specific audio installation
July 12, 2013
Stanford University, Stanford California


Constructed/Composed/Recorded/Mixed by Sam Genovese


Visitors approach the site by walking through an open field that descends to a grove of trees. Dry leaves underfoot create a crunching sound that grows louder nearer the site as the number of fallen leaves increases. Reaching the site, visitors gather around a mirrored surface on the ground resembling a puddle. Meanwhile, the sound of crunching leaves continues from two speakers hidden beneath the mirrored surface. Mechanical sounds emerge to create a surprising narrative soundscape.


Mantis or Prophet? The mantis is an insect that waits with great patience, as does this installation. While surveying the site, the image of a prophet sitting under a tree sprang to mind, specifically the Oracle at Delphi, who it is believed received revelations while sitting over a fissure from which vapors were emitted. Which name to use? Mantis is a fine name, but too specific. As it turns out, the order mantodea is etymologically formed by two ancient Greek words meaning prophet and form. This was a wonderful coincidence.


It is desired to continue Prophet, Form as a series of works characterized by surprise and revelation. The sounds and shapes of the works will be informed by their locations.