Martin Aaserud (Norway)
BrailleBones (A.Desjardins) (France)
Jackie Bruce (Germany)
Jessica Curry (UK)
Jason Freeman (USA)
Phivos-Angelos Kollias (Greece)
Sara Lenzi (Italy)
Emily Lutzker (USA)
Debra Petrovich (Australia)
Grit Ruhland (Germany)
Kenji Siratori (Japan)
Shane Wilson aka Deciduous (USA)
98 177 116 116 101 114 102 108 121, which in ASCII code says “butterfly” is made using nonlinear chaotic algorithms to create waveforms at sample level. I use the trajectory of the algorithms to synthesize sound with objects I have built for the programming environment Max/MSP.
The composition is part of a live improvisation set which focus on the general instability and beauty of numbers and ‘glitches’ that exist – that cannot be explained by numbers. To quote Carsten Nicolai, “Mathematics is one of the best philosophical ideas … But it does not exist in nature at all, it is just an abstract idea of how nature functions.” As we are constantly surrounded by abstractions, be they words or numbers, it is easy to confuse the abstractions to be real. In this sense I think mathematics is maybe the purest abstraction we know, and therefore strongly suited to represent what we find uttermost real.
The title “Butterfly” in this case has a double meaning; the ‘butterfly effect’ – that very small changes on a deep level usually cause massive changes on a grand scale, and the nature of a butterfly which is too complex to calculate with numbers, or even science (ex. the mystery of it’s metamorphosis).
My Lullaby (swinging stereo remix)
The original recording was taken from the largest international border crossing between Canada and the United States. The Ambassador Bridge links the Canadian border city of Windsor Ontario to the city of Detroit Michigan. Hundreds of trains and trucks pass through these two cities on a daily bases. The purpose of this piece is to capture through live recordings the sounds of Detroit’s unique acoustic environment. These samples are arranged in a way that illustrates the cosmic frequencies that define us and affect our lives.
The rationale behind this collection of sound occurrences is to explore the natural frequencies and beats that surround us, and find a connection between the dynamics of our acoustic environment and the unique musical style and culture of the Windsor/Detroit area. This piece raises the question: Do the frequencies of a transient industry play a role in the art that is produced regionally? Has this played a part in the inspiration of techno music and gritty Detroit rock n roll?
Regardless, this is my home. This is my soundtrack, and at night, this is my lullaby.
Ich brauche nur eine Minute
I just need a minute
Electro-acoustic live concert
The concert “I just need a minute” begins with recording one minute of radio that’s used as the basis material for the entire concert.
Four movements structure the concert, starting with the one minute of radio, which is recorded onto tape. The second movement consists of three minutes of tape elaboration, followed by two movements of computer-elaborations that continue developing the sounds of the first minute.
With this method, the outcome remains unpredictable and live; no one – not even I – know what the base material will be until the first minute of the concert. The multiple editing (as set in a score) shows the slow, constant and traceable modulation and new organisation of the original sound.
For the soundlab edition IV, I’ll present the live-recording of the concert that took part October 14th 2006 in Weezie, (Galerie für zeitgenössische Kunst) Leipzig.
1. All Paths Lead to Hell
Much of my work has to do with death, memory and perception, and this piece was no exception. This was the first work that I composed using a sampler and it paved the way both technically and thematically for my future career. It’s hard to intellectualise All Paths as it was a raw response to the death of a friend and as such was very visceral.
Emotionally I aimed to instill a sense of panic and despair in the listener, and used my voice in a variety of ways in order to achieve this. I aimed to make my cello playing as voice-like as possible, and attempted to echo and mimic the ululations and ritual moaning of Arab cultures when in mourning.
There are also hidden codes and meanings tucked into the work that hint at the darker and more sinister practices of religion, as I was really angry about that at the time. The piece tried to freeze in aspic aspects of my friend’s life and passions, so I wouldn’t forget him, but the darkness I was feeling seeps in to the piece and pollutes it. All Paths is about rituals
and anger and was an attempt to capture and exorcise a ghost that was haunting me. I failed, but I still love the work.
2. The Secret of Life
Secret was created for The Wellcome Trust to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the discovery of DNA. It is an art work about layers, hidden codes, history and the complex structures, equations and histories that lie beneath the surface. It takes inspiration from Rosalind Franklin, whose X-Ray diffraction photographs suggestive of the double helix were integral to the discovery of the structure of DNA. The work is particularly influenced by
Franklin¹s story, and how the lack of recognition originally afforded to her has resulted in her being re-cast as an iconic figure. My imagination was captured by how Franklin¹s place within scientific history has emerged and the ways in which this mirrors the complexity of the rules and forms of DNA emerging from behind our everyday perceptions and understanding of life.
Sound is used in The Secret of Life to create a multi-sensory experience of DNA, a subject which is usually represented by silent images. The audio element uses numbers and rules derived from the hidden codes of the genetic alphabet to build an organic composition that can be experienced without referring to its inner nature. The rules remain buried: they exist invisibly within the music yet are integral to its form.
3. Das Gesuch
This piece was created during Labculture, an intensive week of work and debate, giving artists the opportunity to focus intently on their personal and professional practice. The artists came from very diverse backgrounds and disciplines- fine artists, writers, sound designers, installation artists, composers, web designers etc and we each produced a piece of work for the end of the week.
What I Listen To
People often ask me what music I listen to, and I find it difficult to describe my enormous music collection in just a few sentences. So I created iTunes Signature Maker (iTSM), software that answers in sound a question I cannot answer in words. iTSM selects a small number of your “favorite” tracks based on some simple selection criteria, such as the number of times you have played them or the rating you have assigned them. Then it analyzes the audio content of these files, combining a small bit of each of them to create the signature.
I created What I Listen To (2005) during the course of developing the iTunes Signature Maker software. These three short experimental sound works algorithmically stitch together bits and pieces of the music I’ve listened to over the last year; the results are a mix of smooth textures, chaotic collages, and embarrassing revelations about my taste in music.
iTSM was commissioned by the Rhizome division of the New Museum of Contemporary Art. The Rhizome Commissions Program is made possible by support from the Jerome Foundation in celebration of the Jerome Hill Centennial, the Greenwall Foundation, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. Additional support has been provided by members of the Rhizome community. Since its launch in December 2005, over 85,000 people have visited the site.
You can use iTSM yourself, browse a gallery of signatures, and download the open source code by visiting http://www.jasonfreeman.net/itsm/.
for electroacoustic medium, diffused by human bodies’ spatial movement
Description of work
The performance starts with three performers coming from the stage, down to the spectators’ area. Each one holds a speaker projecting an individual channel of the electroacoustic medium. The performers are dressed homogenously and their faces are partly covered (surgical masks and sunglasses). The two performers are walking in the right and the left corridor and switching corridors in the back of the hall. In the meanwhile, the third one is moving in front of the audience. Sound’s spatial movement is affected by their interaction in the hall. Two minutes later, a fourth performer is entering into the audience’s hall, from the stage. The four of them now have the freedom to move all over the place however trying to avoid approaching to each other in order to broaden sound’s diffusion. Right in the middle of the work’s development, a conductor who was unnoticed all the time in the front row of the audience, is standing up and starts conducting the performer’s movement in space. Sound’s spatial movement is now in his authority. The work ends abruptly and the performers are leaving the hall, without responding to the audience, as the conductor is sitting down inexpressive.
The above description is of a particular performance. Adjustments can be made in accordance with the performing area.
four portable devices (ex. MiniDisk, DiskMan, iPod)
four units of portable speakers (ex. four couples of generic speakers with batteries)
four sunglasses, four surgical masks,
or four theatrical masks
The work has been created as part of a project organised by Jonty Harrison and Richard Hoadley in 2003 and it was performed in Mumford Theatre, Cambridge. Since then, it was again performed this October, as a four-channel work, in the
“4th annual gathering of the Hellenic Electroacoustic Music Composers Association”.
For the original performance, four MiniDisks were used, each one loaded with one of the four channels. Generic PC speakers with “home-made” power packs were connected to each device. To achieve coordination a repeated sound in constant rhythm was added in the beginning of each channel. After being able to set the four sounds in coordination, thus synchronise the channels, the performers had ninety seconds before the beginning of the piece.
1. The memory of things
This work was born as a study-work on objects’ sounds. All the sounds where recorded&sampled by the author, and subsequently modified with filtering and other sound processing.
The purpose of this work was to follow the nature of a sound through diverse transformation, which regarded different parameters: modification of the duration (time), modification of the “space” (use of reverb, and different filtering of the same sound to give the idea of position and movement), modification of “meaning” . Through giving a “rythm”, building rythmical patterns with each object sounds, I wanted them to overcome their “objective” nature, and to become pure “sonic&musical” objects, with the same function as notes¬ation.
Why memory? Because I realised that every sound has its own memory, in two different ways.
One is the memory of the sound’s source, in this case all the objects I sampled. Every sound, even if deeply modified, i s the result of tits origin, and tehrefore preserves a memory of it. Second, it’s the memory we have of this sounds, and therefore of this obejects. Memory of sounds, in its double significance.
2. L’Apocalisse di Adamo
This worked was inspired by the gnostic text of the Apocalypses. This one is supposed to be spoken by the firs man, Adam, who foresees the arrival of the true god. I have taken Adam as a symbol of mankind, a mankind at its very beginning that at the same time is already waiting and preparing its end. I tried to realise a sort of “drama” which could represent the percourse from nature to logos through rough material and human beings (as it is described in the gnostic text). The memoryscape here is that of the enternity of time that preceeded (and presumably will follow) the birth of the human being, that of mankind with its historical past and its historical future, and finally that of Adam, the first man: its memory of a perfect life lost forever, but lived already in the eternal wait for something or someone who would have revealed us the truth about the reasons of our existence.
For the Adam’s Apocalypse there is also a version with soprano saxophone and electronics.
1. space age love song, 2004
2. planet earth, 2004
3. flash, 2004
Music from audio project: The Bunny Jammers, Be Nice!
I created a 5 song EP, in which I picked four popular songs and employed 3 other participants plus myself (we called ourselves the Bunny Jammers) to create our own renditions of these songs, plus one original work. We met in the recording studio and with the original music playing on headphones; each of us sang or played along, expressing our own interpretations of the songs. The original music is not heard on the final album, and the result is only what the Bunny Jammers created, expressing our own fantasies of who we were in the band and what the music meant to us. What became crucial to the work was that none of the participants played an instrument that they were trained on, so the gap between the fantasy and reality was heightened, and mediocrity explored. This work was first heard as the soundtrack for the Be Nice to the Bunny Installation at the Pool Art Fair in New York. I call this technique “unkaraoke” and have employed it since for a live performance in Minneapolis, and will again for forthcoming performance in London and New York.
The songs I chose for the Bunny project were specifically resonant to me. I wanted to use songs that were meaningful in terms of my own personal fantasies during my adolescence, songs that were about other worlds and outer space. Ideas of fantasy and the future never turn out like we hope, but we remember those expectations so acutely. In these songs I remember mine.
‘Solace in Black Sun’
was created as a catalyst for a performance where ‘I’ the performer used the energy to pull large weights across stones in order to confront, tease and meditate on many layers of embedded memory, at first to immerse, then to gather energy, then to react against or (abreact), bringing to the surface a myriad of memory-scapes. The act of struggling on the stones barefoot and dragging huge weights created a doorway to the soundscape which released a rhythmic pulse that built to a dynamic edge in a very organic fashion. This piece is part of an on-going investigation into the writing of Antonin Artaud and his call for a new theatre.
ExMemory is a deconstructed memoryspace.
deciduous brings us another eclectic mix of sample material for this release. abrasive tibetan gons deconstructed into the mix blend with soothing pads and organs in track one – in just over 2 minutes we are brought down to the elastic, scuttering sounds of deciduous…track
two introduces us to more ambience and texture with slow rythmic clicks and dub inspired stabs within a backdrop of bit reduced field recordings. Track three has an almost oriental quality to it, as the name and the scenery of the cover art suggest…it’s almost as if we
are sitting in a japanese garden listening to the nightlife crawl out accross the mosses and well manicured garden beds..The suptle interactions of delays and beats on this song give it a dub like quality. the last track, battles lost, is a kalaidescope of sounds and textures, building tension and release…there is a story behind this song.