DEGEM Record Release: Seltene Erden

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Elektroakustische Musik e.V. DEGEM latest release features my friend Marcus Beuter who made a contribution with his piece schmerz. Here are some words about the concept:

Als Seltene Erden bezeichnet man 17 Metalle, die aufgrund ihrer spezifischen Eigenschaften zu unverzichtbaren Rohstoffen für Hightech-Produkte wie Smartphones, Notebooks und Plasmabildschirme geworden sind. Auch in Motoren und Generatoren für Elektro- und Hybridfahrzeuge, in Windkraftturbinen, Katalysatoren, Energiesparlampen, Fotoapparaten und nicht zuletzt in Lautsprechern finden sie Verwendung. Ihre Gewinnung ist teuer, aufwändig und hat verheerende ökologische Auswirkungen. Abgesehen von der Zerstörung von Landschaft müssen die stets im Verbund mit anderen Erzen und  Mineralien auftretenden Metalle unter großem chemischen Aufwand und unter Erzeugung radioaktiver Abfälle extrahiert werden.

He also contributed a piece entitled car wash for the world listening day 2014 sampler of the online label Green Field Recordings. It is available for free on their website.

Selfportrait: Raffael Seyfried in 3′ or art as deconstruction

The students at the Institut für Musik und Medien in Düsseldorf produced some short films portraying themselves. My friend Raffael Seyfried characterized his one mostly by his elaborated use of video and audio glitches. His concept for the video is rather short but clear:

Kunst ist Selbstbeschäftigung. Selbstbeschäftigung ist Dekonstruktion.

Abandoned Audio Online Release: Metamachine

Berlin based label Abandoned Audio has released the results of a very interesting collaboration between european electronic artists and tokyo based fine artists including Atsushi Koyama and Macoto Murayama. The style of this project is marked by blueprint and architectal-like paintings of mechanical and organic structures for example lenses, eyes and flowers. The musical part features artists like Echoton and Pachyderme whose contributions are beautiful pieces characterized by aphoristic down-tempo rhythms  and atmospheric glitch structures. A very interesting combination between visual and auditive aspects of both art forms:

„Abandoned Audio and Toyko based Frantic Gallery join forces to present Metamachine, a series of audio/visual works and their research into the collaborative possibilities between electronic music and contemporary art. International musicians working with a vast range of techniques from field recordings to algorithmically programmed sound textures meet Japanese artists active in the field of oil painting and digital art. The results of this cooperation are 6 video works that will be presented online as well as showcased in art exhibitions taking place in Singapore, Berlin and Tokyo during 2014. The aim and triggering point of this project derives from the urge to understand the possibilities of the collaboration between fine arts and (contemporary / electronic) music. The idea behind Metamachine is not only to create audio/visual pieces, but also research different ways of combining sound and images influenced by two different artistic fields and cultures.“

The tracks can be downloaded here for free. I also recommend to check out the videos for a complete impression of the concept:

Drone sichtbar machen durch Schmetterlinge

Being inspired to deal more with the concepts of La Monte Young from a seminar with the title minmal music led by Dr. Yvonne Wasserloos and Prof. Manfred Waffender at Robert-Schumann Hochschule Düsseldorf in winter 2013, I wrote this text in summer 2014. It proposes some aesthetical questions towards the fifth work of La Monte Young’s series compositions 1960 that had a significant influence on the movement of Fluxus. See the instruction for the performance of composition 1960 #5 below. (For the full text in german language click on the picture below.)

compostion 1960 #5

“Turn a butterfly (or any number of butterflies) loose in the performance area. When
the composition is over, be sure to allow the butterfly to fly away outside. The composition
may be any length, but if an unlimited amount of time is available, the doors
and windows may be opened before the butterfly is turned loose and the composition
may be considered finished when the butterfly flies away.”

Allintervallreihe

This is also an early piece I build up from the twelve tone row developed by Fritz Heinrich Klein. I guess it’s most famous use was by Alban Berg in his Lyrische Suite from 1925. I played this with an old out of tune toy harmonium that was found on the dump and recorded it with a 60’s Grundig microphone my mom bought for me in a rag shop. I played every Intervall in long periods so that the beating of the frequencies could develop as long as necessary. The whole piece is one movement through the row in forward and backward motion at the same time. With the tritone marking the middle of the piece, my idea was to play all possible complementary intervalls after each other in different combinations.

Wir Gedanken

This composition is an excercise for the electroacoustical composition course „headspaces“ led by Kirsten Reese at UDK Berlin. The guideline was to arrange our personal recorded material without any effects. I wanted this to build a connection between my every day life and the one of my companion who at the moment is working and living in Seoul. She send me the recording of the copy machine.Concerning the formal structure of the piece I tried to bracket it with the building up and breaking down of the radio transmission. It begins with me trying to turn on my old 50’s Nordmende radio which belonged to my grand-grandfather. It always takes a bit time until the tubes are getting hot and sound kicks in, so you always get this slight crescendo. In this moment, at the end of the piece, where the first understandable words of the radio speaker are getting a semantic content, it breaks down and circles just around the two words „Wir“, which means „we“ and „Gedanken“ meaning „thoughts“.

Feedback

I think this project was one of the first experiments that I was fiddling around with, still using the guitar as musical center. You can hear that I kept an early earth like guitar riff in the backround. The high pitch drone was generated with two tape loops in a row.