October 5, 2004
I’ve been in Oslo since Friday collaborating with Asbjørn Flø on an installation to take part in Ultima. Initially planned to be situated at Norsk Form it was moved to to the floor above Black Box due to double booking at Norsk Form. Last week the fire department disaproved of the localisation and so it had to be repositioned again this time to the cellar at Norsk Form. The opening is now supposed to take place Thursday at 18:00.
There’s a lot to do and long working hours at the moment but I guess we’re progressing according to schedule. We’ve been doing several tests of putting the material together today. The artistic expression of this installation will be different from what I’ve been doing so far more agressive and restless. And louder.
I’ll elaborate later right now I’m to tired.
October 7, 2004
Interactive installation by Asbjørn Blokkum Flø & Trond Lossius in the crypt of Norsk Form as part of Ultima, Oslo Contemporary Music Festival.
SOUNDTRACKS investigates technological failures as artistic material. The installation processes and deconstructs the sound of digital glitches, sound generated during computer crashes and cheap lo-fi speakers pressed to and beyond their limits.
October 8, 2004
The installation Soundtrack is using a total of 40 loudspeakers hidden underneath an industrial steel grid floor. We’re using two Hammerfall sound cards for distributing sound. For some reason this works fine in OS9 using the ASIO driver the cards show up as a singel card with heaps of channels available. In OSX Core Audio they turn up as two individual cards. The consequence is that we didn’t manage to get Max/MSP to access all channels. We didn’t have much time to test it out either and had to use OS9 instead. I didn’t exactly like it. We quickly realised that we had the same MIDI problems that we had using more or less the same equipment two years ago for Norway Remixed. We’re using 24 on/off buttons positioned at the floor for interaction. If there’s a lot of activity going on the MIDI stream into Max suddenly goes silent.
This time I was able to track down the culprit: OMS. Bu opening the OMS Setup Application and testing MIDI the MIDI data suddenly started flowing again. If we hadn’t been so hard pressed on time (and forced to use OS9) I’d much prefer to use the Teabox
October 8, 2004
The installation Soundtrack opened yesterday at Norsk Form Kongens gate 4 Oslo as part of the contemporary music festival Ultima.
Soundtrack is a sound installation by me and Asbjørn Flø based on a concept by Asbjørn. The installation will be open October 7 – 17.
Below is the press release in Norwegian:
Lydspor / Soundtracks
Det blir sagt at ensomheten er størst i storbyen. Om “helvete er de andre”
forvandles storbyen til det beste tilfluktssted. Dyresporene eller sporet
etter gjesten i snø eller søle vitner om hvem som har vært der utenfor et
hjem på landet. I storbyen viskes sporene ut hurtig – og identiteten til den
som satte sitt avtrykk skjules effektivt. De umiddelbare sporene som
mennesker legger fra seg avfall tags enkle gester og høflighetsfraser
blod og svette oppfattes på den ene side som blott irrelevante for
betrakteren – på den annen side som irrelevante og dessuten avskyelige og
uønskede. En trafikkulykke står ikke for noe sørgelig men for noe grisete.
En voldsepisode utløser ikke alarm for bistand men trussel. Man vender
ansiktet bort for å slippe å involvere seg. Lydspor – skrik verbale
trusler hvinende dekk under bremsing sirener – kan man ikke uten videre
snu seg bort fra. Så lenge man holder for ørene er man fremdeles bundet av
situasjonen idet man utelukker også hverdagens lydspor i storbyen. De må
være tilstede – stemmer populærmusikk og trafikk – “som mumlingen under en
gravferd.” Det er hverdagens lydspor som tematiseres i installasjonen. Men
også fenomener som ikke tilhører lydriket er fortolket og overført til en
representasjon i lyd. Verket tar utgangspunkt i føttene. De står for
vandringene som har bragt mennesket rundt hele jorden og tillatt oss å sette
spor på overflaten. De står også for den organiske kroppen med lydspor i
form av skritt mot asfalt og betong – kontrastert til bilhjulenes friksjon
Lydspor / Soundtracks er en interaktiv lydinstallasjon som utforsker
teknologiske feil som materiale. Det auditive universet består av digitale
hakk maskiner som krasjer og ødelagte billig-høytalere som pines til
bristepunktet. Disse avspilles på et 40 kanals høytalergulv i stål. Et
spesialskrevet dataprogram styrer dette og komponerer musikken i sanntid.
Musikk programmering og teknisk konstruksjon:
Trond Lossius og Asbjørn Blokkum Flø
Asbjørn Blokkum Flø
Sted: Norsk Form Kongens Gate 4 (kjelleren) Oslo
Sponsor: Burmeister AS
Produsert av NOTAM
Takk til: BEK (Bergen senter for elektronisk kunst) Kunsthøgskolen i
Bergen Kunsthochschule für Medien -Køln NOTAM Ultimafestivalen Norges
Musikkhøgskole Henrik Sundt Stå le Stenslie Astrid Midtbøe Odd Magnus
Nilsen Andreas Mork Cato Langnes
October 11, 2004
The room in the cellar of Norsk Form Kongens gate 4 where the SoundTrack installation is. Underneath the metal grid floor a total of 40 loudspeakers are positioned. 24 Creative PC loudspeakers of poor quality make up the core of the loudspeaker setup. They are hardly able to reproduce any kind of sound without adding their own interpretation or distortion to it. In addition to the Creative loudspeakers 15 B& W loudspeakers are used for added punch. The loudspeaker setup is completed with a weird sub-woofer purchased at Biltema (check the splash page and you’ll get an idea of what to expect).
The installation is interactive: 8 groups of 3 on/off buttons positioned at the floor can be used for triggering various sounds.
October 11, 2004
On Tuesday October 12 Datareader a custom Max/MSP object designed to
help facilitate art & science collaborations will be presented in the
art poster session of the ACM Multimedia at Columbia University
The Datareader beta release and source code is available for free
Datareader was created by Andrea Polli and Kurt Ralske and programmed by
October 11, 2004
Back in Bergen at last (since Saturday) after 3 weeks of more or less continuous travelling. Trying to catch up on mails etc. I know I’ve been busy when I’ve not been able to read the Max mailing list for 3 weeks…
In addition to finishing the installation SoundTrack last week I was also attending a 3 day seminar of the Research Fellowship in the Arts program last week running Wednesday through Friday. I’m writing on a blog sumarizing the seminar but it might take a day or two before it’s ready.
Saturday before leaving Oslo I took a number of photos of the installation. Jeremy did a lot of video at the opening. Asbjørn will try to get a good audio recording of the sound in the room as well. that should provide enough material for the documentation.
October 11, 2004
If some readers are repelled by a writer’s behavioral contradictions this is quite all right because the personal essayist is not necessarily out to win the audience’s unqualified love but to present the complex portrait of a human being.
October 12, 2004
Real-Time Granular Synthesiser has recently been ported to OSX. I’ve got to check it out as I continue work on the Max/MSP/Jitter-based port of Cloud Generator.
October 12, 2004
Electrohype has announced the list of artists for the upcoming exhibition. My collaboration with Kurt Ralske on a audio and video installation will be premiered at the festival.
October 12, 2004
Aristotel Digenis has made a number of Audio Unit plugins for dealing with ambisonic surround sound.
And here‘s a number of Max externals for dealing with ambisonics and more. AFAIR I’ve been linking to them before.
October 13, 2004
Next Wednesday at 19:00 I’m doing a self-presentation at NoTAM for the Ny Musikk composer group. They also want me to talk about general activity at BEK.
The day after I’m going to give a talk on my experiences and thoughts on working on cross-diciplinary art projects for The National Forum for Higher Art Education in Stavanger. I’m going to use the occasion to explore some possible approaches towards documentation of artistic processes as discussed on the blog earlier today.
October 13, 2004
Wednesday through Friday last week I attended a 3 day gathering of the Research Fellowship in the Arts Program. The topic for this gathering was how to document the artistic process. I’m very happy about this gathering I felt it to be open-minded and of strong relevance to my own work and current needs and on-topic compared to what I believe should be the framework of the the program.
The first day was spent on the four new candidates of the program each giving a presentation of their projects. Ståle Stein Berg will be working on script writing for movies Øyvind Brandsegg on improvisation exploring the possibilities offered by live processing using computer based instruments written in Csound Hans Hamid Rasmussen addressing multi-cultural hybrids working on textile art and finally Kjell Tore Innvik developing and performing on quarter-tone marimba and vibraphone instruments. I suppose their project descriptions and possibly an English translation will be up at the web site of the program at some point.
The bad news of the gathering was that for the national budget for 2005 the gouvernment has proposed one more candidate only in the program. Similarly they are proposing a serious cutback on ordinary PhD candidates as well from 300 to 100 new candidates a year nation-wide. I can’t find any reasonable argument for such a proposal.
At the end of the day we discussed supervision. Thinking of it I feel like having access to three different types of resources. One is the general framework of the program the requirements possibilities and encouragement for systematic focus and continuous development over an extended time span the expectations the reports that have to be written and not the least the gatherings every 6 months. The members of the board for the program the supervisors of the various projects and not the least my fellow candidates is an incredible pool of human resources to draw on. Secondly comes my supervisors Jeremy Welsh and Morten Eide Pedersen that I’m able to see more regularly. Thirdly comes the large number of artists collaborating with me on various projects colleagues at the Art Academy staff and users at BEK artists exchanging with me on the net in various ways etc. Jeremy comes in this category as well as we’ve been collaborating on several projects.
Thursday all second year candidates including me did a brief presentation on what we’re thinking about how to document our artistic processes. I don’t have any clear answers yet and I don’t want to have them yet but I’ll have to make some decisions in the next 6 months. Generally I see my documentation to consist of two parts. One is this blog that I started doing a few weeks into the program. My project for the fellowship is in many ways a meta project: Investigating sound installations and other cross-discipline projects as a field of intersection between contemporary music and fine arts. Artistically I’m approaching the meta-project by doing other projects but want to find ways of summarizing thoughts and experience from the various projects.
While a documentation of the process is one of the requirements of the program I feel the need for a different approach towards the motivation for doing it. On one hand I’m asking what’s in it for me and on the other hand I’m asking what can be of use to others. I’m not good at motivating myself for tasks that has to be done only in order to fulfill some requirement I have to feel that it is of real use to me and/or someone else. And I certainly believe that the documentation for the research fellowship projects can and should be of wider use after all the various projects of the program are some of the most extensive artistic research projects carried out in Norway at the time being with the most resources thrown in.
I’ve spent a great amount of time writing applications and reports of the last four years. I quickly realized that when writing an application for support for an art project I should not do so only in order to get funding but also use the opportunity to develop the idea and concept of the project and plan how to realize it. That way writing applications has itself become an integral and valuable part of the process of the project. In September I spend a great deal of time assisting Verdensteatret on their application for support for 2005-2006. From earlier on I know that the process of writing that application a rather extensive one is a critical part of defining what we’ll be focusing on for the coming two years. In the case of Verdensteatret it is not so much by making detailed plans for what to do we’re much to process-minded but rather by defining some problems experiences topics and fascinations we want to investigate and in what direction we’ll move. If the documentation of the artistic process is to be a reflection on my own practice and work I want to take a look at the reflection in order to see what I’m doing more clearly and be able to act accordingly.
At the same time and just as important the documentation should be able to communicate something of value to others. For this reason I’m currently asking myself what artists has been writing and talking on their work in a way that has been of interest to me and my own artistic work? What are their approaches? Can the Picasso approach (Bad artists copy. Good artists steal.) be applied? Some of the names that comes to mind are John Cage (Silence) Morton Feldman (Give my Regards to Eight Street) and Brian Eno (LP and CD covers interviews A Year with Swollen Appendices). During the seminar the writings of Donald Judd was mentioned as well.
Another Picasso quote: You have to have an idea of what you are going to do but it should be a vague idea.
I don’t know what form to use for the documentation but I want the documentation of the artistic process to be subjective. It doesn’t necessarily have to be written in a personal language but the topics and discussions should be rooted in my own practice and reflections on it and not attempt to be an objective analysis of my own work. The documentation should be complex many-layered dealing with many different topics fragmented and self-contradictory. These are all very important aspects of my artistic strategies.
Some other questions to consider:
- To what degree do the artistic works speak for themselves? To what degree should the artistic process be articulated and to what degree should it be assumed that it could be extrapolated from the content of the artistic works themselves?
- How much emphisize should be put on the documentation of the processes? The more energy spent here the less spent for other parts of the project.
- All of my works so far has been temporary. Is it possible to envisage a temporary documentation? For instance the script for John Cage’s lecture “Navaho Sand Painting or The Picture that is Valid for One Day” is lost. I don’t believe that’s an accident.
The final day of the seminar was spent for a one day workshop on writing. I’ll report on that as a separate blog post.
October 14, 2004
I’m a complete newbie when it comes to audio stuff on WinXP. In August I struggled to set up audio on my Shuttle. Even though it’s got a cheap 6 channel sound card (for 5.100 audio) I never got it to work on more than 2 channels. Posts to the Max mailing list yesterday and today finally gave me the clues required to get it to work properly. Apparently multichannel output is only possible in applications using an ASIO driver. The ad_mme and ad_directsound audio drivers
only support two channels. There’s no custom ASIO driver available for the sound card at my Shuttle as far as I know of but the general ASIO4ALL driver do the trick.
The sound card is nothing spectacular 6 channels only and nothing but 16 bits 44.100 kHz but still it’s better than nothing.
October 15, 2004
Whereas Cage imagined Beethoven at 50 times a second Jon Inge is taking the opposite approach for 9 BEET STRETCH Beethoven’s 9th symphony stretched to 24 hours.
9 BEET STRETCH is presented in a concert as part of Ultima at Norsk Arkitekturmuseum Kongens gate 4 (former Norsk Form and the same place that the Soundtrack installation is) lasting from Saturday 16.100 20:00 to Sunday 17.100 20:00.
Here’s a review of the work in The Village Voice.
October 15, 2004
Trondhaim Matchmaking is an electronic arts festival taking place in Trondheim these days. TEKS has set up a live stream of the event.
October 17, 2004
Matt Ingals has made a Freedom Meter a Mac OSX Finder Menu utility that displays the current
Threat Advisory level issued by the Department of Homeland Security. Quoting a mail received yesterday:
Terrorists want to destroy our Freedom.
In these coming challenging weeks before the Presidential Election
keep yourself prepared for a possible attack by using
“FreedomMeter” for Mac OS X.
The FreedomMeter monitors the Department of Homeland Security’s
Terrorist Threat Advisory Level and conveniently displays it in the
Finder’s Menu Bar. Keep the FreedomMeter in your
System Preference Startup Items to keep alert at all times.
Protect yourself Freedom and the Homeland -
DOWNLOAD FREEDOMMETER NOW!
Maybe Matt should get himself a “Don’t Panic” towel.
As a total contrast to this I remember the attitude of the Angolean artist Antonio Olé that I met durting World Wide Video Festival 2001.000 He said that he liked living in a war zone. “It keeps you awake.”
October 18, 2004
Loudspeaker setup for the upcoming project at Electrohype in collaboration with Kurt Ralske. Kurt will be working on an extreme wide screen video projection (dimention approx. 6:1). The loudspeakers will form a similar horizontal line and be positioned either underneath the video projection or across the room so that sound and video are facing each other.
October 20, 2004
I doubt that you can consider it a proper review but there’s an article in Ballade responding to Konsert for Grønland by Verdensteatret. Konsert for Grønland was performed in Trondheim and Oslo last week.
October 20, 2004
I’ve finished preparing material for a self-presentation at NoTAM in Oslo tonight and a presentation on working on cross diciplinary projects for the National Forum for Higher Art Education in Stavanger tomorrow. Several of the participants of that meeting is also at the board of the Research Fellowship in the Arts so I’ve tried to come up with some new material.
…avoid form from getting in the way of content…
Lately I’ve finished video documentation of the Régla installation in 2000 and the recent SoundTrack installation. The Régla installation was my first collaboration with Verdensteatret and was based on a massive body of material of all sorts from the stage production named Régla.
October 22, 2004
Undocumented messages in Max to show/hide cursor:
October 22, 2004
The server hosting the English language CoreBlog mailing list stopped working in September leaving the list in limbo for a while. It’s now resurrected thanks to Luistxo. To sign up please visit:
October 22, 2004
If you take a photograph of something you don’t take a photograph of everything you can see. You make a selection and you put a frame on it. When you frame something you do something very distinct to it – you separate it from the rest of the world and you say “This deserves special attention”.
October 24, 2004
All functionalities for working on grains containing sine waves are now implemented in the Max/Jitter based port of CloudGenerator. Some extra features are addes as well.
I’ve noticed a problem at the end of the sound file. Most likely this is caused by some of the last grains having a time span that runs further than the buffer and not being cropped the way they should. When listening to the buffers looping I’ve often heared a strange blip at the end of the buffer but this screenshot clearly display that something fishy is going on.
Next: Granulation of sound files loaded into buffers.
Update 2004-10-26: I’ve confirmed that the problem is caused by a faulty way of dealing with grains that have a onset and duration that make them last past the end of the buffer. Two possible solutions: (1) Crop the grains. (2) Extend duration of buffer to:
START TIME + DURATION + max(INITIAL GRAIN DURAYION FINAL GRAIN DURATION)
Note: I’ll have to use maximum value of start and end grain duration as durations can be randomized.
The second alternative is proberbly the best. If grains are cropped the end of the buffer will have a sudden cut of. When continuing to work on the buffers for compositions and audio collages one will have to do a fade out. If one would like to make a collage from several generated buffers or daisy-chain them for more complex gestural developments it will make more sense to include all of the last grains into the buffer instead of chopping at end time.
In addition the second alternative is the easiest to implement and proberbly less demanding on CPU. The first alternative might have implied a few more matrix copy operations for each grain generated.
October 25, 2004
Today and coming two days I’m attending a workshop on BEK
held by Adam Hyde focusing on how to build your own internet radio station using Linux. I’ve never used Linux before and hope to use the opportunity to get myself going and my Shuttle set up for Linux work. There’s some serious Linux efforts coming up at BEK the next two weeks. Piksel 04 is taking place next week and the week after Jaromil is doing a workshop on dyne:bolic and FreeJ.
I won’t have time to attend all of it but there’s a lot of interesting PD-related workshops happening next week.
October 25, 2004
The Zope Hosting Weblong has a description of how to add blog entries with the Firefox extention JustBlogIt. The problem is that it seems to expect that you’ve got administration access to Zope. I don’t have that kind of access at the BEK servers.
October 26, 2004
The achievments of this day so far:
- Downloaded Knoppix
- Downloaded dyne:bolic
- Backed up all vital data at the Shuttle. Best thing I did today.
- Figured out how to create different partitions on the Shuttle.
- Created different partitions in addition to the NTFS partition excisting already and used for WinXP.
- Installed Knoppix but didn’t manage to set up the Shuttle so that I can choose to start Windows or Linux. (Everything is working except nothing is working)
- Fiddled around.
- More fiddling around.
- Tried changing partitions to get it all working.
- Managed to get it all not working.
- Screwed up all partitions.
- Reformatted partitions.
- Reformatted partitions in a different way.
- How many partitions do I need?
- Downloaded DeMuDi.
- Installed DeMuDi.
- Almost got it working but no sound and no network connection. (Everything is working except nothing is working.
I’ll have to reinstall anyway tomorrow to get WinXP and Linux working. At the moment WinXP is gone.
…to be continued.
October 26, 2004
The independent Portugese record label sirr:ecords run by Paulo Raposo has announced two new CDs:
“pieces of winter by john hudak and stephan mathieu” is based on one composition by each of the two sound artists. John Hudaks recordings for “winter garden” were based on a contact microphone buried overnight in snow that turned to ice then he recorded snow falling on this enveloping ice. The basic recordings for Stephan Mathieus “nuit blanche” were made on Christmas Eve 2002 with Eva-Lucy Mathieu on ocarina and himself on pump organ. Finally these original pieces were exchanged and transformed into a calm minimal suite of digital variations.
For “noli me legere – to maurice blanchot” seven sound artists created pieces inspired by the writings of Maurice Blanchot: Steve Roden Toshyia Tsunoda Brandon Labelle Stephen Vitiello Paulo Raposo Julien Ottavi Christof Migone.
October 27, 2004
Healthy Boy records is a new Bergen-based record label. Their first release Promo October 2004 can be bought in three record shops in Bergen or downloaded online. Two of the guys have been involved with BEK at some stage. GoCab (Alexander Andersen) was vital in realising the Café 9 internet art café project furing Bergen Cultural City 2000 and Sublevel 3 (Espen Riskedal) and I together made the code for the pl0t project that never quite made it to the final stage.
Anyway I’m a sucker for this kind of covers…
October 27, 2004
Compared to yesterday the Linux attempts today have been smooth sailing. I erased everything from the disk deleted all partitions and started from scratch. Here’s what I did:
- Ran the WinXP installer. Created a FAT32 partition to use for the WinXP install and installed. So far so good.
- Created three additional partitions: one for Linux (ext3 format) one for shared data between Win and Linux (FAT32) and a Linux swap particion.
- Installed DeMuDi I had to do this a few times before getting it right but now it’s working.
- The DeMuDI install also Grub a multiboot boot loader. Grub immediately discovered the WinXP install and now I can choose to start in Win or Linux.
- DeMuDi installs lots of audio apps so now I’m set to play around and start investigating and testing.
- As a pleasant surprise audio was working instantly. The same went for network connection on a LAN with DHCP.
Next on the list:
- Create a grub boot floppy.
- Manage to load the data partition whith read/write permissions so that I can use it.
- Look into Pd.
- Learn more on how to use Linux in general.
- Check out if there’s any Linux drivers for my MOTU828 sound card.
I’m really happy about the three day workshop at BEK with Adam Hyde. I’ve managed to achive all that I hoped for in theese three days. This is something I’ve planned and wanted to do for a long time but never got around to do. Proberbly it would have been a lot harder to get this working without someone to ask along the way. Along the way I’ve also consulted the Agnula user mailing list and received very useful feedback.
October 27, 2004
Consumers Against Copy Control is a petition with the intent to force record companies to stop releasing music on copy controlled audio discs. The campaign is also encouraging music critics to include information on whether CDs are copy-protected or not as part of their reviews.
You can sign the petition here.
October 28, 2004
I’ve started implemented granulation of audio buffers in the CloudGenerator port.
October 31, 2004
I’m finally coming around to Stockhausen.
Two weeks ago I was giving a keynote for The National Forum of Higher Arts Education in Stavanger concerning working on cross-diciplinary art projects. I based my talk on accumulated experience from projects I’ve been involved in over the last 5 years or so. Afterwards I got a lot of intriguing and difficult questions. Johan Haarberg director at The Bergen National Academy of the Arts asked if I was taking major chances when doing projects. I’d emphasized the importance of collaborationg with others the development being an open process trying to tear down the barriers or borders between the involved artists and “stepping on each others toes” as a strategy for avoiding the art work to be a mere sum of seperate constituents. Of course I run risks working like this. The project might take a direction that is hard to identify with. I also have to accept placing myself in a vulnerable position where ideas that I believe in and have invested a lot into might be turned down or radically changed by the others. In addition I’m using the collaboration with other artists as a means for repositioning myself moving myself somewhere I hopefully do not know excist untill I get there. This is an attitude that involves accepting a certain sense of chaos.
I was fairly nervous before the opening of SoundTrack installation. While developing a project you’ve got to take a number of decisions along the way. In this project some of them were leading in directions I couldn’t fully predict. Once taken I felt that I had to take the full consequence of them and not try to back up or do “safe moves”. In the end I was not sure exactly what the installation would be like before it all was mounted and we were able to test the buttons on the floor. That did’nt happen until 30 sec. before the audience arrived.
The project to a large degree depends on the interactivity of the audience. As stated earlier I’ve got mixed feelings about interactivity and i fully understand Stephen Bells argument concerning the participant as performer:
If the work is considered as a composition of degree and manner of control the participant can be seen as a performer. Just as a musician performs an interpretation of a score so a participant performs an interpretation of a participatory work. The participant is often in a similar position to a musician performing without an audience.
An important implication of this is that a participant’s experience of a work will depend upon their skill as a participant. A participant may not be sufficiently skilled to “perform” a work.
Leonardo Electronic Almanac
Volume 2 No. 7 July 1994
I feared that the sound image of the installation would be nothing but a number of blipps and blopps as the audience pushed the various buttons without the different sounds managing to be moulded in a musically sensible way that could be played on.
I was right but to my surprise it worked. During the opening I suddenly understood what Stockhausen had been thinking of when proposing the Moment form:
During the last years there have been forms composed in music which ar far removed from the form of the dramatic finale they lead up to no climax nor do they have prepared and thus expected climaxes nor the usual introductory intensifying transitional and cadential stages which are related to the curve of development in a whole work they are rather immediately intense and – permanently present – endavour to maintain the level of continued “peaks” up to the end forms in which at any moment one may expect a maximum or a minimum and in which one is unable to predict with certainty the direction of the development from any given point forms in which an instant is not a piece of a passage of time a moment not a particle of a meassured duration but in which the concentration on “now” on every “now” makes vertical incisions which breaks through a horizontal concept of time leading to timelessness.
Stockhausen quoted from the cover
for the Wergo release of Kontakte
A vernissage is seldom the right time and place for the sublime. The distjunct massive sound image as lots of people where pushing lots of buttons all of the time still felt interesting to me. As the audience left for the next opening (this was the first night of the Ultima festival) the intensity gradually lowered. I stayed behind to look after the system for the rest of the night and experienced some interesting performance-like episodes after most of the audience had left. Four elderly upper-class women went wild in the room and the last person to enter the room an elderly man walked into the room turned around midway through it and accidently stepped on one of the buttons on the way out. Cautiously he stepped on it once more turned around and went back in to try out the rest of the buttons mainly using his walking stick.
Interestingly in an article in eContact! John Dack is discussing Karlheinz Stockhausen’s Kontakte and Narrativity questioning to what degree Kontakte in fact is without causalities. In spite of the apparent moment form there are evidences of narrative elements in the work:
The work (…) according to the composer seeks to explore connections between two sound worlds whose origins are completely different. A principal narrative feature is that of the “contact”: it is after all Stockhausen’s title. The instruments exist in the physical world of actual materials which behave in a certain predictable way when energy is applied through human gesture. By contrast the electronic equipment and synthesis techniques might produce such sounds but due to the lack of physical constraints the potential exists to extend spectral development durations or pitch stability. Instrumental play is elaborated beyond the limits of what was formerly possible. Thus “contacts” with two sound repertories will exist in a continuum where some are explicit and others are ambiguous. We can witness the unfolding of small dramas. There is scope for reprises false turns premonitions mistaken identities notions of similarity and difference of union journeys into unknown territories. With such metaphors of characterisation and place the application of narrative structures is not difficult. (…)
Though Kontakte is “antinarrative” it nonetheless has narrativity. This seems paradoxical but can be supported due to the application of moment form. The very definition of moment form would seem to guarantee that a large-scale narrative “curve” is inapplicable. Moment form seems to subvert narrative but in reality it simply imposes a different kind. If each moment is self-contained and can be appreciated for itself it need have no connection to succeeding or preceding moments. The listener perceives the moment whether it is of long or short duration and can remain rapt in attention.
Later I’ve come to realise that Jeremy is working on similar issues in the videos for the LMW collaboration. The rappid flow of seemingly disjunct video images do not appear to bear strong relations to each other in time. If one frame of the video bears no apparent relation to the next Jeremy is very concerned about the dialogue between the language of his videos and contemporary visual art in general and the paintings of Jon Arne in particular. Thus he is striving for a similar kind of contact as Stockhausen but between electronic and analog images instead of electronic and analog sound.
October 31, 2004
ICMC 2005 will consist of a five-day intensive festival and conference to be held at the Higher School of Music of Catalonia Barcelona Spain from the 5th to 9th of September 2005 with pre-conference workshops on September 1st and 2nd.
Deadlines for calls for papers posters music video installations etc. has been announced.
October 31, 2004
Skype is a free IP telephony service. (Via MEP)