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Blog archive for February 2006

Seminar on sound and silence

February 2, 2006


The 8th Annual Symposium on Systems Research in the Arts: Music Environmental Design and the Choreography of Space

February 2, 2006

It’s now official: I’m living in the middle of nowhere.

On the road again

February 5, 2006

The coming two weeks I’ll be touring with Frode Thorsen and Gitte Bastiansen again doing a total of 19 performances of Tracker at schools in the Hedmark region. This time we’re into more rural parts and will be driving quite a bit.

I’ve never had the time to make a web page for the project so here’s a brief description: Gitte is a dancer. We are using the Diem Digital Dance sensor system so that her movements can be tracked and used to control sound. Frode plays recorders and I process his sounds and add some additional spice to the souce. Tracker is a 25-30 min. non-stop performance and has turned from the literally based Hacker presented in 2003 via Cracker towards a more abstract and surreal performance.

We did rehearsals and further development Monday to Wednesday last week. I’ve also been working hard at doing enough of the port to OpenSoundControl compatibility for Jamoma in time to use it for this tour.

This time I did not dare to take the plane from Bergen to Oslo I’ve had enough of SAS damaging my equipment for a while. Also with the continuous fingerboard added to the list of equipment it’s getting much to heavy to transport by plane. Instead I took the afternoon train yesterday and had a really good work session on my way to Oslo.

While the winter has been generally really bad in Bergen with lots of rain and wind it’s proper winter here in Oslo. What a difference it makes. Maybe I’ll have to see if I can rent some skis while I’m away this time.

I expect internet access to be difficult over the next week so I might turn quiet on the blog and mail for a while.

Atelier Nord: New web pages

February 8, 2006

Atelier Nord one of the four media labs in Norway has been redoing their web pages complete with RSS streams. Nice!

Under construction

February 8, 2006

An exhibition by the 1st year master students at Bergen National Academy of the Arts.

Visningsrom USF Verftet Bergen 10 – 19 February.
Opening Friday 10 February 19.00.

Remember those quiet evenings

February 13, 2006

RTQE is a Sunday evening program of electronic experimental classical and improvised conduct for survivors or the 20th century hosted by Gregory Taylor which has aired since 1986 on Sunday evenings on WORT-FM in Madison Wisconsin.

As of 7 February 2006 RTQE is now available as a streaming webcast. You can click on the following links to choose either a high bandwidth (96 kbs) or low bandwidth (32 kbs) connection during the broadcast.

There are plenty more interesting programs at Wort for the rest of the week as well.

Checking out Tex/LaTex

February 13, 2006

O’Reilley Mac DevCenter have had a pair of articles on using LaTex (part I and part II) a while ago. I’ve spent some time downloading and looking into it lately. Obtaining and installing is now easier that described in the article. Following the instructions for Obtaining TeXShop and TeXLive-teTeX it can all be done as one download and install here.

This package comes complete with TexShop and BibDesk.

I have to start serious work on writing up for the required fulfilment of the fellowship now and I’m considering doing so using Tex instead of an ordinary word processor.

Micheal Schumacher in Bergen

February 14, 2006

Michael J. Schumacher from Diapason is in Bergen at the moment. Unfortunately I’m out of town for all of his stay. Thursday he will be doing a concert at Landmark. Tomorrow he will be holding a lecture at the art academy.

Konsert med Michael J. Schumacher.
Landmark Bergen. Torsdag 16.000 februar kl. 19.30.

Lydgalleriet og Ny Musikk Bergen presenterer:

Michael J. Schumacher er komponist pianist og installasjonskunstner. Han har presentert egne lydinstallasjoner ved institusjoner som The Kitchen Sculpture Center PS1 og Musée Art Contemporain Lyon. I dette arbeidet kombineres tilfeldighetsprosesser med en forkjærlighet for dronende lyder og statiske strukturer. På Landmark skal han spille på laptop. (Konsertstart: 20.00.)

I tillegg til egen kunstnerisk virksomhet driver Schumacher lyd- og intermediagalleriet Diapason i New York hvor han har produsert utstillinger med kunstnere som David Behrman Alvin Lucier Stephen Vitiello La Monte Young og andre pionerer innen eksperimentell lydkunst og musikk. Diapason er et av verdens få gallerier dedikert til lydbasert kunst.

Dagen før (onsdag 15.000 kl. 14.00) blir det en presentasjon på KhiB (auditoriet i 4 etg.). Her skal Schumacher snakke om eget arbeid og om lydkunst og eksperimentell musikk med bakgrunn i egne erfaringer både som praktiserende kunstner og som gallerist. Alle som vil kan komme på dette som blir ganske interessant!!

Borealis 6

February 14, 2006

Borealis festival of contemporary music in Bergen has announced the program for the upcoming festival in March. The program looks interesting and I’m particularly looking forward to the sound art exhibition that will take place at Bergen kunsthall co-curated by Steinar Sekkingstad.

The web page of the festival is excellent with sound samples from several of the composers and artists as “teasers”.

Sonic Acts XI – The Anthology of Computer Art

February 17, 2006

The eleventh edition of the Sonic Acts Festival will be held from Thursday 23rd to Sunday 26th February 2006 in Paradiso and De Balie in Amsterdam. Entitled Sonic Acts XI – The Anthology of Computer Art the festival will include a three-day international conference three evenings and nights of live performances an extensive film programme and an exhibition. A DVD and a book on the festival theme will also be published to coincide with it.

The three-day conference will provide a multifaceted and penetrating overview of computer art. International speakers from computer arts film the fine arts music the academic world literature and art history will from the perspective of their own background discuss the historical developments present the current position of computer art and consider its future. Jasia Reichardt (UK) opens the festival at February 23 2006 with a Keynote lecture.

Reichardt is writer and curator and made history in 1968 with the exhibit Cybernetic Serendipity. Speakers at the conference include Lillian Schwartz (US) pioneer in the field of computer-generated art and computer films Curtis Roads (US) composer and author of the influential Computer Music Tutorial Stephen Wilson (US) professor of conceptual design at the SFSU and author of the authoritative Information Arts Intersections of Art Science and Technology Joost Rekveld (NL) artist produces abstract films and kinetic installations since 1991 Ben Fry (USA) artist who’s current research involves the visualization of genetic data. With Casey Reas he is developing the open source programming environment Processing Manfred Mohr (US) computer artist since 1968 and considered as one of the pioneers Frieder Nake (DE) professor interactive computer-graphics in Bremen and one of the three artists in the first computer art exhibitions (1965 Stuttgart). A key-person in the field of computer art and information aesthetics since then Andreas Broeckmann (DE) artistic director of the international media art festival Transmediale in Berlin. In texts and lectures he deals with post-medial practices and the possibilities for a ‘machinic’ aesthetics of media art Matthias Weiss (DE) studied art history and philosophy and is considered an authority in the field of net-art John Oswald (CA) composer and sound-artist. Became famous in 1990 with his Plunderphonics Rob Young (UK) editor for the music magazine The Wire Golan Levin (US) artist composer performer and engineer develops new forms of interaction with audiovisual systems Joan Leandre (ES) also known as Retroyou artist working with modified games Wolf Lieser (DE) curator and founder of the Digital Art Museum Erik van Blokland (NL) designer and co-founder of Letterror. Arjen Mulder (NL) Casey Reas (US) and Rutger Wolfson (NL) will moderate during the conference.

The festival will start with performances by Granular Synthesis (AT) and Curtis Roads &amp Brian O’Reilly (US). Granular Synthesis renowned for its monumental and impressive audio-visual performances and installations will perform Areal. Curtis Roads &amp Brian O’Reilly will perform their international acclaimed octaphonic audiovisual piece Point Line Cloud.

The Friday programme is being compiled in collaboration with Jace Clayton (a.k.a. DJ/rupture) founder of Negrophonic and Soot Records and will include: The Bug feat. Ras B (Rephlex UK) Beans (Warp US) Ghislain Poirier (Chocolate Industries CA) Vex’d (Rephlex UK) DJ /rupture &amp No Lay &amp G-Kid (Unorthodox UK) Team Shadetek presents: Heavy Meckle feat. Matt Shadetek Sheen Jammer Chronik &amp Ears (Warp / Jah Mek the the World UK/US) Hrvatski (Planet Mu US) Aaron Spectre (Death$ucker US) Ove-Naxx (Adaadat JP) Scotch Egg (Wrong Music JP) Doddodo (Adaadat JP) Drop the Lime (Tigerbeat6 US) Filastine (Soot US) Nettle (theAgriculture ES) 2/5 BZ (Gözel TU) Gustav (Mosz AT) Planning to Rock (Twisted Nerve DE) Toktek &amp MNK (NL).

On Saturday Performances by: Matthew Dear (Spectral Sound US) Reinhard Voigt (Kompakt DE) Ada (Areal records DE) TBA (Max Ernst DE) AGF &amp SUE.C (Orthlorng Musork DE/US) Portable (Scape ZA) Fe-mail (NO) NotTheSameColor (AT) SKIF &amp Bas van Koolwijk (US/NL) Moha! (NO) OfficeR(6) (NL/US/NO) Jason Forrest (Cock Rock Disco US) TinyLittleElements (AT/DE) Anne Laplantine (FR) Boris &amp Brecht Debackere (BE) Nancy Fortune (Viewlexx FR).

The film programme will look at purely digital film art with a number of historical overviews documentaries and contemporary computer films. Work will also be shown from the archive of the Institut National Audiovisuel Groupe de Recherches des Images. In two programme series work will be shown from filmmakers such as: Raymond Hains Jacques Brissot Nicolas Schöffer Caroline Laure Marie Claire Petris Peter Foldes Robert Lapoujade and Piotr Kamler. Much of this material has never been seen before in the Netherlands: it offers a wealth of historical material related to abstract film and musique concrête. There are two filmmaker in focus programmes: Lillian Schwartz and John Whitney there is one programme with very early computer films by filmmakers like Michael A. Noll Chuck Csuri and Stan Vanderbeek there is a programme with early computer aided design’works and there is a programme with works from SIGGRAPH.

The exhibition will include a number of key-works from the pioneers of computer-art including works by Ben Laposky Manfred Mohr Edward Zajec Frieder Nake Tony Longson and Vera Molnar. Also works will be shown from the Sonic Acts 2006 DVD by artists such as: Bart Vegter Semiconductor Effekt Telcosystems &amp Jason Haas Martijn van Boven C.E.B. Reas Meta Driessens &amp Verstappen Karl Kliem Chris Musgrave Peter Luining reMI Scott Pagano &amp Keepadding Kurt Ralske George Issakidis and Daniel Perlin &amp Dj /rupture.

Sonic Acts XI
Thursday February 23 – Sunday February 26 2006
Paradiso Weteringschans 6 – 8 Amsterdam +31206264521
De Balie Kleine-Gartmanplantsoen 10 Amsterdam +31205535100

Conference passepartout: € 45 0 (Thursday February 23 doors 20:00 start 20:30 location: Paradiso Friday February 24 Saturday February 25 &amp Sunday February 26 doors 12:30 start 13:00 location: De Balie) – The passepartout is also valid for the performance programme &amp the Keynote lecture on Thursday February 23.

Live Performances: € 12 50 incl. (Thursday February 23 doors: 20:00 start 20:30 Friday February 24 &amp Saturday February 25 doors: 20:00 start 21:00 location: Paradiso)

Films: € 6.25 (Thursday February 23 19:30 &amp 21:00 Friday February 24 19:30 &amp 21:00 Saturday 25 16:00 19:30 &amp 21:00)

Conference tickets are available from January 7 2006 via De Balie (+31205535100 between 14.000 and 17.300 during weekdays) AUB and online via:

Live Performance tickets are available from January 7 2006 via AUB and online via: l=EN&amp x=0&amp y=0

Film tickets are available from January 14 2006 via De Balie (+31205535100 between 14.000 and 17.300 during weekdays)

For more information:

Sound Art in the White Cube

February 19, 2006


Sound Art in the White Cube.

Jana Winderen and Maia Urstad in collaboration with Jørgen Træen organized the sound project MOTLYD at USF in Bergen in 2001.000 Five years later they will focus on the development of Sound Art during this period at this one-day seminar. Today we see software development and experimentation on a large scale and extensive exhibitions and publications on the subject of Sound Art are being produced. A growing number of young artists are sharing experiences in this field of activity. This will at the same time demand a clarification of the position of Sound Art in the’ White Cube’ environment and further on which actions an institution must take to fulfill their ambitions for the development and promotion of sound-based art works. The participants have all taken part in the development of Sound Art and will as practitioners and professionals talk about their experiences in relation to this.

11.00 – 11.300 Introduction Jana Winderen og Maia Urstad

11.30 – 12.150 Mike Harding director of the audio-visual label Touch in London

The Rustling of Leaves and the Howling of Wind
Mike Harding talks about the problems and possibilities confronting artists and curators when organising or working on audio-visual events. He calls for a reassessment of the role of sound in mixed-media work and offers the use of sound in the natural world as a source of inspiration for all artists.

12.30 – 13.000 Jørgen Larsson artist musician

Joint portraits reflections concerning the presentation of sound – artistic and practical realities.

13.15 – 13.450 Lars Petter Hagen composer artistic director of Happy Days sound festival and Ny Musikk.

What is the difference? Compositional strategies in Sound Art and music. With examples from Ny Musikk events and own work.

14.00 – 15.000 Lunch

15.15 – 16.000 Brandon LaBelle artist curator writer

Without Belonging
How does sound find its place when it seems to partially leave place behind? Considering such spatial riddles I’ll search for descriptions and examples so as to locate sound’s geographic and aesthetic potential.

16.15 – 16.450 Steinar Sekkingstad art historian critic curator
Erlend Hammer art historian critic curator

Why do we need a Sound Art gallery? Establishing Lydgalleriet in Bergen.
What is wrong with the regular galleries? Does a separate gallery
represent a freedom from the constraints of such galleries or does
it unnecessarily confine Sound Art within the format of white-cube
installations? Are we building an institution or creating an experimental think-tank?

17.00 – 17.300 Bjarne Kvinnsland Composer artist and producer

Installations by Intravision
Bjarne Kvinnsland Per Å ge Lyså Yngve Sandboe
– We work like a Rock Group in a studio carefully programming sound &amp light. We discuss possibilities combining the broad experience from our different professional backgrounds. Each project represents the development of a new and innovative multimedia instrument which we first build and then play on – .

17.45 – 18.150 Trond Lossius sound and installation artist

Sound in the gallery space: Experience and challenges
In recent years Trond Lossius has been doing a number of cross-disciplinary projects in collaboration with other artists mainly combining sound and visual elements. Based on his experiences he will talk about different approaches and challenges he has encountered when working with sound in gallery spaces.

The seminar is supported by:
Ny Musikk
Atelier Nord
Lydgalleriet i Bergen

Art for airports

February 21, 2006

I find public art at airports amusing. All to often it resembles crashing airplanes in one way or another. Here are two examples from Gardemoen airport Oslo.


Longing for the sky.


Now where did I put that engine?

Tracker tour

February 21, 2006

The previous two weeks I’ve been touring in the Valdres region of Oppland with Frode Thorsen and Gitte Bastiansen performing Tracker at a total of 19 schools for approx. 3.000 kids. The weather was completely different from Bergen proper snow and freezing cold at times (down to -19 degrees celsius) instead of the eternal rainy and windy automn we are blessed with in Bergen. Compared to the previous two tours in 2003 and 2005 this one was more work: Longer distances to drive less psare time in the evenings. In addition the amount of equipment to carry seem to be increasing from one tour to the next. The big addition this time was a Continuum Fingerboard.

Valdres_2.JPGSome but not all of the equipment was left in the car over the night. While patching the sound card and mixer at the first school the cables tended to be stiff and non-flexible due to the heat and it almost felt as I could ahve managed to break them or wear them out if I was not cautious. According to PhotoPhono who provided the PA system it shouldn’t be a problem to leave the mixer and speakers in the car but at one concert the reverb unit dropped out and at another one we got bad crackling noise in one of the speakers. In general though we didn’t have much problems.

In general we were performing at two schools a day: Up early in the morning driving getting the equipment in rigging performing packing down getting everything back into the car and move on to the mext place. Rigging tended to take a little less than an hour. With the last concert generally finishing at 13:00 it was a pretty busy schedule. I almost felt like a touring circus and we probably appeared at least as strange to the kids and teachers.

Valdres_3.JPGThe performances felt consistent and tight all the way through the tour. Thanks to the development of Jamoma during the last year (I first used it for the Tracker tour last spring) I now have much more flexibility in the performance and am able to create more dramatic shifts than earlier. One of the potential problems of the first Hacker tour as well as Cracker performed at Autunnale 2003 was the difficulties of doing sudden drastic changes in the sound processing with a mouse only as interface. Now a lot more is scripted vastly improving the flexibility of the system.

One of the more important observations during the tour was the importance of getting the help and backup required from producers and the various school. The more they are able to take care of practical issues the more we are able to fully consentrate on the performance itself doing as good and focused a performance as possible. It’s not only a question of having everything working in time for the concert to start it is also a question of getting there without already being drained of energy or not getting the extra 5 minuites to “tune in”. This varies quite a bit from one school to the next. At the worst we had to carry all of the equipment ourselves wait out in the cold for a long while prior to the performance because no one from the school turns up (not good for a dancer) etc. I believe we were all quite professional at insisting on doing a good job but at other schools when everything becomes smooth sailing there’s suddenly something extra happening in the performance. Of course this is old knowledge but it was confirmed once more during this tour.

Jamoma 0.3.0 preview

February 23, 2006

There has been some hectic Jamoma development going on lately. Before the Tracker tour I was pushing the port to OSC in order to get far enough to be able to use the new structure during the tour. A lot of the modules coming with the distro still remained to be ported. I did some of that during the tour and the rest in the last four or five days. I’ve also finally figured out how to compile MaxMSP externals for Windows something that makes it a lot easier to do cross-platform external development in the future both for Jamoma and tl.objects.

Lately Alexander Refsum Jensenius has joined in as developer and he is currently developing patches for his research on musical gestures as part of Jamoma. So far he has added several video modules. There is porbably still a bit of work and testing to do before officially releasing version 0.3.0 but the development has progressed far enough that I figured it might make sense to upload a preview of the new version here.

I believe the current snapshot to be fairly stable and reliable. I was using it for all 19 concerts during the tour and had no problems with MaxMSP/Jamoma what so ever.

I’m pretty excited about recent development. Jamoma seems to become a little more elegant and usable all the time.


February 26, 2006

There seems to be several similar initiatives to Jamoma happening at the moment. Alexander Refsum Jensenius wrote about UBC Max/MSP/Jitter Toolbox a few days ago reposted to the Jamoma blog by me. Yesterday I discovered another: Framework by Leafcutter John. Framework is aimed at effect processing of stereo audio signals. This is how he describes it:

I wanted to do a project where the many people could contribute to a big Max patch for treating audio. So I developed Framework a free to use / modify modular audio patch made in Max/MSP.

The framework part of the patch comprises 9 bpatcher objects connected in series. The user loads different kind of audio treatment modules into the bpatchers.

You play a stereo file into the framework using splay~~. Or you can use a mic input. If you want to do something different to this then please hack the patch!

He encourage others to make new modules and e-mail them to him for inclusin in future releases.


February 27, 2006

I’m sitting at home writing. I’m finding that I’m writing in a very different way to how I am creating art works. Usually it doesn’t take long to get an idea of what the disposition of the text ought to be. Once I have that I can fill it in part by part in random order choosing whatever part that currently seems to offer the least resistance to get the most done in as short a time as possible.

I’ve never been able to do art projects this way having a clear idea beforehand and then just do it. It has always been a much more convoluted process. Or at least that is what I have been thinking up to now. But then again a large part of the work is realised as Max patches. These I usually build according to the idea I want to realise the logics of programming enforcing a structured way of working. Maybe my idea of how I am working is misconception a left over from several years ago while I was still trying to compose notated music? Or am I able to work structured in modules while the combination and use of those modules still becomes a more compelx task?

Occational breaks spent listening to a few tracks of a CD and looking out the window. From our living room we have a glimpse of the North Sea. Today it is snowing. One Deutch landscape painting after the other passes by.

Integra Sharing Live Music Technologies

February 28, 2006

We have to think of technology as just another instrument that needs to be played “ says Lamberto Coccioli Head of Music Technology at Birmingham Conservatoire ”">talking about the Integra project.

Lydlandskap: om bruk og misbruk av musikk

February 28, 2006

Even Ruud has written a book (in Norwegian) on the soundscape and use and misuse of music. According to this text on the book it seems to be dealing more with the way music is dealt with consumed and abused and less with the soundscape in a more general sense as discussed by Murray Schafer.