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Blog archive for January 2007

Crappy Sound Forever!

January 6, 2007

David Byrne has a very interesting blog post a few days ago discussing how technology has been influencing music in the last 100 years or so. His post is a responce to having read the book Capturing Sound by Mark Katz. Both the book and the blog post are recommended readings.

Annotation tool

January 11, 2007

When reading papers as pdf documents in I am more and more appreciating the annotation tool.



Surface Tension Supplement No. 1

January 12, 2007

Following the release of Surface Tension: Problematics of Site in 2003 Errant Bodies Press announces Surface Tension Supplements a bi-annual book series on site-based practices in art architecture and performance. Supplements will investigate and encourage location-based practice through critical and creative writing documentation of projects field reports from global perspectives and book projects. Through such work the series will seek to question what role location-based practice can play in defining contemporary culture and society.

With Supplement No. 1 issues of spatial practice are explored in critical essays by Jennifer Gabrys on the geographic implications of trash dumps as in Fresh Kills Landfill by Scott Berzofsky Nicholas Petr Nicholas Wisniewski &amp Michael Rakowitz on artistic interventions in Baltimore and by Claudine Isé curator of “Vanishing Point” held at the Wexner Center for the Arts which questions the aesthetics of urban non-spaces through recent photography and film. Complementing the essays are reports by Robin Wilson on public art projects by Bristol-based Sophie Warren and Jonathan Mosely Newton Goto on the cultures and legacy of interventionist practice in Brazil and Ken Ehrlich on the infrastructure of signage in Los Angeles as seen through the photographic works of Brandon Lattu and Erik Göngrich. In addition documentation of public projects in Tijuana and Columbus Ohio by the artist groups Simparch and e-Xplo are presented along with Brandon LaBelle’s textual-photographic meditation on experimental architecture. Additional writings by Kathy Battista and Aoife O’Brien provide perspectives on recent events books and exhibitions working with questions of architecture performance and media.

Fostering cultural exchange through an internationally based editorial team Surface Tension Supplements positions site-specific practice in relation to currents in interdisciplinary cross-over from geographic work to media theory to follow forms of design in site-specific moments when artistic practice might perform to actively discover define and re-create public space.

ISBN-10: 0-9772594-0-4 / ISBN-13: 978-0-9772594-0-3
$18 164 pages. . admin at errantbodies dot org

Ka farsken?

January 19, 2007

I just discovered that I am exhibiting in Bødø at the moment. I thought that Sarpsborg was the last stop for the Generator.x exhibition but at the moment is is presented in Bodø and afterwards it is going to Rana.


Dream House

January 22, 2007

Lately I have been reading and writing a lot about psychoacoustics acoustics and sound and space.

Yesterday as I was falling to sleep I heard two male voices talking while I had my eyes closed. I did not listen to the conversation instead I was listening to the reflections of their voices of the surfaces in the room surprised at how precisely I was able to locate the positions of the voices and the room they were situated in. I was aware that I was dreaming and surprised that a dream could evoke not only voices but also position them in space.

Waking up again the room was empty.

The San Francisco Tape Music Festival 2007

January 22, 2007

The San Francisco Tape Music Festival is on next weekend with what seems to be a very interesting program. To the best of my knowledge this might be the first time that Eno use a true multispeaker setup (if he is going to do so) and not only multiple stereo players as he has been doing for the Quiet Club instalaltions.

January 26-28 2007
ODC Theater
San Francisco

The 2007 San Francisco Tape Music Festival returns to ODC Theater with three distinct programs of audio art over a pristine 16-speaker surround sound system. Seated in complete darkness experience new and classic compositions by local and international artists including a world premiere from rock innovator BRIAN ENO three classic pieces by GYÖRGY LIGETI a new multichannel realization of JAMES TENNEY’s seminal work “For Ann (rising)” and a rare performance of KARLHEINZ STOCKHAUSEN’s epic multichannel work “HYMNEN”. Featured local composers include THOM BLUM JEN BOYD MARYCLARE BRZYTWA CLIFF CARUTHERS GEORGE CREMASCHI MATT INGALLS KENT JOLLY and MOE! STAIANO. These artists’ development of sound diffusion as a compositional technique creates an immersive sonic experience unique in the Bay Area. Come and enjoy this cutting edge art form at its best.

SF Classical Voice: “mind and ear expanding”
Computer Music Journal: “a rich and flowing sonic environment”
California Report: “crazy quilt collages of found sound”
SF Weekly: “strange and beautiful”
East Bay Express: “cinema for the ear”

$12 [$7 students/seniors/underemployed] each night
$24 [$14 students/seniors/underemployed] for festival pass
Box Office: 415-863-9834 [2pm-5pm Wed-Sat]
To purchase tickets online: query=schedule&amp venue=odctheater


Friday January 26th 8pm

György Ligeti (1923-2006)
‘Pièce Électronique no.3’ (1957) ‘Glissandi’ (1957) ‘Artikulation’ (1958)
James Tenney (1934-2006) ‘For Ann (rising)’ (1969)
[ new 16 channel realization ]
Jonty Harrison (UK) ‘Unsound Objects’ (1995)
Thom Blum (San Francisco) ‘Nomen Plaid’ (2003)
Matt Ingalls (Oakland) ‘Fingerlingette’ (2002)
Moe! Staiano (Oakland) ‘Tape Piece No.1: Collapse of Travel and Time’ (2006)
George Cremaschi (Oakland) ‘Our Blood Was Boiling’ (2006)
Jen Boyd (Oakland) ‘Rain Blossom’ (2006)
Suk-Jun Kim (South Korea) ‘Kotmun’ (2005)
Jason Rabb (Salt Lake City) ‘Hum Vamp (for Snap)’ (2004)

Saturday January 27th 8pm

Brian Eno (UK) World Premiere (2007)
Datach’i (Brooklyn) ’I’m Not Afraid to Watch You Die’ (2004)
MaryClare Brzytwa (Oakland) ‘karenv8’ (2006)
Cliff Caruthers (Oakland) ‘The House on the Hill’ (2007)
Kent Jolly (Berkeley) ‘Sleep Walker’ (2007)
Travis Ellrott (Los Angeles) ‘Studies Suite’ (2006)
Martin Bédard (Canada) ‘Topographie de la noirceur’ (2005)
Lisa Whistlecroft (UK) ‘Almost Nothing But (Butterflies and Clouds)’ (2006)
Maximilian Marcoll (Germany) ‘folgesätze #5’ (2002)
Sébastien Beranger (France) ‘Le Complexe de la Goutte d’eau’ (2006)
Martin Stig Andersen (Denmark) ‘Rabbit at the Airport’ (2006)
Pete Stollery (UK) ‘scènes rendez-vous’ (2006)

Sunday January 28th 8pm

Karlheinz Stockhausen (Germany) HYMNEN (1967)
( in 2 parts with intermission )

About Tape Music and SFTMF

In the early part of the 20th century when the idea of recorded sounds was still novel a new kind of music began to emerge. This music did not treat the recording medium as a stand-in for an absent performer or a document of a musical performance but as a vital and unique territory for exploration in and of itself. Tape music does not worship the technology with which it was produced or the medium in which it is contained. It is a sonic inquiry sculpting a new kind of music from the entire palette of sound.

The San Francisco Tape Music Festival began eight years ago in true underground fashion in a warehouse in Oakland. A small collective of composers wired the space with their own equipment to hear their favorite works in surround sound and experiment themselves with multichannel composition. Since then they have become one of the premiere presenters of fixed media music on the West Coast.

SFTMF would like the thank the following organizations for their generous support:
ODC TheatreWorks Goethe-Institut San Francisco
American Composers Forum San Francisco Bay Area Chapter (Subito)
The San Francisco Tape Music Collective and sfSound.

Ka farsken?

January 22, 2007

Sounds signify events taking place.

Blesser and Salter in Spaces Speak are you listening?

QLab – build and run complex media timelines.

January 28, 2007

QLab is an application to build and run complex media timelines.
Use QLab to create event-driven media sequences for theatre dance composition installation and more.

With QLab sound designers can finally tap the full power of their Mac to build rich sophisticated designs. And while QLab can control racks of state-of-the-art equipment you don’t need high-end hardware for professional results. Make it the centerpiece of your tech booth or turn your iBook into a portable force to be reckoned with.

The basic version of QLab is absolutely free and comes fully loaded with dozens of sophisticated features. (In fact you’d have to spend hundreds of dollars on other software just to get what QLab gives you for free.) For advanced users additional plugins and enhanced features are available.

Come to a crawl

January 29, 2007

Writing at the reflection for the fellowship discussing how technical issues might hamper the flow of the creative/rehearsal process in stage projects I did a quick googling on “come to a crawl” to see what would come up. I was “lucky” first hit was the following:

Projects that are rolling along with the creative speed of a freight train suddenly come to a crawl as they hit technological walls that were never imagined …

The full article discuss integration of technical development and technicians in development projects in the corporate world but the similarities to my own experience from an art context is striking and seems to suggest a similar break-down of strictly limited roles that I would advocate with the role of the artist-coder:

Had high-tech workers been involved from the start they could have been developing the necessary technology as the project grew instead of being seen as a choke point that brings the project to an utter standstill just at the time when everyone else wants to see it become reality. Organizing projects in this outdated fashion puts unfair pressure on high-tech workers and exposes them to anger and disdain when in reality the process is at fault and not their technological skills. They are simply suffering from an outdated process that ignores the last 20 years of technological advancements. (…) You must find ways to integrate high-tech workers into every project at the earliest possible moment. It is only by providing your insight and knowledge at this point that you can ever hope to provide the best technology solutions.

Auditive Horizon

January 31, 2007

Recently I read in the book by Blauert that we might have an auditive horizon as sound sources move away from us there is a threshold beyond which we are no longer able to determine changes in distance only from the signal of the isolated sound source reaching our ears. Of so the reason why a car passing eventually disappears have to be that the sound slowly dissolves in the bed of background noise.

At the moment I am fascinated by the idea of making a sound installation with sound not emerging from silence as was the case for Cubic Second but instead incorporating a background layer. I am pondering how to do so while maintaining the ability to work with sound of high fidelity and not necessarily very high volumes as I enjoyed the possibilities that the setting of Cubic Second offered for being able to work with sound in a precise and detailed manner. Also: how can such backgrounds be constructed? If scanning recent electronic and contemporary music for possible models the drone urbane or environmental field recordings and the minimalism are the first possibilities coming to mind. I would like to go beyond that.

Listening to orchestral music of Debussy some weeks ago it suddenly occurred to me that often he seems to be suggesting a state or environment. The next second it transforms to a new state or illusion in a kaleidoscopic sweep as if nature was animated. In a way this could be thought of as a heritage from romanticism.

Two phases recently read have glued themselves to these thoughts:


These works do not cut themselves of from location interference or unwanted noise but rather embrace these elements as an important compositional source.

From the introduction to
Brandon LaBelle og Steve Roden (Eds.): Site of Sound.


On the Wildeye course he introduces the three layers of sound: atmospheres habitats and species. They are natural terms but could just as easily apply to recording say a railway goods yard. Atmosphere is the unobtrusive bed of sound – perhaps the gentle noise of distant traffic the hum of air conditioning wind in the trees. A habitat could be the general sound of that railway goods yard. The species is the specific animal (or train or voice) you want to feature.

A Guardian feature on Chris Watson.