A soundscape project I worked on in 2005-6 was just featured on National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition” in the USA last week. Click the player above for the 3 minute feature, or visit Soundtransit to book a journey around the world through sound…
Soundtransit is a collaborative website that features evocative and everyday sounds shared by people around the world. The audio recordists who contributed sounds to this story are (in order): Tim Hayes, N. Ege Gural, Kamen Nedev, Matthias Kispert, Dmitry Urupin, Keith de Mendonca, Laurie Principaud, Arno Peeters and Seb Bassleer.
With his project DELILAH TOO, the Berlin-based American sound artist Derek Holzer conducts media archeological research toward the development of a language cryptography instrument on the basis of a vocoder. This device from the history of electronic music constitutes the foundation for a multipart sound installation. It enables visitors to transmit encrypted conversations from one private space to another, where the listener can then decrypt them. The voices modulated in this way produce an abstract electronic spatial sound that can be perceived by all of the visitors in the surrounding public space.
With his experimental sound art project, Derek Holzer not only transforms an instrument from the early history of electronic music for current use in producing analogue compositions, he also creates an artistic transmission of the current debate concerning the protection of the personal and the boundaries of the public sphere. The jury was persuaded in particular by Holzer’s in-depth research on the history of electronic sound generation and his scheme for its artistic implementation in a do-it-yourself process as well as by his socio-political approach, which not lastly find expression in his eponymous reference to Alan Turing’s secure speech device Delilah.
I recorded these pieces with Jelena Glazova already last Dec/Jan 2011-12, but they sat around for a while as two people with very busy lives tried to decide what to do with them. Thankfully, Jelena took the initiative in selecting and mastering some of the better moments and put them up in her Bandcamp page. Expect heavy slabs of drone with some nonlinear distortion skittering around the edges. I think Track 4 (“15th Session”) shows the best balance of our two different sound worlds. Thanks Jelena!
Derek Holzer vs Jelena Glazova by Derek Holzer and Jelena Glazova (2012)
Jelena Glazova is an artist and a poet based in Riga, Latvia. She is working in the interdisciplinary areas of contemporary art, combining in her works image, poetic text, experimental sound and installation. Experimental music activity field – noise/drone, usually constructed from processed vocals.
Derek Holzer is an American sound artist based in Berlin DE, whose current interests include DIY analog electronics, sound art, field recording and the meeting points of electroacoustic, noise, improv and extreme music. He has played live experimental sound, as well as taught workshops in noise art technology, across Europe, North America, Brazil and New Zealand.
Original soundtrack by Derek Holzer for the short film “Machine Deva”, by Steve Holzer (19min, 2012, TX, USA). A very abstract love story created directly on 16mm film, using familiar and not-so-familiar direct manipulation. Hand color and intervention on found footage with unusual transfer techniques put the visual experience somewhere between cave paintings and a hand-held video of a dream world.
1.0: brief introductions/those who cannot remember [6:06]
2.0: first mutation [4:34]
2.1: the lecture(“étant donnés”) [1:51]
2.2: take the elevator [1:04]
3.0: second mutation/the dance [4:43]
Recorded April 15-May 15 2012, RSS-82 Berlin.
Derek Holzer: analog synthesizer, electronics, pure data, organ, percussion Steve Holzer: synthesizer(1.0), guitar(2.1)
I will have CDRs of this soundtrack and DVDRs of the film itself available in late November, and I will try to organize a screening in Berlin to coincide with this. Please note that the film itself will not appear online, due to the detailed nature of the film manipulations which lose much of their impact through compression. Unless you are lucky enough to visit a screening organized by myself or Steve, the DVDR will be the next best thing. Please contact me if interested.
TONEWHEELS France Photos
Photos from Pau performance by Alvaro Ayuso
Photos from Pau performance by Nicolas Godin
Photos from Pau performance by Sandrine Ferrer
Photos from Marseille performance by Pierre Gondard
On the Road Again…
22-26 Oct: Neanderthal Electronics Workshop, Det Jyske Kunstakademi, Aarhus DK 26 Oct: Macumbista live set, SPLAB, Aarhus, DK 29 Oct – 02 Nov: Neanderthal Electronics Workshop, Nordic Sound Art, Copenhagen DK 02 Nov: Macumbista’s 40))) birthday whiskey-sipping session, hosted by Mads Bech Paluszewski-Hau, Copenhagen DK. RSVP for info. 05-09 Nov: Neanderthal Electronics Workshop, Sibelius Academy, Helsinki FI
The Rainforest project at the LAK Festival for Nordic Sound Art in Copenhagen was a complete success on many levels. The organizational team was fantastic, even without considering that this was their first ever event. While they planned for a modest 100 visitors for each day of the event, the total number turned out to be about 1500 in total. The Rainforest concert opened the festival, and continued as a live installation each day. Many thanks to Rainforest co-organizer (and true soul buddy) Mads Bech Paluszewski-Hau as well as participants Anders Børup, James Brewster, Ejvind Juul Chang and Kristian Hverring for their energy and dedication, as well as to curators Jonas Olesen and Sandra Boss as well as the whole LAK team for a great weekend.
Photos by Hanne Budtz, My Lambertsen and Antonin Matejovsky. Full LAK photoset here
Sometimes when I think back, all my workshops seem to go by this fast…
The participants in Zagreb were great, super-motivated and highly imaginative. Each and every one of them made some incredibly special and unique SoundBox during the two days we had together, and even played them too… We also squeezed in an early morning trip to the local flea market to put the shop back into workshop. Big thanks to Deborah Hustic for organization and hospitality! Was also great to see some old friends around town, such as Ivan “Kliff” Marusic and Borut Savski.
I think my favorite SoundBox from this workshop was this one, crafted from the end of a trashed accordion:
Between 5-9 March, students of the EKA (Taavi Suisalu, Evi Pärn, Lilli Tölp, Aleksander Sprohgis) learned to make their own primitive noise synthesizers with me. Lilli made this short video capturing the essence of the final presentation plus a tiny bit of my solo set.
Like the previous Neanderthal Electronics presentation, back when Ptarmigan was still located in Helsinki, this one was a complete success. Thanks to Raivo Kelomees and John Fail for organizing the workshop and presentation, respectively. Any account of my Estonian trip would be woefully incomplete without mentioning Timo Toots and Marika Agu and their Sunday-afternoon tour of the Architectural Wonders of Tartu. Aitäh!
Thanks to Sandis Baumanis [ULVE Agency] for organization and photos, Jēkabs Nīmanis for recording, Edgars Rubenis for the mixer and Olesja for the lovely smile.
Unfortunately, the only souvenir that RISEBA, the school I was teaching at, left me was a headache. Typical Latvian new-capitalist neoliberals, they seemed to delight in playing ridiculous games over even the smallest amount of money, making them little better than con-artists. The result: I worked twice as many hours this workshop as last year, for the same amount of pay. Count your fingers after you shake hands with people like these…
On that note…
People like these business-school asswipes make me sicker than ever of this constant freelancing life. I have been actively searching for more constant employment teaching at an art, music or design school lately. If any of my dear readers have tips, I would gladly hear them. In some ways, I am beyond caring where such a job might be at this point…
On the other hand, spring has arrived in Berlin and I have very little travel coming up. While that may make the coming months a bit lean and hungry, I hope to use the time to catch up on projects I have promised people, including two cassette releases and a film soundtrack, as well as building some new soundbox-type instruments for sale. Wish me luck!
Playing next Friday with Jelena Glazova in Riga. Had two really great sets, one in Zagreb last week and one last night in Tallinn, with the “new” setup: soundbox, found objects and analog mini-synth, discovering the possibilities of how they work together. Looking forward to mixing with Jelena’s amazing processed vocals.
At the Estonian gig, something in the PA starting smelling quite smokey, despite the fact that everything sounded fine, and afterward many people told me what kind of emotions that smell triggered for them. Interesting… but I don’t want to make a career out of smoking PAs!
In case anyone is curious, Holzer Sr.’s film project Kickstarter has 18 hours to go and has been a success. He flies to Marietta, Georgia on the 14th to have the film transferred to digital and after that I can get to work on the soundtrack. Should be an curious collaboration.
I have absolutely no work lined up for next month, which should make me a bit nervous. But I’ve decided to spend less time online, build some new soundbox-type instruments and get busy pushing them. Please get in contact if you would like something custom.
Regnskog 2011//Full Pull is a contemporary re-interpretation of David Tudor’s series of compositions from the 1970′s entitled “Rainforest”. It uses various types of sonic transducers to play live sounds through a selection of resonant objects suspended in the performance space
The Regnskog installation+performance was created by Mads Bech Paluszewski, Derek Holzer, Kati Linek, Anders Børup and Allan Møller Skov for the Full Pull Festival 2011 Malmö. The initial workshop took place 23-29 September 2011, with live actions on 30 September – 02 October.
Recorded Dec 2009 at the CEM studio in WORM, Rotterdam NL with their Serge modular and ARP2500 synthesizers, my own pedals and a nice big mixing console. Edited in Ardour. An early sketch, which may be returned to at a later date.
Derek Holzer (1972) is an American instrument builder and sound artist based in Berlin DE, whose current interests include DIY analog electronics, the relationship between sound + space, media archaeology and the meeting points of electroacoustic, noise, improv and extreme music. He has performed live, taught workshops and created scores of unique instruments and installations since 2002 across Europe, North and South America, and New Zealand.