Wolf-Tone Box + Helsinki Report

Posted in Documentation on June 9th, 2012 by admin

Wolf-Tone Box

Wolf-Tone Box, Derek Holzer 2012. Microphone, speaker, voice-changing circuit, antique wooden box. Created for the “Invisible Time” show at MUU Gallery, Helsinki, 8-21 June 2012. For sale, inquire here.

Helsinki Report

The MUU opening went very nice, a good crew running the space with a nice selection of artists. My favorite moment was when a little girl, aged four and very shy at first, quickly learned how to play one of the SoundBoxes better than me! I brought 7 sound boxes in total, which remain available for visitors to experiment with for the next two weeks, as well as screened the nonlinearity and cryptography videos. Installation views below.

The travel was a bit rough, however. I’d been a bit sick the days before the flight, and when the plane landed in Helsinki, my left ear felt like it was going to explode. I asked a doctor, who said I might rupture my eardrum if I flew, and weighed the options of a trip by boat, bus and train back to Berlin. Things seemed best to use the airplane ticket the gallery already paid for, rather than spend money and time I don’t have on a 30+ hour overland journey. But the four hours I spent swallowing hard to keep my eardrum from bursting were pretty nerve-wracking…

Moral of the story: don’t fly with a flu. Trust me.

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Film by Maren Sextro (repost) + Helsinki show

Posted in Announcement, Documentation on June 2nd, 2012 by admin

Filmmmaker Maren Sextro created this portrait of me for Groove.de in May 2012. Together, we visited the flea market and my studio, and spoke about my approach to sound, performance, “circuit bending” (a term I rarely use to describe my own constructions), DIY electronics and self-education.

Maren was kind enough to send me an HD version so that I could present this without the disgusting advertising, so once again I am in her debt. Enjoy.

Helsinki Show

Next week I make a quick trip to Helsinki, where the MUU Gallery will be opening the latest “MUU for Ears” show. I will be showing one of the “nonlinearity suite” videos, playing a live set for small analog synth, soundboxes and found objects on 7 June and leaving a few artifacts there for the two-week run of the show. Some of these artifacts may be for sale. I will post more on this before I depart.

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back to civilization…

Posted in Announcement, Text on January 12th, 2012 by admin

Near village of Mooste EE, 3 Jan 2012

Currently teaching a workshop for the TAIK Media Lab in rainy Helsinki after an amazing New Years trip to MOKS in southeast Estonia, where I walked, cooked, sauna’ed, ate and drank with friends and worked on some sound with Jelena Glazova from Riga. Her processed vocals vs my feedbacking soundboxes… Perhaps some glimpses of this project will make it online later on when I’m back in Berlin and have time to edit them.

I just confirmed two gigs, one Macumbista live set for Electric Spring in Huddersfield UK on 15 February (along with a two day workshop preceding this) and one TONEWHEELS performance and lecture for Sonores in Guimaraes PT on 27 April. I’d be very interested to hear from London people about activities around 16-19 February… pls get in touch!

Now Playing

hive mindelemental disgrace[2011 spectrum spools]

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Hotels of Northern Europe

Posted in Documentation on March 11th, 2011 by admin

Yes indeed I have been traveling and working almost nonstop since the start of the Year. A quick rundown of my activities:

09-15 Jan 2011 – Mechanical Sound Instruments workshop, TAIK University of Art and Design, Helsinki FI

Workshop = awesome! Design students built Arduino-powered electro-acoustic instruments like this one below. I’ll be editing video docs I made in Helsinki soon.

Electro-Acoustic Musical Instrument from Palash on Vimeo.

Hotel room = passable. Töölö Towers is the University’s home for wandering academics, with a very institutional vibe, spotty wifi coverage and full length mirrors for me to shoot very serious-looking self portraits in…

18-21 Jan 2011 – Tuned City: sound+space workshop, Estonian Academy of Arts Media Dept, Tallinn EE

Workshop = 5.5 out of 10. I’m still figuring out what kind of tools are necessary to crack the shells of the Estonian oysters. After some prodding, most of the students really gave their best in making and discussing the recordings. One girl Facebooked and texted the entire workshop until I pointed out that her computer was “broken” and she’d be better off at home.

Hotel = decent. Maneezi house, guestrooms of the Estonian Arts Academy, has everything you would ever want in a post-Soviet flat…a long flight of stairs, some heavy metal doors, a warm radiator and even running water.

01-05 Feb 2011 — Regenwald2011 workshop+installation, West Germany/Club Transmediale, Berlin DE

Workshop = mostly good. Trying to wrangle seven very different artistic personalities into one piece in only five days is never easy. I have decided that giving them less freedom rather than more is the only solution. The audience response to the piece, on the other hand, was quite positive and enthusiastic.

Hotel = not applicable. One of the longest stretches I’ve been able to sleep in my own bed in ages!!!

07-11 Feb 2011 – Field Recording workshop, Royal Music Conservatory, Aarhus DK

Workshop = one of the best! Very high level of capabilities by these composition students at the Electronic Music department there. I gave them one hour to take three random one-minute field recordings from their neighbor and make a short piece out of them, and they all pulled it off! And that was only one of the exercises. If only every group I taught had their shit so together.

Hotel = comical. The Cabinn is a concept hotel, they told me. As near as I can figure, the concept was to make the hotel room itself as much like the sleeping couchette on an overnight train as possible.

A few weeks later I saw an exhibition of living/working spaces by French-Israeli artist Absalon at the KW Berlin. Made to the measure of his own body, and likely inspired by the fact that most of the artist’s short life was spent in the Israeli military, the constructions impressed me as the ideal prototype of future dehumanizing architecture for the 21st Century.

12-14 Feb 2011 – Tuned City:sound+space, Estonian Academy of Arts Architecture Dept, Tallinn EE

Workshop: another five and a half. The concept here was to teach architects to experience urban space through sound, and this worked pretty well. The students brought in recordings of various spaces around Tallinn for us to listen to and analyze. My mistake was in giving them “homework” for the last day. Despite assurances from everyone that they had time and energy to do it, only two came back the next day.

Also during this week I braved the -25C weather to investigate some locations for next summer’s Tuned City event, such as the lobby of the Linnahall, a disused auditorium/ice rink constructed for the 1980 Olympic games.

Hotel: deceptively posh. Somehow I was taken in by the spacious rooms, tall windows, tacky wallpaper and inoffensive framed prints of the Old Town Maestro. Until I realized that the strip-club-disco downstairs wouldn’t stop the party until 7am.

23-27 Feb 2011 – Neanderthal Electronics, NK Project, Berlin DE

Workshop = can I call this an 8? What should have been a warm homecoming was dampened by some kind of breakdown in publicity. The three guys that did show up for the workshop kicked some serious ass though, and made really nice boxes which they played the following Monday for the Experimontag at Madame Claude. Photos and such soon.

Hotel = forget it! I locked the door to my flat and stayed in bed for three whole days when all this was over.

Now Playing

ben frostlive at berghain, berlin 24.02.11
earthangels of darkness, demons of light I[2011 southern lord]
elehradiant intervals[2011 important]
flower travellin’ bandanywhere[1970 philips]
tim heckerravedeath 1972[2011 kranky]

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Neanderthal Electronics at Ptarmigan, Helsinki

Posted in Documentation on March 20th, 2010 by admin

Images from the Neanderthal Electronics workshop at Ptarmigan, Helsinki, 13-15 March 2010. Thanks to John W. Fail of Ptarmigan and Antti Ahonen of Pixelache for putting the whole thing together, and for KOELSE for making some noise at the presentation as well.

Photos by Antti Ahonen.

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Mechanical Sound Instruments workshop, TAIK, Helsinki

Posted in Documentation on March 20th, 2010 by admin

Images from a Pure Data + Arduino motor & sensor workshop I taught for students of the Media Lab at TAIK (Taideteollinen korkeakoulu/University of Art and Design) Helsinki, 8-12 March 2010. Thanks to Antti Ikonen for inviting me!

Photos by Liisa Tervinen

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Neanderthals in HEL

Posted in Announcement on February 21st, 2010 by admin

(Video stills from previous workshops in Bergen and Belfast)

Pikselache, Ptarmigan and Koelse have cooperated to present the Neanderthal Electronics workshop at Ptarmigan in Helsinki, 13-15 March 2010. On the last evening, Monday 15 March, the workshop participants will present their new instruments. I’ll also be playing a solo set for the Macumbista Mini along with sets by members of the Association of experimental electronics / kokeellisen elektroniikan seura (Koelse).

Ptarmigan is located at Nilsiänkatu 10, in the Vallila area of Helsinki. The workshop begins at noon each day and goes late. The concert will be at 20:00 on Monday 15 March. There might be a couple places left for this, contact info (at) ptarmigan.fi to check.

Info for the participants

Each participant is encouraged to find their own unique container, enclosure or interface to put their circuit inside of. An ideal enclosure is one which is both visually interesting and has some functional or performative aspects. You will have the chance to add sensors, switches, buttons and knobs to your enclosure, or perhaps some other, unforeseen method of control. Past workshops have seen synthesizers made from film cans, coconuts, children’s toys, super 8 cameras, cigar boxes, knaackebrod, books and hand-sewn masks. The choice is yours, but please try to locate one (or more) objects before the start of the workshop.

A few links to get your minds moving:

Neanderthal Electronics videos
Yoshi Akai
Gijs Gieskes
Arius Blaze
Ben Houston

For the promising young socialite…

I will actually be in HEL the week before as well, doing a David Tudor’s Rainforest-inspired Pure Data/physical computing workshop at the Media Lab Helsinki. Feel free to get in touch if you want to meet someplace where the drinks don’t cost EUR 10 and I don’t have to spend an equal amount to “check my coat”…

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