Live @ UH Fest mp3

Posted in Documentation on November 9th, 2010 by admin

Although this sounds absolutely nothing like what people in the room actually experienced, I’m posting this mixing desk recording of my set at the UH Fest just to give an idea. Get ready for slooooooow development…

www.fest2010.uh.hu/music/recordings/406_derek_holzer@uh2010.mp3

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the fun years-god was like, no[2010 barge]

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UH Go Social videos by Jackie Triste

Posted in Documentation on October 26th, 2010 by admin

Videos from the first two days of the UH Fest Go Social! Tour by Jackie Triste

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Videos x 2

Posted in Documentation on October 11th, 2010 by admin

One video from my Neaderthal Electronics workshop in Malmo last week, and a roundup of the UH Festival night where I played last Saturday. Enjoy!

Neanderthal Electronics: Kajonimba (Electric Cajon Kalimba) by wihle

Here’s a small presentation of my newly built electric rhythm instrument I made in a workshop by Berlin-based sound artist, Derek Holzer. The result sounds something like Tom Waits with semi-constant feedback.

The box includes a primitive spring reverb, two piezo-mics, a broken baby monitor set (a send and a receive unit), two super simple amplifiers and a built-in speaker for acoustic performance. I’ll add an output later to be able to play my kajonimba through external speakers.

UH FEST DAY #4 Oct. 9 by UHFEST
Featuring Bartha Mark & Takacs Borza Akos, Valerio Tricoli w/ Robert Piotrowicz, Piotr Kurek, Derek Holzer, Kria Brekkan, Lasse Marhaug and Thomas Fehlmann, but sadly no Lau Nau

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UH review…practice your Hungarian!

Posted in Documentation on October 11th, 2010 by admin

Derek Holzer zajzenész, aki mindenféle talált tárgyakból szeret zenét előcsalni, néhány héttel ezelőtt többek között a devecseri piacon is járt. Az ott beszerzett eszközöket is felhasználva zenélt-zajongott például a bicskei menekülttáborban. Az UH Fest Go Social programjának keretében meglátogatott több magyar civil szervezetet, és látott olyan dolgokat, amilyeneket egyáltalán nem szoktak ide érkező zenészek. Úgyhogy amikor a fellépése elején arról beszélt, látta a tévében, hogy gyakorlatilag megsemmisültek olyan részek Devecseren, ahol ő maga is járt, az nem csak a tragédia súlya miatt volt más, mint amikor az egy estére ideérkező zenészek alibiznek valamit arról, milyen Budapest…

Full review (plus the beautiful Lau Nau, a shy Kría Brekkan (ex-múm) and the ever-uncompromising Lasse Marhaug) here: http://quart.hu/cikk.php?id=5532. Seems like they gave me an “A”!!!

I had a few words to say before my set, maybe it would be good to record them here:

As you can see from the photographs projected in the lobby, a few weeks ago I went on the UH Go Social! Tour. One topic we discussed on that trip was how all this experimental sound stuff relates to the world around us, to the bigger picture. I still don’t know if I have any answers to that question, but I do know that one of the places we visited–Devecser–has been wiped off the map since then, if you believe the pictures on the evening news.

You might want to move around the room during this set, you will find different things in it. Move around. And wait for the flood.

On the whole, the evening was fantastic from my point of view–excellent venue and PA combined with a wonderful, open-minded audience who were ready for anything. Earlier sets in the small hall by Kuupuu, Piotr Kurek and Valerio Tricoli with Robert Piotrowicz provided a more intimate initiation to the festival. It did seem like I landed on a strange planet, however, were all the women were delicate, lovely folk-birds and the men were knuckle-dragging noise beasts!

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Activities in October (SE, HU, NO, DK)

Posted in Announcement on October 2nd, 2010 by admin

SWEDEN
Oct 4-8Neanderthal Electronics workshop, Nordic Sound Academy, Malmö SE
Oct 8, 19:00Neanderthal Electronics presentation/concert, Nordic Sound Academy, Malmö SE
Workshop limited to students of Nordic Sound Academy, presentation/concert open to the public
Venue: Inter Arts Center, Bergsgatan 29, Malmö

HUNGARY
Oct 9, 21:00Macumbista performance, UH Fest, Budapest HU
Info: www.fest2010.uh.hu
Venue: Merlin, Gerlóczy utca 4, Budapest

NORWAY
Oct 11-16Regenskog/Rainforest workshop, Piksel, Bergen NO
Oct 15-16Regenskog/Rainforest installation/performance, Piksel, Bergen NO
Info: www.piksel.no/2010/09/regnskog-bergen-kjott
Workshop by invitation only, guests welcome to visit. Installation/performance open to the public as follows:
- Friday evening from 20:00
- Saturday afternoon 14:00-18:00
- Saturday evening 20:00-23:00
Venue: Bergen Kjøtt, Skutevikstorget 1, Bergen

DENMARK
Oct 21-23Neanderthal Electronics workshop, Apparat, Ålborg DK
Oct 23 20:00Macumbista performance, Apparat, Ålborg DK
Workshop registration via APPARAT
Info: www.apparatlab.dk/2010
Performance venue: Platform 4, Rapsgade 4, Ålborg

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pete swanson-feelings in america[2010 root strata]
pop (product of power=karkowski & rehberg)-work hard play harder[2003 absurd]

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“Noise Music in the Refugee Camp” – Kálmán Mátyás/Index.hu

Posted in Documentation on September 19th, 2010 by admin

The Ultrasound Festival organizers took special tour of Hungary, covering for a week the country’s most marginalized people. They visited the market Devecser, and afterwards the Bicske refugee camp.

Click the image to visit the page with the video You should probably let the video load completely before playing, it’s rather slow outside Hungary.

Direct link:
http://index.hu/video/2010/09/18/zajzene_a_menekulttaborban/

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UH Fest Go Social! Tour review

Posted in Documentation on September 14th, 2010 by admin

Introduction



Over four days at the start of September 2010, I took a small tour with the intention of visiting various socially-excluded groups in Hungary. This tour was organized by András Nun in the context of the upcoming UH Festival in Budapest, and I was joined by Luka Ivanovic (Lukatoyboy, Beograd), Balázs Pándi (drummer for Merzbow, Kilimanjaro Dark Jazz, Venetian Snares and others, Budapest) and Péter Szabó (Jackie Triste, Budapest), as well as by our translator Julcsi Palkovics and two photo/video journalists from Index.hu, András Hajdu and Kálmán ‘Mao’ Mátyás.

Each location visited related to András’ work with human interest NGOs, and he described the theme of our excursions as “Poverty and Exclusion in Hungary–or–What Can an International Festival Representing Peripheral Music Do About the Problem of People Forced to the Periphery, How Can It Act Against Their Exclusion?”

On Social Art I



I rarely hesitate in giving my opinion about the majority of “political” or “social” art projects I see at festivals and museums. Those that know me have often heard my joke about the Dutch media artist who reads the words “Problems of Muslim Integration” on the front page of the Volkskrant and “New Developments in GPS” on the technology page and–EUREKA!–runs off to win the Golden Nica at Ars Electronica.

The formula is simple: apply consumer gadget A to social problem B and it’s culture to absolve the middle-class guilt of the iEverything crowd, with kickbacks to Apple, Sony and Microsoft. In this European subsidized arts ecology, I have seen too many artists and institutions pay lip service to whatever the social-ill-of-the-day might be as a way of expanding their financial (and thus technological) resources from a different funding pool. And since the cultural money pools dry up quickest in times of crisis, I expect this kind of thing happens more often now than ever before.

However, while I cannot speak to the UH Festival’s organizational interests in having a theme like “Go Social!”, I can certainly point out András Nun’s deep personal interest in trying to combine the two very different worlds he lives and works in daily. So it was on those grounds that I agreed to take part.

Monor & Budapest





Besides the incredible range of groups we spoke to–in one moment we stood talking outside the run-down, windowless houses of dirt-poor Roma in the town of Monor, and in the next we jammed with young, hip Budapest 20-somethings at a walk-in drug treatment center–was the bewildering array of institutional approaches to these groups. One homeless advocate in Budapest insisted with all his naïve, youthful Marxist ideology that the solution to their problem was simply “housing, housing and more housing”. Likewise, the director of a homeless day center only focused on the necessities of food and clean clothing, without taking any interest in the individual psychic conditions which might keep people in those circumstances.

Faced with approaches such as these, the artist has little room to intervene. The artist’s work has nothing to do with policy, or even advocacy, but rather with the honest communication of human experience between one person and another. And this is an area unapproachable by those who reduce living people to demographics.

Esztergom, Vanyarc & Told






So I was much more at home in the locations where art had already found its place–places like Esztergom, Vanyarc or Told, where young people from poor Roma or Hungarian families could find the space and materials necessary for creative expression through painting, music or dance. It was a strange artistic match, however, for Luka, Péter and I to find a common ground with them.

We showed up delirious from many hours on twisting Hungarian roads at each place with loads of noisy electronic boxes, not knowing what sort of response to expect. In Vanyarc, the kids quickly lost interest in electronics and instead presented us with a program of Christian song and dance in the Gypsy style. In Told, on the other hand, the situation was beyond chaotic. Luka and I quickly agreed that we would have the children draw pictures of sounds from their village life and sing–or scream, as it happened–them for us as a conducted choir rather than try anything with his noise-toys.

On Social Art II



Early on in the discussion of this trip, I brought up some of my concerns about the typical media artist approach to social problems. They came in response to a project proposal which would see a homeless man carrying around a brand-new digital recorder, and these recordings sampled during a live set at the festival. With a nod towards Cornelius Cardew’s Scratch Orchestra and The Great Learning projects, which brought amateur and untrained musicians together into a structured improvisational setting and reflected his preoccupations with a kind of “people’s art”, I wrote:

“I think if this will really work, some strategies of how the people/groups you have chosen to work with could represent themselves–without flashy gadgets costing half an average month’s salary and ‘professional’ mediation–would have to evolve. The very nature of that kind of experiment means that the results you get may not fit the sophisticated aesthetics of your festival audience in Budapest, however. An interesting paradox, and one which I think is necessary to allow to happen.”

This paradoxical jump between poor rural families and sophisticated city music scenesters inflicted what Luka called a “social jet lag” on the tour group after the four hour drive back from Told. As we boarded the A38 ship and went below deck to see the Peter Brötzman Trio play, our usual world of stages, bands and nightclubs turned upside down and suddenly became far more surreal than the rooms full of messy, loud Gypsy children we’d become somehow accustomed to.

Lessons in Junk


Speaking with Róbert Bereznyei (Tigrics, Budapest) in his synthesizer-stuffed studio apartment one evening, we found agreement on one point in particular: to go to poor people in the countryside and show them how to make art with expensive gadgets is like dangling the keys to the Ferrari in front of them and then driving off. Any meaningful artistic intervention or collaboration must involve things they might actually have access to once we leave, whether those things are built on the spot, commonly available or provided by some institution already there. Róbert put it quite simply.

“Teach them build things from junk,” he said.

This kind of alchemical approach suits me well, and before departing to Hungary I went through many workshop possibilities in my head. All of them required far more time than we had at our disposal. The average visit to any one of these places was about an hour and a half, when in fact we could have stayed one or many days getting a feel for the situation and developing proper connections with the locals. As it was, it felt like something between a rock-and-roll roadshow and a group of camera-toting Japanese tourists seeing the Statue of Liberty one day, the Grand Canyon the next and Sunset Boulevard the third.

Devecser & Bicske





With all this in mind, we set out to the town of Bicske on the last day of the tour to give a sound workshop for young Afghan refugees. Before this, however, we took a six hour detour to Devecser, where the local Roma community run one of the largest outdoor bazaars for West European trash I have ever seen in my travels through the East. Here we picked up a few kilos of Chinese plastic trinkets, springy metal bits-n-bobs and total-kaputt-elektromüll, and then happily went on our way. If there is one thing Berlin has taught me, it’s that a great workshop always begins with a trip to the flea market!

Each of the Afghan boys in Bicske had some horrible unspoken story to tell… of murdered family members, of being smuggled en masse in the back of a truck through Iran and Turkey, of sleeping rough in mountains and forests for nights without end and–at the end of everything–of the ordeals of the Hungarian legal system. I swallowed hard, hoping none of that would matter in the moment, dumped a load of junk on the table and showed them how to use a contact microphone to get life out of these dead objects.

By the end of the afternoon, several of the boys had constructed small wooden sound boxes and one, before leaving to Budapest for evening Ramadan services, even expressed a desire to learn something more about electronics. There aren’t too many moments in life when one feels like a superhero, but perhaps this was one of them…

Photography by András Hajdu and Péter Szabó. Thanks to the various organizations we visited and who hosted our workshops, including Az Utca Embere, A Mi Házunk, Megálló Csoport, Szomolyai Romákért Egyesület, Igazgyöngy Alapítvány and the Cordelia Foundation.

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Hungarian tour/post-ISEA

Posted in Personal on August 28th, 2010 by admin

Hungarian Tour

From 31 August until 5 September, I will be joining András Nun (UH Fest, Budapest), Luka Ivanovic (Luka Toyboy, Beograd), Balázs Pándi (Merzbow drummer/A38, Budapest) and Péter Szabó (Jackie Triste, Budapest) for a tour of various locations in Hungary related to András’ work with human interest NGOs.

András has described the theme of our excursions as Poverty and Exclusion in Hungary–or–What Can an International Festival Representing Peripheral Music Do About the Problem of People Forced to the Periphery, How Can It Act Against Their Exclusion? and the project has tie-ins to the upcoming UH Festival in Budapest in October.

Our trip will take us through the cities/regions of Monor, Budapest, Esztergom, Vanyarc, Szomolya, Berettyóújfalu and Bicske and will end with a sound workshop for young Afghan refugees. A challenging situation to be sure, but one I look forward to!

ISEA Disasters

On the topic of challenging situations…I just returned from my participation in the KHM Heavy Matter show at ISEA 2010 in Dortmund. I had much harsher words lined up about the way this event unfolded, which I will refrain from putting into print.

Suffice to say that, in spite of massive infrastructural shortcomings and an almost complete lack of support from the venue (an investment-wreck shopping mall) or the organizations involved, I at least succeeded in playing one half hour set of extremely loud and chaotic analog synthesizer sound in the confines of a very small elevator. Photos and sounds soon…

ISEA Highlights

Besides this glorious waste of my own time and money, the weekend there was brightened by seeing exhibited projects by Natalie Bewernitz & Marek Goldowski, Aernoudt Jacobs, Yunchul Kim, Herwig Weiser, HC Gilje, Carsten Nicolai, Sophie Bélair Clément and Joyce Hinterding at the two major locations in Dortmund.

The Arctic Perspectives show organized by Hartware Medienkunst Verein at the Phoenix Halle was also mind-blowing in its scale, and could easily consume several days of attention with its collection of videos, field recordings, literature and architectural models.

Climbing around in the beautiful rust-scape of the abandoned factory next to the Phoenix Halle was certainly worth the trip, and seeing the collection of analog synths at Institute for Computer Music and Electronic Media (ICEM) in Essen-Werden was a memorable experience, even if it meant sitting through almost an entire day of dry, cliched electroacoustic compositions (sometimes with goddamned opera singers!) to get to that point. And finally props to the Estonians for You Must Relax – A Day Without the Mobile Phone, by Eve Arpo and Riin Rõõs. If only every day could be so nice!

Thanks go out to Servando Barreiro for being Da Roadie, and to Timo Toots for being Da Man!

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various artists-string of pearls_jewels of the 78rpm era 1918-1951[2010 mississippi]
von goat-septic illumination[2010 nuclear war now!]

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UH Fest Budapest 9 Oct 2010

Posted in Announcement on August 9th, 2010 by admin

Just confirmed to play UH Fest on the night of 9 October, sandwiched tightly in between one workshop in Malmö and another in Bergen that I will post about later on. The UH set will be solo for chaotic analog synthesizer, smoke and lights.

So far the confirmed artists for the night are:

Derek Holzer
Lau Nau
Valerio Tricoli with Robert Piotrowicz
Kuupuu
Jazkamer
STU
Thomas Fehlmann

More fun than a poke in the eye!

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keith barnard-colour harmonies cs[1985]
neanderthal-official discography[1990-92]

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