Two Talks During CTM Berlin Next Week

Posted in Announcement on January 22nd, 2014 by admin

I have two presentations in the CTM Festival in Berlin next week, one during the MusicMakers HackLab Conversations alongside such luminaries as Marije Baalman and Robert Henke, and the other during the Education Networking Day. Details below. Hope to see y’all there!

MUSICMAKERS HACKLAB CONVERSATIONS
Weds 29 Jan at Kunstquartier Projektraum
15h // Probing the Past: A Media Archaeology of Handmade Electronic Sound
Derek Holzer/Macumbista.net

The utopias of electronic sound have hardly changed in its hundred-year history. We still want to imitate existing instruments, create sounds which have never been heard before and realize complex compositions without the need of an orchestra. It is only the tools which have become more complex. But there are dystopias as well, which come especially from using tools designed around other people’s way of creating sound, rather than your own. Instrument builder, teacher and performer Derek Holzer of Macumbista.net will discuss the inspiration of some of the pioneers of 20th Century electronic sound (including those found in the “Generation Z: ReNoise” exhibition) as springboards to some of his own creations, which the audience will have a chance to explore following the talk.

SLIDESHOW HERE

EDUCATION NETWORKING DAY
Sat 01 Feb at HAU 3
13:10 Neanderthal Electronics: Teaching Arts and Technology
Derek Holzer [USA/DE, macumbista.net]

Over the last six years I have developed a workshop program designed to teach art students without in-depth technical backgrounds about basic electronics and instrument building, which has been hosted by several, mainly Nordic schools of art, music and design. During this talk, I will share some observations about the relationship of arts and technology in education resulting from these workshops.

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Eye for an Ear Festival Berlin

Posted in Announcement on June 15th, 2013 by admin

I have been invited to give a lecture on optical sound synthesis as well as perform the TONEWHEELS live set as part of the Eye for an Ear Festival in Berlin later this month. There are quite a few other amazing people involved in this, namely Andrei Smirnov, whose recent book “Sound in Z: Experiments In Sound And Electronic Music In Early 20th Century Russia” is one of the best things I’ve read in the last year.

Full details should be available on the NK website soon, and those of you with FaceBook can access the event page here.

LECTURE

“A Brief History of Optical Synthesis”, a lecture by Derek Holzer, Wed June 26th 21:00 at NK Projekt Berlin

The technology of direct optical synthesis arose with the first sound-on-film motion pictures. In the 1930′s, several designs for optical synthesizers were produced in the USSR, Germany and United States, with a handful even being commercially realized to great amount of techno-utopian hype. The future of sound, we were assured, was made of light.

However, the use of optical synthesis for electronic music creation was largely abandoned after the Second World War in favor of techniques derived from new military technologies which made the V2 rocket and the atomic bomb possible. Thus, contemporary research into optical sound synthesis represents a media-archaeology of “the road not taken”, that of a connection to the culture of film and music versus the science of destruction and death.

PERFORMANCE

TONEWHEELS (Derek Holzer: sounds, electronics), Friday June 28th 20:00 at NK Projekt Berlin

TONEWHEELS is an experiment in converting graphical imagery to sound, inspired by some of the pioneering 20th Century electronic music inventions. Transparent tonewheels with repeating patterns are spun over light-sensitive electronic circuitry to produce sound and light pulsations and textures. This all-analog set is performed entirely live without the use of computers, using only overhead projectors as light source, performance interface and audience display. In this way, TONEWHEELS aims to open up the “black box” of electronic music and video by exposing the working processes of the performance for the audience to see.

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Musraramix Festival, Jerusalem 24-26.05.11

Posted in Announcement on May 22nd, 2011 by admin

Musrarmix #11 Festival, The Naggar School of Photography, Media, New Music, Animation and Phototherapy, Jerusalem IL

PERFORMANCE 25.05.11, 20.30
More than just noise, a Macumbista live performance summons the chaotic, generative powers of a self-made, analog modular synthesizer in an improvisational setting which explores the physical affects of volume, frequency and complexity. For fans of Maryanne Amacher, Bernard Parmegiani, Eliane Radigue and Slayer.

TALK/WORKSHOP/PRESENTATION 26.05.11, 14.00
A few years ago, I largely abandoned the digital sound world to spend time building a modular analog synthesizer which reinterprets and hybridizes the forms and functions of the famous Serge and Buchla systems of the 1970s. In this presentation, I will explain the different functions of this Macumbista Modular as well as give attendees the chance to create generative sound patches on the instrument.

Plus some other stuff I will write about on my return for security reasons.

Recent Travel

Spent last week (16-20.05.11) in Riga, teaching  Pure Data lessons to the video students of the Riga International School for Economics and Business (RISEBA)–or trying to, at least. Sometimes it’s hard to get very far when MTV clips are the height of sophistication for most of the workshop participants, but we did alright. The school had this amazing “professor’s apartment”, done up with the remainders of the wood furniture factory which used to occupy the building. Probably the only time in my life I will be in possession of a penthouse suite!

Previous to that, there was a series of TONEWHEELS gigs in Brno, Prague and Orleans. The Brno one was probably the best, and with it came the chance to talk lasers and sound with Australia’s “ZZ Laptop” himself, Robin Fox. Great set, friendly bloke, enthusiastic audience. All-in-all a good night.

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TONEWHEELS 2010 USA Tour

Posted in Announcement on April 8th, 2010 by admin

DATES

FRI 16 April: Buffalo NY–SoundLab, 110 Pearl Street: TONEWHEELS performance + Affecting Animate Nerve Organs (16 artist multi-media installation) [8pm]

(UPDATE!!!!) SUN18 April: Syracuse NY–Spark Contemporary Art Space: TONEWHEELS performance + Heavy Hymns [8pm]

TUE 20 April: NYC, NY–Electronic Music Foundation, 307 7th avenue ste 1402: “A Brief History of Optical Synthesis” lecture [7pm]

WED 21 April-THU 22 April: NYC, NY–Harvestworks: Soundtransit-The Art of Field Recording workshop [6:30pm each night] SOLD OUT!!!

FRI 23 April: NYC, NY–Bent Festival, Dumbo, 81 Front Street: TONEWHEELS workshop [12pm] performance [8pm]

TUES 27 April: NYC, NY–Electronic Music Foundation, 307 7th avenue ste 1402: Tuned City lecture [7pm]

THU 29 April: Providence, RI–Rhode Island School of Design: TONEWHEELS workshop

FRI 30 April: Providence, RI-AS220: TONEWHEELS performance + Black Pus (1/2 Lightning Bolt), Humanbeast and Shawn Greenlee [9pm]

(UPDATE!!! NEW LOCATION!!!) SAT 1 May: Cambridge, MA: Existence Establishment @ MIT Building N52, 265 Massachusetts Ave: TONEWHEELS performance + Karlheinz, Shawn Greenlee, Animal Steel, Brandon Terzakis, Benjamin Nelson, Bombings [8pm]

FLIERS


DETAILS

TONEWHEELS PERFORMANCE

TONEWHEELS is an experiment in converting graphical imagery to sound, inspired by some of the pioneering 20th Century electronic music inventions. Transparent tonewheels with repeating patterns are spun over light-sensitive electronic circuitry to produce sound and light pulsations and textures. This all-analog set is performed entirely live without the use of computers, using only overhead projectors as light source, performance interface and audience display. In this way, TONEWHEELS aims to open up the “black box” of electronic music and video by exposing the working processes of the performance for the audience to see.

TONEWHEELS WORKSHOP

TONEWHEELS is an experiment in converting graphical imagery to sound, inspired by some of the pioneering 20th Century electronic music inventions such as the ANS Synthesizer (Murzin USSR 1937-57), the Variophone (Sholpo USSR 1930) and the Oramics system (Oram UK 1957). In this workshop, participants will learn to construct their own optoelectronic synthesizer using two different circuits: a simple light-to-sound converter and a variable motor speed controller, as well as how to design and print their own tonewheel patterns using the FLOSS software Inkscape.

“A BRIEF HISTORY OF OPTICAL SYNTHESIS”

The technology of synthesizing sound from light is a curious combination of research from the realms of mathematics, physics, electronics and communications theory which found realization in the industries of motion picture films, electronic music, surveillance technology and finally digital communications.

This lecture will touch on various points in the development of optical sound synthesis in these various contexts, referencing the work of Joseph Fourier, Hermann von Helmholtz, Rudolph Koenig, Arseny Avraamov, Thomas Wilfred, Evgeny Scholpo, Nikolai Voinov, Oskar Fischinger, Boris Yankovsky, Edwin Emil Welte, Evgeny Murzin, Norman McLaren, Lev Theremin, Daphne Oram, Jacques Dudon and Iannis Xenakis, among others.

This lecture is given in the context of the opto-electronic performance TONEWHEELS, by Derek Holzer at the Bent Festival the following Friday.

Soundtransit-The Art of Field Recording

Wednesday & Thursday, April 21 & 22 6:30 – 9:30pm $100
Field recording, or phonography, is the art of recording sounds as they are found “in situ”, rather than those created in a studio or concert hall. There are as many ways of approaching field recording as there are field recordists, with interests ranging from recordings of natural or urban environments to improvised situations or soundwalks to the resonance of solid objects or the Earth’s atmosphere.

The first session of this workshop provides a theoretical introduction to the various microphone techniques and recording strategies used for field recording, as well as special tools which allow phenomenon such as physical motion, electromagnetic waves and light can also be converted into sound. This will be followed by a night-time recording excursion into the city.

The second session consists of a critical listening session of the sounds gathered the night before. Key concepts to be explored include musical and cinematic metaphors of sound, composing the cityscape and communicating senses of place and space through sound.

Participants may wish to upload their finished recordings to the Soundtransit.nl website, where they can be used to plan sonic journeys between hundreds of locations around the world.

While the instructor can provide one shared recorder and microphone, participants should bring their own recording equipment when possible. Derek Holzer can provide a simple pair of binaural microphones for sale at a cost of approx $35. They terminate in a right-angle stereo minijack plug, and use the plugin power from the stereo microphone input of the recorder. Please indicate before the workshop date if you would like to buy a pair, and please check that your recorder provides this plugin power (most with minijack stereo mic inputs do) before requesting them.

“Tuned City – Between sound and space speculation”

“Tuned City – Between sound and space speculation” was an exhibition and conference project taking place from July 01.-05. 2008 in Berlin which proposed a new evaluation of architectural spaces from the perspective of the acoustic. It’s next edition is scheduled to take place during the Cultural Capital summer of 2011 in Tallinn, Estonia.

In this lecture, we will see and hear some of the projects from the Tuned City event by Mark Bain, Raviv Ganchrow, Will Schrimshaw, John Grzinich, James Beckett, Akio Suzuki, Barry Blesser, Randy H.Y. Yau + Scott Arford, Thomas Ankersmit + Antoine Chessex, Bernhard Leitner, CRESSON, Farmers Manual, AGF, Chris Watson + BJ Nilsen, Jacob Kirkegaard, Martin Howse, Ralf Schreiber + Martin Kuentz and Staalplaat Sound System will be discussed, among others, as well as related projects covering the themes of Temporary Architecture for Sound, Buildings as Instruments and Composing the Cityscape. A limited number of catalogs and program guides will also be available.

Thanks!

Huge thanks go to Alexis Bhagat of ((audience)) and Shawn Greenlee of RISD for their monumental efforts to get this thing off the ground! Thanks also to Brendan Byrne of Bent, Joel Chadabe of EMF, Hans Tammen of Harvestworks, Egan Budd of Existence Establishment, Natalia Mount of Red House, Michael Baumann of Soundlab and Sean Donaher of CEPA for actually booking me, and to Gill Arno, Raphael Lyon and Tristan Perich for putting up crash space in NYC.

Now Playing

Carl Gustav Jung-Dreams[book 1910-1952]
Pierre Klossowski-Roberte Ce Soir & The Revocation of the Edict of Nantes[book 1953]

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Grazie tanto, Padova!

Posted in Documentation on February 21st, 2010 by admin

Photos by Andrea Fincato, from a lecture on TONEWHEELS at the University in Padova. Later that evening I performed TONEWHEELS for the Nu-Fest. Hopefully I’ll get some photos of the audience going bananas at that one in the next few days… Thanks to Mauro Martinuz for putting the whole trip together, and for the unbelievable enthusiasm of the students at the lecture in particular!

I stayed up until 4am the night before my flight to Venice (not the wisest idea, to be sure) re-making the Macumbista Mini to include my new Voltage Controlled Slope/Analog Logic module alongside a Polivoks filter and output mixer (not unlike one of the Serge M-Class panels). The new configuration had it’s live debut in Padova, displaying incredible feedback/chaos possibilties which I’ll try to document soon with photos and sounds as well.

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KHM, Cologne 14-18 Dec 2009

Posted in Announcement on December 12th, 2009 by admin

I’ll be back in Cologne next week for my fellowship at KHM. Two lecture/workshops have been planned…

Tuned City:Sound+Architecture lecture


(Will Schrimshaw’s “Little Helpers”, photo by poportis)

11.00-13.00, Monday 14 December 2009
Klanglabor, KHM, Cologne

“Tuned City – Between sound and space speculation” was an exhibition and conference project taking place from July 01.-05. 2008 in Berlin which proposed a new evaluation of architectural spaces from the perspective of the acoustic. In this lecture, we will see and hear some of the projects from the Tuned City event, as well as related projects covering the themes of Temporary Architecture for Sound, Buildings as Instruments and Composing the Cityscape. Following the lecture, from 14.00-18.00 the participants of the Materialize ISEA/Tuned City project will meet in a working group to discuss the projects and concepts shown.

The lecture is open to the public, however the working group is by arrangement with Materialize participants only.

Analog Synthesizer Workshop: Vocal Processing

Frequency plot of Doepfer Vocoder

(Frequency plot of Doepfer Vocoder module)

14.00-17.00 Thursday 17 December 2009
Klanglabor, KHM, Cologne

Building on the basic introductory workshop given in November, this special topic workshop will investigate using the Doepfer A-100 analog modular synthesizer for processing an external input–in this case the human voice. Modules such as the vocoder, ring modulator, envelope follower and various filters (voltage controlled & fixed frequency/equalizer) will be used to analyze and transform the sounds from a microphone. Previous knowledge of analog synthesizers, either from my earlier workshop or personal experience, is helpful since we will not spend much time explaining what was covered last time (voltage controlled oscillators, voltage controlled amplifiers, envelope generators, keyboards/sequencers, triggers/gates, etc etc).

Workshop instruction will be in English, and will be limited to 12 people. Preregistration required! Contact: derek AT THE DOMAIN umatic.nl

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Sound Constructions

Posted in Announcement on March 7th, 2008 by admin

image: Sophie Erlund and Jodi Rose listening in to the Palast der Republik, Berlin, 2008

My dear friend Jodi Rose has put together Sound Constructions, a weekend on the topic of sound and architecture this Saturday and Sunday at the Program initiative for art + architectural collaborations in Berlin. This quite strangely coincides with the topic of the Tuned City event which I am co-curating next 1-6 July, and which Carsten Stabenow and I will speak about at this event.

Saturday is a panel discussion + performance, and Sunday is an edition of Das Kleine Field Recording Festival, put together by my one and only homie Rinus van Alebeek. Be there!

Now Playing

Johnny LeeThe Urban Cowboy
Nick Cave and the Bad SeedsHenry’s Dream
Black SabbathParanoid
Unknown ArtistsMusic of Iran (some truly haunting vocals, lute, percussion pieces…copied from the IPod of Evelina Domnitch & Dmitry Gelfand in Amsterdam…titles in Japanese so who knows WTF this comes from…)

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