Tour Dates SEPT-OCT 2015

Posted in Announcement on August 14th, 2015 by admin

start-a-band-frame-full

My autumn tour plans from the Low Lands to the Wild Wild West to the Great White North are 100% finalized! Hope to see some of y’alls in some of these here places….

02-04 SEPT:::SoundBoxes workshop + Macumbista live, (kuS) Kunstencentrum Signe, Heerlen, NL

22-26 SEPT:::SoundBoxes workshop + A.LIVE performance (w/ Vanessa Ramos-Velasquez), The Paseo, Taos NM, USA

01 OCT:::SoundBoxes Workshop, University of Colorado, Boulder CO, USA

02-03 OCT:::SoundBoxes workshop, Rubin Center for the Visual Arts, El Paso TX, USA

05-15 OCT:::ToolMaker Residency, Signal Culture, Owego NY, USA

19-23 OCT:::Experimental Sound Instruments workshop, MediaLab/Aalto University, Helsinki, FI

26-30 OCT:::SoundBoxes workshops, Hola folkhögskola, Prästmon Västernorrland, SE

I would also like to announce that Ruth Timmermans has taken up my booking activities as of AUG 2015. Please contact her at THECULTURALOPERATOR at_the_domain GMAIL dot COM for workshop, lecture and concert engagements.

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September Fundraiser

Posted in Announcement on September 24th, 2014 by admin

Dear friends.

Since last December my father has been battling cancer, and currently the prognosis is not good. You can read more on the issue here.

Now that I am here in southwest Texas with my father and our close family circle, there is a strange calm, as if we all know what must be done. There are small windows of consciousness, through which we can communicate with him. But the greater part of the time, he rests and prepares to let go of the meat-suit.

I am very thankful for the messages of support and kindness coming to me and my family here on various platforms. They do make a difference.

This very necessary last-minute trip takes some resources which are difficult for me to afford at the moment, however, and I am far more comfortable working for them than begging for them. Therefore — and I hope this does not strike anyone as crass commercialism, for that is not the intent — I am offering a 10% discount on any Benjolin, Butterfly Benjolin or FuzzTone SoundBox orders placed before 08 October, to be completed by the end of October with gratitude and love for the man and my mission to be with him here.

You can get an overview of these instruments here: http://macumbista.net/?page_id=4035

Thank you for your kind support.

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Marfa Public Radio interview

Posted in Announcement on January 8th, 2013 by admin

This morning I sat in the Marfa Public Radio studio with Rachel Lindley and talked about my Learning to Listen workshop. Rachel was fantastic, she really has The Voice and from the one-paragraph press release, she asked the most intelligent questions that just about any journalist has ever asked me. I really feel like this interview gives a comprehensive overview of how I present the concept of the soundscape in a workshop situation.

You can listen to the whole interview (approx 30 min) at:

http://marfapublicradio.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/130107-Derek-Holzer-LONG.mp3

The workshop itself at the Marfa Book Company went extremely well, with at least 25 folks both nights. In the usual style, I played several field recordings from various corners of the globe, and together we figured out what kind of of information–both subjective and objective–we can learn from a recorded or composed soundscape. Thanks especially to Tim Johnson for hosting this experience.

I will play a set for modular synthesizer, locally found objects and SoundBox, at the Michael Strogoff gallery, 124 E. El Paso St, Marfa, Texas at 8PM on Wednesday 09 Jan. Y’alls are welcome!

Now Playing

kevin drumm-relief[2012 emego]
mika vainio, kevin drumm, axel dorner, lucio capece-venexia[2012 pan]
tim hecker & daniel lopatin-instrumental tourist[2012 sstudios]

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LEARNING TO LISTEN – an Artist Talk and Workshop with Derek Holzer

Posted in Announcement on December 31st, 2012 by admin

LEARNING TO LISTEN: an Artist Talk and Workshop with Derek Holzer
Jan 06-07 2013, Marfa Book Company, 105 South Highland, Marfa, Texas 6PM-8:30PM
Jan 09 2013, Michael Strogoff, 124 E. El Paso St, Marfa, Texas 8PM

http://www.facebook.com/events/482451101793088
http://www.facebook.com/events/531958506823249
http://www.facebook.com/events/520745507958609

I do what I do because I never learned to play the guitar. Starting with an interest in field recording and environmental sound, I soon moved to teaching myself to build first digital and then analog non-traditional sound instruments as a way out of the problems of “virtuosity” in music. A great deal of my work involves simply listening, whether to natural or electronically generated soundscapes, searching for that beautiful chaos of birds, hailstorms or cicadas that produce the kinds of dense, arrhythmic textures that I enjoy the most.

As my work is so much about learning to listen, this two day artist-talk and workshop will focus on the art of listening. I’ll start by introducing my history, my practice and the instruments I create. We’ll continue by listening to several field recordings by myself (and possibly others), using these as a springboard to talk about listening from the perspectives of both science (physics, acoustics, psychoacoustics, psychology, etc) and culture (musicology, anthropology, architecture, urban planning, film studies, etc).

There will be opportunities on the second day for workshop participants to play and discuss their own soundscapes, and we will work towards a definition of what “soundscape” actually means. The workshop concludes with an introduction to some of the tools I use to both record natural soundscapes and create my own electronic soundscapes.

This workshop is open to the public and participation is by a donation of your choice. Please bring your own paper and a writing/drawing tool as these will be very important during the workshop!

I will also make an approx 40 minute live performance on Weds, 09 January at 8:00PM in the Michael Strogoff art space, 124 E. El Paso St. The performance is also free or by donation.

DAY ONE – Sunday 06 January 2013 18:00-20:30
Marfa Book Company, 105 South Highland, Marfa, Texas

–Introduction to Holzer’s work: field recordings, digital instruments, analog instruments
–Introduction to Soundscapes: R. Murray Schafer, Pauline Oliveros, Chris Watson, CRESSON, John Cage and others
–Listening Exercises I: field recordings from around the world by Holzer and others

DAY TWO – Monday 07 January 2013 18:00-20:30
Marfa Book Company, 105 South Highland, Marfa, Texas

–Continuing Soundscapes: working towards a definition of the soundscape, the difference between soundscape and “music”
–Listening Exercises II: soundscapes from around the world by Holzer, others and participants
–Tools of the Electronic Soundscape: field recorders, microphones, software, synthesizers, effects

DAY THREE – Wednesday 09 January 2013 20:00
Michael Strogoff, 124 E. El Paso St, Marfa, Texas

–Live sound performance for found objects, SoundBox and analog modular synthesizer

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Derek Holzer (1972) is an American sound artist based in Berlin, Germany, 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.

http://macumbista.net

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In the mines–working, working, working… [+ upcoming]

Posted in Announcement, Documentation on April 20th, 2012 by admin

Been locked in the studio for days now, but the fruits of my labor will be heard soon…

UPCOMING

25-29 April: TONEWHEELS @ Radio Sonores, Guimaraes PT
16-20 May: Machine Deva @ Marfa Film Festival, Marfa TX USA
26-28 July: Solo Performance + SoundBoxes Workshop @ Norberg Festival, Norberg SE

Starting next month, I will also be taking orders for customized tabletop noise makers, drone machines and sound boxes. Please contact me if interested.

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TONEWHEELS@AS220, Providence RI 30.04.2010 by Amy Hope Dermot

Posted in Documentation on September 12th, 2010 by admin

Photos by napkinshoe/Amy Hope Dermot @ Flickr. Thanks Amy!!!

Now Playing

stan brakhage-essential brakhage, selected witings on filmmaking book[2001]
meara o’reilly-chladni singing[2010]
william t. vollmann-rising up and rising down: some thoughts on violence, freedom and urgent means book[2003]
andrzej zulawski-diabel (aka the devil) film[1972]

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TONEWHEELS New England

Posted in Documentation on May 4th, 2010 by admin

So the TONEWHEELS tour has come to end. Stokes of luck seem to have characterized it… lucky to get out of Europe right before mighty Eyjafjallajökull reminded everyone of what silent skies would sound like, and lucky to get out of NYC right before some nutjob got the idea to try toasting Times Square with a propane-fertilizer cocktail.

Another stroke of luck was that, when The Starlab venue got flooded, mi amiga Jessica Rylan stepped up to the plate and offered her artist-in-residence studio at MIT in Cambridge as a replacement! A small but dedicated audience turned up, and in particular I got to experience the amazing transcendental drones of Benjamin Nelson. Shawn Greenlee‘s set was also smokin’, as was the “final show” of Karlheinz, and I was rather intrigued by Animal Steel‘s collection of drugged-out Judy Garland tapes. His nonchalant delivery of said material came as quite a surprise for those accustomed to his orgies of destruction as one half of Two Dead Sluts One Good Fuck.

Photos by Shawn Greenlee

The Providence show at AS220 was also a complete mental blowout, in particular seeing Human Beast‘s combination of noisy, arty-farty tights, carny sideshow vibes and suspended-upside-down-from-the-ceiling organ playing. Brian Chippendale‘s solo Black Pus project also rocked out, sort of a messier, more freeform version of his Lightning Bolt sets, if you can imagine that…

Photo by Tatyana Yanishevsky

The Rhode Island/Massachusetts leg of the tour would have been impossible without the phenomenal energy and hospitality of Shawn Greenlee. Thanks a million, man!!!!! Thanks also go out to Jessica Rylan and Egan Budd for hosting and organizing the MIT gig, and to all the other acts that played on the two bills (and it was quite a few!).

And finally, one more photo from the TONEWHEELS set at the Bent Fest in NYC, this time by Eric Archer:

Now Playing

antonio russek, raul pavon, roberto morales, vincente rojo-musica electroacustica mexicana 1960-2003[creel pone reissue]
benjamin nelson-live at the piano factory/standing field cs[2009 semata productions]
david behrman-wave trains[1998]
david tudor-live electronic music[1970-1984, leonardo music journal]
gordon mumma-live-electronic music[2002 tzadik]
ivo malec-triola[1978 ina-gram, avante garde project 148)
va-chinese experimental music 1992-2008 4xcd(2009 sub rosa)

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Bent Fest Interview II + update(!!!)

Posted in Text on April 30th, 2010 by admin

1. Can you explain the process of putting together your live performance? How exactly are you making the different forms/colors of light affect the audio output?

The TONEWHEELS performance uses the same technology found in film projectors which use optical motion picture soundtracks. The amount of light which falls on a photodetector modulates an electrical current, which can then be connected to a speaker to make audio. The sounds are created by printing the waveforms I want to play on transparent spinning discs, and placing these discs on motors with a variable speed control. This process was also used for the famous Optigan organ made by Mattel in the 1970’s, as well as by a number of avante-garde composers, filmmakers and instrument inventors such as Daphne Oram, Jacques Dudon, Evgeny Murzin, Norman McLaren and Evgeny Scholpo.

2. What aspect(s) of circuitbending motivate you the most?

I’ve mentioned at other times that I don’t really consider myself a “circuit bender”, since I rarely take commercially available devices or toys and hack them. But the meme of circuit bending is interesting to me–the idea that people can re-purpose things which are normally considered “black boxes” in our electronic culture, that they can break them down into simpler things and reassemble them in new, fantastic ways. I find this idea very challenging to the consumer-industrial status quo of selling us new stupid gadgets every year, forcing us to discard the old ones without every considering how we could transform them into something else–or even build our own new things from scratch. I’d be much more interested in constructing some DIY caveman communications device myself instead of running out to buy the latest iPhone…

Tristan Perich of Loud Objects takes his self-made mobile phone everywhere. No camera, no games, no texting, no BS.

3. Some of the performances at Bent could be described as ‘music,’ while others are better described as noise/sound art. Your work seems to lean toward the latter, but which category do you feel you fall into, if any?

In every kind of music, the art form is in some way determined by the technology. But no where is this more apparent than in electronic music, which is full of gear and software which makes it easier and easier to make music–so long as it fits into a very highly predetermined genre or style. I don’t think of what I do as any less “musical” than europop, trance techno, dubstep or whatever other trend the kids are into these days. The difference is that my work is determined by very different technological choices and processes. As well as by a huge collection of heavy metal and hardcore records!

4. Do you feel like there is a division among circuitbenders who use these different approaches?

I can’t really answer that question except to say that I appreciate it much more when artists try to step outside the box and create something that is unique and personal to them instead of simply playing the kind of sounds they think other people will dance to.

5. What do you hope that someone new to circuitbending will take away from going to an event like Bent Fest?

I would hope that someone coming to Bent for the first time would recognize that there as many ways to do electronics and sound with electronics as there are artists who do those things, and that they might get some inspiration to move beyond being passive consumers of music/technology and become active creators on their own.

Bent Fest Highlights

Bodytronix‘s insane metropolis of self-made gear, :::vtol:::‘s lovely little boxes and warm personality, Peter Edwards/casperelectronics‘ beautifully abstract set (even after some douchebag ripped off one of his $300 creations from the merch table!!!!), KBD‘s weird post-everything space out session, Phillip Stearn‘s incredible neural network of lights as well as his festival photos, Daniel Fishkin of LÖWENZAHN’s magick-bent electronic folk, hearing a few minutes of Todd Bailey‘s Analog Video Synthesis and Bending lecture (although it sucked to have to miss most of it!) and finally figuring out WTF a Brass Monkey is late Saturday night (although I regretted it the next day)… Thanks again to Brendan and Suzanne and all the volunteers for pulling this thing off!

Update!!!!

The Sommerville show at the Starlab next Saturday has been relocated due to flooding! The new location is in Cambridge, MA at MIT Building N52, 265 Massachusetts Ave. Get there before 9pm or you will have to phone a number posted on the door to come inside. The door will look like this:

Now Playing

frank popper-origins and development of kinetic art book[1968 new york graphic society]
guy brett-kinetic art: the language of movement book[1968 studio vista]
joe colley and jason lescalleet-annihilate this week[2006 korm plastics]
kevin drumm-second reissue[1999/2010 perdition plastics]
mudboy-impossible duets lp[2010 hundebiss](thx raphael!!!)

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TONEWHEELS @ Bent Fest 2010

Posted in Documentation on April 26th, 2010 by admin

Photos by mindphone_divided on Flickr.

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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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