SoundBoxes Orchestra Performance Berlin 19 JUL 2015

Posted in Announcement on July 13th, 2015 by admin

DerekHolzer-40

SoundBoxes Orchestra Performance
19 JUL 2015
Atelier Macumba
HB55 Kunstfabrik, Herzbergstrasse 55 (Eingang B)
Berlin-Lichtenberg
Tram M8, 21: Herzbergstr/Siegfriedstr
18:00 PÜNKTLICH!!!!

The participants in the SoundBoxes Workshop will present an immersive, surround-sound experience inspired by the works of Alvin Lucier, Pauline Oliveros, John Grzinich, David Tudor, Gordon Monahan and others, performed in a darkened room for an eyes-closed audience. In the piece, a swarm of individual, simple sound sources such as tones and textures are modulated and moved through the space physically by the performers to create a complex sonic environment. Delicate and intimate sounds pass closely near the bodies and ears of the audience, while stronger, more extreme sounds occur at the edges of the space to give a sense of the architecture of the room and the objects in it.

PLEASE ARRIVE AT 18:00 SHARP FOR THIS PERFORMANCE!

And then stick around for IPAs and a chance to demo some of the Macumbista sound instruments.

TIMETABLE

18:00: SoundBoxes Orchestra Performance (limited places!)
19:00: Derek Holzer vs Jeroen Vandsande “Duelling Benjolins”
20:00: SoundBoxes Orchestra Performance (limited places!)

SOUNDBOX ORCHESTRA PERFORMERS

Mert Aslantürk
Itai Bauman
Nicola Gomiero
Claire Guerin
Bethan Lloyd
Zeno Mainardi
Montse Torredà Martí
Manami N
Rory O’Brien
Javier Salthú
Max Virnich
Ben White
Chris Zahn
Lea Zamiecka

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Berlin SoundBoxes Workshop 18-19 July 2015

Posted in Announcement on July 8th, 2015 by admin

soundbox-repair

SOUNDBOXES WORKSHOP

Discover the hidden sonic qualities of objects from our everyday world in this hands-on workshop, combining the arts of electronics, sound and performance.

SoundBoxes are small, primitive electro-acoustic instruments built from a wooden box, a speaker, a small audio amplifier and a contact microphone. They can create a variety of drone and reverb-type sounds through feedback between the speaker and microphone, as seen in this video. Or they can bring out the hidden sounds found within everyday objects as seen in this video. They also have small touchpoints which can be used to produce a variety of “crackle box” and “circuit bending” sounds.

This workshop has two parts. During the first day, we will learn about electricity, how it becomes sound and then how to build the SoundBoxes themselves. On the second day, we will explore the possibilities of the SoundBoxes through a series of listening and improv exercises, with the goal of collaboratively creating a score for a sound performance of approximately 15-20 minutes in length. This piece will be presented at the end of the second day.

This workshop does not require any previous knowledge of electronics, only an interest and a curiosity in both sound and instrument-building.

Further information and images can be found here: http://macumbista.net/?page_id=1897

WHAT TO BRING

* One loudspeaker (new, second-hand or salvaged), or one old electronic device containing a functioning loudspeaker of decent size (approx 90mm or larger) which we can remove. The size of this loudspeaker will determine the tone and loudness of your instrument – bigger is usually better. Look in old radios, electronic clocks, hi-fi systems, boomboxes or car audio systems for your own unique speaker!

* A cigar box or similar wooden box to create the instrument. The box should be big enough to hold your speaker, and the lid must not be thicker than 5mm.

Alternately, I will have cigar boxes and loudspeakers for sale if you cannot locate your own.

Participants may also wish to bring their own found objects and images to create a unique audiovisual cabinet of curiosities. Some guitar effect pedals can also make the box more interesting.

All other materials and tools will be provided.

WORKSHOP COSTS

* Basic SoundBox + two workshop days: EUR 40 You can see examples of this SoundBox here: http://macumbista.net/?p=3457

* FuzzTone SoundBox (with integrated distortion effect, for advanced builders) + two workshop days: EUR 55. There are limited materials for this type of box! You can see examples of this SoundBox here: http://macumbista.net/?p=3988

* Vintage wooden cigar box (if needed): EUR 5

* 92mm loudspeaker (if needed): EUR 3.

BASIC SCHEDULE

SAT 18 JULY 13:00-18:00: introduction and box-building
SUN 19 JULY 14:00-18:00: improvisation, score-creation and rehearsal
SUN 19 JULY 18:00-19:00: performance (invite your friends!)

LOCATION

Atelier Macumba, Herzbergstr 55 (Eingang B), Berlin-Lichtenberg

REGISTRATION

Pre-register for this workshop by sending an email with the subject “BERLIN SOUNDBOX WORKSHOP” to MACUMBISTA at the domain GMAIL dot COM. Please indicate whether you would like to build the Basic SoundBox or the FuzzTone SoundBox.

fuzztone soundbox by charlotte rauth-01

Institut für Klangforschung-33

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Macumbista May Events

Posted in Announcement on May 7th, 2015 by admin

live-tenerife-300x300
SATURDAY 09 MAY 2015
nyak 4
ARAM SHELTON [USA / Saxofon, Max/MSP]
PETRA DUBACH & MARIO VAN HORRIK [NL / Instrumente, Objekte]
DEREK HOLZER [USA / DIY Analog-Electronics]
+SOUNDBOXES WORKSHOP

WORKSHOP 13:00/CONCERT 20:00
mex im Künstlerhaus
Sunderweg 1, 44147 Dortmund
Workshop EUR 25/Concert 6 Euro

Tonewheels

FRIDAY 22 MAY 2015
Unconscious Archives 17: Derek Holzer, Hangjun Lee & Chulki Hong, Ewa Justka, Rose Kallal
DEREK HOLZER (Texas/Berlin)
HANGJUN LEE & CHULKI HONG (Seoul)
EWA JUSTKA (Poland/London)
ROSE KALLAL (New York)

DOORS 8PM
Apiary Studios, 458 Hackney Road, London, E2 9EG
£8 advance, £10 door

IMG_4501

SATURDAY 23 – SUNDAY 24 MAY 2015
SoundBoxes Workshop With Derek Holzer: A Two Day Instrument Building Workshop
Saturday 23rd & Sunday 24th May
Apiary Studios, 458 Hackney Road, London, E2 9EG
12pm-5pm each day
£55 per person for 2 day workshop

Institutet_trilogi_stor

SUNDAY 31 MAY 2015
MARKUS ÖHRN, NYA RAMPEN & INSTITUTET “TRILOGY (CDA + WLA + BZT)”
CONTE D’AMOUR (2010)
WE LOVE AFRICA AND AFRICA LOVES US (2012)
BIS ZUM TOD (2014)

INKONST
Bergsgatan 29
214 22 Malmö
Sweden
10.00–22.00
Entrance: 195:- U26/stud 130:-

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Interview for Makery Magazine

Posted in Text on March 19th, 2015 by admin

My good friend Ewen Chardronnet asked me to answer a few questions about the DELILAH TOO installation, my instrument-building practice and the workshop process. You can read my replies here.

One of my first formal trainings was as a silversmith, so the idea of making real things with my hands has always held far more appeal than the symbolic substitutions and semiotic shell games so beloved by the more conceptual and theoretical wings of the contemporary art world. But I think my instrument-building also reflects an economic reality one faces as a non-academic, non-institutional artist these days. There is so much digital music out there right now, and no one pays you for making any of it. But since we are working in the era of the “pro-sumer”, there are plenty of people who are constantly spending money on the tools to make their own music.

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NEANDERTHAL ELECTRONICS ORCHESTRA (RITS Winterschool)

Posted in Documentation on January 28th, 2015 by admin

Together with Jeroen Vandesande, I gave my Neanderthal Electronics instrument-building workshop to a group of students of the RITS Winterschool (Erasmushogeschool RITS, Brussels) from 12-23 JAN 2015. Over these ten days, the participants with backgrounds in acting, writing, theater tech and radio production designed, constructed, learned to play and created a composition using their own self-built DIY electronic instruments. A variety of circuits–including CMOS logic chips, amplifiers, portable loudspeakers, contact microphones and opto-electronics–ensured that each instrument gave a unique voice to each player in the piece.

The resulting 16 minute composition (inspired by the works of Alvin Lucier, Pauline Oliveros, John Grzinich, David Tudor and others) was an immersive, surround-sound experience, performed in a darkened room for an eyes-closed audience of 25 people at a time. In the piece, a swarm of individual, simple sound sources such as tones and textures are modulated and moved through the space physically by the performers to create a complex sonic environment. Delicate and intimate sounds pass closely near the bodies and ears of the audience, while stronger, more extreme sounds occur at the edges of the space to give a sense of the architecture of the room and the objects in it.

Composed and performed by Bram Verrecas, Amber Meulenijzer, Jana Rymen, Kimberly Struyf, Francesca Van Daele, Anna Van Hoof, Max Adams, Zoë Bossuyt, Iben Stalpaert, Milan Van Doren, Nils Melckenbeeck, Emma Schiettecatte, and Michèle Even at Kunstencentrum NONA, Mechelen, Belgium on 23 JAN 2015.

Much gratitude to Dieter van Dam for the invitation!

Workshop info here: http://macumbista.net/?page_id=497

PLEASE LISTEN TO THIS CLIP WITH HEADPHONES

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Facto, Mexico DF 16-20 DEC

Posted in Announcement on December 12th, 2014 by admin

On the invitation of Arcangelo Constantini, I will visit Mexico City from 16-20 December 2014 to give a SoundBoxes workshop and Macumbista live performance at FACTO, in the Fonoteca National. The highlight should be the final participant performance of 100 hand made sound devices. Hope to see some of you there!

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SoundBoxes Workshops in BE, NL

Posted in Announcement on March 28th, 2014 by admin

I will be giving a series of SoundBoxes workshops in Belgium and the Netherlands next month. This hands-on workshop combines the arts of electronics, noise, sculpture and collage to produce unique, “circuit bent” electroacoustic instruments.

Details here: http://macumbista.net/?page_id=1897

SOUNDBOXES WORKSHOP LIEGE: 09-10 April, L’An Vert
http://www.entonnoir.org/cg/copy/

SOUNDBOXES WORKSHOP DEN HAAG: 12 April, Villa K
https://www.facebook.com/events/1407118902885760/
http://www.stichtingcentrum.org/

SOUNDBOXES WORKSHOP ROTTERDAM, 13 April, WORM
https://www.facebook.com/events/560334607406703
http://www.worm.org/home/view/event/15049

Hope to see some of you there!

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Macumbista Gira por Chile 2013

Posted in Announcement on November 13th, 2013 by admin

15-20 NOV: LiquenLab, Punta Arenas (workshop, concert & residency)
22 NOV: La Casa Rodante, Santiago (concert w/ Un Festín Sagital)
24 NOV: Stgo Makerspace, Santiago Mini Maker Faire (workshop)
26 NOV – 02 DEC: Ciudad Abierta, Ritoque (residency, workshop, concert)
03-08 DEC: Tsonami Festival, Valparaiso (workshop, concert)

¡Nuevas: instrucciones de SoundBoxes/Cajas Sonidas en Español aqui!

Muchas gracias a Fernando Godoy M, Rodrigo Ríos Zunino, Nataniel Alvarez, Sandra Ulloa, Oscar Santis, Claudia González Godoy, Macarena Pola, Michel de Un Festín Sagital, Ervo Perez, Alexander del Re y Montse Torredà Martí.

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Reflections on the LAK Festival 2013

Posted in Documentation, Text on October 9th, 2013 by admin

Photo Flora Tosti

Changing the Power Base

Around the time of the recent Female Pressure report, which called out many sound and music festivals around the globe for their scandalously poor representation of female artists, I had several discussions with the main organizers of the LAK Festival (three quarters women, incidentally) about how to address the issue. To their credit, they didn’t make a big deal about it. No “female artist showcase” or other kinds of tokenism involved. They simply selected artists they were interested in, which just so happened to place a fairly even number of men and women on the stage that weekend. Which is pretty much how things should be, in my own opinion.

What surprised me more was the turnout for the workshops. There are many ways of reaching out to potential participants of an arts and technology workshop. Written one way, with a focus on parts-catalog jargon and makerlab buzzwords, the turnout is often exclusively dudes in their mid-20’s who wear hooded sweatshirts 24 hours a day, rarely bathe and posses an obsessive interest in controlling their toaster with an Arduino or 3D-printing yet another ashtray.

Written another way, with more of a nod to aesthetics and content, or even just acknowledging a more intuitive and non-linear approach to arts-n-tech, the results are much more varied and far richer. In this sense, I guess we did something right because three quarters of the workshop participants were women–as compared with a whopping zero percent in the workshop I taught to a Danish university sound design course the following week!

I emphasize the presentation and participation of women not from a “Yeah, sisters!” kind of feminism, but rather as a barometer of how it is possible to reach out from a traditional arts or music festival power base. Age, education, race or class could be another set of many possible indicators left for another set of reflections on this or any other festival.

Photo Flora Tosti

Life in an Alienating Utopia

One criticism of the festival I have heard in several places is that it was merely “sound-for-sound’s-sake.” And this could well be valid–from the position of the passive spectator. I’m sorry if this is news to anyone, but even after one hundred years of history, electronic sound remains a fundamentally alienating dystopia for the exact same reasons it provides a creative utopia.

Namely, this is because it is no longer necessary to have the source of the sound present during its performance, and because sounds can be created which have never been heard before, both through means with which the audience has no connection visual or otherwise. Any kind of electronic sound presentation which neglects this alienation on the part of a traditional audience is doomed to failure with them. Simply put, it’s not just “all about the sound.” Not now, and not ever.

Innovative approaches to engaging the audience don’t regurgitate the 90’s “interactivity” model of waving to the machine in the proper way so that the machine waves back. Nor do they sugar-coat everything in accessible techno beats. The performer who crouches motionless behind the laptop, mixer or pile of obscure gear playing (or playing back) what one LAK reviewer simple-mindedly called “ant-war” music deserves the reaction they get from outside the small, safe confines of their scene.

Don’t get me wrong here, I love challenging, experimental music–when it is well-presented. But I simply gave up on expecting it to “cross over” to a larger audience long ago. There are very few “civilians” (as Kristina Andersen quipped to me one evening) at an experimental sound art festival, and the ones who do show up can be a cynical bunch.

Photo Flora Tosti

The Participatory Model

The “sound-for-sound’s-sake” criticism immediately falls apart when the participatory model is taken. In my own workshops, I have noticed again and again that people who would never attend an experimental concert are quite happy to play one of their own when given the chance. Other people’s noise can be annoying, but your own noise–that is sublime! So instead of trying to pack 100 people in a room to watch one self-indulgent noise artist, why not let 10 people become one for themselves for a few hours?

This is the challenge to the passive, cynical audience member… to drop the cool, “what the fuck” posture and take part in something rather than stand by the sidelines and spectate. As Tore Honoré Boe observes about his Acoustic Laptops, when people first see a wooden box with a few toothbrushes glued inside, their skepticism remains high until they actually reach inside and “touch the sound”. Then their attitude immediately changes and they find themselves captivated by their own noise.

For me, two of the most successful workshops were led by Mads Bech Paulszewski-Hau and John Grzinich. In each case, participants committed themselves to days of preparation, creating a tactile sonic installation and a blindfolded sound walk which they themselves were responsible for presenting during the festival. The workshop leaders worked with a goal of planned obsolescence, facilitating and fading into the background the more the participants became confident of their own work. These participants came from a wide range of backgrounds, from visual arts to movement to music to simple interest–as did many of the workshop participants that week. The common factor was the complaint that access to information about sound art was very hard for them to find.

Similarly successful were the CEO Bendorama circuit-bending workshop, the Syntjuntan circuit-sewing workshop, and in particular Kristina Andersen’s ElectroSqueak Club instrument-building workshop for children, all of which provided a low-stress point of contact with electronics, materials and sound which simply does not exist in arts education on the university or community level almost anywhere else. One particularly interesting turn of events came when one of Christian Skjødt‘s improvisation workshop participants installed herself in the stairwell and in her own way joined the lineup of the festival. By and large, those who came–the untrained, the curious, the non-professional–were “civilians” in the most basic sense of the word.

Photo Kristina Andersen

Let a Thousand Noise Artists Bloom

–But who is going to watch all these freshly-born sound artists perform?

–Who cares.

The participatory model is highly resistant to stage-elevation. It simply isn’t the point. For centuries, folk music has been created not by professional artists but by everyday people for their collective enjoyment, rather than to single one person out as The Artist and celebrate them alone. Why should electronic sound, the folk music of our age, be any different? In that sense, one cannot complain if there are “too many” sound artists or performers out there, since it is no longer about competition for other people’s attention. The consolation prize is perhaps more people coming into the scene to spectate on other people’s sound art performances some time in the future. Think of it as a small investment…

Photo Flora Tosti

A Deeper Sense of Contact

This kind of thinking requires a radical reboot of the traditional festival strategy of success-through-maximum-headcount, however. The participatory model is democratic in the sense that it allows direct access, and not because it sells thousands of tickets. Like being one of six pupils at a Montessori or Steiner school rather than one of hundreds at a public school, it is a deeper, more involved way to experience the art form and should be valued for that reason, and not because some “thump thump thump” put a lot of hands in the air.

Do you try to touch a thousand people in a superficial way, or touch a dozen people in a deep way? Depends on your funding model, I suppose. But moving away from one’s traditional, elite power base always requires new models. So even when it means less bodies in a room for now, I am happy to see LAK moving in that direction.

—D. Holzer, Västernorrland, Sweden 09 Oct 2013

Thanks and Appreciation

My sincere thanks to Katrine Møllebæk, Sif Hellerup Madsen, Agnete Seerup, Rasmus Cleve Christensen and the festival volunteers for organizing a great week, to John Grzinich, CEO Bendorama, Tore Honoré Boe, Christian Skjødt, Mads Bech Paluszewski-Hau, Kristina Andersen, Lise-Lotte Norelius and Ann Rosén for their hard work on thew workshops, to Dani Dögenigt and Sebastian Edin for their assistance during the workshops, and to all the workshop participants for their interest and energies! Photos courtesy of LAK Festival, Kristina Andersen and Flora Tosti.

Photo Kristina Andersen

Photo Flora Tosti

Photo Flora Tosti

Photo Flora Tosti

Photo Flora Tosti

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MAAJAAM Weird Sound Workshop Estonia

Posted in Documentation on July 30th, 2013 by admin

From 13-16 July 2013, I led a small group of workshop participants to build their own electronic sound instruments–either the Weird Sound Generator (from the Music From Outer Space website), or one of my own SoundBoxes. The location was MAAJAAM, an experimental residency/workshop space initiated by Timo Toots in an old farmhouse in the Estonian countryside near Otepää.The workshop ended with a group presentation and invitation to the audience to play the instruments in the outdoor garden of the Genialistide Klubi, Tartu.

I would like to extend my admiration and gratitude to the hard work of the participants: Aivar Tõnso, Annabel Põder, Bianca Triinu-Toots, Kaarel Narro, Kalev Toots, Mihkel Tomberg, Taavi Suisalu and Timo Toots.

MAAJAAM workshop “Music from outer space” from Timo Toots on Vimeo.

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