19-29 December = unplugged

BanskoI will be 100% totally and completely analog from 19-29 December 2009. Click the photo to see where… I wouldn’t even realize it if the internet suddenly ceased to exist during that week, so any holiday greetings should happen before or after. Have a good New Year if I don’t hear from some of y’all by then!

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My six hours on the train from Berlin to Cologne today was “Electroacoustic Day”.  I guess the connecting link between all these pieces is a radical sensibility about sound which I think still holds to this day. None of these composers were at all interested in representing conventional sounds, nor using conventional tools to create those sounds. That, and an exciting sonic density and an almost overwhelming amount of detail at a near-microscopic (i.e. microsonic) level.

Bernard ParmegianiDe Natura Sonorum (1975 GRM)
Curtis RoadsPurity & Sonal Atoms (1994, 1998 IRCAM)
Trevor WishartRed Bird & Anticredos (1977, 1980 Electronic Music Foundation)
Iannis XenakisMycenae Alpha & Polytope de Cluny (1978, 1972 IRCAM)

And now that I’m back at the KHM with their incredible library, I can start looking up more material from all those academic journals that I could never afford before.

First stop: Dan Slater, Chaotic Sound Synthesis (Computer Music Journal, Summer 1998)

Review: Echelon Teufelsberg by Thomas Ankersmit & Valerio Tricoli

I also had the chance to hear Dutch saxophonist/synth-improvisor Thomas Ankersmit & Italian tape-loop maestro Valerio Tricoli’s Echelon Teufelsberg project last Friday night at Ausland in Berlin. Ankersmit and Tricoli spent a week recording in the acoustic strangeness of the former CIA observatory dome at Teufelsberg, on the far west side of the city. The performance was meant to showcase these recordings, however I found that most of the connection to the specific qualities of the space were lost, and the field recordings themselves could have been made in any reverberant space… or with any studio effect. The pair layered up Revox tape loops, vocals, saxophone and analog synthesizer on top of this, spatializing the sounds across four PA and two desktop monitors as well as around the room via a handheld, hyper-directional ultrasonic speaker, further transforming (and obscuring) the source material. In some ways, I would have preferred that this rather accomplished improvisational duo would have simply dropped the conceptual baggage of the recordings and focused on playing a real-time concert, however some of the bleed-through from the echo chamber did carry some interesting sonic moments.

More info here: http://www.tunedcity.de/?p=451

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