Networked_Music_Review

DEAF 07: STEIM

deafsteim.jpgDEAF 07: STEIM :: Thursday 12 April 2007 :: Start: 22:00 :: Admission € 10 : Location : Arminius, Rotterdam.

STEIM is the Amsterdam centre for research and development of instruments and tools for performers in the electronic performance arts. STEIM presents a night packed with a broad selection of essential live steps into hybrid electroacoustica. It’s all about meaning-machine interactions, emerging economies of breath and radio waves, composing the now; the merging of studio and live, of composing and improvisation; enchanted neurons; electric body energy versus the wall plugs, the state of musical impact, embedded instruments, the decisive moment of push, riffs, licks, grooves and other celebrations of sound and sounds. STEIM hosts the pioneering work of Atau Tanaka, Mazen Kerbaj and Takuro Mizuta Lippit (djsniff) – STEIM’s new artistic directors for the year 2007 – together with composer, musician, instrument designer and long time STEIM-director Michel Waisvisz.

Featuring: DJ Sniff (JP/NL), Atau Tanaka (USA), Mazen Kerbaj (LB) & Joel Ryan (USA/NL), Christine Sehnaoui (LB/F) & Michel Waisvisz (NL).

DJ Sniff (JP/NL) (Takuro Mizuta Lippit) believes in the autonomy of the turntable as a musical instrument and the musicianship of the DJ. His music focuses on the selection of sound material amplified through the phonographic needle and its reconstruction through electro-acoustical methods and techniques of turntablism. Sniff articulates his sensitive, cooly restraint collage technique through his heterogeneous dj setup of his own invention. The place of the once customary second turntable set is being taken by a ‘sensor scratch box’. This feature gives him a definitive edge over two turntable spinning instrumentalists and widely extends the dialectics of his musical source material, mixing early music conrète iconography with Japanese ethnic song and hiphop cuts, with copied multiples of themselves. DJ Sniff live sets are beautifully controlled, evolving streams of ideas.

Atau Tanaka’s Concrete Corps is a suite of etudes for biosensor performer and natural sounds. The sensor interface captures forearm electromyogram biosignals reflecting muscle tension. The system renders as musical instrument the performer’s own body, allowing him to articulate sound through concentrated gesture. The sources are recordings of natural sounds – wolves, water, machinery, and telecommunications devices – that are stored in the computer. Gestural data is digitized and mapped to processes sculpting the original sound recordings. The interplay is the search of the corporeal gesture idiomatic to a sound, zooming in and squeezing out the essence of the acoustic via the digital, mediated by the body. Atau Tanaka’s fragile yet powerful stage persona coaxes his frenzied sound with the masterly control of his arm muscle tension. Atau’s expressive freedom and the mime and elegance of his hands and arms give a specal edge to his work.

Mazen Kerbaj (LB) & Joel Ryan (USA/NL) In recent blogs the Lebanese musician, comic book artist and painter Mazen Kerbaj has given a charched and personal response to the bombings of his hometown Beirut. This highly prolific artist has been credited to be the very first, together with Christine Sehnaoui, to perform improvised music in the Middle-East. Kerbaj’s compelling trumpet playing focusses on the instruments basic sonic and idiomatic properties. Specialising in the low and the flatulent, he traces invisible shapes in the air, rather than splashing paint on a canvas. Kerbaj’ trumpet wedges more often than not between his knees, his lips gripping a standard or single reed mouth piece, connected by balloons or garden hose pipe, modulating this imaginative extension of his windpipe with utmost serious playfulness and with the aid of colorful toys. Joel Ryan is a composer, inventor and scientist. He is a pioneer in the design of musical instruments based on real time digital signal processing. Released from the spell of academic modernism, Ryan seeks to bring a concreteness to digital electronic media through the intelligent touch of the performer. Joel Ryan’s real time DSP wizardry folds Kerbaj’s extended technique ‘inside out’. The collaboration of Mazen Kerbaj and Joel Ryan is a mosaic, it resembles ever shifting hues and waves of sudden apparent frenzy.

Living in Paris, Christine Sehnaoui is from lebanese origins. When she discovered improvised music, Sehnaoui decided started to focuss on sound experimentation on the alto saxophone. Her main musical partners include Sharif Sehnaoui, Michel Waisvisz and Mazen Kerbaj. Michel Waisvisz is a composer/performer of live electronic music, who has developed new ways to achieve physical touch with electronic music instruments. Sometimes this is done by literally touching the electricity inside the instruments and thereby becoming a thinking component of the machine. After numourous tours and collaborations with a wide variety of artists ranging from Laurie Anderson and DJ Spooky to Steve Lacy and Najib Cheradi, his music is currently characterised by its sparse, almost silent and highly intuitive nature. Christine Sehnaoui and Michel Waisvisz’ s performances are breathtaking, organically evolving, but also playful musical events.


Apr 10, 2007
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Networked_Music_Review (NMR) is a research blog that focuses on emerging networked musical explorations.

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