Networked_Music_Review

Newsletter: August 2007

banner2.jpgWelcome to the fourth issue of Networked Music Review Newsletter, a monthly review of some of the many events archived on Networked_Music_Review [to receive this via email, subscribe here].

Once again sound played a significant role in the month’s entries. From the interview with Max Neuhaus, pioneer of artistic activities with sound and coiner of the now familiar term “sound installation” to Music for Rocks and Water by Cheryl Leonard, where three performers play water and rocks, dripping, drizzling, pouring, rolling, rocking, brushing, rubbing, and stacking them; from Slavek Kwi’s electroacoustic sound paintings created from site-specific recordings to Ken Gregory’s SunSuckers, small machines that are notorious singers, their song a call produced by sensing light conditions and temperature; and Michael Dory’s Concrete Crickets, small devices housed in camouflage appropriate to urban streets — soda cans, cigarette packs, and the like — that also sing, each programmed with a particular voice and sensitive to others of its kind. In addition, there were several calls for sound art — from Bavarian Radio, Artcast, an ongoing series of podcasting programs, Lancaster, England, and a call for field recordings by phone for radio in the U.S.

Audio-visual work also played a prominent role in the month’s entries, with several performances by the artistic duo LoVid: Cross Current Resonance Transducer a performance at Wave Farm, and another at PS1 MoMA; Help Carry a Tune; Transformation 2_ landscape a minimalist video and sound work by Erika Matsunami and Antonis Anissegos based on an interpretation of Samuel Beckett’s poem “Mirlitonnades”. And a generative music visualization, Seelenlose Automaten by Patric Schmidt and Benedikt Groß in which MIDI control messages are sent simultaneously to the sound and image generators. Each mapping to a specific visual or sound effect, these messages are a vocabulary of rules giving structure to the composition. All change can be precisely predicted, and as a result the entire composition is perfectly synchronized. And N. at Siggraph 2007, an evolving composition that is an artistic visualization and sonification of near real-time Arctic data.

There are reminders too of the changes that have taken place or are in the process of taking place — audio wiring for one — the development of the muti-channel sound field that has those of us who grew up with stereo wondering how to save our work and make it available for surround sound technology, and the return — perhaps most visible in Second Life, from music as a private activity, encouraged by technological developments, to music as a social art form.

Finally for this reader/listener, there were two very special works: Tomato Quintet and Life – fluid, invisible, inaudible…. In the first, Chris Chafe, Nikolaos Hanselmann (visuals) and Greg Niemeyer (cook) let 5 cases of different varieties of tomatoes (from Chafe’s garden) ripen to perfection. They recorded the ripening process by tracking the changes in CO2 that the ripening produces, then stored the CO2 changes as a time series, compressing it along the time axis, and translating the changes to a musical scale. The resulting music is a sonification of 7 days of ripening in the course of 49 minutes.

Life – fluid, invisible, inaudible… is a collaboration between world-renowned composer / musician Sakamoto Ryuich and Takatani Shiro (video). An installation, it revisits the resources of sound and vision in their earlier collaboration, “Life, an opera”, for an entirely new deconstruction and evolution of the work. While “Life” was an experiment conducted in opera’s linear form at the end of the 20th Century, Life – fluid, invisible, inaudible… is a non-linear, decentralized flow of audio and visuals which the visitors themselves enter to experience.


Sep 3, 2007
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Networked_Music_Review (NMR) is a research blog that focuses on emerging networked musical explorations.

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