Archive for May, 2007

NEW YORK & CARACAS 2005

Sunday, May 20th, 2007

nyc1_2.jpg

In April and May 2005 I was in New York and Caracas to perform and give workshops. In New York I gave a workshop at a Festival organized by Full Fat Dance / Luis Lara Malvacias. I also performed at a Share evening which was a lot of fun. Share is a weekly electronic music and art event with lectures, performances and Improvisations.

In Caracas I presented a workshop on working with LiSa and JunXion, software developed by STEIM, at the Universidad Simón Bolívar and I performed with Ties Mellema and Ruben Riera at the USB and the Arte Galeria de Nacional. I presented my Composition “Sound Board” for Saxophone and LiSa (Live Sampling). I record live the saxophone and manipulate this sound with Game Controllers that are used as Midi Controllers.

teresa-carreno_2.jpg

workshop-2_2.jpgconcert-usb_2.jpgties-ruben_2.jpg

usb_2.jpg

The political situation in Venezuela was and is very bad. Left-wing populist president Hugo Chavez can throw around his petro Dollars but the country is very unsafe, more and more dictatorial and ultimately I don’t think it will work out well even for the poor. Yes western liberals, I know you like him and yes there was a coup against him. But bear in mind he comes from the army and tried to grab the power by means of a coup himself in 1992! Do not trust this guy just because you share his dislike for El Diablo Bush, please think about it, this guy changed the constitution so he can be in power until….???? There are political manifestations everywhere (see the pic with the crowd dressed in Red) and he is on television every day, this guy is omnipresent.

wikipedia 1992 Chavez coup link

NYT on Chavez

caracas-1_2.jpgcaracas_3.jpgtc-political_2.jpg

GRACHTENFESTIVAL 2006

Sunday, May 20th, 2007

gf_3.jpg

gf_2.jpg

gf_4.JPG

Ties Mellema presented his Solo CD “Grab It!” at August 17 2006 as part of the Grachtenfestival. The location was the top floor of the IJ-Toren which has a great view of the river and the city. He invited me to play two tracks with him, one of them was Canto Llano from Venezuelan conductor and composer Eduardo Marturet. I suggested the audience puts on a blindfold when listening to this composition for Melodic Instrument and Delay to concentrate on the sound and spacial qualities of the piece and to enhance the effect of the stunning view of the location after taking off the blindfold. I was using a software version of a Tape Delay that I manipulated live. We also played a piece of mine called “Drive”, combining renaissance melodies with breakbeats and Ties played a few of Jacob Ter Veldhuis’ pieces (who was also present), amongst them his most famous one “Grab It!” which also appears on the CD.

http://www.tiesmellema.nl/

http://www.marturet.com/

http://www.grachtenfestival.nl/

Pictures: Ronald Knapp

gf_1.jpg

MEMORY SCAN

Sunday, May 20th, 2007

ms_1.jpg

In August 2006 I presented an installation at the performance festival Noorderzon in Groningen, together with artist Miriam Reeders. We totally rebuild a caravan into a multi-sensory experience. One person at the time can visit the caravan and nose around through the objects displayed inside. Miriam wrote a lot of things, some amazing stories and thoughts, she laid out old photo albums, created various small installations and objects, like a “smell box” which contained various nostalgic smells. The caravan is filled with sensors, walking around, opening cabinets or touching objects result in sound and light changes. The idea was originated by Miriam, who makes really cool installations like “The dream Operator” in which dreams are being transformed into animations. The idea for Memory Scan was to allow the visitors to stroll around in the mind of a person with Alzheimer’s Disease, in which old memories are still vividly projected, mixed with confused and puzzling information about the day-to day present.

ms_7a.jpgms_9.jpgms_7.jpgms_6.jpgms_8.jpgms_3.jpg

The first stage of our research was done at the Grand Theatre in Groningen, which produced this project. We continued our work during a residency at STEIM, an organisation commited to develop new media instruments for artists. You can see Benjamin Scheers with the so called JunXion Bo which he build for us there. The JunXion Box is developed by STEIM, you can plug analogue switches and triggers in the box, which can be translated into MIDI or OSC with the JunXion software. This allowed us to place pressure sensors underneath the floor and switches behind the cabinets and drawers inside the caravan.

ms_4.jpgms_5.jpgms_2.jpg

ms_10.jpgms_11.jpgms_14.jpg

When someone opens a drawer or just walks around in the caravan MIDI commands are generated by the JunXion system, sending MIDI data to the light system or to LiSa, a soundprocessing software also developed by STEIM. As you can see in one of the pictures it resulted in a crazy amount of cables going in and out the caravan, into the JunXion Box, then into the computer and into various mixers and amplifiers, sending sound back to various speakers in and underneath the caravan.

ms_15.jpg

The way that the system was set up the visitor inside the caravan was triggering all the light and sound changes, as an independent system without me touching any buttons or faders. I am generally interested in creating semi-autonomous systems for generating sound events, in this case the challenge was to create an interesting sound and light environment. Also we were determined not to allow the technique to dominate the atmosphere but to draw the visitor into the beautiful setting which Miriam created with her collection of found objects, old photos, drawings, animations and stories.

junxion.jpglisa.jpg

The experience was different everytime, depending on which cabinet was opened first, with a certain ratio of predictability build in in the beginning. Some triggers were setup to change the function of all the other triggers, so the result was not always the same. To give you an idea: when a person would open a cabinet the phone would start ringing. The phone was usually picked up and the person was asked to read on of the thoughts written on the yellow papers stuck to the ceiling. The voice was recorded and played back later, but which sounds were played or lights were changed after that depended on the level of activity of the visitor and also the order of doing things.

photographie © Pierre BORASCI

See also

http://www.miriamreeders.nl/ (in Dutch)

Miriam Reeders en Ivo Bol: concept

Miriam Reeders: design

Ivo Bol: programming, sounddesign

Elise Griede: advice

Benjamin Scheers: technical support

Tanco Noorlander: technique

Wim Sebo: carpentry

Willem Peter Meeuwissen: voice over

Produced by Grand Theatre and STEIM

Premiere: Noorderzon Festival Groningen Augustus 2006

ms_12.jpg