20180730

“Loosing privilege feels like oppression”.

A quote form a participant of the On Whiteness: The Reading Group: On Space and Sound session. Baseera Khan who hosted the event, invited us to read Mabel O. Wilson’s Mine Not Yours. The text didn’t refer to sounds directly but the discussions were stimulating. We focused on the topic of ownership and who has the right to make noise. I remembered Soft Coercion, the City and the Recorded Female Voice (2017) Nina Power after the talk. We learned that Seinfeld&Friends were vessels for gentrification (a call for the for white middle-class to return to the inner city) and that the concept nonviolent resistance is a myth.

The event prompted me to read Gezi Park Protests and the Political Soundscapes of Istanbul (2016) E. Sirin Ozgun & Meri Kytö which is a good text detailing how sounds & noises were involved in the Gezi Park protests (2013-14). The text introduces readers to “acoustemology” (the epistemological nature of sound), “earing” (an sound studies & ethnography method of researching heard experiences) and it offers a compact overview of the history of protest which led to the Gezi Park protests/Taksim square events. Importantly silent protests are highlighted.

The Toxic Legacy of Zombie Formalism, Part 1: How an Unhinged Economy Spawned a New World of ‘Debt Aesthetics’ (2018) Chris Wiley

Finance was turning toward various forms of derivatives—collateralized debt obligations, credit default swaps, mortgage backed securities, etc.—which had the benefit of being loosely regulated, complex to the point of opacity, and hugely profitable. To those weaned in this environment, the art market must have looked quite attractive: It, too, is largely unregulated, with chandelier bidding and price fixing at the major auction houses, plus tax evasion and money laundering among collectors.

20180725

Envision Yourself as Fossil in the Future – consultation.

  • First we discuss what noise is. We listen to field recordings,  samples of white or pink noise, the sound of our hands rubbing against each other and talk about what these noises sound & feel like.
    • Example. We try to visualise the shape and texture of our hands through the noises they make when rubbed against each other.
  • We discuss what media is. Information can be stored into different substances. Substances change when information is recorded. What we hear when listening to recorded sounds is how the media changed when information was stored to it.
    • We listen to blank recordings and amplified silence.
  • We try to imagine how traces of this time are transmitted to the far future. Some of our messages will travel so far that they will be considered fossils when they reach their audiences.
    • A FM transmission might get stuck and orbit the sun, to be heard/experienced a millennia from today.
  • We think about noise. How the sound of noise bounces from surfaces it hits and changes. Samples of its grains map out every sound that has existed and demarcate every sound that will exist.
    • We listen to entropy. Let’s try to imagine shape of our hands through the sound of our hands rubbing against each other.
  • When we listen to noise carefully: We can hear sounds of today – The way they will heard in the future.
  • This is how we can discover our fossilised remains in the future.

20180621

Why I No Longer Read Heavy Books (2018) Andy West. A touching coming of age (coping with trauma) short story. I’m particularly moved by the authors description of his father.

My father was in front of the TV, topless on the couch. I can recall the swirls of dark hair on his chest and shoulders. He was smoking filter tips and drinking beer from a can. I was sitting on the floor between him and the TV. An advert came on appealing for donations to help starving people. Gaunt African children appeared on the screen. The shape of their bones showed through their limbs. Their teeth and eyes looked cartoonishly large in their narrow faces. My father took the lid off of a tin of chocolates that was on the coffee table next to him, took out a chocolate and threw it at the screen.

Radio Enemy 008b a junky – cut-up harsh noise compilation by Yan Jun’s associates from China.

Jenna Sutela interviews Shu Lea Cheang A Network of Spores (2017).

In my view, orgasm is a very conscious, dedicated endeavor, a hard-earned pleasure that often involves durational, tedious foreplay. The Japanese word for orgasm, iku, actually means “going” rather than “coming.” Upon arriving at orgasm, in Japanese one might call out iku, iku, going, going. Between coming and going, the spark of controlled energy flows both ways. Before Tinder and Grindr, I.K.U. portrayed stored orgasm data on-the-go, ready for download and consumption, a clean transaction sans foreplay.

DIY: MIDI Thru Box a good tutorial by Marocco Dave (2017) for building a useful midi utility.

Aural Archipelago “is an online repository for the musical sights and sounds of Indonesia”. An archival project by Palmer Keen (an American DIY ethnomusicologist). A year ago I wrote that all sampler technologies colonize by default but recent afrofuturist discussions and experiences listening noise have lead me to think that samplers are not as bad as I though. It’s easy forget that we are listening to media (not sound). Digital artifacts caused by compression and other glitches are a big part of the experience. Glitches develop a secondary narrative, a stream of involuntary noises and pauses which feel very lively (every listening experience is different depending on network speeds, changes in audio player standards etc.). Digital (and particularly online) audio is more like LP than LP. Archives never preserve content, they only collect data. Archives only have political and cultural influence if we believe that a recording can capture the essence of a performance and that the subject of the recording will not benefit from it. Also… These recording are so great that I can’t complain. My favorite so far is Sarka Rangsang. Dijf Sander’s Jaipong is dope too (Massive Attack mixed with Doors) but his art could be interpreted as an appropriation.

I’m on my way to Saarijärvi (on a train via Jyväskylä). Three kids (6-12 years) are travelling alone. The youngest asked the oldest: “Sisu, which one would you like have: A years worth of ice cream or a years worth of barbecue food?”. Sisu replied: “Barbecue food of course, because it’s more expensive then ice cream”. They all nodded in silence because Sisu’s answer was so wise.

I’m having the time of my life with the Bastl Kastl and a Zoom 70cdr on a train. I’m having great results changing the different synthesis modes using the random voltage pattern generator. I’m wandering in a solid but relaxingly random ambient&noise territory. My only question is how to expand my setup from here. Zoom 70cdr is working as a plate reverb and a delay which I toggle when changing sounds. I guess I have to find a drum machine next (A Leploop Multicassa perhaps).

20180618

Met Antti Tolvi and Laura Naukkarinen at the Kone foundation Lauttasaari manor spring party and they invited me to visit Kiilan äänipäivät in Kemiönsaari (last weekend). We came a late but saw the end of Juhani Nuorvala’s gig (featuring  Jussi Liimatainen aka. Mr. Duo Kaosspad on an oscillator). Nuorvala’s gig was a good warmup for Yan Jun‘s brilliant performance in a garden. Jun used a garden water sprinkler as an instrument. The sprinkler served simultaneously as a sequencer, a phaser effect and a radar/scanner (trough which we could hear how his body was positioned). The idea that a sequencer is a radar is inspirational (particularly grid based sequencers should be approached as such).

He positioned metal pans and aluminium foil on the grass and adjusted the sprinkler movement settings for different beats, then he stood in front of the water rays in different poses (wearing a raincoat which amplified the sound of water drops). After the sprinkler jam he added Pop Rocks candy in water ponds that were formed earlier, he also ate it and changed how it sounded by adjusting how his mouth was shaped (he was signing pop rock). Then he sang atonally and started to dance slowly. The dance turned into a duetto with a mobile phone camera. The camera was set to scan for smiles and every time he smiled the device took a photo (which produced a familiar camera shutter sound). The then turned the camera to the audience and everyone who smiled got their picture taken.

He put the camera away, continued dancing and opened his fists rapidly. His nails dragged against his palms which produced a camera shutter like sounds (rapid high frequency noise with a fast attack envelope). He looked at the audience calmly and opened both his fists creating a panning noise effect that reminded us of the sprinkler sound heard earlier. This last gesture made me think that we as the audience were radar/scanner and his body positions were echoed from our gazes. Or something… A really warm and inspirational performance. I’ll definitely explore the sequencer / phaser / radar approach in the future.

I found a lot of interesting interview on Jun online. In No More “The Other Shore”: In conversation with Thomas Bey William Bailey (February 2015) Jun talks about the history of noise music in China and offers glimpse on his views on noise. He refers to Zbigniew Karkowski and promotes an “experimental art organisation” called subjam.org which I’ll have to follow in the future.

Intuition and thinking are not separated in [Chinese] tradition. No such separation of body and soul etc…but there is, strangely, a trend that takes intuition / body / honesty as a weapon against professional / thinking / rationality [in China]. It’s rather nostalgic: to resist the rapidly unfolding modernity. When I talked about truth and reality, I was actually criticised as not honest, not real. This is similar to someone being criticised as ‘not professional’ in Western culture, maybe..

When I say ‘dry sound,’ I have a context of underground music rather than electroacoustic music. After the development of effect pedals and subwoofers, we are more powerful than before. Not to mention laptops. And the cultural politics. With the distortion pedal noise became easier. With the delay pedal, psychedelic music became easier. But the early psychedelic music was clearer than today’s. It was more about playing by hand, one stroke after the other.

20180401

Youtube is my #1 source for marxist propaganda entertainment: What’s Wrong with Capitalism (Part 2) by ContraPoints.

My busker name is to be Thuomas EnBusker.

Tiny Tramp live at Void Bordeaux is a solid live gig documentation. He’s using cassette decks, spring reverbs and lo-fi microphones to build evolving dark ambient. There is singing and distortion too. I particularly enjoy (the digital?) artifacts which combine into random cheerful melodies.

Christianity the faith of a Zombie.

Re-reading Is a Museum a Factory? (2009) by Hito Steyerl. The idea that museum guests are laborers, working to make sense of exhibitions is appealing.

Today, cinematic politics are post-representational. They do not educate the crowd, but produce it. They articulate the crowd in space and in time. They submerge it in partial invisibility and then orchestrate their dispersion, movement, and reconfiguration. They organize the crowd without preaching to it. They replace the gaze of the bourgeois sovereign spectator of the white cube with the incomplete, obscured, fractured, and overwhelmed vision of the spectator-as-laborer.