Modulisme Session 034 a playlist by Modular Music Station. Which is a “internet radio & web portal dedicated to electronic music made with modular synthesis, test equipment & experimental instruments”. The 034 session focuses on Serge instruments and introduces a comprehensive palette of sounds the system can produce. My favorites on the playlist include Bevis att Napoleon aldrig existerat by Överklassen, Serge Time by Miguel Frasconi and To Bring Out The Shame by Francisco Meirino. Thomas Ankersmit is featured too.

I think Lowercase/Onkyokei/extreme minimal ambient composition as it is being defined on the llllllll thread is the best form of cultural input for these times. It’s like listening to nothing, which is something I need at a time when everything is a performance: When all relationships are confined to the attention we perform trough screens. Times are rough for peppy radio hosts and music producers. It is being revealed that observing high energy performances demand energy (which I don’t have, busy surviving) and that space is a luxury (sounds which give space are a gift). Being-Sound – From Wandelweiser to Onkyô (2018) Jason Brogan is a good source for learning about the aesthetic.

[…] given the notion of affect as posited by Deleuze and Guattari, sound-itself may be understood as being always already real. Thus, sonic actualization — contrary to its common meaning — entails the contextual, qualitative exteriorization of sonic interiority. Performance, then, may be understood as the site-specific fulfillment of the process of actualization.

A complicated sentence. I read is as a way to approach all sounds as already existing and the performance of a composition as tapping into a sound or tone. This is a nice and comforting approach, a process of becoming with sound. It feels similar to tasting (a spring water): The taste is there already and is actuated by the performance!

I don’t like wearing headphones unless I have to (last years weekly online teaching gigs were headphone-heavy) and I often listen to music from the crappy speaker of my mobilephone. I think this suits lowercase/onkyokei/extreme-minimal stuff well. The distortions and space ambients make the music even thinner. The sounds are seeping from the minuscule holes of the device and counterbalanced by remote machine sounds, plumbing, the radiator and the fan of my computer. I get energy from looking for the sounds in the noise. My curiosity is sparked: Am I really hearing this? Did an artist conceive this?

Once, while on a run I didn’t notice a track had ended and I took the wind howling on the edge of my headphone as music. A perfect example of a sound becoming. Or was it a hyperchaotical listening experience (a defined by Quentin Meillassoux)? “hyperchaos […] suggests that […] randomness remains as only one particular mode of presentation among others”. All work (which is not work to maintain the flesh or gray infrastructure) is performed in screens and earcups. Majority of the performances seek to resolve events. I think art which sparks curiosity is needed for energy.

Seven Points for a Computer Critical Computer Art by Sarah Groff Hennigh-Palermo. A simple list to keep in mind. She also operates in the LiveCode.NYC which is developing artistic live coding tools.


Subscribed to Kusksu a mailing list for sound-art and spotted “Radigue” at Space for Free Arts curated by MIF. The event was a part of Äänen Lumo and offered performances by Clara de Asís & Lauri Hyvarinen, Enrico Malatesta and Thomas Ankersmit. Maletesta played Occam XXVI a composition by Éliane Radigue, which uses two bowed cymbals and a frame drum. The bow agitated the cymbals, forming drones and their resonation transferred between the plates over air. Occasionally Malatesta hover a drum membrane over the cymbals to pickup and amplify low tones. He used sound to play sound over air!

Ankersmit performed “Perceptual Geography” (sample on soundcloud). It was really rewarding to see a serge modular live on stage. There were moments when it felt like he was playing every conceivable sound the same time. He was very loud and the performance was punctual. The execution of the piece felt like an academic study of noise. We were presented with tonal structures and spaces. They appeared abruptly, evolved and then suddenly crashed. It felt like the tones referred to nature. I couldn’t identify what I was listening but I could imagine hearing similar tones in a forest. I only recognize occasional square wave pulses in the beginning and the end of the set.

The piece is based on Ankersmits research on sound artist Maryanne Amacher. Particularly on her work concerning psychoacoustic phenomena and sound spatialization (recently popularized on youtube). During the gig I had the urge to tilt my head, so that I could avoid pain caused by a harsh drone tone. As I turned my head I felt a melody ringing inside my skull. I noticed other audience members bobbing their heads too. The experience was similar to the tingling which high resonance filter sweeps can cause. But this experience was more articulated, like an overtone melody which was forcefully positioned inside my head. The experience was a result of sound spatialization and this was the first time I hear it. I didn’t know it is possible to manipulate the spatial perception of the audience to this extent, let alone intentionally as a part of a performance!