20181005

Successfully build a Thomas Henry Trigger-to-Switch unit (fitted it into an Altoids tin). It accepts a 5ms trigger input to control an isolated switch (which can be used to sync Boss pedals that have a tap-tempo functionality). Input trigger should be +5V (but also seems to work with 3,3V). Also added a led to the other relay “port”, so that I can monitor the incoming trigger cycles. The unit is “on” when there is no current – I might have to rework the circuit to reverse this but I’m very happy with it for now.

Noise and Capitalism (2009) ed. Mattin Anthony Iles.  Extract from chapter “Noise Theory” by Csaba Toth, which offers a short history of Noise as an expression. Toth writes about Radu Malfatti’s slow and silent pieces like One man and a Fly (2015).

What version of late capitalism is contested in the rise of Noise-based musics? Noise performance, in our view, exercises a culturally coded and politically specific critique of late capitalism, and offers tools for undoing its seemingly incontestable hegemony. To be sure, Noise performance operates in the shadow of recontainment by the very commodity structures it intends to challenge.  But resistance to such commodification continues to occur, and what cultural critic Russel A. Potter says about hip-hop appears to be true also for Noise music: ‘the recognition that everything is or will soon be commodified has … served as a spur, an incitement to productivity.’

Noise is pre-linguistic and pre-subjective. The noise of heavy machinery and the powerful sonic onslaught of a Macintosh PowerBook are acts that actively foreground their materiality and disrupt meaning: ‘what does this Noise mean?’ Harsh textures of sonic forces break down our identities rather than reinforce them.

The book also has an article “Woman Machines: the Future of Female Noise” by Nina Power.

There’s a scene in Dziga Vertov’s 1929 film Man with a Movie Camera which combines footage of women doing a variety of different activities: sewing, cutting film (with Elizaveta Svilova, Vertov’s wife and the film’s actual editor), counting on an abacus, joyfully making boxes, plugging connections into a telephone switchboard, packing cigarettes, typing, playing the piano, answering the phone, tapping out code, ringing a bell, applying lipstick. The cut-up footage speeds up to such a frenzy that at one point it becomes impossible to tell which activity is done for pleasure, and which for work.

Jump forward almost a century and we encounter Jessica Rylan, a woman who makes her own machines, and performs with them so that the overlap between her voice and her creations loses all sense of separation. This is certainly ‘noise’ of a sort, but of an altogether novel kind. Live, Rylan performs a combination of discomforting personal exposure (in the form of a capella songs played with unstinting directness towards the audience) and machinic communing with self-made analogue synthesisers feeding back to eternity and fusing with ethereal, unholy vocals that haunt like cut-up fairy tales told by a sadistic aunt. Whilst occasional shouts for ‘more noise, more pain!’ might be bellowed at her from the floor at Noise nights, what this desire for noise at any cost doesn’t get is how much more effective Rylan’s performance is at revealing the true power of the machine.

If the subterranean history of the relation between women, machines and noise has finally emerged overground as a new Art of Noise that seeks to destroy the opposition of the natural and the artificial, what performers like Rylan represent is an expansionist take-over of the territory. No longer will the machines dream through women, but will instead be built by them. They will be used not to mimic the impotent howl of aggression in a hostile world, but to reconfigure the very matrix of noise itself.

20180823

Schematics and a guide on muffwiggler.com and doepfer.de for nifty 5v gate -> S-trigger converter, which might work on the Boss RC-30 tap tempo (and any other Boss pedal with a tap-tempo). I’m tempted to try this even tough I’m not using my RC-30 as much. Here is a better plan Slacker’s midi clock metronome PLUS tap trigger (S-trigger is not for switch toggle action!). After a furious night of internet search I learned of the Thomas Henry Trigger-to-Switch Project, which uses a 5 VDC dpdt dip relay relay to convert a +5v (5ms) into a switch toggle action. Also considering making a Panasonic/Lumix camera remote using these schematics. Bought a new cheep multimeter.