20190701

Wrote a summer text for Mustekala.info Puu kaatuu metsässä – Tunnelmia Kiilan äänipäiviltä Kemiönsaarelta [Tree Falling in the Woods – Vibes from the Kiila International Sound-Days at Kemiönsaari]. An easygoing review which includes a short history of the event and an overview of all of the works presented this year. Includes some fancy casually post-humanistic sentences: “[their piece] explored constructions, which enable the production of sound in bodies, animals and other wind instruments” (concerning a performance by Ragnhild May and Kristoffer Raasted). Also summarized Yan Jun‘s from last year performance which I wrote shortly about. Got to interview Tolvi, Juho Laitinen (got a micro-lecture on art!) and Teemu Lehmusruusu for the text too.

Jesse introduced me to the concept of post-ore (jälki-malmi). He came up with the concept after spotting scum with aluminum and copper traces in the lot of an old foundry. Its a very useful concept for Ore.e Refineries. Post-Timber works too (see this crafty palindrome as a performance). We build a sauna (using post-timbre) with him in two days. Needs insulation but gives a good löyly.

Breadboarded a Microphonie (Music Thing Modular) and made a unit on perfboard too. Turns out my DC 5-24v to Dual Power 12v -12v 5v -5v 3.3v is incredibly noisy. Works ok, not as loud as I hoped and a bit noisy (most likely because of my building skills). Using a battery works cleaner. Tested it with my μZEUS too and begun to build a (water)capacitor (will be dry tomorrow).

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.