Margriet Kicks-Ass Soundart

video-clip I made with my instrument "Soundcase" (geluidszakenkoffer), with Pure Data (and GEM) (open source software)
and self-made pictures

Full version, Play Loud!

About the "Rauschmaschine":

Already since my former self-built instrument "Noise_Lab" I'd become fascinated by the phenomenon of "resonance". Especially the "quake-factor" or vibration behavior of iron objects, by doing so becoming in the audible spectrum. (Resonance:• in Mechanics the condition in which an object or system is subjected to an oscillating force having a frequency close to its own natural frequency.) I wanted to work out the more laboratorium-like set-up of my previous installation to the more monumental shapes of this one.

Besides that I also like to mix things which are normally not destined to be placed together, highlighting how easy it is to break free of daily life conventions and showing how automatisms are fixed in our behavior without us being aware of any other possible options.

An ordinary archive cupboard which is used in an office seemed to be the perfect solution. The normally "silent" dossiers kept in this iron object, are replaced by an audible landscape of soundlayers. Due to the size and character of this material it will amplify sounds at particular frequencies along with the construction itself, allowing more ''sound making objects'' to be placed in the unit, for example in the drawers. Also the physical aspects of playing with the drawers attracted me.

WHAT DID I DO?
The base of this sound-unit comes from 2 loudspeakers I put in the drawers, connected to my computer. Behind my computer I placed a midicontroller with faders. With each one I can send an easy basic sinus audio-signal. The two parameters are the frequency with a range from 0.1 until 10.000 and the modulation (frequency carrier) with a range from 0.1 until 100. By moving these faders up and down, different modulations and rhythms become audible.

After the midi-fader, the clean sinus goes directly into the cabinet, and thus will never be sinus again. The whole unit works as a filter in an opposite way (filter:• a device for suppressing electrical or sound waves of frequencies not required.) In this case: a device for amplifying soundwaves of required frequencies, caused by the energy of the wavefront of the soundwave, the iron starts to quake at particular frequencies and produces sounds. In this case the typically "engine-room-environment-cadence" of a big motorship

Additionally, I placed iron objects both in and on the instrument, for example some oven equipment, iron springs, big hi-hats and a metal bin. Dependent on the frequency, each time another object will participate in the composition.

© Margriet Kicks-Ass 2021

(Dutch version: https://www.bitchute.com/video/fMxMJSzbnjZv/)

Building the Splashbox during an artist-in-residency at Artspace Flipside

Playing with letters, with and without meaning, as a tribute to the DADA-movement of 100 years ago. In the beginning you hear the original Ursonate of Kurt Schwitters, later the sound of the letters (made audible by my self-developed instrument) are taking over.

Although I am using some presets, the mix of sounds and movements were unique for that circumstance and were made intuitively, real time controlled in the moment.

About the instrument:
Pneuma-tix is the name of my self-built living sculpture, annex noise-instrument, consisting of jumping airtubes and pneumatic pistons. The tubes are at one end connected to electronic pneumatic valves (hand controlled with midi-controllers) and at the other end turning and jumping around wildly, because of the air that looks for an exit at 8 bar airpressure. The pistons are connected to the valves either, and realtime midicontrolled by hand as well.

With the movings of the tubes and pistons I create beats and soundscapes, amplified by to mics, fixed on the valves. This way the 'left-over-air' blows directly from the valve-block into the microphones, so what you see is what you hear; the essence of the sounds is corresponding with the pneumatic movements. The pneumatic soundsource (picked up by the mics) goes as well into my computer as soundinput for digital soundprocessing.

I am playing with this installation moving back and forward; to and away from reality, from real pneumatic noise (directly linked to the visible dialogue between the pistons and the valves) to virtual digital noise-layers out of my computer (triggered by live sound events). Both are live composed and connected to each other, controlled by me. To highlight the behavior of the tubes I use blacklights combined with a stroboscope, so the traces of the tubes in the air, are made visible and a complete experience is taking place.

SPLASHBOX enables vibrations to become audible underwater. 2 bassins of water are put in motion by a remote controller and made audible by using underwater microphones. In my live performances I make compositions with the resonance of selected daily objects under water by adding or removing them. During this wet dance a minicamera is connected. Moving images of the soundsoup are projected on a big screen, so the audience can have a look into the source of this soundkitchen. This mini-laboratorium shows a real time research with the sounds of daily objects around us, mixed together with the sound of (under)water and very low frequencies..

Pneuma-tix is the name of my self-built living sculpture, annex noise-instrument, consisting of jumping airtubes and pneumatic pistons. The tubes are at one end connected to electronic pneumatic valves (hand controlled with midi-controllers) and at the other end turning and jumping around wildly, because of the air that looks for an exit at 8 bar airpressure. The pistons are connected to the valves either, and realtime midicontrolled by hand as well.

With the movings of the tubes and pistons I create beats and soundscapes, amplified by to mics, fixed on the valves. This way the 'left-over-air' blows directly from the valve-block into the microphones, so what you see is what you hear; the essence of the sounds is corresponding with the pneumatic movements. The pneumatic soundsource (picked up by the mics) goes as well into my computer as soundinput for digital soundprocessing.

I am playing with this installation moving back and forward; to and away from reality, from real pneumatic noise (directly linked to the visible dialogue between the pistons and the valves) to virtual digital noise-layers out of my computer (triggered by live sound events). Both are live composed and connected to each other, controlled by me. To highlight the behavior of the tubes I use blacklights combined with a stroboscope, so the traces of the tubes in the air, are made visible and a complete experience is taking place.

In this set-up, called: Noise-Lab I am using a loudspeaker as instrument by playing with resonance. My starting point of this instrument was putting a question-mark at the objectivity of loudspeakers. In other words: What would happen if I gave a speaker a very subjective, and own specific sound, which had nothing to do anymore with the original sound signal it received. Like an analogue filter. So I used a former gas-heater, added a spring out of a truck to amplify its resonance, and made an iron frame, where all the elements were hanging like in a christmas tree, for maximum resonance. With a subwoofer the installation started to vibrate, which I expanded with sending feedback back into the system, which was picked up by microphones again.

At particular frequencies the iron started to quake and produced sounds (or noise), amplified my mics, and sometimes I added effects, to make the impact larger, controlled by self-built midifaders. With this laboratorium-like set-up (including white suit and sterile gloves) I express a sound research or a loudspeaker operation. This instrument was the forerunner of my later built "Rauschmachine".

My starting-point of this graduation project (Artscience KABK, former Interfaculty Sound & Image) was to meet IMAGE (3D-movements), through (an analyse of) SOUND , with a triggering between both. I took away the abstract soundwave from a display and made it visible, audible and real. I tried to make feedback visible to avoid the installation being just air.

To translate soundwaves into 3D-movements I used 5 pneumatic pistons, whose movements corresponded with the changing figures shown by the oscilloscope. So the pistons are showing realtime the movements of the audible soundwaves by going up and down. The image of the soundwaves was also projected on the pistons with a beamer. This made the shadows play and closed the beginning and end of the cyclus.

The installation was triggered by original soundrecordings of the cylinders, valves and compressors itselves. That means that they reacted on their own sounds (4 channels, 50 samples, live mixed with live sounds directly from from the microphones). Feedback with me as conductor in between, which closed the circle in sound. However, each sound-input would be optional, as wel as complete self-acting behavior without any need of a human being in between.

Krankenhaus can be considered as an experience-artproject in the environment, an electronic / pneumatic concert of original sounds, live pneumatic noise, with the original changing images of the oscilloscope used as input signal resulting in the industrial show of the pistons, going up till 2 meters high, originally made to lift 1000 kilo's each, were just dancing in the air. This made a strange real / unreal impression.

Preparing the stage for the 'Instrument Design Competition' at Georga Tech Atlanta, department Music Technology as well as a window concert for 1 visitor. Both with the same instrument, I called Splashbox. Camera: Robert (my friend from Germany).

To let my instrument fit in a suitcase I had to cut it into pieces. Although I was not nominated for a prize, one of the panel-members David Zicarelli, (the founder of Pure Data software. (By the way this opensource software is the base of this instrument)) mentioned that I should receive a prize for getting my stuff through the US customs. He wouldn't be surprised at all if the ingredients of my instrument were considered to be suspicious, and that my suitcase just got lost, which it didn't fortunately. This was not just stupid luck. I sticked a friendly letter to the customs in the inside of my suitcase, with a picture of my instrument in an assembled state, a list with too complicated technical details and the official invitation to George Tech, and some funny jokes.

SPLASHBOX enables vibrations to become audible underwater. 2 bassins of water are put in motion by a remote controller and made audible by using underwater microphones. In my live performances I make compositions with the resonance of selected daily objects under water by adding or removing them. During this wet dance a minicamera is connected. Moving images of the soundsoup are projected on a big screen, so the audience can have a look into the source of this soundkitchen. This mini-laboratorium shows a real time research with the sounds of daily objects around us, mixed together with the sound of (under)water and very low frequencies..

These performances took place at Nijmeegse Vierdaagse and Robodock Festival Amsterdam
Pneuma-tix is the name of my self-built living sculpture, annex noise-instrument, consisting of jumping airtubes and pneumatic pistons. The tubes are at one end connected to electronic pneumatic valves (hand controlled with midi-controllers) and at the other end turning and jumping around wildly, because of the air that looks for an exit at 8 bar airpressure. The pistons are connected to the valves either, and realtime midicontrolled by hand as well.

With the movings of the tubes and pistons I create beats and soundscapes, amplified by to mics, fixed on the valves. This way the 'left-over-air' blows directly from the valve-block into the microphones, so what you see is what you hear; the essence of the sounds is corresponding with the pneumatic movements. The pneumatic soundsource (picked up by the mics) goes as well into my computer as soundinput for digital soundprocessing.

I am playing with this installation moving back and forward; to and away from reality, from real pneumatic noise (directly linked to the visible dialogue between the pistons and the valves) to virtual digital noise-layers out of my computer (triggered by live sound events). Both are live composed and connected to each other, controlled by me. To highlight the behavior of the tubes I use blacklights combined with a stroboscope, so the traces of the tubes in the air, are made visible and a complete experience is taking place.

In this clip I am not playing my self-built instrument the Rauschmachine - which is based on resonance and vibration - as well as showing the force of sound itself.

Unheard Voices consist of seasponges, self-soldered electronic circuits, a lot of wires and a waterfountain. The squeezing of the sponges (connected with wires and filled with water) changes the sound-image. In the waterbassin an electric resistance builds up, which becomes directly audible by the interconnected sponges by changing the wire-connections, which are leading to electrical circuits. This means that by isolating one (or more) of the sponges, the sound will change also. Unheard Voices refers to the amplification of hidden (electrical) signals (making them audible) triggered by seasponges, the voice of nature, we are neglecting so drastically nowadays. I am playing with paradoxes like water and electricity and nature versus technology. This instrument can be played alone as well as in the collaboration.

Gaia-resonance is a collaboration with Dewi de Vree. It consists of an installation-based sound-performance in which physical and natural materials are used to generate and manipulate electronic sounds; water, sea sponges, stones and graphite are the variable resistors as part of self made electronic instruments.

Inspired by natural phenomena and the interaction between human, nature and technology, we are developing sound machines, instruments and sound-interfaces, in which electricity is handled as a raw material to make (electronic) sound. Central in our work, is experiencing the fine balance between the (un)predictability of the material and the (dis)control of the performer.

The instruments are low-tech, with open constructions and manipulated mostly in a very direct way. Sound and image are strongly connected: what you see is what you hear. Using natural materials like water, sea sponges, graphite, stone and our skin, we aim to demystify the technology in electronic music. Pouring or touching sea sponges drowned in water, drawing on paper, moving magnets and scanning a stone with a needle, are examples of actions taking place during the performance. By bringing back physicality and tangibility in electronic music we want to show the forgotten primal force behind electricity or electronic sound.

The performances of Gaia-resonance take place in an installation-based setting. For a moment the audience is immersed in an imaginary world which can be best described as an eclectic hybrid between a laboratory and a cave deep underwater or in the centre of the earth. As otherworldly creatures the performers take everyday objects and materials out of their context and thus give them a new meaning.

The sounds that are heard during the performance embody nature in all its diverse behaviour in micro- and macro cosmos and can vary from quietly or uncanny low-frequency and deep rumbling drones, to explosions of screaming and violently hissing ultra-high frequencies as sudden releases of energy.

Playing around with everything and nothing

Preparing the stage during Brug Theater festival Alkmaar in the Irish pub, for a performance with a self-built instrument

SPLASHBOX enables vibrations to become audible underwater. 2 bassins of water are put in motion by a remote controller and made audible by using underwater microphones. In my live performances I make compositions with the resonance of selected daily objects under water by adding or removing them. During this wet dance a minicamera is connected. Moving images of the soundsoup are projected on a big screen, so the audience can have a look into the source of this soundkitchen. This mini-laboratorium shows a real time research with the sounds of daily objects around us, mixed together with the sound of (under)water and very low frequencies.

The very first version of my self-developed instrument, and building the final version during an artist-in-residence project in Eindhoven.

SPLASHBOX enables vibrations to become audible underwater. 2 bassins of water are put in motion by a remote controller and made audible by using underwater microphones. In my live performances I make compositions with the resonance of selected daily objects under water by adding or removing them. During this wet dance a mini-camera is connected. Moving images of the sound-soup are projected on a big screen, so the audience can have a look into the source of this sound-kitchen. This mini-laboratorium shows a real time research with the sounds of daily objects around us, mixed together with the sound of (under)water and very low frequencies

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Created 4 weeks ago.

19 videos

Category Arts & Literature

Experimental Sound-art, performances and soundsculptures

Margriet Kicks-Ass (NL) works as an interdisciplinary artist. Her artistic process can be described as investigative.
In a Dadaistic manner she combines art with technology. Already as a child she asked herself: ‘Why are the dishes
not arranged alphabetically?’ Margriet refuses to be intimidated by calls for efficiency and functionality. She is
exchanging the context and meaning of everyday objects and combining opposites with an analytical attitude which
also reflects her fascination for natural phenomena. This is the starting point for the development of playful kinetic
sound sculptures, which she later exhibits as interactive works of art or in theatrical live performances. The physical
power of sound is her inspiration source. Earlier work concerned research in magnetic fields, pneumatic sounds and
the ´quake-factor´ or vibration and resonance behavior of daily objects, to shape an audible landscape of sound layers.
Now she has changed her direction more towards our divine nature.

ARTISTIC VIEW:
By showing the pure sound source (without effects), visitors can literally see how the sounds are made.
I'm playing with daily objects, juggling with the possible meaning like a dadaist. Mixing things which are normally
not destined to be placed together, highlighting how easy it is to break free of daily life conventions and showing
how automatisms are fixed in our behavior without us being aware of any other options.

It is possible to make a composition with a self-made object instead of traditional instruments. In that sense
I'm trying to open up some prejudices about so called ´music´. Not opening the discussion if it is music or not,
I am able to play noises in such a way visitors enjoy the performance, imagining other planets or even dance,
or discover and play themselves. A live sound-research with visual ingredients put together in a sculpture.
Presenting crossovers of different media: combining monumental 3d-sculpture with sound-art (installation),
sometimes with moving parts (kinetic art), or live performance (theater), all inspired by nature herself.