The starting point of this prototype is the sound of falling drops on hot pieces of metal. This refers to the primal instinct (it's hot!) and speaks directly to the imagination. In addition, my interest lies especially in the corners of the sound spectrum (sissing sounds). In terms of content, It´s about the dualism technology versus nature. A sound research that tries to appeal to the senses in a direct way. Without using effects, I am playing with the threat evoked by the sensation of hearing extremely hot surfaces. Furthermore the sense of time comes into play; when will the next drop fall as threatening tension. The sounds are all live produced with the instrument during the performance. The premiere took place during November Music 2015 in Den Bosch (NL) This project is funded by Stimuleringsfonds Creatieve Industrie.
The idea for building such a device, I got years earlier. Actually when I was invited to sail with the Stubnitz from Rotterdam to Rostock, back in 2000. The rattling sound of dinnerware in the kitchen cabinets, or a tray full of rattling glasses on the table intrigued me. I started to build towers of crockery, which began to resonate with the cadence of the ship's engine. So how wunderful is it to bring this sound back, years later, to where it originally came from.
I so have long been 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 laboratory-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 sound layers. 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 midi controller 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 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 sound-waves of required frequencies, caused by the energy of the wavefront of the sound-wave, the iron starts to quake at particular frequencies and produces sounds. In this case the typically "engine-room-environment-cadence" of a big motor ship
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.
Although I am using some presets, the mix of sounds and movements are being made intuitively, and real time controlled.
This self-built living sculpture, annex noise-instrument (called Pneuma-Tix), consists of jumping air-tubes and pneumatic cylinders. The tubes are at one end connected to electronic valves (hand controlled via midi-controllers) and at the other end they turn and jump around wildly, because of the air that looks for an exit at 8 bar air pressure. The cylinders are connected to the valves (and real-time controlled) as well.
With the moving tubes and cylinders I create beats and soundscapes, amplified by microphones,which are fixed on the valves. In 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 sound source (picked up by the mics) goes as well into my computer as sound input for digital sound processing.
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 cylinders and the valves) to virtual digital noise-layers out of my computer (triggered by live sound events). Both are live composed and connected. To highlight the behavior of the tubes I use black-lights combined with a stroboscope, so the traces of the tubes in the air, are made visible in the air and a complete experience is taking place.