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Self-built instrument "Rauschmaschiene" at Motorschiff Stubnitz in Hamburg (full concert)
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.
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