From crisis to apocalypse: an exercise in etymology

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Crisis (as well as critique) stems from the old Greek κρίνειν (krínein), meaning „to distinguish, to differentiate” or “to separate”. The original meaning of apocalypse (ἀποκάλυψις) is „revelation, disclosure, unveiling”.

At least since the financial crisis of 2007-2008, crises have spread on a global level. Climate crisis, political crises, wars, refugee crises, pandemics etc. have become ubiquitous, are interlinked and seem to multiply by the month. If etymology is of any help in understanding the current situation, one could say that the concept of crisis is in crisis itself: if too many differentiations (between before and after, between ‘normal’ and ‘unprecedented’ etc.) happen at the same time, the terrain becomes unstable, confusing and seemingly undifferentiated. Crisis as something that forces a Kantian critique to its limits because reason is confronted with too many fault lines to distinguish between. The ‘new normal’ becomes its own ontology, leaving the old one behind, crisis becomes perpetual and tiresomely quotidian. When crisis becomes the mode of normalcy itself, something else happens: the gradual revealing of a different world we are all going to inhabit; apocalypse not as the end of the world itself but as the end of a certain way of living in this world, of viewing it, structuring it, giving it meaning and interacting with and within it. This apocalypse strikes hard in the places where a certain concept of ‘normalcy’ has been central for stabilizing the social, political and economical status quo (e.g. affluent, white, heteronormative etc.). The world (i.e. certain concepts of the world, ways of viewing and explaining it) is ending for sure, what is going to be unveiled will be the result of the struggles we are currently living through.

01.07.22 – Live Score For Two Maya Deren Films

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On July first I will perform live scores for two silent movies by Maya Deren: Meshes of the Afternoon (1943) and At Land (1944) at City 46 Kino in Bremen. Deren (*1917 in Kiev, Ukraine, † 1961 New York City) was an American director, film theorist, avantgarde dancer and expert on Haitian voodoo. Her unsettling early films bring a decidedly feminine perspective to the aesthetics of surrealist filmmaking, something I enjoy after last years score work for Un Chien Andalou by Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dali.

Tickets are 10,- € or 7,50 € reduced and can be bought from City 46. Recordings of the show will be made available here.

I Am Sitting in a Room and Keeping My Mouth Shut

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Inspired by Alvin Lucier’s 1969 audiopiece I Am Sitting In A Room from 1969. One minute recording of the ambience in the room that serves as my studio (third floor facing a street in Hamburg Wilhelmsburg, windows closed, on Sunday 6th of June 2022) that gets played back and rerecorded 30 times. The resonant frequencies of the room and the recording equipment are emphasized in the process. Street noises creep into the recording and are gradually homogenized, the resulting structure still bears rhythmical hints of the initial first 60 seconds. As the title suggests, no words are uttered during the recording.

Two new releases to end 2021

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My tape album Subsongs is now out on Econore: 10 tracks in 38 minutes as a soundtrack for a movie that was never made. The post-dramatic plot revolves around the lucid-dark, a forged mythology of the Anthropocene, birds, unemployed negativity, and the ghosts of capitalism. Go here for a PDF with extended liner notes.

https://econore.bandcamp.com/album/subsongs


Also now available now on my own Bandcamp account is the EP The Endless Torture of Hans Zimmer b/w Entropy Come Play with Me (C20 tape, limited edition, custom covers).

https://davidwallraf.bandcamp.com/album/–5

Matt Nauseous has written a review for these releases over at Clean Nice Quiet. “ […] 10 tracks of fascinating noise textures, complete with field recordings of birds. Very impressive and inspiring.“

„There’s something very peculiar about this album that goes beyond just haunting or unsettling. The best way I can describe it is that it sounds, un-human. Not as though it is attempting to be aggressive and boisterous, just subtly yet very consciously alien.“ (Subsongs review by Lars Haur – On The Fringes Of Sound)

05.12.21 – MS Stubnitz w/ Yuko Araki & Daisy Dickinson

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2G+ Noise event, 05.12.21 19:00 MS Stubnitz, Hamburg. Last show for 2021.

Yuko Araki is one of a number of young female artists emerging from Japan that are redefining the outer boundaries of noise, post-industrial techno and experimental electronics.

Daisy Dickinson is a London-based director/visual artist whose work involves experimental short film, music video, projected installation and live visual performance.