Live set recorded at Madame Claude in Berlin on 16th of January 2023.
Against Evil Companyrecording
This summer I produced Philomena Lauprecht’s album Against Evil Company. She is an artist from Hamburg who recently moved to Berlin and also plays in the art-pop band Die Maßnahme. Against Evil Company is her first solo recording and I feel honoured by the trust she put into my abilities as a producer/engineer. It is availble as a tape on Philomena’s Bandcamp and will soon be released on Econore records.
Against Evil Company is a re-working of the songbook Divine and Moral Songs for Children, first published in the 1720 by Isaac Watts. It is a collection of little Hymns and Prayers that were recited as songs and poems to direct children onto the right path. Philomena’s re-interpretation of these songs confronts the influential and cognitive power of morality and religion. Against Evil Company is a grim tribute to the aesthetics of hymn-writing. It also contains a cover of Bruce Haack’s 1972 song Rain of Earth.
At Land / Meshes of the Afternoon audio documentationrecording
This year I had the opportunity to perform live soundtracks for Maya Deren’s silent films At Land (1944) and Meshes of the Afternoon (1943) on three seperate occasions.
For At Land a score was developed while Meshes of the Afternoon was more improvised. For both films the instrumentation was modular synthesizer, loop player and modified zither.
On June 1st I played at Kino 46 cinema in Bremen as part of the Flickertunes series.
On August 29th the films were screened at Museum für Hamburgische Geschichte as part of the Sommernachtskino event. Also playing that night was Ansgar Wilken who accompanied the Maya Deren films A Study in Choreography for Camera and Ritual in Transfigured Time. Due to technical difficulties the recording of Meshes of the Afternoon contains some unintended distortions.
The final screening took place at Kunstverein Flensburg on October 26th.
New releases on Default Standard Records & Syrpherecording, release
A field recording I made of bats in a park in Hamburg (pitched down several octaves so that the animals become audible) has made it on the compilation DSR#170 | Sound Imagery by Default Standard Records from Greece. Lots of other great recordings from various locations around the world to explore there.
Also, my track Stuck In The VIP Lounge is included on Syrphe’s compilation Sri Lanka – ශ්රී ලංකාව among songs by Cedrik Fermont, Isuru Kumarasinghe and many more.
This is the statement by Cedrik Fermont who compiled and mastered this release:
„A compilation dedicated to the Sri Lankan people, all benefits will be given to Raise Sri Lanka, an organisation that collects money in order to supply medicines to those in need.
Sri Lanka is one more country that faces a huge crisis due to political, economic and agronomic mismanagement and corruption.
For the first time in its history, the country is facing famine. This is not due to climate change and bad weather conditions but to corrupted politicians whose noble ambition to entirely ban pesticides was implemented from one day to another without prior knowledge of the dreadful consequences of such badly planned action.
A switch to organic agriculture is important but it is obvious that such change should be done slowly and carefully. There is no need to be a genius to understand that organic agriculture produces less than the current agricultural model, especially if farmers have not been taught how to deal with organic farming.
Some people never learn.
History has showed us what kind of disaster politicians with little understanding of agriculture and land management can trigger, even when they come from a farmer family (I think about Chinese leader Mao Zedong and its attempt to eradicate sparrows that led to a booming locust population that ate everything in its path, therefore, grain production in most rural areas collapsed and a massive famine began but I also think about the Khmer Rouge policies in Cambodia that had foreseeable and avoidable consequence and that despite the regime’s leaders awareness of their catastrophic effects continued to be strictly enforce and led to a famine too).
In the Khmer language, two words exist to define „famine“, one is „turaphik“ (when starvation is due to natural causes), the other one is „bong-ot“, that implies human causality.
Gotabaya Rajapaksa and his clan brought an entire nation to its knees by misguided ambitions that are unfortunately leading to „bong-ot“.
Money will be sent to this campaign :
At Land / Meshes of the Afternoon recordingsrecording
The live scores for Maya Deren’s silent films At Land (1944) and Meshes of the Afternoon (1943), recorded on July first at City 46 Kommunalkino in Bremen are now available.
I Am Sitting in a Room and Keeping My Mouth Shutrecording
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.
Un Chien Andalou Soundtracklive, recording
The live recording of my score to Un Chien Andalou is now available as a digital download over at Bandcamp.
Fotos are © by Jann Wilken
New limited edition taperecording, release
I’m wrapping up this sickening year with a new release. ||| || | ||| is the second in the ’skull series‘ of tapes, containing two tracks recorded in 2020. On the A-side there’s Black Is The Color Of My True Love’s Hair. The title is taken from Patty Water’s 1965 version of the song. It’s not a cover by any means but listening to her song is highly recommended. The high pitched sounds on this track were generated by plucking human hair attatched to a contact microphone (taken from a very special person with black hair). The B-side contains Year Of The Plague which sums up some of my impressions of the last 12 months. The limited edition of 20 tapes with individual covers and/or a digital download is now available through my bandcamp account.
Wilted Valid Space – Let It Burn A Million Timesevent, installation, recording, video
Wilted Valid Space– Let It Burn A Million Times is the title of a video installation by Rosh Zeeba, exhibited at Galerie 21/Vorwerkstift in Hamburg on September 5th 2020. The three channel installation was accompanied by sounds specifically assembled for this event. The resulting audio piece consists mainly of loops edited from 1970s Iranian popsongs that were suggested by Rosh Zeeba. These loops were played through a modular synthesizer, creating a ‚hauntological‘ soundscape – the aim of the work being to create an uncanny atmosphere that functions like an anachronistic radio broadcast from pre-revolutionary Iran. The exhibition and accompanying performance by Joscha X Ende (aptly titled Noise Reduction) lasted for four hours. Below you can find a recording of the soundscape, edited down to 48 minutes, videoclips showing the installation and a foto of the performance.
A Model of Infection at Gallery ONKAFrecording, release
New Delhi’s gallery ONKAF comissioned international sound artists and musicians to produce works for their Life Inbetween series, running 03-12 October. My contribution, the 09:30 min. track Psyche – A Model of Infection is now available on ONKAFs website and on YouTube.
The Greek word psyche, analogous to the Latin spiritus, originally meant breath as well as soul or spirit. The invisible and ephemeral phenomenon of inhalation and exhalation connects the inside and outside of the body, it is both a carrier substance of language and of airborne diseases and also a sign for the liveliness of bodies.
Breath is the starting point of this work: a single and solitary breath, recorded with a throat microphone. The inside corresponds to the body of the individual in a symbolic isolation, which becomes a social reality through the distancing measures against the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. This isolated sound, a reference to the desire for interaction with others, is linked to field recordings. These sounds were recorded during the recent years in places that are no longer accessible or difficult to visit due to travel restrictions (a collage of street sounds from Tel Aviv, Istanbul, Tokyo and Warsaw). Due to the currently unbridgeable distance, the acoustic reminiscences of these places are charged with nostalgia.
On a further level of the work, an interplay of four different waveforms produced by analog oscillators unfolds in the stereo image – sine wave (left channel), triangular wave (right channel), square wave (half left) and sawtooth wave (half right) appear in a fixed frequency ratio and form a chord. At minute 03:45 a noise signal begins to modulate the first oscillator, the random voltage distribution ‘infecting’ the homogeneous sine wave. The resulting ‘symptoms’ are fluctuations in frequency, a distraction from the normal or ‘healthy’ state. This audio infection is passed on to the next oscillator, while maintaining the characteristics of the sinusoidal oscillation – it is no longer the same noise signal, but a ‘mutation’. This process is repeated until all four oscillations are infected. At the end of the cycle, the output of the last oscillator is fed back to the first – an exponential growth of modulations/infections that changes the characteristics of the whole system.
What remains is the sound of breathing, but no longer as an isolated sound event. By using a vocoder, the sound of breathing becomes the envelope for the collected field recordings, a hybrid sound event that refers to the singularly plural dynamics of the social.