News about the 4th edition of the Festival that will take place in Berlin all through the year 2008. The information about the former editions that were held on 22-26 november 2006, 13-22 february 2007 and 1-29 august, 2007 are still to be found somewhere in the jungle of this blop.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Tao of Sound – Michael Northam, Soichiro Mitsuya and Alessandro Bosetti

1. Sound and Archeology, Sound and Biology, Sound and Cannibalism, Sound and Dermatology, Sound and Endomorphism, Sound and Futility, Sound and Geometry, Sound and Holography, Sound and Industries, Sound and Justice, Sound and Kinesthesia, Sound and Loathing, Sound and Marxism, Sound and Neighbors, Sound and Orthography, Sound and Picasso, Sound and Quaternity, Sound and Revolution, Sound and Space, Sound and Triviality, Sound and Universalizability, Sound and Villosity, Sound and Warfare, Sound and Xenophobia, Sound and Yoghurt, Sound and Zen.

2. The most popular combination of all is Sound and Architecture. Of course it is just another sign of the times. The success of an architect like Calatraves is a flag on the building of popular opinions. His monuments magnify the esthetics of the 55cent shops.

3. Communication happens by means of slogans or by the use of one sole word: Architecture. It combines power, control and structure. It evokes movement and decisions. It promises a better world. It doesn’t make any sound, because it is just a word to describe a discipline.

4. Building houses and palaces must be one of the oldest professions in the world. To imagine that it is even older then prostitution would radically change the view on our society and its history. Architecture is closely related to the law. But it is also closely related to the occult side of the law. And it is closely related to human engineering: designing ways of living.

5. Every new form of power attracts its supporters. At the beginning of the 21.Century the editorial revolution started by managers has almost come to its end. The new world looks great in the designer magazines, in the frivolous bars and restaurants, in the restructured and partially rebuilt bigger and smaller city centers. The new look is the result of politics and architecture. Architecture and Sound. Get a special permission, get a nametag, design sound.

6. Index of an imaginary exhibition on Sound Art: Architecture and Morality in the Dark Ages. Joan of Arc meets Enola Gay. Movies and Modernism. Lights and Glasses. Gallery of Thoughts. Benzedrine. The Shorelines of Waste. The Tao of Sound. The Sounds are Down.

7. There is always a before and an after, even if you’d like to discuss the beginnings of the Universe. Marcel Türkowsky was one of the first persons I met in Berlin. He was playing Asa Stahl`s found tapes in a twelve square meter gallery in the Torstrasse. Indian voices and instruments were turned into blissful layers of sounds by his loop machine. Meanwhile we talked. Months later we were part of the Tape Only Gang that played over twenty concerts in Berlin during the summer of 2006. When we exhausted all possibilities to tear down the walls with our lyrical tape noises, I invented das kleine field recordings festival. Marcel is one of the dkfrf – veterans. He was close to desolation when he had to cancel his appearance at the 3rd edition, due to severe toothaches. Then he started traveling. In fact he traveled so far, that I had the impression he’d never come back.

8. Nothing had changed when he returned to dkfrf. We talked when the concerts were done. Somewhere behind the black windows in the Lenaustrasse people were contemplating their phone calls to complain about the noises. I asked Marcel about this new thing, this soundendarchitecture everybody talked about. It is hard to follow discussions by connoisseurs. He explained. He was qualified to explain because he had studied the subject. And then he talked as an office worker. And I understood that I might as well forget right away what he was explaining.

9. Then two or more weeks passed. The thoughts got covered by the fermentations of time. Some thoughts are like passionflowers.

10. Michael Northam is from Indianapolis. I saw Indianapolis once, when I was in a car driving from Louisville to Chicago. Indiana was a flat stretch of land. It reminded me of the Netherlands. Indianapolis was a town on the horizon. It was there for a while. The skyscrapers reflected some sunlight. And then it was not there anymore. There was green land instead, for hours and hours. On the way back it rained without end.

11. It took Michael some time to arrive in India. When he performed at the festival he had just finished a six months stay. His suntan was from an Indian sun. For his achievements during a musical career that spans over more then twenty years, he should have been the main act. I made him play first. Michael looks like a person who could take care of a hard winters work. With the right hat on, he could be one of the Amish people: his set made the venue glow for the rest of the evening.

12. Boxes you can buy in India. They are smaller then a bird’s cage. The boxes produce drones. The boxes look like boxes. They contain sitar drones or harmonium drones. I guess Indians put them next to their little house altar, burn incense, put the switch on, and pray; they won’t have a PA and big speakers in the room to have the drones float from their doors and windows into the dense Indian night.

13. When the last drones had died down on the nearby Kottbusserdamm it was exactly that dense Indian night that fell upon us. It was almost tangible. Behind the visitors that were seated on the floor a parallel world unfolded itself: a night on the countryside with distant voices and a sky with zillions of stars. Michael walked around, played a shrieking flutesomething, his clothes still smelling of India. Too bad he had to take us back to Neukölln with another drone that scared the neighbors out of their easy chairs.

14. Soichiro Mitsuya showed me his walkmen a few years ago, and asked if he could join our Tape Only collective. Soichiro played loud, because of noise attitudes. But what is noise? If a sheet big enough to catch the winds of the most severe hurricane could be held up, it would mold itself to the most beautiful forms.

15. This cassette Walkman is always with him. If you live on the poor side of Berlin, all your crossroads come together on Alexander square. Such an ugly square. Ever since he came to live in Berlin, construction works were going on. He passed it in the middle of the night, on weekdays and peace days. The square was always filled with noise. He started to record.

16. Construction noises were shaped into a choir of mechanical voices. Neighbors had wondered about Indian drone machines, now they heard the mating calls of prosperity. People endured hours and hours of everyday life drills: to them those noises must be part of a greater design. To Soichiro they came from a breeding place of trash. His treatments made them sound good.

17. As soon as the room was vibrating with the hidden sounds of Alexanderplatz, Soichiro started to lecture. He always does this. Our listeners bended forward, frowned, tried to listen hard, but his voice was just under the surface of sound. He had a large cylindrical self-built loudspeaker that would tremble and shake: it was a representation of the television tower. It nearly fell down. At the end he stood up and walked to the sliding doors. He played the sliding doors, used them as a giant fan, and said it was hot inside. Then he thanked everyone and wanted to know if there were any questions. Months later I still meet people who had seen his performance. They all laugh and tell me how remarkable it was.

18. Break

19. Alessandro Bosetti moved from Milan to Berlin. I knew him by name. He was one of the seven musicians who always played at Ausland, a club in Berlin that once was known for their fine concerts. But since the programmers adapted a more sectarian policy, concerts are getting scarce. Then he moved to Baltimore, a place where a lot of experimentalists are gathered. But when I asked a good friend of mine why he’d never performed there, living so close, his answer was: ”45 minutes to the ghetto.” Funny enough I would need just as much time to arrive at Ausland.

20. Alessandro’s is another known name in this small world of ours. Even my girlfriend knows him. His sound of the month appeared every evening shortly before midnight on the little radio in her kitchen in Wuppertal. Last year he was praised for his African recordings. Last year private reasons made him cancel his show at dkfrf.

21. This year he succeeded in setting up a tour of Europe. On the festival day he arrived from Prague, a young man wearing a white shirt carrying his belongings in a little mobile suitcase. On the way to my house and his dish of the day (pumpkin stew cooked following an old avignonaise recipe) he talked about a radical visitor to his Praguean performance that never stopped ranting. Part of the audience thought the man had been recruited to act as an upsetter.

22. After the break Alessandro sat down and started to talk, not using a microphone. Unclear if it was an introduction, and disturbed by the voices from outside I had difficulties following the contents. It was only after picking up some geographical indications (Manhattan as a small island in the north) that it came across my mind that he was impersonating a traveler to the new world when that world was still new. The pedantry of those early raconteurs added a beautiful touch to his performance. One could imagine a young man traveling around to collect plants and stones.

23. This follower of the natural history of science, however, was investigating the great variety of languages that were spoken in the various regions in the southeast of what now are called the United States of America. We heard voices coming from the eighteenth century that for their sound alone was a pleasure to listen to.

24. My guests had also planned to play a set together. This turned out to be a surprise and gift to everyone present on that evening, yours sincerely included.

25. This all happened far away from any discourse or theory.


Anonymous Peluang Usaha Sampingan said...

great resourches, thanks

11:32 am


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