Data is Material
We’ve often discussed a distaste for many aspects of ‘live coding’, mostly the idea that projecting your screen is this clinching characteristic that takes the music to the next level. Differentiating it from that of other laptop or computer musics. Don’t get me wrong, I think seeing someones laptop screen is a curious thing, as if your looking into there personal space etc… How does an audience receive is information? – confronted with the abstract formula – lines of code projected on a wall behind a stationery performer – How does someone who doesn’t us supercollider or tidals for that matter use this information (beyond that of perhaps being at awe of the initial complexity? i’m not sure. To experience it as data sublime perhaps. Algorave is endanger if not already of just becoming fetishising the process to much, with asking what does these sound really communicate?
We’ve often discussed, as unusual/ interesting the method of coding sound is, neither the less, the material reminiscence of sound is what for me differentiates it from conventional language, its that of which hits the body – what you feel when you close your eyes. This quite simple idea for me differentiates sound from conventional language. Sound is always communicating – but not always a message that can be understand with words. I often think that such sounds exist to beautifully in this world as raw communication above that of imagery, above that of what can really be described with words. Uses laptops as much as we are can dRaw one into almost a state of isolation, as such as its easy to loose forget about how these sounds that we create or we manipulate might exist within a space – to be received by willing or unwilling ears.
This difficult to explain relationship with sound manifests itself from deep within, as incredibly transcendent headphone listening can be, there’s an physical bodily memory that began my love affair with certain frequencies with certain spaces that I think subconsciously informs a great deal of the intuitive choices that guide the compositions, often above my own clear understanding.
Its this disruptive beauty that I feel governing a great deal of our experimentation in the studio this week. Loose fluid, constantly shifting environment, where we might introduce an object or manipulate a formation (similar to whats happening within our laptops) shifting the dynamic informing the close improvisation.
There’s certainly a mirroring a whats going on in the physical space to that of whats happening In supercollider or tidalcycles (laptop) – Its this attitude or the ‘cut ups’ like that of what William Burrows did with poetry or throbbing gristle did with industrial music. Its a continues rearranging, reformatting constantly trying to shift the parameters – moving out of the comfort zone. Naturally we fail at this constantly but i’m continuously reminded of this point. An unfiltered approach to our output. This idea that we understand everything we produce as equally trans formative gestures… Which i guess is a choice in regard to editing, or lack of it for that matter.
I think meaning is found in the noise and the fuck ups, the different levels in which areas of a composition or recording may slow way down or get real quite, while other moments of intense harsh noise as well towards calm and ambient. Its all a series of communications, of which perhaps makes up a conversation.
What happened in the studio these last couple of days ——- a more fluid approach – in contrast to previous rigid set ups of speaker-stand etc. Continuous shifting of arrangements included digitally and physically. shifting composition, while embracing the sculptural – material essence of sound. Borrowing from previous projects in regards to resonance – specifically material resonance, reaching a tone where metals vibrate and shimmer all of which contributes to an overarching developing composition.
There an interesting tension of being somewhere in between the manipulation of material of digitally while moving around the physical space as well.
Its interesting, the illusive or ‘cloud based perceptions we have of the digital network. Despite feeling as though everything floats around in a cloud, the digital remains very much physical, in the sense that an iphone still contains mercury and gold, or the mass tonnage of earth moved to lay down fibre optic cables to connect people and states, as a very physically connection. I guess i’m reminded of these thoughts when confronting the heavy imagery of wires and hardware required to amplify the audio manipulation within the object that is a computer – the digital manipulation of samples (often field recordings) – there’s a feedback loop similar to that of feedback itself. A constant recycling of material as sculpture.
The key thing to think about here is how might this inform a live settling, a performance in front of an audience. How can we perhaps take this with us to the JOMO sessions
In their conversation for OTO Broadcast on Resonance FM, 2013, Rie Nakajima and David Toop talked about events as sculpture, the duration of objects and the weight of actions. Sculpture is an experience that proposes a strategy, working to subvert the routines of performance as entertainment, lecture as information, literature fixed to the page, the conventions of duration, the direction of light and occupation of a space. Does the sculptor have to be present, or make things? Always end with a question?