I got one idea for a way of collaboration – inspired by the work of Conrad Schnitzler. I had the idea to take one of his basic principles on which he has been working his whole life: in his early works in the seventies he started to work with several simple cassette players. Each one served like a track in a mixer. It was possible to influence two basic parameters: play/stop and volume. In his walking performances alone (as 3-track mixer) or together with another musician (another 3-track mixer) or with several musicians (each one playing one track), as you see in the stills from the videos:
He was working in producing 1000 different cassettes (= tracks) to be played in this way in a concert (but didn’t finish the 1000).
So my idea is to work (with digital means) in a similar way: produce 1000 tracks that can be played together. I did some work in Ableton and prepared 8 tracks, mixing them (with some more parameters than just play/stop and volume) and recording this mix:
It would be very easy to create a setup for a lot of tracks (basically this can be done in each sound editor who is able to handle multi tracks).
Inspired by a three hour emission by Deutschlandfunk i started to research about Conrad Schnitzler. Paraphrasing the intro text:
A Long Night About Conrad Schnitzler Sometimes even music comes out
By Beate and Stefan Becker
Chirping, bubbling, flickering: it sounds like factory sirens, sometimes like a chattering train. Intermedia artist Conrad Schnitzler mixes all these sounds into new music. As a craftsman without musical education, he becomes an important “sound worker” – and is regarded as one of the pioneers of the electronic music scene of the 1970s.
Conrad Schnitzler (1937 – 2011) was inspired by the new music from Cage to Stockhausen. In 1968 he opened the first underground club in Berlin with Zodiak as a space for happenings, theater and music performances.
Improvising with multiple devices is always useful for creating dynamic and complex atmospheres. After many months without playing with music devices this year I have started to jam again, playing with a mix of digital and analogue devices. Making music is an essential part of my creative life and I was distancing from it due to the other projects I have to handle at work and other pressures from professional life.
Fortunately I have been able to reconnect with the music practice. I created a mobile set-up at my home studio that I can arrange and disassemble pretty easy in a couple of minutes. I have been also recording the different sessions, and with less regularity, listening to them and finding excerpts and interesting pieces. I am uploading them to Soundcloud so they are easy to reproduce and stream online but I could also upload them to a server so they can be downloaded. It would be interesting to reactivate the sound of elektrodomestika and experiment with some collaborations across the Atlantic. I wonder what would be the best way to do that kind of creative exchange between music recorded in Boston and Berlin.
Below is a piece tentatively called Janus. It has already many layers of sound but perhaps can also be remixed again.