CONTOUR EDITIONS – Installation launch, Garet/Neumann

CT::SWaM presented CONTOUR EDITIONS and the Garet/Neumann duo at Eyebeam on September 17th, 2012. This was the launch event for the CONTOUR EDITIONS – Installation.


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POINT PLAY was originally conceived for Diapason Gallery by Nisi Jacobs and Wolfgang Gil where artists Richard Garet, Adam Kendall, and Michael J. Schumacher were invited to work in close conversation with Wolfgang Gil and compose individual works for ROctoR (Real-time Octophonic Router), a custom software instrument designed for multichannel sound diffusion. POINT PLAY will run for an hour and twenty minutes on Monday starting at 9pm and play each piece once and one after the next.

•22 Recordings: In Circular Symmetry, by Richard Garet and Wolfgang Gil, Duration: 17′
•UNTITLED, by Adam Kendall, Duration: 21’10”
•Broken Continuum, by Wolfgang Gil, Duration: 15’03”
•Sledge, by Michael J. Schumacher, Duration: 22’22”
22 Recordings: In Circular Symmetry
Richard Garet and Wolfgang Gil
Duration: 17′
Year: 2010

22 Recordings: In Circular Symmetry is a work of indeterminacy created by Richard Garet and Wolfgang Gil, using Gil’s ROctoR (Real-time Octophonic Router). For this piece, Garet proposed an initial model to randomly reproduce 22 recordings he composed through different processes. This model was extended and refined through a process of collaboration between both artists. Finally, Gil translated the model into a MAX/MSP application that, in conjunction with Richard’s sonic material and Gil’s ROctoR application, it conformed the piece.

To play it, ROctoR selected each audio file randomly. Within the duration of the selected track, a segment that was 10% of the total duration was played back. A series of panning presets, consisting of shapes such as a triangle, square, circle, and line were created and assigned randomly to each sound. During the playback of each audio file, the duration was divided by the amount of parts of the panning shape, and that determined the form of the panning movement. Additionally, each panning preset was designed to continue changing position randomly.

The material for this project consisted of the sound from eleven audiocassette tapes. These tapes were submitted to processes of deterioration such as data corruption, erasure, magnetic interference, and tape feedback. The sound that resulted from these processes was played back at various speeds and methods, then digitally recorded. Each recording from the tapes was cut and spliced digitally by making editorial decisions and erasing non-desired sections.

As a conclusion, an extensive number of possible configurations of structure, form, material, and movement emerged from the real-time process, creating not only a listening environment, but also an awareness of location, physical movement, and an immersive sensorial experience. 22 Recordings: In Circular Symmetry plays indefinitely once it is initiated. However, to fit the program of the exhibition, it was prepared to play for 17’ at a time.

Adam Kendall
Duration: 21:10 minutes
Year: December 2010

I wrote this untitled piece for Wolfgang Gil’s ROctoR audio-spatialization software. I tried to combine the aesthetic of linear tonal composition with the states of space made possible by an 8-channel system. The piece explores the counterpoint of simple oscillator tones interacting over time, throughout place, and within sonority.

Just like collaborating with a specific performer on a specific instrument, collaborating with the developer of a software system might push a composer in a specific direction. One of Wolfgang’s/ROctoR’s concepts is the movement of 2D geometric “sonic” shapes through 3D space. Wolfgang/ROctoR influenced my concept of how to make spatialization contrapuntal with itself – by the simultaneous motion of different shapes. The motion of the shapes in turn influenced the pacing of the piece and its sonorities.

Broken Continuum
Wolfgang Gil
Duration: 15:03 minutes
Year: 2010

In Broken Continuum I explore different computer-based syntheses for sound generation. Inspired by the computer’s potential to produce continuous sound through the juxtaposition of discrete, miniature sonic events, the piece employs a wide range of finely composed pitches, long-paced drones, complex textures, minute sonic gestures, and silence, in order to inspire active listening.

My aim for this piece was to explore two related phenomena that alter audience perception:

1) phase relationships: specifically, the direct consequence of architecture upon the piece.
2) blocking: the effect of the audience’s physical presence upon the piece.

Broken Continuum was initially conceived for Brooklyn’s Diapason Gallery. The venue’s architecture is fairly neutral. It is an approximately 500-square-foot, box-like white space with a high ceiling, carpeted floor, and no windows.

As the audience enters the space, listeners hear dynamically highlighted, muted, modulated, or pitch-shifted tones as a consequence of their interaction with the architecture. They are encouraged to walk around, listen to the space, and experience how the phenomena described above creates new content.

Another aspect explored in Broken Continuum is the physicality of sound. To accomplish this, I restricted my sonic palette to certain textures at pitches that can be felt by the body, such as those at the edges of the audible frequency spectrum.

Michael J. Schumacher
Duration: 22’22”
Year: 2010

Sledge has two parts, both of them complete, occurring simultaneously, a buzz-like drone and a bubbling mix of instruments, voices, field recordings and movie sound clips. It is part of a series of compositions dating back to 1989 that test the limits of textural density. Some of the sounds in Sledge are: Bruce Andrews, a swiss-made, wooden toy, doors closing, a broken CD, The Exorcist, children maliciously tormenting each other, workers hanging a theatrical curtain, Serge, EMS and Arp synthesizers, Ironman (Japanese version), Ivanhoe fighting Gilbert (the final scene of the 1952 version), Nextworks Ensemble, electric baritone guitar, a large flying bug, throwing stones into Glacier Lake, CO, a Casio electonic calculator.

The piece is spatialized over 8 channels by Wolfgang Gil’s special software. It was premiered at Diapason gallery’s “Point Play” exhibition in 2010.

Richard Garet and Daniel Neumann
This piece is a collaboration between Richard Garet and Daniel Neumann consisting of mapping out geometrical shapes with an 8-channel speaker system over Eyebeam’s vast Main Space. Each of them is using 4 speakers, symmetrically intertwined. The sound material that they created stems mostly from synthesized sources (analog and digital) and has then been exposed to various processes including filtering, layering, re-recording in different physical spaces or through modified media, speaker distortion, and others. These processed files provide each artist with a vocabulary with which they play out the speaker locations in relation to the architecture and to each other, extending the geometrical starting points into a complex spatial listening experience.

540 West 21st Street
New York, NY 10011

(event link)


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