The Counting Sisters
[voice, live-electronics, performance]
„The Counting Sisters“ is a further development of a section within the 60-minutes full-lenght piece „C:\dialogue\towards_between.mxo“, commissioned by the NTU Centre for Contemporary Arts Singapore, on the occasion of the exhibition „The Sovereign Forest“ by Amar Kanwar.
The performance on stage is on the one hand an allegory for a ritual of „counting the dead“ as explained in the story of The Counting Sisters written by Amar Kanwar, where six women (in an act of political resistance) collect information around people who recently died due to political „issues“. On the other hand it is the translation of a general phenomenon of digital interconnection: The more information we receive,
the less we notice. Or to express it differently: The more we see, the less we see. Every day our online newspapers and social media timelines are covered with a vast amount of latest news, videos, pictures,
blog posts and comments about 100.000 dead of yesterday, 235.000 of today and a forecast for tomorrow. The dead disappear behind mere numbers. An incident becomes more grave as more dead are counted.
The individual becomes insignificant.
The voice and the resonating body form the nucleus of all sound and stand in interactive correspondence with a real time sound modulating Max patch. Furthermore the performer’s body functions as a projection surface for the visual translation of text immanent processes. Movements extend from raw performative expressions to a tool of interaction between the performer and the computer.
[voice, live-electronics, fixed media piece, multi-channel]
The piece was staged within the exhibition „The Sovereign Forest“ by Amar Kanwar @ NTU Centre for Contemporary Art in Singapore 2016.
The total duration of the piece is 60 minutes. It is a mixture of real time 6-channel sound installations and sections with a live vocal performance. The audience is situated in a space where the border between stage and auditorium is abolished. There is only little illumination. The loudspeakers as well as the performer are not visible. Only certain parts that include a live improvisation with light bulbs and light sensors require the appearance of the performer. The piece is inspired by the book of folk tales called „The Counting Sisters and Other Stories“ written by Amar Kanwar, that tells the stories of a small act of resistance by a group of 7 women who carry out a ritual of remembrance while, around them, state and local politicians and corporations collude to rewrite the legal documents that define the ownership and status of their village.
Considered as a multi-layered dialogue, the piece is a musical translation using the human voice in combination with live electronic sound extensions and spatial sound movements. The performance aimed to stay in a constant dialogue with the exhibition.
Short teaser (2.20 minutes):
Listen to a 25-minutes excerpt: click on LINK.
Excerpt from „The Counting Sisters and Other Stories“ by Amar Kanwar:
„There are six women who work together and one woman who works in her own. The six call themselves „The Counting Sisters“. (…) The Counting Sisters keep a track of every person killed or disappeared. They keep a track of every name, address, date, and photograph. (…) One day, early in the morning, the police arrested The Counting Sisters.
Is it a crime to mourn the dead?
Is it a Crime to count the disappeared?
The Counting Sisters began to sing.
They first sang about the sorrow of The One Alone (…) and about the daily life of the people of Odisha.
(…) listening and weeping and waiting for The Counting Sisters to be free again.“
information about the peformance: CLICK HERE.
If You Liked My Posts I Wouldn’t Need To Express Myself In Real Life
[for voice, live-electronics, tape, cling film & performance]
The performance was premiered @ International Summer Courses for New Music Darmstadt, 2014
The contextualisation of material leads to an interference of aesthetic perception: Brian’s beats form a symbiosis with musical quotations of Helmut and 1980ies porn-music, while Wolfgang’s harmony gets a glossy make over courtesy of DJ Bobo. The performance is a metaphor for the overwhelming flow of information that we are exposed in everyday life. The text consists of Facebook posts pulled from various discourses about the “Alltags” aesthetic movement in German contemporary music.
Give it to me Engine, Honey!
[for voice and live-electronics]
The piece was premiered @ Basis Zwei Festival Hanover, 2016
Concentrating on the challenges and opportunities of musical interaction between a singer and a laptop, the piece „Give it to me Engine, Honey!“ shows a relationship between these two (unequal) partners on stage. The computer can react on audio-input in real-time, but only within the limitations of defined command patterns, whereas the singer has access to an unlimited amount of decisions according to her creativity and vocal ability. The live-electronics are written in Max 7. The goal was to write a complex patch that contains as many different decision paths as it needs to challenge the singer (who was at the same time the developer of the patch) within an interactive sound environment. The first half consists of a composed vocal part in which the laptop is only sometimes intervening in terms of two gates that if opened add two different delay effects to the voice, the second is an improvisation with the laptop in the role of an interacting partner on stage. The Max-patch operates with in each case three variations of ring modulation, granular synthesis, filtering (comb filter), a vocoder and delays triggered by different random patterns. The piece features a very basic stage setting. There is just the singer and the laptop „facing each other“.
Recording of the premiere performance (video by Tosh Leykum):
cozy new gastfeindlichkeit
[fixed media piece]
The piece was released on the new CD of the Edition DEGEM, that focuses on the topic of „escape“. The CD was presented within the Sound and Music Computing Conference (SMC) in Hamburg, 2016.
The piece “cozy new gastfeindlichkeit“ consists of semantically decomposed speech of people telling their stories of escape. Through different methods of sound modulation, the vocal material was changed into a sound wise abstract form. The complete sound material is extracted from vocal sounds. Displaced people tell the stories of their life before their escape, the stories of their escape and the stories of their arrival. But it’s quite obvious, that the stories don’t come to an end after the arrival.
Not only the emotionality of the escape resonates in their voices, but also the new experiences and impressions at the place of their arrival.
linden keyboard orchestra reloaded
[for 1 performer, 2 toy keyboards, 1 MIDI keyboard and live electronics in Max 7]
The performance was premiered @ Non Piano / Toy Piano Festival in Hamburg, 2016.
This piece comes from the bottom of the heart of Lambada Avantgarde.
A comment on the performance practice of electronic music. A reflexion on a young avant garde movement in contemporary classical music with the irresistible urge for quoted pop music. A tribute to the sound aesthetics of toy keyboards from children’s rooms of the early 1990s. An extension of the sound wise typical low-tech environment of such instruments through real-time sound synthesis. Rhythmical patterns of synthetic low-tech percussion sounds as a counterpoint to atonal trash melodies.
Lyrics inspired by a German comedy sketch from 1991 and a song from 1974 by a famous German electronic pop music band.
The piece is dedicated to my dear colleagues and friends Kostia Rapoport and Alex Hofmann.
[audio-visual performance for voice, live-electronics, fixed media and videos]
The performance was premiered @ museum for contemporary art in Siegen, commissioned by the University of Siegen, as part of the congress „Komplexe Referenzen. Sampling als Kulturtechnik„, 2016
The performance deals with different aspects of sampling in the field of music and visual art. Furthermore it includes a strong connection to DADA art. Aesthetically it’s located at the border of Understatement and Anti-Art, creating new contexts and levels of meaning by combining visuals, music and lyrics that do not fit together at first sight. The piece consists of 10 short movements named as „anti-illusion“, „Lambada I“, „schöne_worte“, „Lambada II“, „G***-Mär“, „Realität ist da wo der Pizzamann herkommt“, „Lambada III“, „Brainwash“, „Sample Unser“, „Epilog“. The complete piece has a total duration of 50 minutes.
Soundscape PRISON WALK
[Audio Guide Performance Project within the facilities of Klapperfeld Frankfurt]
As a former police prison that was in use between 1886 and 2002, Klapperfeld is a culmination point of social circumstances and changing definitions of justice and forms of appropriate and humane treatment within the imprisonment.
Since 2009 the facilities are revitalized by the group Faites votre jeu!, that actively tries to explore the complex history of this place.
Since the performance is staged in the original facilities of the prison, that partially remained in their former appearance, the audience is brought to the real place of happenings itself as an authentic documentary object instead of an artificial imitation of the scenery.
The soundscapes were individually designed for each single room, approaching a sonic translation of different visual and ambient situations discovered on the spot.
the Audioguide Performance PRISON WALK is a collaboration with the performance group Profi Kollektion (direction Jan Deck & Katja Kämmerer).
Sound excerpts will be added soon.
Olivier and the Alien Mindbenders
[for voice, Game Boy, wii Remote, toy gun, live-electronics and video]
#Olivier #Messiaen #Birds #8bit #Zack #McKracken #Alien #Mindbenders –REMIX
Aesthetically the piece refers to the old school 8bit – style of old computer games. Every computer game is based on algorithms that give certain action rules for resolving quests within the story of the game. A modification of these algorithms can cause bugs within the game control and the graphic display. In the context of computer music such bugs are called sonic artifacts. This composition turns sonic artifacts and graphical bugs into an artistic principle. Through misused techniques of sound synthesis various kinds of sounds like e.g. organ sounds become destroyed until they resemble classical 8-bit sonority. Rhythmical structures filtered out of Messiaen’s “Chants de terre et de ciel” trigger motion sequences. Transcriptions of rhythms that emerge while playing Game Boy and texts taken from of the computer game “Zack McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders“ are combined with melodies of the same piece by Messiaen.
This audio-visual composition is developed in collaboration with visual artist Tosh Leykum, premiered as part Hanover State Opera’s festival KLANGBRÜCKEN 2015.
composition and performance: Julia Mihály || video: Tosh Leykum
tunes & video coming soon!
[electroacoustic compositions for 4 – 12 loudspeakers ]
scape_1 premiered @ DEGEM concert 2013, HMTMH Hanover || scape_2 & scape_3 premiered @ Kultur-Etage Messestadt 2014, Munich, 2014 || scape_4 premiered @ Radio Depot, Dortmund, 2014 || scape_12 premiered @ USAP Berlin, 2014
scape_ is a series of compositions that consists of musical material generated from modulated underwater recordings and sounds of crickets. The complex spectrum of underwater sounds of the River „Main“ in Frankfurt (Germany) in combination with recordings of insects leads to an extraordinary crystalline sonority. The soundscapes are removed from their former context, confronted with their diversity, and finally transformed until they reach the highest level of intersection. Rhythms and melodies arised as artefacts from various sound synthesis methods are additionally integrated as musical material. scape_12 is a 12-channel – composition. it discovers the calm and sparkling backside of a large city beside all the common urban noises.
scape_1 has been released on Edition DEGEM 2014.
[16-channel Sound Installation]
premiered @ Mozartlabor / Mozartfest Würzburg, 2014
Sound Installation by Julia Mihály and Felix Leuschner.
It’s basically the reflection on the reflection: The sound installation reflected on the Mozartlabor, that contains the reflection on Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The facilities of the Festival had been equipped with several hidden microphones to catch official panel discussions as well as private opinions about topics around Wolfgangs music.
…actually Mozart has been a pop star of his time. Therefore it was the logical conclusion to fill his rhythms into a step sequencer, which is obviously a common tool in today’s pop music.
So Wolfgang gave us his rhythmical counterpoint, field recordings and direct quotes collected during the festival provided the pitches and sound colors for this piece. We coded a polyphonic step sequencer in Max/MSP (up to 4 voices with 512 steps per voice are possible and the time signature can be chosen individually). During the installation 4 sequencers were running at the same time.
Sarastros Pforten is a critical review on this media overloaded, glossy figurehead event.
Presentation Mode of our patch:
*click on the image to enlarge it
Wer von uns weiß noch welchen Weg er geht
[piece for tape, 1 analog synth and words ]
premiered @ SPRECHSTUNDE, Spitäle / VKU Würzburg, 2014
Die Realität ist „Jenseits von Eden“. Das Positive hat immer eine Kehrseite, denn „jede Blume hat ihren Schatten“ und „Träume verwehn, wenn sie nicht wissen, wo sie schlafen sollen“. Die Entfremdung unter uns, zwischen uns, bei uns. Wo ist die Wärme? – „Fernwärme“. Das Unvollkommene findet seine musikalische Entsprechung in Artefakten, unvorhersehbaren Nebenprodukten der Klangsynthese.
Reality is „Beyond Eden“. The positive has always its drawback, because „every flower has its own shadow“ and „dreams are blown away, if they don’t know where to sleep“. The alienation among us, between us. Where is the spiritual warmth? – „Long-distance heat“. The imperfect finds its musical translation in the use of artifacts, unpredictable side products of sound synthesis
*italicised: quotes taken from words by Rio Reiser and Reto Finger. (originaly in German)
[piece for two gamepad players, tape & live-electronics]
premiered @ next generation festival ZKM, Karlsruhe, 2011
Two persons equipped with a couple of rubber ducks enter the stage, going directly to a table with two screens and two gamepads on it. They are going to play a computer game against each other. It’s a sort of racing game. The player that reaches the finish first wins the game. The speed can be controlled by pressing certain buttons on the game pad. What both player don’t know is, that the game engine includes some bugs that are intended and therefore controlled during the game by the composer, who turns out to be a (hidden) third player in this game.
Live-Version @ kestnergesellschaft hanover:
[-+] without additives NO STARS BIG BAND
[antibiotic trashcore tour 2012]
live @ The electronic studios of North Germany Meeting Concert, Lübeck, 2012
Are you tired of being confused? This band will make it even worse! [-+] WITHOUT ADDITIVES NO STARS BIG BAND plays the most bone-crunching, gut-ripping and brain-melting music in the whole universe. Incorporating a handful of totally unrecognizable elements from the most obscure corners of music history, they not only combine them in most inappropriate ways, but most of all they create new disturbing music-genres, revealing so the self-mutating gene of music. Members: Damian Marhulets, Julia Mihály and Sebastian Wendt.