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Photograph: Brishty Alam



Project Work: Information through Sound?

Karl Salzmann introduced us to the topic "Information through sound?" He hopes to guide us into a sonic utopia by the end of the semester. During the RT, Karl has an open conversation with guest lecturer Jorge Sanches-Chiong; a composer based in Darmstadt/GER and Vienna. Karl and Jorge start by asking: “What is sound?” The lecture consists of numerous examples and demonstrations of different embodiments of sound:

  • High frequency noise (17-18000hertz); some of us could hear it, some noticed a noise, others did not (people above 25 years lose the ability to hear high frequencies)

  • John Cage: 4`33``(silence). Silence is impossible to hear; hence it is impossible to experience silence. Piece of silence in sonic dead space. Even if it is absolutely silent you still hear noises from your own body.  

  • Alvin Lucier: "I am sitting in a room“ (with the visuals from YouTube: sitting in a room video codec). Sound is modified by the physical space around it. In this context Karl mentions the start-up Ambisonics; a company that reconstructs acoustical space. One can also imagine sound as a mouldable sculpture.

  • Karl Salzmann: Echo in a tunnel

  • Pierre Schaeffer: “Etude aux chemins de fer” (1948) -> recorded noises made by trains.

  • Video of John Cage`s “water walk” from 1960. In this context Black Mountain College was brought up; a progressive art school (1933-1956) where John Cage was teaching.

  • Experiment with sound wave interference (play both frequencies, 220 hertz and 223 hertz at the same time)

  • Kurt Schwitters: “Ursonate”.

  • Steve Reich: “Its gonna rain” (original spoken by a preacher)

  • Composition “Crin” by Jorge Sanchez-Chiong performed by Patricia Kopatchinskaja.

  • Another example by Jorge: “Used Redux”

  • Johannes Kreidler: “Crisis sounds so cool” (Microsoft`s Songsmith fed with stock charts)

  • Music video from Einstürzende Neubauten “Autobahn”.

  • Video from Gillian Wearing: “2 into 1” (1997)

Fact Box

October 20, 2015, 09:30h