Charlie Usher (BE/UK) is a composer living in Brussels, working with heart-on-sleeve cultural samples, rotary and handmade speaker installations, live instruments, detailed editing protocols and horizontal time structures.

CV (2021)



pieces / edits / projects / etc





description:


Rework of Federico Luz track PAN.
.wav, .mp3 and cassette release
Live version for speaker, percussion, keyboard and chamber organ.

5' duration




I step into the unknown
we create our own rules and live far away in the wilderness
we don't care about society and civilization
to sing and evoke the good spirits
to tell the future
to give advice
to teach new rituals
my uniform, I put it on to feel more inside the element
to understand more about the past the present and the future
I am a traveler a hunter a collector
I come from different places
stand by me
Pan stand by me







speaking voice, flutes: Federico Luz
piano: Charlie Usher


score step in
Step in, piano autotranscription





description:

Radio edit of various pieces 2015-2021 -
16' duration


Mixed feelings studio lo-tech
Mixed feelings DO copy
Mixed feelings standing device
Mixed feelings [no title]
Mixed feelings x within a circle
Mixed feelings a touch scroll a slow gaze
Mixed feelings nu chair nu you
Mixed feelings yæself/wæself
Mixed feelings Winona
Mixed feelings a sharp zoom a jump cut
Mixed feelings [no title]
Mixed feelings fresh cuts fresh cuts
The essentials (playback, supplementary media (piano, instruments, sine waves, etc)) (ongoing)
The basics (10' loop, installation)
So calm and don't want to end (piano and playback)






Studio recording by An Assembly BBC studios 2021




score mixed feelings




description:


Soundtrack for Heart-crack, with Deborah Birch.






curatorial text:


Film for 100 Ways to say We, a co-production of Theater Neumarkt & Goethe-Institut / Performing Architecture in collaboration with Sale Docks & Florian Malzacher.

100 Ways to Say We is an online platform, a pre-enactment of multiple future visions, a speculative-utopian take on the possibilities of the concept of We. Artists, theorists, and activists from around the planet share diverse ways of living together – from the perspective of an imagined future: a map of voices, stories, and opinions that revolve around the idea of a diverse, contradictory, and ambitious We, which eventually creates an Archive of the Future.

The project started with the initial questions evolving around recent observations on newly emerging and strengthened We-Identities as its starting point:

Who is We? Who says We on behalf of whom? Who has the right to do that? Who is excluded, and who defines who is heard?

To say We, to build a We, seems to be a political action. But what is the common ground for this We, what are the foundations of the/our We-Identities? To say We in the name of a will, a community, a cause, has both exclusionary and inclusionary effects. We mobilizes and organizes. To say We can empower some while demonizing others. Is there a universal We? Or is this idea of a We rather an illusion, a construct, and it has never been about We, the people – including everyone – but always about the differences and particularisms of the various We-Identities?

Perhaps there are reasons to distrust any We, to call attention to differences and to point out privileges and hierarchies. But there is also the danger of fragmentation: For decades neoliberalism has been separating society into individuals and has undermined collectivity. Is this perhaps the right time to challenge the necessity of a new We – a transversal collective will in which a multitude of demands can come together and create new imaginaries for our future?

Artists, theorists, and activists from around the planet were commissioned to share their views, hopes, reflections, utopias from a chosen point of time and place. 100 Ways to Say We – An Archive of the Future holds different takes on the potentials and pitfalls of the idea of We.


Concept by Hayat Erdoğan, Nikolai E. Prawdzic & Florian Malzacher.
Curated by Marco Baravalle, Hayat Erdoğan, Florian Malzacher, David Niederer, Nikolai E. Prawdzic & Susanne Traub.

A co-production of Theater Neumarkt & Goethe-Institut / Performing Architecture in collaboration with Sale Docks & Florian Malzacher. Launched as part of the 17th Architecture Biennale 2021 - La Biennale die Venezia.





requirements:


Resonating transducer sculptures by Nina Emge, 3-channel playback, 17' loop




description:


Sound for sculptures by Nina Emge created for group show at La Becque, Switzerland, curated by Elise Lammer.




curatorial text:


Modern Nature: An Homage to Derek Jarman is a three-year project which comprises the development of a garden and an artistic programme inspired by the life and work of Derek Jarman. Created especially for Modern Nature, the garden located on the lakeside grounds of La Becque is a tribute to the garden Jarman developed at Prospect Cottage. Far from a perfect copy, La Becque s Jarman-inspired garden is actually a reinterpretation of the principles that guided him throughout his gardening process, i.e. working with local and native species, creating scenography based on found elements, devising efficient biodynamic arrangements and avoiding walls or fences.

At La Becque the garden acts as a platform for artistic projects by Swiss and international contemporary artists working across the mediums of video, sculpture, performance and music. In late summer 2019 the first selection of living artists were put in dialogue with what was still a sparse garden and a rather minimal research archive. Ranging from people who had worked closely together with Derek Jarman to younger artists whose practice strongly resonated with themes dear to him, the cohort's connections to Jarman were somewhat intuitive and endorsed the capacity of his legacy to transcend generations and geographies. As a result, this first series of works newly designed or adapted
for this Swiss version of Prospect Cottage emerged under the overarching theme of camp.

Planned as an open-ended process of layering that could evolve over several years, the documented and undocumented synergies taking place between the artists' contributions and the garden flora is gradually granting the garden its autonomy, eventually embodying what a living archive could be.







samples from various Derek Jarman Jubilee and iphone recordings made at Prospect Cottage








requirements:


Devine 15A/G subwoofer cones, cardboard shipping boxes, black power cables, amplifier, .wav file, media player, wet acoustic




description:


Twin, custom-made subwoofers sit on the floor with identical coils of black cable on the side furthest from the nearest wall.

The cones, facing up out of their cardboard shipping boxes, vibrate at the rate of 2.5 times per second. This is produced by an extremely powerful sine tone signal of 2.5Hz. The signal moves between increments of 5, 8, 14, 22, then 55, 110, 220 and 440Hz, the tone become less powerful each time so as to retain a relative flatness in volume. The physicality of the sound becomes evident.

When the cone is oscillating at around 22Hz, impulses of samples relating to Francophone hip-hop are superimposed on the signal enhanced with heavy reverb.
Air turbulence created by the movement of the speaker cone modulates the sound of the samples and the physicality of sound become clear.


Et on y va, et on y va
Et on y va, et on y va


Cevi (2018), Marwa Loud










Featuring from Slow Reading Club (Bryana Fritz and Henry Andersen)
Various audio protocols from Mixed Feelings




format/media:
mp3 file




curatorial text:


If time capsules have invaded popular culture, they also offer a prism through which to view art history. Indeed, the history of art is criss-crossed by voluntary temporal suspensions. Examples include the artist Hilma af Klint's ban on exhibiting her abstract paintings for twenty years after her death, as she felt that the world was not yet ready to understand her work, or certain works by Marcel Duchamp (A bruit secret, 1916), or to certain works by Marcel Duchamp (A bruit secret, 1916), Andy Warhol (Time Capsules, 1974-1987) or Daniel Spoerri (Le déjeuner sous l'herbe, 1983), which play on the principle of subtraction from the gaze in order to activate the opening up of meaning, to question our fetishistic relationship to the object, or to encourage an "archaeological" attention to the present time.

In the mid-1970s, a decade marked by profound social and cultural upheavals, the artist Stephen Antonakos chose to project himself into a fantastical future, the 2000s, by inviting Richard Artschwager, Daniel Buren, Sol LeWitt and Robert Ryman to each place a work in a Time box whose contents were revealed at the turn of the 21st century. Although very different, these time capsules raise the question of the trajectory of the works not only from a material point of view - will they be preserved? In what state will they reappear? - but also from the point of view of their interpretation. For as soon as they are detached from their authors, the works are brought into contact with political, intellectual and social contexts that transform their meanings. By drawing attention to different moments of reception of the works, the time capsules underline the way in which they are "translated" by the configurations of the world they encounter.





requirements:


stereo sound, live time-reader, visual clock with seconds

25' duration




description:


Over a mic, a reader reads the time at the moment of the performance, alongside a soundtrack providing 3 pulses deliniating the last 3 of each group of 10 seconds. This is the format of the speaking clock, a telephone service allowing those with, for example, no access to a clock, people synchronising clocks, or people with visual impairments, to know the time.

The content of the soundtrack makes extensive use of copyrighted materials. They are embedded in very noisy background materials - field recordings, harmonic pads, sine tones, and are articulated in the guise of the pulses, all strategies for evading Copyright Detection Algorithm.




curatorial text:


A live speaking clock, performed by Berlin residents on the Grand Stage of Haus der Berliner Festspiele, accompanied musically by pre-recorded compositions from all around the world, will be the closing event of MaerzMusik – Festival for Time Issues 2021. The project, called TIMEPIECE, is based on a work by Peter Ablinger, who articulated the idea to perform live and in real-time the text of the BBC Speaking Clock in his composition TIM Song (2012). TIMEPIECE takes up and extends this idea into a 27-hour video-streamed, multilingual and musically diverse live performance situated in a slow-moving space on the revolving stage of Haus der Berliner Festspiele.


Realisation of Peter Ablinger, TIM Song. A Pop Song for a speaking voice and accompaniment (2012)

Artistic direction: Berno Odo Polzer in collaboration with Daniel KU+00F6tter
Scenography: Elisa Limberg
Light: Marcel Weber
Music curation: Berno Odo Polzer, Harry Glass, Laurens von Oswald, Lendl Barcelos, Baba Electronica, Henry Andersen (Q-O2)






starts at 2:12:30






readers: Am Ertl, Gerhild Heyder








requirements:


2 to 10 channel speaker installation including Elky, Tongggggues, Sweats, etc, tsunami multi-channel .wav player




description:


Mixed feelings is a multi-format context for group listening, bringing together heart-on-sleeve cultural samples, detailed montage protocols, DIY sound systems, live instruments, vintage Leslie cabinets and horizontal time structures


Mixed feelings is a hosting format, a context for placement of multiple unrelated pieces.
The majority of Mixed feelings consists of A-Zs and Reels.


The slow gaze, a touch scroll, a sharp zoom, a jump cut / Juliana Spahr: things of each possible relation hashing against one another / Chris Messina: it's born of the internet, and owned by no one / Radical Software: an x within a circle, the Xerox mark, the antithesis of copyright, which means DO copy / Genesis P-Orridge: Information is like a bank. Some of us are rich. Some of us are poor with information. All of us can be rich. Our job, your job is to rob the bank. To kill the guard.


See A-Zs, Reels, all pieces named Untitles (___) for audio





Without/without/a_doubt_a_doubt_without/doubt/without_a_doubt


requirements:


solo reader, finger clicks (one hand)
or, two readers, finger clicks (one hand each)

always unamplified




description:


Text cropped from Cocteau twins song Lorelei (1984).

The text has been distributed over several minutes, in pieces of 13" separated by a one-second gap.
One hand clicks the beat. The voice follows the placement suggested by the score.

When performed as a duo, reader A) is to start after reader B), reader B)'s tempo slightly faster. At one point they should meet up and diverge.


You come to me broke

Without a doubt
Without a doubt
Without a doubt
Without a doubt
Without a doubt

Without a doubt
Without a doubt
Without a doubt
Without a doubt
Without a doubt

Without a doubt
Without a doubt
Without a doubt
Without a doubt
Without a doubt



(Lorelei (1984), Treasure, Cocteau Twins)





requirements:


specified or unspecified solo or grouped live instruments, or specified or unspecified solo or grouped live instruments and mono or stereo playback,
in addition to requirements pertaining to Mixed feelings (exhibition)




description:


13" long pieces, stand-alone or to be incorporated amongst A-Zs and Reels.




Mixed feelings studio lo-tech

Mixed feelings DO copy

Mixed feelings standing device

Mixed feelings [no title]

Mixed feelings x within a circle

Mixed feelings a touch scroll a slow gaze

Mixed feelings nu chair nu you

Mixed feelings yæself/wæself

Mixed feelings Winona

Mixed feelings a sharp zoom a jump cut

Mixed feelings [no title]

Mixed feelings fresh cuts fresh cuts

Mixed feelings 2019-2020 guitar-zither recital
Mixed feelings 2019-2020 guitar-zither recital
Mixed feelings 2019-2020 guitar-zither recital
Mixed feelings 2019-2020 guitar-zither recital
Mixed feelings 2019-2020 guitar-zither recital
Mixed feelings 2019-2020 guitar-zither recital
Mixed feelings 2019-2020 guitar-zither recital
Mixed feelings 2019-2020 guitar-zither recital
Mixed feelings 2019-2020 guitar-zither recital
Mixed feelings 2019-2020 guitar-zither recital
Mixed feelings 2019-2020 guitar-zither recital
Mixed feelings 2019-2020 guitar-zither recital
Mixed feelings 2019-2020 guitar-zither recital
Mixed feelings 2019-2020 guitar-zither recital
Mixed feelings 2019-2020 guitar-zither recital
Mixed feelings 2019-2020 guitar-zither recital
Mixed feelings 2019-2020 guitar-zither recital
Mixed feelings 2019-2020 guitar-zither recital
Mixed feelings 2019-2020 guitar-zither recital
Mixed feelings 2019-2020 guitar-zither recital
Mixed feelings 2019-2020 guitar-zither recital
Mixed feelings 2019-2020 guitar-zither recital
Mixed feelings 2019-2020 guitar-zither recital
Mixed feelings 2019-2020 guitar-zither recital
Mixed feelings 2019-2020 guitar-zither recital
Mixed feelings 2019-2020 guitar-zither recital
Mixed feelings 2019-2020 guitar-zither recital
(set of 27 pieces for solo amplified guitar-zither (Joni tuning)

Mixed feelings organinos *
Mixed feelings organinos **
Mixed feelings organinos ***
(set of 3 pieces for solo Hohner Organino)

Mixed feelings Godfreys *
Mixed feelings Godfreys **
Mixed feelings Godfreys ***
Mixed feelings Godfreys ****
Mixed feelings Godfreys *****
(set of 5 pieces for solo concert harmonium)





requirements:


stereo playback with supplementary media: multiple versions - solo piano, solo electric piano, solo viola, 6 instruments, 3-channel sine tone installation, laptop+audio interface or tsunami multi-channel .wav player

3' duration




description:


An open-source/creative commons field recording of a commercial space in Germany is pitch shifted a semitone over the course of 2'48".
During this time, the low quality of the pitch-shift renders this process legible as the density of glitches increases the more distant from the original pitch it becomes.
There is a prominent low-G / 49Hz tone throught, provided by the space's air conditioning unit, providing a drone to pop music playing within the space. Coincidentally, the drone is the root note of the key of the songs.

The flexible extraneous media (instruments or sine-tones) superimpose chords which gradually lock-in with the harmonic space of the recording.






Studio recording of 6 instruments version by An Assembly, BBC studios 2021




Version for sines waves and playback





requirements:


audio editing software




description:


Backing track (2019) is a procedure for generating 30' of content for use in multiple other pieces.

The piece doesn't exist in isolation, only activated by its use elsewhere.

Software is used to isolate the vocals of Justin Bieber's song, U Smile. This can be done on Audacity with the 'Isolate vocals' Plugin, or with various other online tools at the editor's discretion.

Each subsection of the song (not as in, verse or chorus, but as in each individual vocal phrase) is cropped and labelled A, B, C, D, etc, and re-ordered as following:
A B C B D A B C D B C D B C E D E F D C E F G, etc,
moving crab-wise through the sections until the end of the song is reached.

The source track's extensive refrain I Smile, U Smile is repeated twice in entirety and the file ends.

Following the procedure, the linearity or continuity of the original Justin Bieber song is retained, whilst a simultaneous processes of decreasing loss of sense of scale and shifting/destabilising relation to the source materials takes place.





U Smile


requirements:


stereo playback, microphone, reading voice

30' duration




description:


U Smile is a hosting / contextualising format.

The content created by the protocol Backing track is diffused in such a way as to be equally present throughout whole performance/installation space.

During this period, according to a specific structural schema, vocal and instrumental interventions of 13" take place at regular intervals.

For example:


A)
For reader, microphone, mono audio (one or multiple speakers), autotune.
Using lyrics from Justin Bieber's original as the input, free online neural network text generation tools (Talk to transformer, InferKit, as of 2021) produces more text content.
The reader's voice is autotuned into the same key of the U Smile.
During the 13" blocks, the reader steadily reads through as much of the text as possible, looping if necessary.


B)
Various 13" pieces from the Mixed feelings instrumentals archive can be performed.
For example, the 27 pieces comprising 2019-2020 guitar-zither recital are designed to sit within Backing track, played in the order suggested in the score.


B)
Various 13" crops from A-Zs or Reels can be diffused.


D)
13" blocks of identical softened brown noise can be diffused over one or more speakers positioned equidistantly throughout the performance/installation space.


E)
A drone can shift from one state to another, for example, from one side of the room to the other, between adjacent rooms, or from one modal space to another.




Short version with A), C) D), E).
Headphone mix 2021


See Untitles for another piece using Backing track.





zitherensemblescore



requirements:


2 flutes, 2 clarinets, percussion, double bass, guitar-zither (Justin tuning)




description:


Unperformed work for guitar-zither and ensemble of uncertain duration.










requirements:


1 or 2 Genelec monitors on custom-made Genelec packing box shelves placed at head-height of composer either alone (mono version) or at composer's arms width apart, relatively wet acoustic, wav files and sound editing software, media player

loop of flexible duration




description:


Tongggggues only appears tethered to several other pieces:

In the context of Mixed feelings, it plays A-Zs and Reels, or any of the Untitles (___) pieces.

Installed in isolation of other works, Tongggggues can only diffuse any of the pieces named Untitles (___).










requirements:


mono or stereo sound system, recordings of speech, music, or field recordings




description:


A recording of a K-pop track is cropped into overlapping 13" fragments, and placed in a folder named /001[K-POP-source]/.
A whole area of K-pop youtube is populated by videos of teenagers singing along a cappella to K-pop songs, the original listened to with an earphone so as to be unheard by the viewers of the video.
A cover version and its source track is to be selected. Synchronisation between the two tracks is essential.
The a capella audio is to be ripped from the youtube video, and the same cropping protocol is to be applied, and placed in a folder named /001[K-POP-cover]/.
The crops shouldn't ever be of exactly the same moment of the source track. A difference of 4"-5" is preferred.

The exception of this should be the climax of the song, for which both the cover and the source should be perfectly synchronised.
The aim of the parsing and interaction of these two categories aim to create various steps of reveal, and to render the relation of the categories more and more tangible.
Isolated crops of /K-POP_source/and /K-cover/ will be parsed amongst other materials, at regular intervals.
Gradually, similar lyrics are heard, and the reveal happens when we hear, at first, the climax crop of /K-POP_source/ and of /K-POP_cover/ in succession, and then simultaneously over seperate speakers.


The tethering of /K-POP_source/ and /K-POP_cover/ to specific opposing speakers is optional.




A-Zs and Reels leading to Untitles (Piano concerto)
headphone (dual-mono) version 2021




requirements:


one or two keyboard instruments, Pianoteq keyboard instrument software




description:


Pianos are tuned with stretched octaves, octaves slightly wider than the 'rational' octave as outlined in the harmonic series. This is where tuning shifts discretely into texture and tone; the sound of the piano has added brilliance and carries further.


In this tuning protocol, two outcomes are possible:

A) (works for one keyboard, or for first keyboard when in works for two keyboards): retaining the keyboards equal tone tuning, each semitone is minutely widened so as to create a difference of a whole tone between the sounding and notated pitch at both the upper and lower ends of the instrument. An uncanny sensation of weightlessness is created.

B) (in works for two keyboards, applicable to the second keyboard only): the same protocol is applied as A), but instead of widening the semitones, they are narrowed to creates a difference of a whole tone between the sounding and notated pitch at both the upper and lower ends of the instrument. A sensation of darkness is created.




programme text:


(to be used in every piece using this tuning:)

Each key of a piano triggers the release of a hammer, which in turn sets in motion two or three strings, each vibrating at the same frequency. Their oscillations are disturbing the air around them in their little ecosystem, and these turbulences push and pull the vibration rate of each of the other string's pitches out of sync, these pitches start to beat; the sound starts to glow.

Piano tuners also create a sort of infinity-curve backdrop for the music the piano will at one point host, by stretching the tuning, higher notes tuned slightly too high, lower notes too low.

They spend whole lifetimes perfecting these techniques, the goal, a piano tuned perfectly to itself, locking-in, then nudged just back to the edge. The texture of the sound is shimmering, an aura, and there's the bloom: the beginning moment of the tonal envelope; where the 'chiff' occurs, the expansion of transient sounds through the initial oscillation to the tonal corpus.










requirements:


Bontempi chord organs, Tapo P100 wifi timer switches, sellotape, bubblewrap and packing beads, cardboard boxes




description:


The major-chord buttons of the bontempis are sellotaped down.

One or more organs are triggered at the same time. This is to provide filler to allow other operations to take place, ie, changing of files, performer positions etc.





requirements:


mono or stereo sound system, recordings of speech, music, or field recordings




description:


A recording is cropped into overlapping 13" fragments, and placed in a folder named /001[categoryname]/.


In the context of Mixed feelings, each recording is parsed evenly amongst fragments belonging to other categories. The original order of the content of the recording is retained, so for example;


Taking the a recording of the following text as source:

I occupied a busy street corner in Asheville, North Carolina, to bless children with bubbles that will make them queer. Not gay and lesbian, but QUEER! Bubbles of course do not have such powers, bubbles have only the power to be bubbles, and some parents knew that and thought the whole thing was funny and would say, "That's cool, I will love my children no matter what." I took notes for the poem.

But MOST parents were not happy about Queer Bubbles at all: "Ooo bubbles, look at the bubbles sweetheart, look at the pretty bubbles." I would blow bubbles for their little hands and say, "These bubbles will assure that your child will grow up to bea healthy, happy, revolutionary Queer who will help rid the world of homophobia, misogyny, racism, and other forms of stupidity." Parents pulled away nervously saying, "Sorry, sorry." One mother abruptly yanked her blond son's hand, "C'mon honey icecream, icecream!" The boy cried, reaching for the bubbles as she refused to look in my direction, pulling him from the queering of the bubbles. Most parents though just said "Sorry, I'm sorry" as they walked away. I took notes for the poem.

(CAConrad, Power Sissy Intervention #1: Queer Bubbles, Wave (Consortium, dist.)

cropped according to this protocol the text would appear like this


I occupied a busy street corner in Asheville, North Carolina, to bless children with bubbles that

children with bubbles that will make them queer. Not gay and lesbian, but QUEER! Bubbles of course

gay and lesbian, but QUEER! Bubbles of course do not have such powers, bubbles have only the power

not have such powers, bubbles have only the power to be bubbles, and some parents knew that and

knew that and thought the whole thing was funny and would say, "That's

would say, "That's cool, I will love my children no matter what." I took notes for the poem.


The tethering of each /001[categoryname]/ to specific speakers is optional.




A-Zs and Reels leading to The Essentials
headphone (dual-mono) version 2021





requirements:


field recordings of public and/or commercial spaces, stereo playback, media player, sound editing software




description:


Open-source/creative commons field recordings of public space are edited according to the following protocol.

Mono version:
A field recording and silence alternate very rapidly, 5-10 times a second.
Heard from up close, a it sounds like white noise alternating with silence.
Heard from further away, filtered through the room and its acoustic, the white noise is revealed as a field-recording, gaps are filled and the sound appears to be continuous.

Dual-mono version
A field recording hard-pan between each speaker very rapidly, at 5-10 times a second.
Heard from up close, a it sounds like white noise alternating with silence.
Heard standing and equal distance between the speakers, the ears sense but fail to read the stereo image.
Heard from further away, filtered through the room and its acoustic, the continuity of the field recording is intact.






Headphone (dual-mono) version 2021





requirements:


field recordings of public and/or commercial spaces, stereo playback, media player, sound editing software




description:


Open-source/creative commons field recordings of public space are edited according to the following protocol.


A stereo field recording is chosen. The texture should of a constant viscosity/level of activity/general level.

The left and right channels are split into individual mono files, files A) and B).

A copy of the same recording has the following formatting protocol applied, creating the following files:

file C) The left channel's waveform is formatted to fade in and out in the shape of a sharp triangle wave, a 1.5 times a second.

file D) The right channel's waveform is formatted to fade in and out in the shape of a sharp triangle wave, a 1.2 times a second.


Montage instructions:

L channel: file A) is triggered, and fades in.
R channel: file B) is triggered, and fades in at the same rate as file A)

The two are synchronised and simulate a stereo recording.


L channel: file A) cross-fades into file C). File A) is therefore no longer present.
R channel: file B) cross-fades into file D). File B) is therefore no longer present.


L channel: file D) fades in and plays simultaneously with file C)
R channel: file E) fades in and plays simultaneously with file D)

Installation of this piece requires two large, identical speakers at around head height, facing slightly away from each other.
It should be diffused at a high level.






Headphone (dual-mono) version 2021








requirements:


Elkatone rotary amplifier, media player, lamp inserted into body of amp, timer switch




description:


In the context of Mixed feelings, Elky can diffuse any archived audio crops.

In an isolated context, the amplifier installed on its own, it and its lamp are to be plugged into a Tapo P100 Wifi timer switched programmed to outline the opening hours of the space, with blocks of an equal defined duration alternating on and off. Its rotary mechanism pedal is to be set to the fastest increment of the 'slow' setting. A media player attached to a separate power source loops a mono track of a duration longer than the length of one of these blocks. The track is therefore never revealed in full, but over the course of the day.





requirements:


flute, clarinet, soprano saxophone, piano, electric piano (or 2 electric pianos), 2 violins, viola, double bass, playback


45' duration



program text:



122 thirteen-second pieces; each in one dimension, anecdotal (oh, that piece in which...) and a state of being or a presence. There's no time to sink into them, and we step back and look at the whole. Hopefully it's all just there, as present as the fern on your windowsill.

So how to lay out 122 pieces, to not stand in their way? Symmetry, each piece as far away as possible from similar ones, to create a sense of flatness, everything on the same plane, to level everything out. The two long exceptions are there to leave traces, to throw everything into a new light. I guess we're here, I guess we're somewhere else. I want to set aside time that's undefined, like the infinity backdrops for a photo shoot. It's no longer about duration or scale but time there for exposure, to chew over the ideas; time to spend some time.

The 122 titles: they're there to shade the content, to bring in the outside world. They're taken from passing thoughts, current interests, things people said, just as the music is composed, lifted and transcribed from other music, non-music, furniture, objects, ideas, and other people's work. It's ambient thought and ideas, the spirit of our day.

Donald Judd designed furniture and said that a good chair is a good chair. When the good ideas don't come I make furniture. Donald Judd made good chairs; the plans are online and I've been building them. He said he's criticised as they aren't comfortable; I agree with his defence that they're good for eating and thinking. I made them for my studio and now I think in them, and listen to things too, and the good ideas come.

I guess music can be just like the chairs, the fern, the spirit of our day, and the photo shoot; it's soft knowledge / no hard fact.










requirements:


grand piano, playback (option 1: mono speaker on stand next to piano / option 2: transducer on sound board of piano)

6' duration




program text:


5 minutes of piano for Miki Sawada -

the (audio) slideshow in a darkened room, game of dissociations;

find that link, stand back, the filmic reveal (maybe music can do it after all...),

old fashioned story-time and a race against infra-time.






Studio recording by Joseph Havlat, BBC studios 2021





requirements:


Playback, 4 solo voices, grain-percussion, highly resonant performing space; optional 8 extra amplified voices voices with auto-tune / pre-recorded keyboard

11'45" duration




program text:


Michael Nardone keeps his receipts for a year and publishes it,

then he says:



From silt casts of our bones potential palaeontologists may someday infer the genealogy of our age, though not the suffering of its inhabitants. From the archived bits of paper we produced as a byproduct of continued existence potential archaeologists may someday infer what we did and where we did it, thought not why. From the whiteness of our teeth and the distance between them, a cashier may infer the extent of our means, though not the ways in which they came to be considered ours. And what can we know about someone besides what they do, anyway?



and I think about:

music as reportage / storytime versus documentary,

illuminating versus staging of text / speech melody versus music melody,

4 people versus 1 person carrying a message.






Live recording.
Performed by EXAUDI directed by James Weeks October 2015








requirements:


piano, steel drums, orchestra




description:


composed with Voyetra Midi Orchestrator Plus piano roll view.

Random clicking and specific shapes (words, triangles, etc) drawn out on screen, copy+pasted, edited, transposed, modified through midi operations, ie. pitch and rhythm randomisation, inversion, etc.








requirements:


unspecified instrumentation (?), voice




description:


piece for voice

Up & down the ball go'es
The ball go'es
up (and) & do-
wn. (it) It is
Rowned. It bou-
ences High & Low.

The End.