jan 21, 2004.


Some time ago I wrote a novella, in (an admittedly somewhat peculiar brand of) english, entitled Mars & other Stars. You probably won't be surprised to hear that 'sound' and 'music' play an important role in the story. Parts of Mars & other Stars are set against the decor of the yearly Stockhausen Courses, in Kürten Germany.
So is Mosquitos, a chapter from Mars & other Stars that recently has appeared as part of the second issue of the Canadian online literary journal Woodenfish.

[ added april 19th, 2005: Meanwhile, 'Woodenfish' has ceased to exist ; issues are no longer online. ]

[ next related SB entries: alLicht :: vicky's mosquitos ]


jan 17, 2004.

It has been a little over three years since the last day of the year two oh oh oh, and it is with great joy that I found out that Michael Peters, German musician and computer-artist/programmer, meanwhile has been able to round off his My2k, a 'sonic diary for the year 2000'.

Michael at the time was one of the driving forces behind a small group of musicians, each of whom set himself the task to record ten seconds of sound/music, ten seconds for every day of the year, in order to compile what should be a 'sonic diary for the year 2k'.

It is one of those things that are easier said than done, and as far as I know Michael has been the only one of the participants who actually, be it three years later, completed his year 2k sound diary in the originally intended form.

[Come to think of it: maybe this is not completely correct. For a moment I forgot about Jeff McLeod, who, if I remember rightly, already in mid-2001 announced his my2K, Ye Shall Be Cut Into Many pieces. At the time, late 2002, when I had some email contact with Jeff, he wrote at some point that he would send me a copy. That I never received. So it is maybe more correct to say that Michael's y2k sound diary is the only complete one that I have heard ... There is also a related My2k-CD by the British guitarist David Cooper Orton, who settled for a collection of 52 weekly one-minute pieces.]

Michael Peter's 'final collection' is accessible in two formats.

First there is the my2k web site, which presents the project truly as a diary. By means of a series of calendars, one for each month of the year, you can access every single one of the 365 366 ten second long recordings, and read a short description for each of them.

The complete series is also available from Michael's web site as a nicely packaged limited edition CDr. Here, gathered in 52 'weekly' tracks (+ a 53th bonus) the year passes as a continuous collage of snippets of raw field recordings, street, travel & nature sounds, voices, telephone messages, samples electronically processed in different ways, and many, many short fragments of all sorts of musics, as, of course!, this is a musician's diary.

"No strict rule was applied," Michael writes in the liner notes. "Usually, I tried to record the sound of a day on that specific day, but sometimes there was not enough time, so I created the sound for that day on the day after. Also, sometimes so many interesting sounds happened on one single day that I used them for several days afterwards."

The CDr takes as its motto a quote of Luciano Berio's: "Music is all that what I hear with the intention to hear music." (cf. factuals)

I've been finding myself listening to My2k over and over again these days. Starting with the new year's fireworks over the city of Cologne one enters a maelstrom of ever changing and very divers sound environments. We are with Michael playing his guitar, traveling to Switzerland by train, at his birthday party, Michael rehearsing, jamming, performing, introducing himself at a computer training course in London, in his kitchen, attending talks and performances, playing around with his computer, spending the summer in Italy and on Majorca, at the Expo 2000, on his balcony, walking in the hills near Cologne, witnessing his neighbour sawing through a thick piece of wood, listening to his old father's message on the answering machine, playing his guitar, playing his guitar, recording this and then treating that - fanfares, balloons, steel discs, playing some more of his guitars, walking on hard snow, walking on soft snow ... and all of it inevitably leading up to yet another moment of fireworks over the city of Cologne. The same, but also different. For that is the way our times are passing.

There's the personal and there's the universal, there are the hang-ups, the idiosyncrasies, and sometimes even the obvious. As in any serious diary.

Thanks for this, Michael.

[ next related SB-entry: more!!y2k ]

[ added nov. 2004: Like his 'Escape Velocity' and 'Stretched Landscape #1', now also Michael Peter's 'my2K' is available as part of the British 'Burning Shed' label's fine catalogue. Great! ]

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