june 18, 2005.
The eight Placard festival kicked off on june 2nd in Montreal, and will be running until early september. As our ZandOog project ended at midnight of may 29th, we actually did a Placard Prologue. So did several other 'sites' in april and may. Whence, our 8 hour live streaming event, on sunday may 29th, became the finale in a series of 'prologues' to this year's edition of the 'international headphone festival' ...
Like our bi-monthly Raudio stream, the 'Placard Prologue' involved contributions from 'all over the globe' ... streaming contributions arrived from spots to the west, to the east, to the south and to the north of Ameland ... Most exotic among these undoubtedly has been our 'eastern connection': Park artist Alberto de Michele's contributed by 'skyping' to ZandOog live from a cafe - just before closing time - in the Chinese town of Xiamen. Using Park's own white iBook G4 (that he took along to China), and the cafe's wireless connection ... - [the sheer novelty of it all, still amazed and thrilled by the simple fact that this works ... that one may set up instantly a such virtually no-cost 'audio connection' between a tiny Dutch island and China, and 'rock it on, all over the world' ... we used Nicecast to stream to Placard's shoutcast server, and simply relayed Alberto de Michele's 'skype session' by choosing Skype as source for our 'nicecast' ...] - listen to (part of) Alberto's 'live from Xiamen' contribution in the sixth ZandOog Podcast ...
Also DaveX (which you may know as the host of the fine "It's Too Damn Early" show, broadcasted weekly on FM, and on the web) skyped to the Placard, live from his home in Carbondale, IL, USA. A great contribution/improvisation, both fun and exciting, based as it was on Dave's earlier somewhat peculiar use of Skype: "After I downloaded the program," he wrote, "I set to calling random people until I got someone. I reached some fellow in the UK, who got to listen to me play LA Style's 'James Brown is Dead' to him until he hung up. So he called back, you know... 'Hello? Hello? who is this???' etc... while I played parts of the song again. He was terribly confused, so I clarified that I just wanted to connect to a random person to see if they could hear music. Anyway, seems to work! So I continued "calling" random people with the program, and playing them sounds (including your Anti-Bruit noises) to see if any of them will improvise with the sounds. So far, I have had one taker, who actually made it a conference call... it sounds like he chose to flip a radio dial all over the place in order to improvise with me. For my Placard contribution, I'm going to broadcast some of these improvisations, as well as do some live improv of my own..."
The new, fifth, edition of Raudio has the Ameland 'Sand-Y (ZandOog)' project as its theme. All along this edition's 'runtime' (which probably will be until mid-august) I will continue to add sound bytes, bits, pieces and fragments to the stream. Sounds recorded on the island and a selection of our earlier recordings of the sounds of the island (GeluidEiland - Isle of Sound) will mingle with the sounds made and recorded in our 'Sand-Y' studio. Some of these you may recognize from our series of 'ZandOog Podcasts, many you never heard before - all part of the basic material for a new series of 0 ok, 0:1 tracks. Moreover, Raudio #5 will fill up with many, many short extracts from the direct-to-disk recordings made of the performances of all contributors to the ZandOog Placard ...
Raudio #5 >> Island- + Studio- + Placard - sounds ... which all together will conjure up ... to may be some sort of a 'Sand -> Storm' ... ?
Ate M. Hes contributed, from Utrecht in the Netherlands, an energetic 30 minutes up tempo plunder-mix; and Erebus (Emmanuel Ferrand) streamed from Bures-sur-Yvette, a little to the south of Paris, using some of his self-built 'sounders' and instruments (have a closer look at the 'bowable forest of metal rods' in the pictures) to create slowly developing fields of pulsating sound which accompanied and commented upon a series of (French) spoken texts, recorded from French national radio (France Culture), or with his family at home. He burnt these recordings onto a CD, that he played back during his performance using an old CD-player, which, because of its unpredictability, became an important factor in the performance ... "[Ce vieux lecteur] avait des problèmes pour lire le CD gravé, et au bout d'un certain temps," he wrote, "il a refusé tout simplement de lire le CD ... et entre temps il a ajouté des distortions et autres artefacts imprevus ! ..."
Then ... ah! ... Peter Mertens did a whole 30 minute 'Play with Vicky' ... seated at a table in the gallery's garden, bottle of whisky within reach. As shortly before the start of his 'doing Vicky' it began to rain, in one hand he had one of the gallery's big green umbrella's (I did mention them before ...). In the other he held a microphone, plugged into his Mac laptop's 'Garageband', the output of which was streamed on by Nicecast (via Dit Eiland's 'wifi hotspot') to the placard shoutcast server. 'FPCM doing Vicky' looked fantastic ... (He should do her again! :-) ... It was also an interesting and quite surprising 'interpretation', as he actually completely eliminated the (sound of the) Vicky recording. FPCM read the full text himself (merely, in the beginning, using Vicky's declamation as a guiding track, to get the tempo right), accompanied by nothing but the ticking of rain on the umbrella, and - towards the end - the singing of the birds in the gallery's' garden ...
Top of the bill on the Placard evening's program were two contributions from European S-countries. First of these by Blinder Kinder who performed for the ZandOog Placard from their studio in the Swiss town of Bienne (as it is known to french speakers), or Biel (as say the german speakers).
'Blinde Kinder' ... I think that is a great name for a
sound improv project ... it's german for "blind kids"; the name
stems from the title of a found old [1960/70's (?)] vinyl album, 'Blinde
Kinder helfen bauen', with music performed by a 'band' of blind children.
(I do not have the album, nor know much more about it; all I have is this
scan of the front cover, that Jonas
Kocher has been kind enough to mail to me.) On the record's cover the
children - most of which, judging from the picture, play recorder - pose
on a slightly sloping lawn (they are 'going downhill') in a garden, which
probably belongs to the institution that is occupying the building we see
in the background. Is this the place where these young musicians were 'kept'?
Is it a day school? Or a boarding school? Or maybe a hospital? And who is
the band leader? Is it the elder guy that stands to the right of the drummer,
pretending to play the violin? ...
The record's title is at least as fascinating as is its cover photo ... The first thing that springs to mind - so I guess this is what one wants us to believe - is that the blind kids produced this album and now are selling it because something needs to be build ... And Building Costs ... So the blind kids decided to step in, by making an album, and donating the profits to the building project ... 'blind kids help to build' ... But then what is it that is in need of being built so badly that it will ask blind children for (financial) support? The record's back cover - that which is behind the album - might provide some more information on this, but as said, I only have this one picture ... And, in view of this lack of supplementary information, the record's title might as well be hinting at the fact that by buying the record one will 'help blind kids to build' ... hence that the kids will be doing the building themselves ... Well, let us suppose they will. Then they'll be building what? ... a future, maybe? ... Possible, of course. Plausible, maybe ... But do you see that there is still a third way to interpret the record's title? An interpretation that un-covers the perverse flip side of a such 'project' ... That surely was not initiated by one these 'blind kids' themselves, but by someone neither blind nor a kid ... Did they da or njet realize that, rather than 'blind kids help to build' or 'help blind kids to build', a such project will 'help to build blind kids' ...? (Having stumbled upon this third reading, it actually has become near impossible for me to see the album's cover and title in any other way ...)
Blinde Kinder are Jonas Kocher and Raphael Raccuia. They bear this fabulous name well, I think. I met Jonas in Paris, where he just - mere days before the ZandOog Placard - ended a 6 month stay at the Cité Internationale des Arts. Jonas and I seem to share, at the very least, a passion for curious and unusual sound recordings, be it on cassette or on vinyl record, found at curious and unusual spots ... in order to subsequently re-use them in curious and unusual ways, either in fully improvised or in more or less 'composed' contexts ... Witness the origin of the name 'Blinde Kinder', and the duo's well-constructed ZandOog Placard set, in which they used the improvised 'détournement' of diverse sources, like "Le pape à Genève" (LP, Ave Records), "Mon auto Jésus la guide" (Disques Croisade), "Hans Straub mit sine Ländlerfründe" (Disques Frontier), "Epanouir sa sexualité" (MC, Louis Berald Editeur), "Contact, curiosité, confiance" (MC, v.s.r. international), and many more.
During the performance by Blinde Kinder it remained uncertain for quite a while whether we'd be able to get in touch with 'International Garbageman' Björn Eriksson (aka miulew), our second 'S-country' contributor. In fact, Björn was not at home in Sollefteå (Sweden). He had been on a sea-cruise for most of the weekend, but took his laptop and arranged to join in the Placard's stream upon arrival, on sunday evening, from a friend's place in Stockholm. Eventually, just minutes before Jonas and Raphael ended their set, Björn did check in from 'somewhere in Stockholm' ... As he still needed to set things up, he started playing quite a bit later than originally planned, but in the end also this 'outside' contribution went 'online' as planned (yes, we're proud of that ! :-) ...) In his laptop set, miulew used Audiomulch, with MetaSurface. "For sounds I was using some sound injury sound bites and also some Tapegerm loops from 2001," Björn wrote. "As you will remember I was a bit late - and suddenly it was all time for me to 'go live' - so I did not prepare my set as much as I would have liked to. I have been using a more prepared version of my setup for my own 'practicing placard' ("Echo Point Scandinavia", on june 6th), and in my contribution to the 'go_to_zo!" placard in Poitiers (june 11th) ... One can say that your placard prologue for me has been a starting point for this branch of live audiomulching this summer ..."
For, yes, of course, the eight edition of Placard has only just started, and will continue ... somewhere, anywhere ... all through this summer, until september 4th. We might join in here and there. And we might even organize some more before this edition ends ... Thanks so much to all that participated in 'ZandOog' ... We had a blast ... And do check out the 'surviving' sound bits in the fifth edition of Raudio ...
[ added june 29th, 2005: Jonas Kocher meanwhile has sent me some more information on the 'Blinde Kinder helfen bauen' record. I actually mistakenly - somewhat automatically - took it to be a long play (12 inch, 33rpm) record. I saw it 'bigger' than it is, as it actually is of 7 inch diameter. Jonas also sent me a scan of the record's back cover (to give me a clearer idea of what is behind the record ...) Amidst four black and white pictures of (blind) children involved in different (school, sport) activities there is this text: "Musizieren zur frohen Unterhaltung gehört zur Freizeitbeschäftigung einer Gruppe Jugendlicher im Schulheim für blinde und sehschwache Kinder in Zollikofen. Mit der vorliegenden Schallplatte will diese Muzikgruppe Sie erfreuen. Der Erlös aus dem Verkauf dient der Verwirklichung des vom Schweizerischen Blindenverband Bern geplanten Erholungs- und Ferienheims für Blinde." The little record's catalogue number is Orion VD 208 ... ]
[ Earlier related SB entries: Raudio #04 - GespRek 1982/2005 :: Da-Y #4 - da Birds :: Vicky: update #02. Upcoming and related SB entries: Raudio #06 :: Vicky Choc Special :: Tin(g)tin(g) in Switzerland ]
About the Placard international Headphone Festival on the SoundBlog:
(june 20, 2003) - live chronicles
(july 13, 2003) - gaité lyrique
(may 13, 2004) - tafelmuziek placard
(may 31, 2004) - old bears new tricks
(june 18, 2005) - zandoog placard & cd
|→ (july 27, 2005) - tafelmuziek: placard & cd
(july 31, 2005) - tafelmuziek: paradiso placard
(july 07, 2006) - de_'tails of lite house keeping'
(july 30, 2006) - "le zida ne passera pas par moi..."
|→ (august 14, 2006) - placard : la générale
(october 20, 2006) - Funky Shit!
(november 05, 2006) - Cellarlar Heroes
(february 12, 2008) - Karlheinz's Song of Praise
|→ (august 08, 2009) - (Le) CLeUb, Placard, CLeUb
|→ (august 04, 2012) - 72 Hours of Post-Nuclear Survival
tags: raudio, zandoog, ameland, placard
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