january 19, 2007.
+++ 2006 has been a fine year for ookoi (the 'band formerly known as 0 OK, 0:1'). One of several highlights was the making of the '1024', and we are just days now from the release of our kibibyte in one of its major guises: on DVD ... (of course frequenting these pages will keep you informed on this _ soundblog viewers are guaranteed to be among the first ones to know!) ... This new year promises to become as least as busy for ookoi as the past one has been ... But despite a full and fulfilling first one, we have started preparations for a Second Life ... We indeed do think this is the way things are going =>>> ... it'll be the way of our world...
The picture above sets tone and pace. It comes with a 32nd (!) raudio podcast
documenting ookoi's very first - secret and solitary - 2L performance, at
the May West Golden Era Nightclub (situated on the third floor
of the Aman Male Shapes Bodies Store), on sunday january 14th ...
And whereas our virtual hair-dos are pretty much impeccable, compared to our First Life's outfits ookoi's virtual clothing may seem to leave ample room for improvement. Or does it? Do we need to be hiring a top-notch Second Life tailor soon? ( * ) +++
Going through one more winter so soft and often sunny that some days I
step outside wearing nothing but a t-shirt, for me snow and ice now seem
unreal and 'other-worldly' ... almost as if they are a once-has-been, accessible in
memory only. With but the idea kept alive through brute force involving
a lot of steam and pumping, on many a european square, like here in Paris
on the place de l'Hôtel de Ville, or on the Amsterdam Museumplein. That's
why it sort of made me giggle when I came across a recent call of the german
collective Gruenrekorder ("Sammelbecken für Hörkunst")
to send in field recordings 'of snow and ice' for an online collection.
I submitted a recording ... of course there are some on the 'day-by-day'
cassettes that I have been recording for many years now. And I remembered
one, which I was able to find it back fairly easily. It was made while C. and
I were snow walking out in the woods near Saint Lary / Pla d'Adet in the
french Pyrenees. That was on the sixth of january of 1998 ...
I somehow had hoped that listening to The Sound of Snow and Ice would make me feel all cold and chilly ...
(Ah ... memories ! ... now I see myself sliding and creaking early one early long ago morning, wearing a red woolen jumper, jeans and second hand black leather shoes, over frozen snow along a deserted Bradiston Road, London W9, walking to a shop around the corner to buy a package of cheddar and some instant coffee for breakfast; the sun's shining brightly, not a cloud in sight ...)
... well, it did not. But it's a fine collection of recordings nevertheless. Great sounds. Like the zrrshrseicrakczzrikqiss of Anders Östberg's thirty seconds of thin ice, with the double+ zrrshrseicrakczzrikqiss of martin clarke ice pushing near two minutes of minutely detailed zrrshrseicrakczzrikqiss ... or the curious lake-ice booming phenomenon as captured by Curt Olson and Rich Peet ; the intricate rhythms and color-melodies of Marcel Türkowsky's Eisspiel ... Like C. and myself Michael Peters is snow walking in woods, in the woods near Hebborn. And sometimes ... he stops ... and there's silence, or a bird's singing ...
Some great titles as well, for snow and ice ... well, for most these (still) are foremost fun ; ... like in Keith de Mendonca's 'cracking thin ice with my heel' and 'snow kicking' (kicking at a large pile of compressed snow in the street, and then squashing and compressing some softer snow underfoot).
My favorite title is that of the shortest contribution to the collection, by Jörg Koch .. Jörg's sound, sounding not much over five seconds : 'Anja wirft einen Eiszapfen auf einen zugefrorenen Tümpel' ... +++
+++ Here's a couple of pictures taken at the opening in the Point Ephémère on friday january 5th, of the fourth Octopus festival, dedicated to inventeurs d'instruments (inventors of instruments), and their music ...
The first two show Eric van Osselaer's and François Reys' cyclophone in action : home built 'wind instruments' activated and controlled by means of a home trainer sort of bicycle ... The second two give an impression of the large collection of 'junk electronics' used by Vincent Bondet for his 'Magnetic [sound and light] feedback synthesizer' ... I think this year's edition of the festival was a particularly interesting one, and I only can hope that (some of) you have seen more of it than I did ... not for lack of interest, but mainly for lack of time (there's too many things happening in parallel, one needs parallel lives to keep up) ... So I missed yesterday's (friday january 19th) concert at the Centre Pompidou, with Monolake, and some of the monumental constructs of Jacques Rémus (with Rolf Suddmann) ... and I'll miss today's event at the Point Ephémère a concert with the the british Modified Toy Orchestra, and the photosonic synthesis of Jacques Dudon ... [ Observe that I mention here my not going, because it enables me, in a natural way to include links to the websites of the 'artists missed in concert', thus compensating my 'not going' by 'virtual' visits ... I missed their concerts, but I - and you - still got to know (about) them and their work ... ] +++
En passant j'ai remarqué, par hasard, la cassette audio cassée à l'intérieur de votre véhicule. Je collectionne des cassettes cassées ... Si vous avez l'inention de la jeter, j'aimerais bien la récuperer ... Vous pourriez la laisser dans cette envelope, derrière l'essuie-glace par exemple ; ou m'appeler au 06 xx xx xx xx ... je passe plusieures fois par jour en accompagnant les enfants à l' école. Merci."
+++ This is the note that I left in a large brown envelope behind the windscreen wiper of a car parked in the avenue Quinson, just around the corner from where I live, on tuesday july 4th last year. For those not understanding french: I had noticed the broken cassette tape inside the car (see the picture), and asked the car's owner - surely one of the construction workers that at the time were working on the re-building of part of the Lycée Berlioz - whether he'd be willing to give it to me ... When I went back to have a look, about two hours later, the tape indeed had been put inside the envelope ... It was not really badly broken, actually, and easy to repair. It is the 351st item in the Found Tapes Exhibition. Fragments of what was on it (a mix of antillean music) are part of the 63rd montage ... [ fotex 63 ... ] ... Most remarkable among the finds in the 63st acquisition I think is number 352. I seem to have picked it up on the rue Diderot, which is in an area where I hardly ever come. It is near the tax office, so maybe I had been there when I found it? I can not remember the actual finding, but what I pulled out of the envelope in which I kept it was a very large clod; it must have been most of the tape to which it once belonged. When unknotting and rewinding it, I found out that one side of the tape was empty. And on the other side there was only one song, that had been recorded onto it over and over again: a french 'classic' from 1942, Mon Amant de Saint-Jean, by Lucienne Delyle. Someone must have wanted to hear this song, and only this song, again and again and again ...
"Moi qui l'aimais tant,
Mon bel amour, mon amant de Saint-Jean,
Il ne m'aime plus
C'est du passé
N'en parlons plus ... "
Also in the montage I made, you'll hear it again and again and again ...
Those that have followed a bit my 'found tapes work' (entering its fifth year now) will know that the fact that it is me that is finding the clods and stuff is an essential part of the project. The finding is 'personal', a 'private act'; the ever growing list of sound fragments, pictures and descriptions the account of a 'personal quest'. So, unlike for example Zoe Irvine is doing in her Magnetic Migration Music, I do not (at all) explicitly invite people from all over to send me their finds, and when asked (which with the passing of time tends to happen ever more often) in general I will discourage them to do so, and refer them to Zoe ... But, well, you will have noticed that I do make exceptions ( ** ) ... as again with the 356st item, which was found by Rinus van Alebeek early august last year in Berlin, and send to me as a wonderful package, with the following description of the finding (in Dutch):
"Voor het eerst gezien om 2.45, 5 augustus 2006 op de hoek van de Hauptstrasse en Emma-Ihrerstrasse in Berlijn. In die nacht keerde ik terug van de Tape Wedding Special in die Alte Buchbinderei, waar Der Tapeman, Marcel Tücholsky, Stephane Leonard, So en ik optraden voor in grote getallen verschenen publiek.
De Hauptstrasse begint bij het Ostkreuz, verandert een paar keer van naam en voert naar Köpenich, langs afgebroken Sovjetlegerbarakken, volkstuinen en het radiozendhuis van de ex-DDR.
De volgende dag (niet morgen) ben ik teruggekeerd. De nacht ervoor had het geregend; de zondag zelve enigszins grauw. Om 13.37 verzamelde ik de tapes, daarbij bekeken door vrouwen in middelbare leeftijd, die naast hun man in de auto zaten en voor het rode stoplicht moesten wachten. Ik ben ook nog overgestoken, daar liep een man die zong en tegelijkertijd sigaar rookte.
Niemand heeft me iets gevraagd [...]"
I will be going to Berlin soon, to take part in the second edition of Rinus' das kleine field recording festival, which will be happening on the 3rd, and between the 7th and 11th of february. I will be there from the 7th until the 13th, and apart from two dictaphone performances, I will do a lot of found tape work in Berlin that week, in two different places. In one of those, Kunstprojektraum Takt, I will prepare an expo/installation that will stay on as part of a larger 'sound exhibition' that is there from february 17th until march 31st ...
Looking very much forward to seeing Berlin again. I was in Berlin only once before, when there still was a wall running through it ... for one curious week, early september of 1984.
Times have been a-changin' ... +++
notes __ ::
(*) This is more than just a joke; as with all good jokes there is something deep lurking below ... Part of what ookoi was and continues to be about, has to do with dislocatedness and disembodiment of performances ... where is the music, who is playing it, and when ? ... [ ^ ]
(**) Which makes me remember that some time ago I got an email from someone I met during my stay in the Etay loft in Montreal two years ago. He had just been spending some time in Delhi, and kept "seeing halfway-unspooled cassette tape lying around on the street". Finally he decided to pick some of it up, and he asked me whether I'd be interested in having it. Well, I was curious to find out what would be on a tape picked up from a Delhi street, so I replied saying that I'd be happy to have it. But it somehow never arrived ... Let me try to find out what happened to it ... And wouldn't there be someone out there in Delhi interested in inviting me over to pick up the others ... ;-) ... ? [ ^ ]