february 15, 2007.
On monday february 5th, the evening before I rushed off for das kleine field recording festival and a week of 'found tapes' in Berlin, with ookoi we <press>_en_ted the first copies of 1024, our kibibyte on DVD, during an intimate gathering around the grand piano in art-society Arti et Amicitiae, on the corner of Rokin and Spui in Amsterdam.
The kibibyte is a collection of one thousand and twenty four seven second extracts that we diligently cut this summer from the recordings of ookoi's live performances and interventions over the last two years, roughly between the summer of 2004 and that of 2006.
"All the King's horses, and all the King's men ...," ... once all of it has come apart, how do we get it back together again?
It was a puzzle and a technical challenge to stick these one thousand and twenty four sound bytes onto a DVD in such a way that playing it back would result in an ever changing and never ending patchwork of sounds, picked as if at random out of 'the bag' ... A first idea of course was to stick 1024 tracks onto it, and play these 'at random'. Which is the easy way to 'materialize' the kibibyte as an application running on your computer, or as a flash application in your browser. But there are several restrictions on the DVD format that make this a rather difficult thing to do on a DVD intended for playback in your DVD player. First of all, there is the holy number 99: a DVD cannot contain more than 99 tracks, and each track cannot contain more than 99 markers ... And though the rather primitive scripting possibilities do include a 'random' function, we have yet to encounter a player in which this 'random' is able to convince you that indeed there is something being done 'randomly'. All tests we did resulted in a fixed series of numbers being produced, always the same, and often according to a silly rule, like 'all uneven numbers starting from 5'.
Without going into all of the nasty details, we eventually ended up organizing the kibibyte into 64 tracks, each containing 16 markers, corresponding to 16 seven second films (each one containing one of the 1024 sound bytes, showing a seven second 'color sweep' and the sound's 'rank' number). We used some devious calculative trickery, to produce unpredictable playback in most (though unfortunately not all) players, jumping between and inside tracks. 1024, mind you, is tough on your playback head, which is continuously being sent surfing from one side to the other. The cheapest players somehow seem to give the most satisfactory results. You might also consider copying it onto your hard drive and play it in your computer's DVD-player directly from your hard drive ...
needless to say, but ookoi's pretty pleased with the result ... Also on
CD ( * ) the tracks - with the notable exception
of its 'fixpoint' 05.
Tafel 05 - were assembled from dislocated parts, all lifted from the
recordings we did in residency at 'Dit Eiland' in may 2004. You might compare
them to Daniel Spoerri's tableaux pièges, in which one of many
possible configurations or 'states' of an ongoing meal at a table has been
fixed (frozen) for once and for all. Now '1024' is one step beyond: here
the constituent parts keep shifting, giving rise to a music that continuously
re-assembles itself into different states, as different projections of one
Dutch artist Rob Scholte was responsible for the intriguing and fitting graphics on the cover and on the DVD itself.
Buy your copy of '1024' fast and secure online, using your PayPal account or creditcard, by clicking the button here below :
presentation is a premiere" ... The <press>_en_tation on monday
february 5th in Arti was a premiere. But it was not the first one. I think
there has not been a first one. Maybe also there will be no last
Some presentations will come with derived works. Like when, on october 8th of last year, FPCM recited a random permutation of the numbers 1 to 1024, only accompanied by me mistreating an innocent vintage Philicorda organ ... Or that monday february 5th in Arti, where FPCM and me played one thousand and twenty four notes on the art-society's grand piano ...
But if we consider things in order ... Were we really playing? ... Was that really us? ... Were we actually there? ... And come to think of it ... the thing there, on the wall behind the piano ... is that really a painting by Breitner?
notes __ ::
(*) I actually do think that the one should go with the other. So here's an offer: if you order the 1024 DVD (it costs € 10.24, as you might have guessed) and mention 'CD footnote' in your email order, it will come together with a free copy of the Muziektafel CD ... [ ^ ]
(**) To subscribe to the Raudio Podcasts, get the feed's URI by clicking the green podcast button in the sidebar ... [ ^ ]
tags: ookoi, 1024, Amsterdam
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february 13, 2007.
As part of this february 2007's "Collaborations
Issue" (Issue #12)
of the fine web magazine Mungbeing - itself an international collaboration
between Jody Franklin (Canada) and Mark Givens (US) - you will find a CD
worth's collection of very rare tracks taken from my archives.
Many of these were never published before ... The recordings date from the
early 1980's, the years in which Ronald Heiloo and myself, with the help
from a few others, embarked upon a project in which we tried to (re-)create
the music of a whole series of imagined - fictive - bands and musicians.
Eventually, towards the end of 1983, two 'chapters' from our Pop Fictions - the polish Bogdan Wlosik and the french Agonie Ajournée - appeared as albums on the Amphibious Records label, but they hardly were distributed at all ...
These are rarities ...( * )
I have selected eleven tracks for Mungbeing, which I would suggest you download and listen to in the order in which they are listed. The first one is one of the three parts of 'You and Me', a formal mix of single piano tones and tape loops of recordings of us shutting doors, running up and down stairs and breaking empty beer bottles. In the collection of tracks it functions like an opening parenthesis.
Follow two of the five tracks of the Bogdan Wlosik album (Amphibious A010,
august 1984): Pan Zachodniak ('mister Westerner') and Zoni
Musi Gotowac ('my wife still has to cook'). And two tracks from the
Agonie Ajournée album (Amphibious A011, august 1984): l'Héritage
and la Parade Sauvage.
These two times two alternate with two selections (one of three and one of two) from the nineteen 'Orgel en Gitaar' tracks, that we recorded onto two tracks of my four track TEAC reel-to-teel machine during a week early 1985. These were meant to be the starting point for pieces by yet another ficitive band, for which I cannot remember whether at the time we already had a name, but Hollandse Meesters (Dutch Masters) will do very well ...
You'll hear Ronald here playing a small blue Philips organ, probably a 'Philicorda'. I was playing the guitar. Never published, never even completed afterwards, bare and sketchy, but still sounding as magical as they did twenty two years ago ...
As the closing parenthesis there is one of the three 'Projekt 1' pieces
that I did in 1984 at the Utrecht Institure for Sonology, using a (numerical)
output from Gottfried Michael Koenig's PR1 program. The output was interpreted
as a 'score' of a piece for nine 'instruments', six of which were realized
electronically through Werner Kaegi's VOSIM system, which was able to play
PR1 outputs. The other three instruments were interpreted as three different
ways of playing the piano.
I recorded the VOSIM parts at the institute in Utrecht, the piano parts at home in Amsterdam, and then spliced the whole thing together ....
[ Mungbeing - issue #12 : 'Pop fictions, by dutch masters', by Harold Schellinx and Ronald Heiloo ]
added may 9th, 2009: I recently found back a few unopened boxes with mint copies of many (but not all) of the Amphibious vinyl editions. You can order the very last remaining - and as good as new - copies of these dutch 1980s post-punk masterworks from the Amphibious 'Buy Vinyl!' page ...
notes __ ::
(*) But some of the copies are 'out there', though. They sometimes pop up in second hand stores, all over the world ... Just recently I came across an entry in TRIC, a free Delaware/Philadelphia based zine. The issue was from may/june 2001, and had a section headed "Hey Everybody! I collect vinyl, and here are some recent albums I got for dirt cheap:" .... Bogdan Wlosik was one of them. "Strange. 1984 Polish political lyrics put to music that sounds like primitive Blonde Redhead," the author writes. "Very dissonant mixture of violins, a harmonium, keyboards, tea cup, and a cardboard box." [ ^ ]
tags: Amphibious, post-punk, Amsterdam
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