MLure.art is a new central blog covering artistic research projects related to Machine Learning (= Artificial Intelligence) in theatre and music. Most of the projects are initiated by me.
Drawing by Katharina Dobner
In this video, a further developed version of the real-time audio-visual artwork “Flow” performs with the piece “Ida Lupino”, composed by Carla Bley, played by pianist Paul Bley, released on the 1973 ECM album “Open, to love” – one of the most influential recordings in the history of jazz piano.
“Flow” by Lars Ullrich and Mathis Nitschke was originally commissioned by Hyundai Card for their 2019 exhibition at Storage in Seoul, Korea, on the 50th birthday of the famous music label ECM Records. “Flow” lets the visitor experience the label’s musical thinking. Constant motion in space and time and horizontal musical development: these are the core attributes to which ECM founder and producer Manfred Eicher dedicated his life’s work.
“Flow” takes the colors of the album cover to render its shapes. Live Particle systems generate a continuous stream of 3D objects in various forms. The choice of forms, their impulse, their distribution and their speed of movement are selected on the basis of a physical 3D engine, whose parameters are automatically tuned to the music currently being played. By creating an abstract landscape from the music, the visitor can explore the music’s fluid dynamics and be part of its organic behavior: The listener is literally drawn into the music.
I did the sound mixing for this concert video with very unusual music.
DUO2KW with Klaus-Peter Werani, viola, and Kai Wangler, accordion, have produced their corona-canceled concert in the schweres reiter for the online stream and address the audience directly in the stream with the composers. Compositions by Morton Feldman, Sidney Corbett, Harald Lillmeyer, Stefan Prins and Philipp Mayer (UA) can be heard and seen. An arc is drawn from the “New York School” (Morton Feldman) to contemporary composition with various forms of electronics and playback (Prins and Mayer).
DUO2KW: Klaus-Peter Werani – viola, Kai Wangler – accordion
Sound Performer and Multitrack Recordist: Zoro Babel, Film: Felix Hentschel
+ + + PROGRAM + + + 00:00 Welcome 01:47 Morton Feldman (1926-1987) The Viola in My Life 3 for viola and piano (1970) 08:49 Greeting Sidney Corbett 11:58 Sidney Corbett (*1960) Bone Dances (2008) for viola and accordion 27: 54 Greeting Harald Lillmeyer 29:33 Harald Lillmeyer (*1959) balanced relation for viola and accordion (2017/2020) for klaus-peter werani and kai wangler 36: 12 Greeting Stefan Prins 40:40 Stefan Prins (*1979) EROSIE ( MEMORY SPACE # 1 ) for viola & bayan (or accordion) (2005) 58:38 Greeting Philipp Christoph Mayer 01:01: 48 Philipp Christoph Mayer (*1995) Tat – ort für viola & accordion + feeds (2019) dedicated to Kai and Klaus-Peter (DUO2KW) Commissioned by the DUO2KW, financed by the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation 01:19:56 Credits
Supported by the Cultural Department of the LH Munich, the German Music Fund, the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation and the Klangbrücke e.V. association © 2020
The ECM exhibition in Seoul has come to an end, my equipment is back in Munich. I immediately became nostalgic. So I’ve put the streaming server for “Small Places” back into operation and will let it run for the next weeks and months even without the exhibition, playing the whole catalogue of ECM Music from beginning to end. At https://smallplaces.art/ you can be surprised again and again by the immense stylistic range of the wonderful ECM artists. I myself have made wonderful new discoveries during the last months and I am looking forward to discovering much more.
Justified criticism of the regents mixes with dangerous trivialisation of the virus, existential fear can no longer be separated from the fear of the health risk, highly interesting ethical questions come to a radical head and are buried under a wave of opinions and assertions.
Out of this serious confusion – once again – a good book has helped me. I took the crisis as an opportunity to re-read one of the books that is most important to me, “The Modern Death” by Carl-Henning Wijkmark, under the light of the Corona pandemia.
The fiction is radically real: at the end of the 1970s, the Swedish government (project group: DELLEM) invites people to a secret symposium on the subject of “The last stage of man’s life”. The real issue is how to get rid of the overaged society that we can no longer afford or want to afford. The question of how to kill the unproductive elderly and other superfluous people in the most humane way possible is discussed in a very practical way.
In Carl-Henning Wijkmark’s experimental literary work, a medical ethicist, a writer and intellectual historian and – almost ironically short – a theologian have their say alongside the inviting ministerial director Bert Persson. With the exception of the writer, all the experts agree that the main thing that is needed is to convince the population of the harmful effects of selfishly clinging to one’s own life, and how much it threatens the country’s economic future.
First published in 1978, the book was only translated into German in 2001, both times without any great response. Wijkmark was obviously several decades ahead of the times, and what he had to say is still unpleasant today.
Reading it has brought me peace with the restriction of freedom. Read in my personally colored book review why: To Live
When I started to deal with the topic of smartphones/headphones/walking, I had no idea what significance such works could have for the current cultureless time. Somewhat uncanny.
“Vergehen” is an opera that you can walk through on your own:
Even the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra can be enjoyed without worries:
Last year I received an honorable mention for the Sound Walk Sunday 2019 with my experience “Inside MPhil – St. Nikolai“, which I created in collaboration with the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra. At the invitation of the organizers I wrote a blog article about the development of the app, which has now been published on their website “walk – listen – create”: https://walklistencreate.org/2020/02/19/touched-by-sound-in-munich/
Today, the Munich Philharmonic gave me the opportunity to continue my research on the reproduction of the sound experience inside the orchestra. They allowed me to sit right in their midst during the rehearsal. Great fun: besides Gustav Holst’s “The Planets”, John Williams “Star Wars” was on the programme. It was conducted by Krzysztof Urbański.
My conclusion: There is not a single recording in the whole history that does justice to the actual physical experience in the orchestra. It is impressive, exciting, hysterical and overwhelming.
As a test, I have made recordings with the Sennheiser Ambeo Smart Headset, which combines standard earphones with two microphones positioned at the ears, thus enabling binaural recordings. Listen to the video with headphones! Otherwise, the effect will not work.
To my surprise, this video is able to convey something of the aforementioned overwhelming effect, which is certainly also due to the sometimes overdriven microphones. These nice but unprofessional microphones just can’t handle the sound pressure. Besides that charming flaw, you can clearly hear the spatial events around you.
In this adventure report I outline how I managed to get an audience for an independent experimental music-theatre piece and enjoyed applying creative entrepreneurial strategies to a publicly funded art project. I hope this report to be inspiring and motivating to fellow theatre makers
At night you have peace and quiet in the theatre: no stage technicians, no carpenters, no lighting setup, no rehearsals.
It’s great when the theatre management allows you to stay alone in the auditorium at night and make your sounds in peace.
On 24.1.2020 is premiere at Staatstheater Kassel, “Mephisto” after Klaus Mann in the version and staging by Thomas Jonigk.