Close Harmonies (2018-19 )

With this installation concept, I return to the principles of ‘imbalance’ I used in a fragile imbalancemy very first feedback work. Direct interaction with the audience has been transformed into a sound behaviour which is still spatially situated, but relying more on principles of musical balance and coherence. I also left out any additional sound effects in the pursuit of a more ‘puristic’ approach, which means that all that can be heard are pure feedback frequencies, resulting from a dynamic filtering process. The minimal set-up consists of a microphone, one or more loudspeakers and a soundprocessing laptop in an empty space.

The installation behaves as a self-regulating organism, continuously tracking what sounds and adapting to it. Feedback frequencies are boosted or suppressed based on principles of pitch relation, duration, balance and variation. Human presence in the space and external sound input can have a perceivable but largely indirect impact on the sound behaviour, which invokes a contemplative rather than an instrumental listening attitude.

The tuning of the installation combines ecological principles, algorithmic thinking and intuitive ear-work in situ. Versions can be tuned to different spaces and situations and can be programmed to generate a variety of identities, from fast-changing textures to slow changing drones.  

My primary motivation for this kind of work is to create on the edge of sound art and music, combining time-based interaction with spatial sensitivity. The result is a sonic identity that behaves more or less coherently at a global level, yet at the same time generates unpredictable and often surprising sound patterns and harmonies on a micro level. The spatial sensitivity and immediate responsiveness of the installation adds a sense of liveliness and presence.

Slow melodic and microtonal changes in a rather etheric sound stream. The waterlike or percussive artefacts are the result of self-adapting pitch filters. I chose to happily accept them as they add an aspect of liveliness and bear witness to the activity that is happening in the software and on the spot. Excerpt home recording 19/01/19
Pulsating rhythms in different frequency bands. Some sudden changes are probably caused by my physical presence and changing position in space. Low frequencies, please listen with headphones. Excerpt home recording 10/05/19