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[Compositions] [2010-2019]

2010



Composition 2010.01 (Object World) is an example of ‘technological lessness’ - and explores what the architect and philosopher Buckminster Fuller called ‘post-industrial ephemeralisation’ - of doing more with less - of doing everything with nothing. 

Composition 2010.01 (Object World was first performed at Corpora Aliena - IKLECTIK - London - 25.05.2019



The components of Composition 2010.02 (Untitled) consist of a number of short and medium-length sinewave-based repeating sounds that fade in and out of each other - separated by periods of silence.



2011



Composition 2011.01 (Untitled) consists of three layers; a short continuously repeating sound pitched at C2; a medium-length sound that repeats five times; and five short fading sounds. Ring-modulation has been applied to create a level of harmonic complexity.



Composition 2011.02 (Untitled) was produced digitally using FM and granular synthesis. The components of the composition consist of a continuous pulsating sound that has been mixed to the centre - left - and right channels of the stereo field. Distortion had been  added to create a level of timbral complexity.



Composition 2011.03 (Ich Tanze Nicht) was produced digitally  using FM synthesis and a text-to-speech application. The components of the composition consist of a computer-based spoken word of the phrase 'Ich tanze nicht (I don’t dance)’; and two repeating sinewave-based sounds pitched at C1and C2.
In the first half of the composition - the digital voice utters a single phoneme of ’t’ - with the speech reduced to its single most essential element. The ’t' is the last letter of ‘nicht’ - and this becomes apparent when the full sentence of ‘Ich tanze nicht’ is heard later in the composition.


Composition 2011.03 (Ich Tanze Nicht) was first performed at Corpora Aliena - IKLECTIK - London - 17.11.2018

Composition 2011.03 (Ich Tanze Nicht) was released in an album entitled Digital Voices by SonoSpace in 2019 - and reviewed by T.J. Norris of Toneshift later that year.

Based on the spoken word comes Digital Voices, two extended pieces by minimalist composer Bernhard Living: Composition 2011.03 (Ich Tanze Nicht)’ and Composition 2015.07 (Ольгина история (Olga’s Story). I’m reminded of experiments from Meredith Monk, Jaap Blonk and the essence of Laurie Anderson as Ich Tanze Nicht opens with a short syllabic drawl, repeating, and at calculated intervals. The setting couldn’t be more sparse focusing on this sole variable until an as-low-as-you-go humming drone is added, becoming some sort of mesmerizing metronomic oddity. And I forget my previous references altogether.

Building on this one note atonality, after nearly eleven minutes one cannot help but feel subsumed into the constant repetition that has the effect of observing a Rorschach test, only audibly I begin to imagine being analyzed by the shutter speed of a mad scientist’s scope. Living plays with the tone-drone, shifting the pitch like a sonic sound wave being threaded through the needle of time. And he takes his sweet time to do so, eventually ending up at a blurry buzzing crescendo of distorted noise. At almost a half-hour in a voice speaks (and repeats): …”Ich Tanze Nicht” – which means “I do not dance.” It’s such an odd comment with such flat delivery (Stepford wife, fembot, digital assistant) that it comes off as a wry/wink critique on a cry for help, brainwashing, or something, or other. After forty minutes, will someone please release this lady from her trappings!?



2012



Composition 2012.01 (Untitled) consists of a multi-tracked pulsing sound that pans across the stereo field.



Composition 2012.02 (Untitled) is sparsely textured - and consists of four short repeating sounds.



2013



Composition 2013.01 (Untitled) is sparsely textured - and consists of a small number of short and medium-length fading and repeating sounds.



Composition 2013.02 (Untitled) was produced digitally using FM synthesis. The components of the composition consist of three repeating sinewave-based tones pitched C1 - A1 - and C2.



Composition 2013.03 (Untitled) consists of two repeating sounds - a continuous sinewave-based tone pitched at C1 - and a medium-length sound that occurs at the centre.



Composition 2013.04 (Untitled) is sparsely textured - and consists of a number of short repeating sounds and tones.



Composition 2013.05 (Object World) is based on elements from the earlier Composition 2010.01 (Object World) - and consists of repeating fading sounds separated by periods of silence.



2014



Composition 2014.01 (Untitled) consists of multiple ‘sound lines’ that slowly fade in and out of each other - with glacial movement - across the stereo field. Two of these elements consist of Shepard Tones - which give the illusion of the sounds infinitely rising in pitch.

Composition 2014.01 (Untitled) was performed at Corpora Aliena - IKLECTIK [off-site] - 07.04.2021



Composition 2014.02 (Untitled) was produced digitally using FM and analog modelling synthesis. The components of the composition consist two elements -  one short  sound - and a longer pulsing sound - with both sounds fading in and out of each other.



Composition 2014.03 (Untitled) is multi-textured - and oscillates from moments of density to those which are more sparse. Distortion has been applied to create a level of timbral complexity.



Composition 2014.04 (Untitled) was produced digitally using granular synthesis - and consists of multiple layers of evolving sounds that pan across the stereo field.



Composition 2014.05 (Untitled) is sparsely textured - and consists of two layers; a short continuously repeating sound pitched at C2; and number of short fading sounds. All of the elements are separated by periods of silence - and ring-modulation has been applied to create a level of harmonic complexity.



2015



Composition 2015.01 (Untitled) is sparely textured - and consists of four sounds of different lengths that slowly fade in and out of each other. Distortion has been applied to some of the elements to create a level of timbral complexity.



Composition 2015.02 (Morton Feldman) uses on two short processed samples from Morton Feldman’s Two Instruments for Cello and Horn (1958). In addition there are two sinewave-based tones that slowly fade in and out of each other.



Composition 20215.03 (Untitled) consists of two short sounds of indeterminate pitch - and a continuous tone at C1.



Composition 2015.04 (Object World) is based on elements from previous Object World compositions. The composition is sparsely textured - and consists of two repeating sounds - one medium - and one long -  that are separated by periods of silence. The Object World series of compositions have been inspired by Kasimir Malevich’s painting Black Square (1915) - an artwork that is radically non-representational - and exemplifies objective abstraction in its purest form.



Composition 2015.05 (Untitled) has minimal content - and consists of two elements - a short tone pitched at C1 - that occurs at the beginning - middle and end of the composition - and a continuous tone - pitched at C3 - that that gradually increases in volume until it reaches a maximum level halfway through the composition - and then decreases in volume until it becomes inaudible. Ring-modulation has been applied to the elements to create a level of harmonic complexity.



Composition 2015.06 (Untitled) is sparsely textured - and  consists of two repeating elements:  a short tone pitched at C3 - and a longer tone pitched at C#3. Both sounds are separated by periods of silence.



Composition 2015.07 (Ольгина история (Olga’s Story)) was produced in collaboration with the Russian musician Elena Alekseeva - and is based on a sample that Alekseeva made of the Moscow metro.  She also reads the text 'Я двигаюсь во времени и время движется через меня. (I am moving through time - and time is moving through me.)’ - which is repeated against a textured background of multi-layered voices and metro sounds.

Composition 2015.07 (Ольгина история (Olga’s Story)) was released in an album entitled Digital Voices by SonoSpace in 2019 - and reviewed by T.J. Norris of Toneshift later that year.

Based on the spoken word comes Digital Voices, two extended pieces by minimalist composer Bernhard Living: Composition 2011.03 (Ich Tanze Nicht) and Composition 2015.07 (Ольгина история (Olga’s Story). I’m reminded of experiments from Meredith Monk, Jaap Blonk and the essence of Laurie Anderson as Ich Tanze Nicht opens with a short syllabic drawl, repeating, and at calculated intervals. The setting couldn’t be more sparse focusing on this sole variable until an as-low-as-you-go humming drone is added, becoming some sort of mesmerizing metronomic oddity. And I forget my previous references altogether.

Ольгина история (Olga’s Story) operates in a different sphere altogether, something more like modern day field recordings, and it’s from a live recorded concert in London. Filled with low-end chatter (almost like bats nestled in a cave) it is a collaborative work alongside Russian musician Elena Alekseeva with a sound sample taken from the metro. Captured is the hollow underground atmosphere (hence my imagining of Chiroptera) in a pure whoosh of surging drone. A Slavic voice pops up only at very occasional points throughout (reminding me of one of those watermarked promo recordings sent by p/r agencies), otherwise this cyclone of “voices” and degraded murmur continue in agitation.
This has the constant flow of a cyclone, an avalanche, a babbling brook. It’s odd and fun trying to identify the potential scalability of what is rushing through the both speaker channels and into the auditory cortex. Just who is Olga? Wo/man or machine? Either way this channels something very much at the core of nature and its temporal effects on everything.

 


2016



The components of Composition 2016.01 (Untitled) consist of a short repeating sinewave-based tone pitched at C3 - a continuous tone pitched at C1 - and an un-pitched pulsing sound that occurs in the middle.



Composition 2016.02 (Untitled) consists of two elements: an un-pitched multi-layered pulsing sound that is duplicated and panned to both left and right channels - and a repeating sound that slowly increases and decreases  in volume.



Composition 2016.03 (Untitled) was produced digitally using FM and granular synthesis - and consists of three sounds of different lengths that slowly fade in and out of each other.



Composition 2016.04 (Living in the Present Continuous) consists of two layers: a short repeating sound pitched at C3: and five fading sounds of indeterminate pitched. All of the elements are separated by periods of silence - and ring modulation has been applied to create a level of harmonic complexity.

Composition 2016.04 (Living in the Present Continuous) was first performed at Poetronica - Curated by Pavel Zhagun - National Centre for Contemporary Arts - Moscow - 16.12.2017



Composition 2016.05 (Untitled) consists of two short repeating un-pitched sounds that are set against a slowly fading tone pitched at C1. Distortion and ring-modulation has been applied to create levels of harmonic and timbral complexity.
 


The components of Composition 2016.06 (Untitled) consist of three short repeating sounds set against an evolving background layer.  

Composition 2016.06 (Untitled) was first performed at the Poetronica festival curated by Pavel Zhagun -  National Centre for Contemporary Arts -  Moscow - 15.12.2016.




2017



Composition 2017.01 (Untitled) is sparsely textured - and consists of three short multilayered sounds separated by long periods of silence. The silences within a composition are an important structural component - a negative space between the sounds - and that the sounds of the compositions are heard in relationships to the silences. Silence is used in a structural way - and is both form and content of the composition.



Composition 2017.02 (Untitled) is sparsely textured - and consists of two layers; a continuously repeating tone pitched at C3; and five single tones at C#3 - D3 - D#3 - F3 - and E2. All of the elements are separated by periods of silence. 



Composition 2017.03 (Black T-Shirt) was produced digitally using granular synthesis with samples of a ‘cello. There are four other repeating sounds that increase and decrease in volume and act as a background texture to the ‘cello sound. 

Composition 2017.03 (Black T-Shirt) was first performed at an event curated by Phil Durrant - IKLECTIK - London - 11.10.2017.


 

Composition 2017.04 (Untitled) is sparsely textured - and consists of two continuously repeating unpitched sounds - separated by periods of silence. 



Composition 2017.05 (Undecided Metaphor) is densely textured - and consists of a number of overlapping sounds that fade in and out of each other across the stereo field. There is no allegory - metaphor - symbolism - or personal references to anything other than to the composition itself - and that the composition exists within its own space and time.  

Composition 2017.05 (Undecided Metaphor) was released as an album by IKLECTIK in 2020.



Composition 2017.06 (Morton Feldman) uses a sample from Morton Feldman’s Trio for Flutes (1972). Extensive use was made of granular synthesis - which altered the original sounds to an unrecognisable level. The music is densely textured - with different elements fading in and out of each other.

Composition 2017.06 (Morton Feldman) was first performed at Corpora Aliena - IKLECTIK - London - 30.03.2019.



2018



Composition 2018.01 (Untitled) consists of a small number of repeating tones  - pitched at either C2 or C3 - that fade in and out of each other. Ring-modulation has been applied to some of the elements to create a level of harmonic complexity. 

Composition 2018.01 (Untitled) was first performed at Corpora Aliena - Iklectik - London - 23.1.2019.



Composition 2018.02 (Untitled) is sparsely textured - and consists of three repeating tones - C1 - C2 - and C3 - that fade in and out of the surrounding periods of silence. Ring-modulation has been applied to create a level of harmonic complexity.



Composition 2018.03 (Untitled) consists of three elements pitched at C2 - C3 - and C#3 - that fade in and out of the surrounding silence. Distortion and ring-modulation have been applied to create levels of harmonic and timbral complexity.



Composition 2018.03 (Untitled) consists of three tones pitched at C2 - C3 - and C#3 - that fade in and out of the surrounding silence. Distortion and ring-modulation have been applied to create levels of harmonic and timbral complexity. 



Composition 2018.05 (Untitled) has minimal content - and consists of three short repeating sounds separated by periods of silence.  The composition was produced using a reductive approach - and shares a formal ‘black square’ minimalist aesthetic with other compositions. It is a form of technological lessness - in which everything has been reduced to bare essentials - with a sparse texture - and with only a small number of sounds.



Composition 2018.06 (Untitled) consists of two sounds - one pitched at C1 and the other at C3 - with the sounds being separated by  periods of silence. Distortion has been applied to create a level of timbral complexity.



Composition 2018.07 (Untitled) was produced digitally using FM synthesis - and consists of two short sounds separated by periods of silence.  One of the sounds has been duplicated and panned to the left and right channels of the stereo field. Distortion has been applied to create a level of timbral complexity.



Composition 2018.08 (Violin Stories) is a collaboration between the violinist and sound artist Manja Ristić and the composer Bernhard Living. The components of the composition were derived from violin samples - with the samples effected and pitch-shifted to create a number of different elements that repeat and fade in and out of each other. 
 
In the words of Manja Ristić:  Composition 2018.08 (Violin Stories) was conceptualised with pre-recorded violin samples by Manja Ristić. Processed violin sounds build a meditative atmosphere inviting us into a deep listening experience. Suggested by "sonic breathing", drone-like fluctuations and spatial extensions with overall minimal sound movement - and allude to altered state of consciousness that transcend the alteration of space-time perception. The organic sound of the instrument is wrapped in a digital net developing a dense, almost material sonic body.

Composition 2018.08 (Violin Stories) was first performed at Poetronica - Curated by Pavel Zhagun - National Centre for Contemporary Art - Moscow - 21.04.2018



2019


 
Composition 2019.01 (Untitled) consists of two layers: five short sinewave-based sounds pitched at C3; and a continuous tone at C1.



Composition 2019.02 (Untitled) is sparsely textured - and consists of a small number of repeating sounds that fade in and out of each other. Distortion has been added to create a level of timbral complexity.



Composition 2019.03 (Untitled) was produced digitally using FM and analog modelling synthesis - and consists of a small number of repeating sounds separated by short periods of silence. 



Composition 2019.04 (Untitled) consists of a number of different sounds that fade in and out and of each other - creating an ever-evolving sonic texture.



The components Composition 2019.05 (Untitled) consist of two continuous sounds that have been hard-panned to the left channel - and which slowly rise in pitch - in microtonal increments - from C4 to C5 - and two continuous sounds that have been hard-panned to the right channel - and which slowly descend in pitch - also in microtonal increments - from C5 to C4. In addition - there are twelve sixty-four-bar sounds that occur every thirty-two bars - with each sound rising in pitch by a semi-tone. Beat frequencies are formed by the interference patterns caused by the changes of pitch of the different elements - and so furthering the harmonic complexity of the composition.

Composition 2019.05 (Untitled) was first performed at the Sonic Electronics Festival - Curated by Laura Netz - IKLECTIK - London - 31.05.2019.



Composition 2019.06 (Untitled) consists of three elements - one pitched at C3 - and the other pitched at at C2# - that fade in and out of each other. These tones are set against continuous sinewave-based sound that slowly ascends in pitch - in microtonal increments - from C1 to C2 - with the differences in pitch between the tones creating acoustic ‘beats’.

Composition 2019.06 (Untitled) was. first performed at Corpora Aliena - IKLECTIK - London - 13.07.201



The components of Composition 2019.07 (Untitled) consist of three short tones that repeat against a pulsing sound that continues throughout the duration of the composition.



Composition 2019.08 (Untitled) is sparsely textured - and consists of two layers: a repeating short sound separated by periods of silence; and a longer slowly pulsing central sound.




Composition 2019.09 (Untitled) was produced digitally using FM and granular synthesis - and consist of a small number of sounds with different timbres that fade in and out of each other.



Composition 2019.10 (Untitled) consists of three short sounds pitched at C2 - C3 - and C#3 - that are set against a continuous tone pitched at C1.



Composition 2019.11 (Untitled) was produced digitally using FM - wavetable - and physical-modelling synthesis - and consists of three layers; a repeating short sound pitched at C2; five fading sounds at C3; and a continuous low frequency tone pitched at C1.



Composition 2019.12 (Untitled) consist of three elements - a sinewave-based tone that slowly rises in pitch from C4 to C5 - a short repeating tone - and a continuous tone pitched at C1.