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[Compositions 2011]


Composition 2011.01 (Untitled)

Composition 2011.01 (Untitled) consists of three layers; a short continually 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.

Available at Bandcamp


Composition 2011.02 (Untitled)

Composition 2011.02 (Untitled) was produced digitally using FM and granular synthesis - and consists of two layers: an unpitched pulsing sound with distortion and noise; and four sinewave-based fading tones pitched at C1 - C3 - D#3 -and F#3. 



Composition 2011.03 (Ich Tanze Nicht)

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!?