Thanks for visiting my archive. Here you can find the documentation of works I made mainly in the field between electronic composition, performance and media art, a field most commonly referred to as sound art.
The most interesting gestures in contemporary art for me are the ones that originate in a sadness about the fact that one still has to make art. That there still are circumstances that make a concept of art necessary. Art as divided from the rest of our activities. Art as commodity. Yet for now to make art stays important. For my practice these thoughts call for a skepticism towards demonstrations of power and rather suggest the development of a poetry of the fragile – Impermanence as temporal fragility.
I chose sound amongst others because of its presence in a certain moment, a certain Now. Every aural event or every single sound, in its fleeting being, consists as a trialog between the sound source, the surrounding room and the person listening. The room in which the aural event takes place has certain acoustic properties that highly influence the way an event sounds. And conversely, different events stimulate the room differently. For the listener, the aural experience is made up of the original event, the influence of the room, and the position of the listener in the space. Because the relation of all three factors is highly sensitive and sound by itself is fleeting, my big fascination as a listener is to trace the phenomenon Now in a certain situation.
In my works, I’m interested in using acoustic conditions of specific spaces to develop different aural perspectives. Spatiality, its perception and experience and how an individual locates and orientates itself within an aural environment is a main theme of my compositions. In my performances, I enter into dialog with the room and also with the other performers. For the interaction with other performers I design specific set-ups. Those set-ups are technical arrangements (of electro-acoustic equipment and instruments and/or other sound sources) which set limitations and have its own poetic quality. The position and function of the performers is also included in the set-up. The set-ups either form a starting point and a framework for structured improvisation, or a graphic score is added. In this way, the set-up becomes a part of the composition.
The source material for my compositions is usually strictly limited, so it is easier to follow how the material is processed. The processing largely follows the approaches of musique concrète, in terms of focusing on sounding and abstracting a raw (concrete) material within the limited options of processing. Musique concrète pieces avoided semantic connections to original sound sources. In my work, I am interested in showing the process of cutting off these semantic connections.
Together with Patrick Franke, for example, I developed a series called “modul 2”. In this series we created different set-ups, for which we composed graphic scores. In the “modul 2.3” performance – a concert for answering machine, tape machine, two room microphones and computer – we followed a graphic notation with four parameters: recording two room microphones a fixed duration, recording them with free duration, playback the recording and play tape. By playing back what was recorded with the room microphones, the room itself functioned as a filter for our sound. The influence of this filter got stronger with every re-recording and playing back of the material.
My sound installation at Eigen+Art Gallery, Leipzig, also followed this principle of using a room as a filter. This basic principle was demonstrated by Alvin Lucier in his piece “I am sitting in a room” (1969), where several sentences of recorded speech were simultaneously played back into a room and re-recorded many times until all the harmonic content was dominated by the room resonance frequencies. Yet the structure of the sounds still reflected the original sentences. In my installation “Was sich verliert ist im Verlust gegenwärtig“ (That which loses itself is present in the loss), I walked a circle around the room in which the audience stood and recorded my steps with six microphones positioned around this room. The recorded walk was played back by six speakers, positioned across from each microphone, and was recorded again. This went on until the room resonance frequencies overlaid the original sound of my steps completely.
From 2005 until 2008 I was co-organizer of the Leipzig-based platform for sound art and electroacoustic music AlulaTonSerien, founded by Patrick Franke, which featured concerts, workshops, sound walks, CD releases and a radio show.
Under the name Jackie Bruce, I used already mediatized audio material. Starting in 2004, I did live sound montages with multiple layers. As the project developed, I did more and more pre-editing of the material. During that time I also began working with Max/MSP. Most of my work as Jackie Bruce happened in the monthly radio show “Jackie Bruce am Ende der Geschichte” (Jackie Bruce at the end of history). I also performed my montage pieces live from June 19 – July 2 for a total of 60 night-shift hours at Radio LoRa, Zurich, as an experiment in long-duration composition. A live concert I developed and performed as Jackie – “I just need a minute” – was based on an one minute live-recording from a radio, which I modulated with tape machine and computer in the course of the concert.
In August 2008, I moved to New York City, where I have been working as a sound engineer for concerts and theater and have been absorbing the vast cultural and architectural discoveries. At the moment I’m working on a composition for baritone guitar, room microphones and live-electronics and on a sound installation for 7 radios, 7 microphones, 7 transmitters and electronics.
Contact: neumann at alulatonserien dot de