Music for the empty rooms of a gallery

2007  (7′14″)
Electro Instrumental Music

“Trains”, designed together with the visual artist Sigmund de Jong, deals exclusively with the 2 found empty rooms of the former gallery Rachel Haferkamp (Cologne Germany), i.e. what significance both rooms have and how they can be implemented with creative means.

The composition

The tape composition “Trains” consists of sounds made by dolphins “clicktrains”, which were recorded in the dolphinarium in Duisburg, Germany. These increasing and decreasing strings of clicks (stringendo, tardando), which normally are 150,000 Hz high, had to be transposed into an audible maximum of 20,000Hz. The duration of these click trains was not changed.

“Click trains” are not only the dolphins way to communicate, but they are also used to measure the water temperature and to locate objects f.i. fish. This form of echolocation is essential for the orientation and therefore for the existence of these cetaceans.

This eight-channel composition in three parts, which could be heard in both the upper and lower rooms of the gallery, dealt with these clicks as follows:

First the clicks are made rhythmic by shifting the dynamics. Then they are segmented into different frequency ranges, f.i. by phase displacement. Click melodies are generated, sound surfaces are made audible because the sequence of the clicks (sometimes as much as 20 clicks per second) melts into one sound.

You either hear this process differently or synchronously the same in the two rooms that each have their own characteristic acoustic. Rhythmic accentuations and different timbres of clicks are created. The duration of the clicks sequence also compresses or widens the sound structures. This fills or empties the room; contractions are created. The gallery was transformed into a soundboard.

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