With media bicycle project Volle Band we are currently doing a residency at STEIM. During this residency we are focusing on two things:
- developing a method to measure the proximity from one bicycle to another. We are investigating a combination of Xbee modules – tiny radio frequency modules – and ultrasonic sound – high frequency sound generators which one normally uses to drive mice, insects and other animals insane.
- we are working on our scooter radioplay expedition ‘dus niet brommen’, which we will present at the Urban Explorers Festival in collaboration with art initiative Noordkaap. During this scooter expedition the audience is riding along with 10 brave, young scooter guides. Sitting at the back of these scooters they listen to a radioplay which is being broadcasted live from the central radio scooter (recognizable by its huge antenna). In this radioplay the sounds and movements of the scooters influence the various sounds of the radioplay. Using piezo’s, FM transmitters and computers with wifi connections on the scooters the scooter sounds are transferred to the central radio scooter. Sitting at the back of this central scooter I mix and adapt the sounds to the various locations and send them into the ether.
We did some experiments with Xbee modules which were quite succesful. We walked around outside and inside with Xbee modules connected to our laptops. Inside the Xbee modules do not work that well because the radio waves bounce back from the walls. But outside they work quite nicely within a range of about 50 metres. Actually these are the first sensors we use that work better outside then inside…
For the scooter expedition we found a very nice Stentor FM transmitter. We made an antenna and now we can broadcast our scooter radio programme in a range of a kilometre. Furthermore we worked on the power supplies for the electronic devices on the scooters.
We are running into quite some problems with the power supplies. The situation is a bit stressful since we have only 1,5 week to make it work. The PandaBoards we are using for the project are now – fortunately – way more stable and performance wise efficient thanks to the brand new linux distribution which Didier put on them. Sjoerd has been working on sound design for the radio play.
Down here you can listen to a sound preview – all sounds except the male voice are being triggered and influenced by scooters.
You can check out a tv item about ‘dus niet brommen’ down here:
february 7th-10th 2013
After a few months of planning our crew of 14 manages to gather for 4 days in Amsterdam to talk, play and enjoy the wonderful hospitality of STEIM.
iii is a platform that has been taking form during the past year out of the desire to share processes revolving around the development and presentation of self-made, performative media.
Dieter Vandoren, Drift
We meet to search for the outlines and to discuss the common specificities of our practices, as well as to try out new ideas for collaborative works and to plan future activities.
Wen Chin Fu, OHHO
We rapidly take over the studios and guesthouse (thanks Nico!) – experiencing STEIM and its facilities as a quasi self-sufficient organism, embedded but also autonomous from the city around it.
Erfan Abdi, Notesaaz . Photo: Justin Bennet
With the exception of a few short expeditions to gather supplies, we remain within the building, shuffling up and down the steep stairwell from the dark rooms on the ground floor to the luminous apartments above, where we find magazines portraying human female breasts placed besides journals dedicated to highly abstract topics.
The residency culminates on sunday by opening up to the public with No Patent Pending #2. Kristina Andersen, Justin Bennet and Joel Ryan join us during the afternoon to take part in an open discussion. We talk about strategies for maintaining, as non-experts, autonomous research trajectories that invade (and then quickly escape) academic and artistic confines.
In the evening we present a program of performances including existing works and several new pieces developed on site.
A big thanks to STEIM for hosting us and to Stroom Den Haag for supporting our initiative.
Inspired by the sonic analysis of distant stars by astrophysicists, the performance combines an interactive outdoor laser system with compositional elements of classical harp and recordings made of the sonic signatures of heavenly bodies. Featuring narratives by Hungarian astrophysicist Zoltán Kolláth. The evening took place on the roof of the Q-Park garage at the Cultura Nova festival in Heerlen. August 2012.
From Dec. 11th to 21st, I had my first residency at STEIM. I arrived with a number of turntables and hardware equipment to go further with my idea of building an instrument consisting of 8 turntables that are controllable by one unit to use them as an instrument.
Before arriving at STEIM, I worked with the turntables in an installation-based setting.
In order to prepare them for use as an instrument to play with, I adapted the TT`s and replaced the motor`s cables to more easily attach them to a microcontroller, as well as putting longer line-out cables onto them to make them more flexible in a performative context.
The next step was to find a way to control and play the turntables. With these helpful instructions: http://itp.nyu.edu/physcomp/Tutorials/HighCurrentLoads as well as with the expertise of Marije (coding) and Peter (hardware) from the STEIM-Lab, I was able to put my ideas onto a breadboard. I was then able to control the speed of all record players from 0 up to the fastest possibility of the TT´s motor via knobs, trigger all on/off`s with a switch and had the possibility of adjusting the on/off time settings by another knob.
To control the speed of the turntables, I used an arduino microcontroller and a simple transistor circuit as seen at the link above. After soldering the things onto the breadboard, I put everything into a tiny black box. My first self-made controller was finished.
As construction of the controller took so much time (more than a week including research, soldering,etc….), time to practice the instrument for the upcoming concert at the Oorsprong, which was courteously organised by STEIM`s Jonathan Reus, was a little short. Despite the short time left, I started to work with the sounds which I therefore cut onto vinyl. A recording of a studio2 session can be found here.
The Time at STEIM was very productive for me. It was possible to be totally focused on my work and to go much further. Thanks once again for this inspiring place and the helpful and friendly people there! Hope to get back soon.
Arrived at STEIM with two bags of gear and a laptop. Felt great to be back
there again although I have visited them quite regularly since I finished
my internship back in February last year. First thing on my to-do list was
to set up gear and do some soundchecking!
I’m pleased to be working with a subwoofer the next few weeks. It’s one of
those things my own studio is sorely lacking. Once I got my ‘no-input’ mixer
set up it was time to give it all a test run:
After recording some of these sessions I saw that my Soundlings colleague
Georgios Papadakis was in the building. We had a chat about some upcoming
projects after which I got back to the mixer. I recorded another session
in which I tried to focus on the chaotic bass frequencies. The result is
quite harsh and deep:
Time to dive into some SuperCollider code soon to see what I can do with
the sounds I’m getting so far!
Instead of coding I decided to first bring along some more hardware gear to
see how it affects the feedback loops. Plugging in an Alesis Bitrman seems
to turn the setup into a funky beat machine. I made a couple of recordings
Later on I had a fruitfull talk about pressure sensors with Marije baalman
which resulted in me taking along a bunch of sensors to try out. Prepared
a bunch of code which I will use as a starting point tomorrow. This was
the last recording I made today:
Slow start today… due to a lack of electricity. I guess having power is
quite essential in live-electronics. As soon as the power was back on I
decided to do a bit of jamming:
Been trying out some post effects on the output sound… with varying
results. Resonant lowpass filters work quite nicely although I made some
mistake in the panning which I’ll have to fix. I’ll try out a multi-
tap delayline with feedback tomorrow. Since the source sounds are all
about feedback I tend to focus that eastatic of the processing of the
I recorded some sessions with a more fragile approach to the sound…
Almost like exploring the tipping point.
Did a lot of coding and scrapping and coding again today. Using chaotic
functions to control parameters is quite a laborious process. Its hard
to predict the outcome. So trial and error it is! It was good to be
switching between coding and playing all day although it took me a lot
of time to get to the kind of sounds I’m looking for. Actually I’m
not there yet, and it’ll probably take me a long period of finetuning
before I’m really satisfied. here are some of the results:
Got this recording as I just switched on my gear and tweaked 2 or 3 knobs:
Exploring the boundaries of chaotic tipping points today. I’m realizing that
playing with a no input mixer is not so much like playing ‘solo’ but a lot
more like playing a duet.
Today Yaniv Schonfeld came of in the afternoon for some no input jamming! Learned
a lot again… also with playing around with a pressure sensor on the software
Realized that the processing I do in SuperCollider should be fed back to the no-
input mixer… The results are a lot more intricate that way. I like the way that
every sound element is interconnected to the overall sound. In the evening I hosted
the Think Tank Meeting #12. Marije Baalman and Georgios Papadakis gave presentations
and a workshop on the topic mapping. In the end I got the chance of asking some
advise on mapping in chaotic circumstances. Very helpfull!
My thoughts are slowly shifting from exploring the sounds of no input to designing a
controller for the software part. I have some ideas that I’d like to explore in these
weeks of my residency. One of them is to create a controller that requires physical
strength in order to become really expressive.
Recorded a few more jams:
First day of controller building!
Now for some sounds:
The controller is pretty cool! and quite expressive! Today I’m constantly
trying out different kinds of mapping for the controller. I’ve taken out
the ringmodulators from the setup just so that I can better hear what the
effects in SuperCollider are doing to the overal sound.
Here’s a recording of the controller connected to the no input mixer sounds:
Blowtorch, framed glass, goggles, onstopper, salvia officinalis…
A short residency (from 30th November to 7th December 2012) culminating in one performance, and an intense two day workshop; all of these events and situations at STEIM exploring and refining the notion of (audible) detection, of sonic archaeology – sound as a revealing of the material world. Throughout this work, first phase, excitation, an action within the world, is paired with subsequent detection or revealing, decoding the history of substance and attempting an animistic relation to the world.
First days, shopping for glass and safety gear, becoming acquainted with the local suppliers of ontstopper, hunting for zwaelzuur to be used primarily in performance and during the workshop, in the light; simple sonification of (electro-)chemical reactions using a discount laser and failing solar panel.
Six hour train window gazing suggested a strong link to glass to be explored during the residency (forgetting that some similar experiments were conducted on the floor of a certain record shop in Berlin many years ago): stacked or hanging glass radio transmitters communicating vibration, arrayed lines of delicate glass scattering the beam – divided by hung mirror galvanometers, dribbles of acid, melted glass channels, tongues of copper and aluminium plugged in to the transformer. Ready for scraping, and heat shattering.
With framed glass and some chemistry in the bag (graphite spray withstanding), the first glass transmitter (an auto-destructive instrument) was quickly prototyped, proved surprisingly effective after careful (literal) trimming of the legged capacitance. Brushed and scalpel scraped at the optimum angle to the receiver (above).
Closely followed over the next days by glass electrolytic cells (alternating metal tape strips), and a glass white noise generator (dipping into the cookbook).
As an adjunct the potential detection possibilities of living plants were returned to during the residency, attempting to create and document one of the most simple electronic setups to monitor micro-voltage potentials within plant leaves/cells and thus to able to compare these with monitored changes within the human psyche.
Future work in glass/detection suggested: conductivity of silver nitrate/gelatine solutions, glass membranes (pH), electroplating (after coating), melted glass channels in the earth, rochelle salt in the earth, copper taped skin ground glove pulse,
Aside from seismometer repair, preparations for Friday’s performance (recording perhaps soon on soundcloud) focused on integrating some kind of pulse excitation (555) with the salvaged HD coil electrolysis and dumped earth, and some not so positive tests with glass/foil charge accumulators.
With 15 eager attendees the two day Detection workshop defies easy and concise description. Some impressions: metaphase divination, flickering retroactivities, rain-drenched transmission-excavation (on a bridge), excited interferometer tuning in the darkened room, doors slammed, air movements transformed into humming, drone feedback, hand wound pencil coils wrapping and hiding one end of the circuit.
And for reference:
Enrique Mendoza / Composer
Sandra Real aka Chana / Live Video Performer
For this new Live Cinema project call Unicellular Time, we had the opportunity to do a production residency at Studio 2 in STEIM, from august 6th to august 18th 2012.
For this project we are working with bacterial observation of unicellular organisms that started after thinking about “What´s real time when physical dimension of the body changes?”. Sandra is using a digital microscope to observe and videotape different live unicellular organisms like miracidiums and nematodes. This organisms are taken from liquid humus, that is used to fertilize earth. We are going to combine videotaped footage and live observations with the microscope to do the live video performance.
Through several observations in our previous work we start dealing with the notion of an unknown world, that without a reference, the perception of time is very, very relative. And one of the results is that a person can experience void.
Having all this in mind, I (Enrique) start to ask myself how can I express this?. I focus on using resonances of several metal surfaces like foils, pipes, etc. The method was to take out the attack to modulate only the sound in expansion; I start to create the music that will express this void using LiSa software, a live sampler that I have been using in the past years under the guidance of Jos Zwaanenburg in STEIM.
Now we are in the process of constructing the audiovisual unicellular time experience. The show will be performed in the Live Performers Meeting 2013 in Mexico City and Rome. So, wait for more info about it…
Some material of the process:
We want to thank the advice of Dra. María Teresa Quintero, Parasitologist at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, that helped us a lot with the science side of the project.
This project is the continuity of our first Live Cinema show called “DEREGRESO”, an audiovisual representation detonated by a medical procedure to use fluoroscopy for visualize internal fluids by low doses of radiation. The Project it has been built by the original file using “OsiriX” a medical visualizer for artistic purposes, resulting in an introspective trip in dialogue with original music composed in LiSa by Enrique Mendoza.
In “DEREGRESO” we experience a unique procedure. I was working in a piece called Kráneo (composed and performed in STEIM), at the same time Sandra was experiencing the medical treatment. When I made a trip from Amsterdam to Mexico City I met Sandra that was also making a come back to life. We got together with our current artistic moments that result in our first Audiovisual Live Performance.
Finally we want to thank STEIM Studios for the invaluable space, time and guidance provided to the project.
Musicaerial & Frouke Wiarda, framgents ‘tempus fugit ‘ Bart de Vrees http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4cHBbNJOpbI
Christina Viola Oorebeek
‘tempus fugit’ for solo percussion & electronic [:soundwheel: toy piano tines:kite string:hourglass:]
Percussion solo: Bart de Vrees
From August 20-30th, I had the opportunity to work at STEIM on a
new work for the project ‘Musicaerial’. Frouke Wiarda conceived and organized the project, which had its first performance as the pre-opening of the Gaudeamus Music Week 2012 on September 2 in Lepelenburg Park in Utrecht.
In the studio Bart and I experimented with the sections of the piece using the soundwheel I developed, toy piano tines and other small percussion instruments. The interaction with the kite was done by Bart plucking and playing on the amplified kite string. For that, we had sessions at Blijburg, the “new beach” in Amsterdam with Frouke as kite master, trying out live sampling with a portable amp/speaker unit. The sound differed from session to session, as well as at the performance, as the kite strings need to be changed according to the velocity of the wind. At the performance, a relatively
thin one was used, which happily produced a crisp and well-defined pitch, mixed with wind. The live sampling and interaction with the kite could only be imagined and reconstructed in the studio through field recordings of the sessions.
Bart de Vrees, percussionist and composer, is great to work with. His performance at the Gaudeamus Week was stellar, his chops on the kite string were awesome and his input and feedback in the work process, inspiring. Reason to continue the collaboration!
Doing a piece in a fluid compositional form, with room for improvisation, in a park, meant trying to develop a strategy full of contingencies. There were many unpredictable elements:
_the weather, obviously _no rehearsal with the sound system _the varying sonorities of the kite string, and more.
I was using Max/Msp for the first time, an addition to Lisa and Junxion, which I have used intermittently in the last years in work with electronics. Throughout this new residency, Daniel Schorno, composer-performer and adivsor at STEIM, provided excellent advice with the setup, as well as offering valuable feedback and new ideas in the artistic concept and realisation of “tempus fugit”. His broad experience and background in ‘classical’ and improvised music in the digital-and-or-acoustic worlds, plus his artist’s eye for imagery, which he so generously shares with colleagues, is a true treasure. I can only hope that he remains vitally connected with STEIM in future!
Also, I want to thank Max-mentor and valued colleague, Danny de Graan, composer-performer, for his help and for his valuable Max for Live meetings at STEIM.
And, of course, thanx to STEIM for the residency!
fragments of the work with Bart: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4cHBbNJOpbI