Abdullah Benabdallah > Orientation #106 // Part 3-4



Today we had a demonstration of various instruments by Daniel Shorno applying LiSa and junXion. He showed us his live performance setup. I especially liked the use of the shotgun microphone together with the wii controller. I’ve used a similar principle in my former work where I was using sounds of washing machines during my life performance. The audio signal came as input through a microphone and were changing depending on the its position. See picture. The good thing with wii controller setup as shown by Daniel is that it can be performed by only one player. I also had the opportunity to talk with Daniel about my current project especially about the interaction between music and dancers. Some very good ideas came up during our conversation: changing color of projected visual background depending on position of dancers on stage, give dancers possibility to interact with music while doing the typical flamenco steps.

In the afternoon we had a very interesting presentation by Taku Mizuta Lippit “Thinking about new instruments”. We talked  about some very important aspects li:

-virtuosity: I personally faced the problem when I was playing live with my laptop and interacting with the dancers that the audience didn’t really understand that I was playing live. People thought I was djing. Taku showed us some very good examples where electronic instruments can be performed with a lot of virtuosity.

-Play with computer screen closed: in fact when making music with computer the visual component (screen) sometimes distract you from listening. Therefore it’s very important to minimize the maintenance gestures of the system. This leads to more general principle we also discussed on Friday morning with Robert Van Heumen when we were taking about live sampling:


-”reduce to the max”: limiting the options does not mean less sound. In fact a lot of examples showed here at Steim demonstrates how minimal sounds can do a lot of sounds. As Goethe said: “In der Beschränkung zeigt sich der Meister”.

Furthermore, Robert Van Heumen gave us a very nice presentation of his former projects which I’ve found very inspiring. He also gave us an insight in the concepts he was doing in his work like the cobra rules of improvisation or the family tree concept.

In the evening our workshop team had a free improv session at Studio3. It was streamed live on Ustream. I used LiSa and junXion on one of Steims Computer. As controller I was using a Joystick. I was able to produce some minimal sounds that glued very well into the entire mix. I think it was a very good decision not to use any of my common tools and just try out LiSa and junXion in a live situation. I was happy with the result even if I didn’t have a lot of time to prepare my settings. This experience confirmed the idea of making a lot of sounds out of few minimal sounds.

Many thanks to Erik Spanger for initiating the improv and to Matt Wakefield and Hanna Schraffenberger for the great session!!!


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About Abdullah Benabdallah

HIGHER EDUCATION University of Zurich, Master in Modern History, Computer Science (focus on Artificial Intelligence) and Music Ethnology MUSIC EDUCATION Flamenco Guitar Studies in Cordoba, Spain Classic Guitar studies in Zürich, Switzerland Study of andalusian classical music in Algeria Composition of electro-flamenco music for swiss dance company “el contrabando” Current Project Bolero della Borsa: Premiere, Genova, 2008. Inspired by Reto Emchs installation “H2O”, 30 washing machines exposed in the ancient stock market of Genova, I developed together with choreographer Anet Fröhlicher (cie el Contrabando) an electro-flamenco show called “Bolero della Borsa”, using electronic music, flamenco samples and sounds of washing machines triggered live to accompany dancers. On same year “Bolero della Borsa” was also selected by “Certamen de Coreografía de Danza Española y Flamenco“ (Spanish dance contest) and presented at Teatro Albéniz in Madrid and as guest performance at Fondazione Merz, in Torino, included in exhibition „Meteorite in giardino“. On_Line: continuation of “Bolero della Borsa”. Stage setting: 4 washing machines, video projection by light designer Stephan Haller and 4 flamenco dancers. Music: electronic composition using drums machines, synths and washing machines samples, mostly atonal, repetitive and minimalist. Premiere, Tanhhaus NRW, Düsseldorf, Germany

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