Sair Sinan Kestelli > Instrument Lab #1

Before visiting STEIM for the Instrument Lab, even by reading, watching and listening some stuff done at STEIM, I felt that it was “a place to be” for my artistic and musical practice. My music practice is mainly based on the idea that samples or recordings could be used as “musical instruments” with various control and sound generation mechanisms. Therefore, I named it as “Ensample Music” where I explore sound in music & music in sound (more info: ensamplemusic.blogspot.com). I also build my own interfaces and controllers appropriate for this purpose by using various sensors and devices (below there is an image of my recent interface “ensample ver.2″) .

So, during my artistic practice, I explore various concepts such as embodied cognition, instrument chain in digital musical instruments, performativity in electronic music, etc. With these ideas and practice, I came to STEIM to be at a one-week long collaborative artistic environment, discuss with people who also think on such concepts and develop my own practice.

The workshop was really great as I expected and here is my summary of what can one do in an Instrument Lab, which could also give an idea to the potential participants. One could;

think: lectures during the workshop were great as I was exposed with different perspectives about electronic instruments such as design, purpose of use, interaction, history.

talk: the participants at the workshop had different backgrounds and as we were at the same work space and also most of us at the same living space (STEIM guesthouse),  we had so much time talking about various concepts about electronic instruments and everyone seemed to be inspired by other participitants’  way of thinking.

design & build: besides thinking and talking, we also produced some concrete and physical outputs during the workshop. We had a great session with Kristina, building an instrument with materials such as paper, rope, tape, staples, etc. thinking about its functioning, performativity. Also, we had a workshop with lovid team, designing and building an instrument with its case which could be performed with the voltage in our body. Right now at home, these instruments serve as an instrument to think about new music instruments.

perform: during the workshop, we performed with our “circuit taco” s we made after the workshop with lovid, which is actually the best way to experience and evaluate an instrument. Here is a video from that performance.

Also, at the last day of the workshop, we, workshop participants had an improvisation session together, which was great to see the interaction of the tools we use to make music. Here is an audio excerpt from that session.

practice: I had the chance to work with my equipment at one of the STEIM studios and practice there as much as I want during the workshop. This was a critical component for a practice-based workshop. Below is an image of my workspace at STEIM.

cracklebox: I loved the cracklebox with its simple design and lots of possibilities it offers despite this simplicity.

junxion: When I saw how this great software of STEIM works and in what possible ways it functions, I directly integrated to my setup during the workshop. I would strongly recommend it for anyone processing their control data. It provides such a great flexibility to change the behaviour of the controllers.

lisa: Although I design my own sound generation processes, I think STEIM’ s lisa software is some kind of a treasure to work with samples.

Briefly, STEIM Instrument Lab was a great experience for me both with the people I’ ve met and the time I’ ve spent. STEIM staff and all the lecturers were very helpful during the workshop and gave any assistance both for technical and conceptual issues. I would definitely recommend this workshop to anyone looking for new performative sound/music tools. I hope to visit STEIM again soon and experience this inspiring environment to realize some ideas.

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