of sound relations and objectives

I have used contact mics throughout the years in various aspects of my sound work from live performance and studio instrumentation, to making recordings in the field. I use them for purposes of uncovering the “interior” acoustic properties of materials particularly with metal objects and wires, making the nature or properties of the material more audible. It is one way of animating an object with sound. However, the use of contact mics still remains a relatively minor aspect of my work. One reason can be attributed to the limited sound quality of the commonly used piezo transducers (it would be nice to use and accellerometer some day). I do not often use them for live performance any more (feedback issues) and have narrowed their use in sound collecting to a fairly specific range of materials. Yet I still find them handy for the ease of use and affordability.

The overall aim of my work still focuses on the acoustic properties of sound in space and how this signifies a relation between the artist, the object and the listener. These elements define the relation if the individual composer with him or her self as well as with collaborators in a pair or larger group. It also defines the relation of the “artist” to the public in the performative sense of how and why sound is presented (I will not go into other ceremonial or ritual functions here). As captured (recorded) sound sources, these relations find their way into my compositional work where acoustic “space” may be preserved, layered, folded, processed, re-contextualizes and reshaped. Overall the objective is not to define a line between “inner” and “outer” but to create a dynamic flow in-between (material-spatial, listener-composer, audience-performer).

This is written as an additional statement to Seth Nehil’s response to Brandon LaBelle‘s book “Background Noise – Perspectives on Sound Art”. I look forward to getting a chance to read the book.

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