Saturday, 11 August 2018

I feel heavy metal....a few days in Dortmund

I recently had the good luck to spend some days in Dortmund with my long-term mate and ex-work colleague Rees Archibald, who is currently on a residency at the Künstlerhaus in the city. Rees has been "having conversations" with large pieces of metal, sheet-steel in the main, over the past three years or so. Over this time, he has been investigating sounds that can be created in the steel by vibration via feedback loops through a contact mic and a transducer - limiting, gain and pitch-shifting and hopefully control comes via a Max/MSP patch. A large amount of listening was done to discover new sounds, which are affected by contact mic position and adjustments of the above mentioned parameters. It was pretty tiring work, with around five to six hours of testing and listening per day, but really rewarding to be involved in and gave me ideas for my own practice.

Find below some lo-fi media from my camera - the much higher quality stuff will be on Rees' website in the near future and I'll link to that later. The first pictures are of the first sheet that was worked on in the non-installation space -

The images that follow show the two sheets in their probable installation positions in the much more reverberant exhibition space. The testing for this suggests much quieter sound pressures due to the build up on reflections in this new space - so a lot of listening and balancing of levels is needed. Sadly at this stage, it was time for me to leave Dortmund, so I look forward to seeing and hearing the pair in action with Rees as controller/mediator!

Overall this was a very interesting and artistically satisfying few days. Thanks to Rees and all at Künstlerhaus in Dortmund for their welcome.


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