Beauty in abundance

As you see, I’ve been very lazy with my blogging and artistic work recently. Actually, “lazy” isn’t quite the right word, since I’ve been and still am insanely occupied with my landscape planning/architecture studies. It’s extremely interesting so I dived into it for real. Also my computer and musical gear got stolen while I travelled the states, leaving me in a somewhat unfortunate position. Anyway, enough of the whining. Chances are I’m going to play a set of something (yet to be revealed) in May in an old bunker in Vienna. It will definitely be electronica driven, so I figured I share a piece of music with you. It’s one of the first things I wrote in PD, so you’ll need to download that first in order to play it back. [PD aka pure data is an open source graphical programming language for multimedia. That is, you’re invited to fiddle around with my patch to see what will happen. It’s fun, I tell ya. You can get it for free on the pure data website.]

Beauty in abundance [download]

“Beauty in abundance” is an infinitive piece written for noise generator and four powerful bandpass filters.
The piece challenge the way we look at dirt, chaos or so called noise. Whereas society tend to label all these things as being bad or unwanted, they are nothing different than an exsessive supply of human products. Or in other words, wheares the single component might be positive, in abundance  it becomes negative. Examples? A single car carries the driver to its destination, too many of them cause traffic jams and pollution. Overproduction of food ends up on the landfill. A twitter feed might contain valuable information, but becomes useless if the user is confronted with a couple of hundred messages a day. On a planet with a human population of almost 7 billion, finding and reusing these components becomes a technique of survival.
In musical terms, a single sine tone at random frequency, duration and volume is rather innocent, MANY of them cause white noise, which only a few would describe as a welcoming sound. In “Beauty in abundance”, I attempt to move the listener’s focus away from the general noise to its core ingredients, which I present in simple yet beautiful 4-note chords.
Once started, the patch will play forever (untill someone comes to stop it), blurring the border between a classical composition and a sound installation. Personally, I used to play it in the beginning of concert, while the audience is entering the room to smoothen the transition between the non-concertante time and the performance itself.
The duration of one loop (noise – chord – noise) can be set by the operator of the patch, according to the circumstances. Whereas it can be set to quick cycles in order to present a couple of them in a short time, I generally prefer longer times. That way, you become aware of all the levels of grey between the noise and the pure chord, posing the question what defines the one and the other. Especially if played as a permanent installation outside of a concert, 2-3 min per circle don’t seem too long.