KLONK: For the Birds (CD-R)

Klonk
„For the Birds“
cdr, 30 min

Released on Recordings for the Summer, May 2017

Order via Fragment Factory or Tochnit Aleph

„I am for the birds,
not for the cages
in which people
sometimes place them.“
– John Cage

„For the Birds“ is the first album by interdisciplinary art duo KLONK (Tine Klink and Gerald Fiebig). The 5 pieces, mainly based on their multimedia installation work, use the sounds of birds to explore our relationship to nature and its simulation.

When working with field recordings, birdsong can seem almost omnipresent in natural surroundings. In turn, recorded birdsong has become something of a cliché of natural ambience, heard in everything from „relaxation“ CDs to computer games.

All 5 pieces on „For the Birds“ make use of birdsong, recorded both from nature and from other media, and mix it with various natural and artificial sounds – church bells, metal percussion played on an object found in a nature reserve, a bird whistle, bicycle bells, and the sounds of hedgehogs, bees, and other insects.

By increasingly disrupting the quasi-natural flow of ambient sounds by using loops, cuts, and drop-outs, the album deconstructs the idea of an unmediated nature. The listener begins to hear that what is nature to us is always a cultural construct.

8-page booklet, layout by Michael Barthel.

Birthday Sonification Juan María Solare

This 50-second piece was created for the album Sn (Stannum) to mark the 50th birthday of composer Juan María Solare. It utilises four Pure Data sine wave oscillators which start at 1966 Hz (year of birth), 8(00) Hz (month of birth), 11(0) Hz (day of birth), 2016 Hz (year of 50th birthday), thus following Juan María Solare’s biography in a very abstract manner. Every 5 seconds (one-tenth of 50), an action is performed: once all oscillators are running steadily, they are switched to random mode in the same order, now creating varying tones between 0 Hz and their starting pitch at a Pure Data metronome speed of 50. In the last phase, the oscillators are switched off successively.

Sounding Paintings

„Farben sind Schwingungen des Lichts, Töne Schwingungen der Luft. […] Es müsste sich doch berechnen lassen, welche Lichtschwingungen mit welchen Tonschwingungen in Übereinstimmung gebracht werden könnten. Ja, das ist möglich.“ (www.uni-ulm.de/einrichtungen/emu/projekte/archiv/2014-blaue-musik/, 03.12.2016) Aber nach den Erkenntnissen der modernen Physik gibt es keine eindeutige, wissenschaftlich korrekte Übereinstimmung. (vgl. http://www.see-this-sound.at/kompendium/text/43/6, 03.12.2016) Bei der Umdeutung von Farben in Töne muss sich der Audiokünstler also eigene Regeln setzen – ähnlich wie der Maler bei der Gestaltung eines abstrakten Gemäldes. Gerald Fiebig benutzt den von dem Maler Johannes Itten entwickelten Farbkreis, der das sichtbare Farbspektrum in 12 Farbwerte unterteilt, um die 12 Halbtöne der temperierten Klaviertonleiter diesen Farbwerten zuzuordnen. Auf dieser Grundlage werden ihm die Gemälde zu Partituren für die Klangerzeugung, wobei er die Bilder mit zeitlichen Koordinaten versieht. Die so entstandenen Kompositionen arbeiten mit der Schichtung von Klangflächen und Spielgesten – ähnlich wie im Malprozess verschiedene Farbflächen nacheinander aufgetragen und durch grafische Gesten akzentuiert werden.

„Colours are vibrations of light, tones are vibrations of air. […] So it should be possible, which light frequencies can be made to correspond with which tone frequencies. Yes, it is possible.“ (https://www.uni-ulm.de/einrichtungen/emu/projekte/archiv/2014-blaue-musik/, 2016-12-03, my translation) But according to the insights of modern physics, there is no direct, scientifically correct „match“ (cf. vgl. http://www.see-this-sound.at/kompendium/text/43/6, 2016-12-03). When transforming colours into tones, the sound artist is forced to set up his own rules for himself – much like the painter of an abstract painting. Gerald Fiebig uses the circle of colours devised by the painter Johannes Itten, which divides the spectrum of visible light into 12 colours. To each of these 12 colours, Fiebig assigns one of the 12 semitone of the tempered scale. On this basis, he uses the pictures as scores for creating sound by mapping time coordinates onto the pictures. The resulting compositions employ techniques of layering sound textures and gestures – similar to the process of painting in which layers of colour are superimposed onto one another and accentuated with graphical gestures.

Schulweg Börstingen

582d-1136-47fd-a478-3e7fae050707„Schulweg Börstingen“ was created in October 2016 during a residency at kunstort ELEVEN artspace in Starzach-Börstingen. The residency was part of the „vorort_2_draussen“ symposium and art festival, curated by Monika Golla and Frank Fierke. It invited artists to create work based on their experience in the village of Börstingen. For „Schulweg Börstingen“, I recorded ambient sounds of the village as well as voices of people I asked for the way to the (former) school, which is now home to the „kunstort ELEVEN artspace“. The piece was premiered at the art space at the closing concert of the festival on 20 October, 2016.