Noiseworks

Gerhard Zander, who I played with as a duo from 2006 to 2012, first introduced me to the principle of the no-input mixer in 2009. Our way of working with no-input mixers is documented on our releases „Modul 2“ (www.brainhall.net/popups/zehn.htm) and „Modul 3“ (emerge.bandcamp.com/album/modul-3). The tracks from 2009 are examples of my solo improvisations in preparation of our duo rehearsals.

My experiments with the no-input mixer were substantially supported by my brother, Daniel Fiebig aka DJ Daniel Fibrile, who generously donated several generations of worn-out DJ mixers. In 2013, I came back to the no-input mixer in a temporary project in support of the lab30 festival with DJ Fibrile, EMERGE, elektrojudas, and Christian Z. Müller. Due to schedule problems, I never eventually got to play with them, but the tracks Deconstruction Disco and Disco Deconstruction are, again, documents of my approach at the time.

In the following years, the no-input mixer became part of my set-up for improvising with other musicians because I more and more came to appreciate its peculiar form of responsiveness. It was used in live sets with Udo Schindler and Harald Lillmeyer as well as Udo Schindler and Adrian Pereyra. Most recently, it can be heard on Das Tote Kapital & Gerald Fiebig (emerge.bandcamp.com/album/das-tote-kapital-gerald-fiebig).

During the 2020/2021 Covid pandemic, I made two radio works for which I came back to the no-input mixer as a solo instrument: Passagen. Werk für Walter Benjamin (www.mixcloud.com/gerald-fiebig/passagen-werk-f%C3%BCr-walter-benjamin/) and, in collaboration with Elisabeth Haselberger as Recorder Recorder, In 2 Rooms – A Tribute to Alvin Lucier (kunstradio.at/2021A/16_05_21.html). The recordings from 2021 collected here are further documents from this phase.

Throughout this album, the changes in my approach to the no-input mixer in certain ways reflect my approach to sound and performance as a whole: from the Cage-inspired near-silence of 2009 to the 2013 „meta-techno“ of a misused DJ tool to the noise of 2021. The latter has been inspired quite heavily by Bruce Russell’s sound practice and theory (I highly recommend his book Left-handed Blows, available at brucerussell.bandcamp.com/album/left-handed-blows-access-to-evil). The little would-be manifesto that’s part of this album is a modest tip of the hat to him (without even beginning to make any claims to a comparable level of theoretical rigour and lucidity).

As someone who was never actually trained to play a particular instrument, I was quite surprised when, looking back, I found that the no-input mixer, over the years, had sort of become „my“ instrument.

But I would not have found this loyal companion if it hadn’t been for Gerhard and Daniel. I dedicate this album to them with gratitude for all the things I learned from them about music. 

credits

released November 5, 2021

Performed, recorded & designed by Gerald Fiebig.

Cover photo (design of disco mirror ball) by Gerald Fiebig.
Mirror ball generously supplied by Tine Klink.

Thanks to Daniel „Fibrile“ Fiebig and Gerhard Zander.

Passagen. Werk für Walter Benjamin

Walter_Benjamin_vers_1928SHORT SYNOPSIS IN ENGLISH:

„Passages/Arcades. A Work for Walter Benjamin“ is a tribute to the German philosopher, media theorist, and radio writer marking the 80th anniversary of his death on 26 September 1940. The radiophonic composition consists of several parts which each give acoustic shape to Benjamin’s thought. While the quotes are in German, the piece can be listened to as a sound work whose methods include radio drama, field recording, drone music, improvised sound work, and noise.

Die Uraufführung der radiophonen Komposition „Passagen. Werk für Walter Benjamin“ wurde am 30.08.2020 ab 21.00 Uhr im Rahmen der Sendung „entartet“ live auf Radio Free FM (Ulm) übertragen. Das Stück wurde von Christian Clement für die Redaktion „entartet“ in Auftrag gegeben.

Am 20.09.2020 sendete die Radiofabrik Salzburg in der Sendung „Artarium“ eine speziell dafür eingerichtete Fassung des Stücks.

Am 16.11.2020 um 10:00 Uhr (MEZ) wurde das Stück auf Radiophrenia in einer speziellen 55-Minuten-Fassung gesendet.

 „Passages/Arcades.A Work for Walter Benjamin“ is a tribute to the German philosopher, mediatheorist, and radio writer marking the 80th anniversary of his deathon 26 September 1940. The radiophonic composition consists of several partswhich each give acoustic shape to Benjamin’s thought. While the quotes are inGerman, the composer starts the programme by introducing his concept inEnglish, so it can be listened to as a sound work whose methods include radiodrama, field recording, drone music, improvised sound work, and noise. The relationships created between Benjamin’s texts and the sounds in the piece are partly inspired by the essay „Exploding the Atmosphere: Realizing the Revolutionary Potential of ‚the Last Street Song'“ in which New Zealand-based noise musician Bruce Russell situates experimental sound practice in a political context  by referring to Benjamin and the Situationist International.

Das Stück wurde speziell für diese Sendung entwickelt und erinnert anlässlich seines bevorstehenden 80. Todestags an Walter Benjamin – scharfsinniger Kulturtheoretiker und virtuoser Prosaautor, polemischer Literaturkritiker und visionärer Geschichtsphilosoph, messianischer Kommunist und antifaschistischer Kämpfer und nicht zuletzt medienbewusster Radiomacher.
Das Stück verwebt Zitate aus Benjamins Schriften mit unterschiedlichen Klang-Szenen. Gerald Fiebig hat sich in verschiedenen Texten immer wieder auf Walter Benjamin bezogen, aber noch nie in einer akustischen Arbeit. Die Bezüge, die er in diesem Stück zwischen Benjamins Texten und seinen Sounds herstellt, sind teilweise inspiriert von dem Aufsatz „Exploding the Atmosphere: Realizing the Revolutionary Potential of ‚the Last Street Song'“, in dem der neuseeländische Noise-Musiker Bruce Russell experimentelle Sound-Praxis mit Bezug auf Benjamin und die Situationistische Internationale in einen politischen Kontext stellt.

Außer dem „Passagen-Werk“ (v.a. dem Konvolut N) werden u.a. folgende Texte Walter Benjamins zitiert:

„Über den Begriff der Geschichte“

Das Telefon“ (aus der „Berliner Kindheit um Neunzehnhundert“)

„Der Flaneur“

Das Kunstwerk im Zeitalter seiner technischen Reproduzierbarkeit

„Was ist das epische Theater?“

Erfahrung und Armut

Der Sürrealismus. Die letzte Momentaufnahme der europäischen Intelligenz“

„Theologisch-politisches Fragment“