In March I had received a call by my friend and colleague Mads Kjeldgaard. He is an intern at Notam, the Norwegian center for development and creative use of technology in music and the arts, where he runs a meet up about Supercollider and makes awesome music with it. He was involving me in a project supported by Notam and the Inter Art Center in Malmö, offering us a space to do a sound diffusion concert at the Intonal festival. We presented the idea of performing a selection of pieces by young Oslo-based acousmatic music composers made between 2017 and 2019.
The composers we featured in our concert were Mariam Gviniashvili, Juhani Silvola, Ernst Van Der Loo, Mads Kjeldgaard, Hilde Marie Holsen, Balint Lazcko, Ulf Holbrook and myself.
Our aim with this selection was to show how multi-faceted, international and various is the acousmatic music environment in Oslo, made by people with many different backgrounds and stories that work together to create new and beautiful things. A small but radical environment with lots of potential and a strong motivation.
The system we were given had 32 channels, each controlling one individual speaker. There was an 8-speaker ring, a main stereo pair, several "effect" speakers, such as tiny clusters and solo speakers, four other hanging from the ceiling. It was not a huge system but also the room wasn't big, yet it afforded quite many possibilities and was cleverly set up.
Before the concert we did all the required EQ-ing to differentiate the sound quality of the speakers even more and create more dramatic changes.
We stayed in Malmö for five days, to attend the entire festival and to rehearse and perform. In that occasion I had the chance to meet Lisa Stenberg, who was about to start working at EMS in Stockholm, with whom I had some very nice conversations and exchanged a lot of thoughts and ideas.
The things she told me about EMS got me very interested in it, and I start wondering whether it could be an option to visit it for a residency or something more.
Two other very interesting people I met in Malmö were Alessandro Perini and Dante Tanzi. Alessandro is a composer of instrumental and electronic music based in Malmö with whom I had a great conversation about music and the academia and whose positions I found extremely interesting and enlightening. Dante is a lovely old man, who fell in love with acousmatic music and built his own acousmonium in Milan, the Audior. He is an expert performer, very accurate and attentive. He played a carte blanche concert that was absolutely amazing. He was not supposed to attend my concert the day after, because he had his return flight, but (luckily or unluckily) it was canceled due to a strike and he stayed one more day. He had a lot of interesting comments about my performance and gave me some good tips. I hope I will have the chance to play on his system once.
April was again a time for trips and musical activity.
At the beginning of the month I was invited together with Mariam Gviniashvili to play a concert in Bergen, at Lydgalleriet. The concert series is called Freaky Avantgarde and is connected to the blue rinse festival organized by Craig Wells and Tijs Ham, two researchers at UiB.
Tijs designed a specific quadriphonic set-up for that concert, consisting of one pillar of speakers pointing in four directions and two subs. For the occasion I had designed a multichannel Max MSP patch musically based on my piece Scie Luminosissime which allowed me to improvise around the structure of the piece for as long as I wanted. I was very nervous because it was the first time I was the second time I was playing a solo set with my laptop and the first time in Napoli, about one year before, went really bad. I almost fainted on stage due to a panic attack.
This time I was able to concentrate much better and I played a set that to me felt very well organized and paced when I listened back to it. There is still a lot to improve, but I feel that I am on the right track.
The patch I made, had been organized based on the controller I was going to use, a Novation Launch Control XL.
This controller resembles an 8ch mixer where each channel has its own fader, three knobs and two buttons. This way i divided the patch in 8 sections, each section was dedicated to a different class of sounds that allowed me to create deep polyphonies of timbres and behaviors.
The first two "Scie" and "Bass" were used with the same kinds of materials in two different frequency ranges, textural materials used to create backgrounds which could become prominent due to very high frequency sweeps I included.
"Gestz" were gestures, hits and dramatic movements.
"Envs" were heavily enveloped sounds, like short textures slowly becoming prominent and then disappearing.
"Bbls" were bubbling granulated sounds
"Field" were field recorded materials to be used as backgrounds or - in case I chose the heavily processed and convoluted ones - they could function as tonal materials.
"Hana" is a very complex module which randomly produces pentatonic arpeggios or clusters. It is attached to an instance of Native Instrument Massive to include cheesy rave sounds which I really love and use a lot.
"cracks" are crackles and broken noise materials. They are spatialised with Spat5 and I can change the source position randomly, generating motions, they are of a different nature and thanks to the random but still predictable movement patterns they create beautiful streams of concrete grains that are very effective.
For those interested in the musical outcome of the concert, there is a quite long excerpt of the concert here at this link: https://youtu.be/XpCRGJk-6zE
After I went to Italy for Easter and my sister’s birthday, then to Malmö.