Posts from 2014

The Art of Record Production 2014


Me and colleague Trond Engum gave a presentation at The Art of Record Production 2014 conference in Oslo, December 6th entitled Unheard Sounds: The aesthetics of inaudible sounds made audible.
Abstract: In the recording industry, the quest for the ultimate high fidelity sound reproduction
has spurred the use of digital formats with ultra-high definition, in particular with bit
resolution and sampling frequencies well above the CD-standards of 16-bit/44.1kHz.
While the benefits of ultra-high sampling frequencies are debated, we will
demonstrate how recording in the ultra-sonic range can have aesthetic potential.
In the project Unheard Sounds we have recorded a range of concrete sound sources
using a microphone sensitive up to 100kHz sampling the signal at192kHz. The same
signal has also been sampled at 48kHz for comparison. With these recordings as our
basis, our presentation will focus on our investigations of:
a) the differences between using 48KHz and 192KHz for different processes and
applications. For which processing strategies and perception modes does ultra-high
sampling rates achieve results that industry standard won’t achieve? At this point, we
have shown how a simple technique as downward transposition by re-sampling,
where transpositions of one octave or more, results in clearly audible differences
between the two.
b) transpositions of ultrasound as compositional material. Which sonic structures and
qualities are found above the human hearing threshold for different sound sources?
Filtering out all audible frequencies and then transposing the ultra-sonic frequencies
down to the audible range has opened up for exploration of musical potential in an
unconventional manner.
c) recording strategies for sounds above our hearing threshold. Is it possible to
navigate microphone placement without monitoring the sounds, and do the sound
sources we choose even represent information in the ultra-sonic range?
d) composing/producing a musical piece based on the findings. The recordings of
different concrete sounds and findings related to transposition will be categorized in a
sample library. This sample library will be used for further processing and as building
blocks in a short composition/production.

Sound examples will be published at a separate web site at a later stage.

The Gift of Life

The gift of life

is a little project I had which was associated with the Hiperorgânicos IV event at the NANO lab at EBA in Rio fall 2013. This event broadcasted a lot of sensor data from plants in their in-house terrarium over the internet, so that it could be streamed from locations all around the world. Being located in Norway, where it was late autumn at the time, I found it appropriate to create a kind of distant organic echo using dead leaves, and then let the leaves be animated by an electric fan, which was controlled by the data from the terrarium in Rio. The sound of the leaves rustling was picked up by piezo and condensator microphones, gently processed and accompanied by a discreet drone. The sound was then supposed to be streamed back to the NANO labs terrarium for the plants to enjoy. However, due to technical problems in Rio, the audio streaming was never effectuated. Eirik Havnes was so kind to assist me with soldering and rigging the microphones. The video can be found here.

Performance at ICMC/SMC2014 in Athens



Being accepted to the ICMC/SMC conference with Jeu de mode we had the challenge of finding funds for bringing the three required dancers there. When our attempts failed, we instead decided to present a piece based on recordings of a Chinese poem by the Weimar based opera singer Fang Hao. This resulted in a two part study in interactive dance which we called Songshan Mountain, after the title of the poem. It was put together and rehearsed during the three first days of the conference and presented at a night concert September 17. The first part was coreographed while the second was structured improvisation. Robert Wechsler danced and coreographed while I made the music. The Norwegian Embassy in Athens were so kind to sponsor our accomodation, and had a nice little article about the performance on their website.

Performances at NYCEMF


After an invitation from Madeleine Shapiro I had the pleasure of playing two pieces at the New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival June 3 and 4. The first performance was Jeu de modes featuring dancers Jossia Clement, Annika Dörr and Teoma Naccarato with coreography by Robert Wechsler. You can see a video of the performance at this link.


In the second performance the same dancers performed La dance II, a piece I developed in collaboration with cellist Madeleine Shapiro and Robert Wechsler using live sampling and treatment of live cello sound along with motion tracking of dancers and cellist.

Jeu de modes at Concordia University

Jeu de modes at

May 30 the Department of Contemporary Dance at Concordia featured a performance of Jeu de modes, with dancers Annika Dörr, Jossia Clement, and Teoma Naccarato.Jeu de modes is an interactive dance piece I composed and Robert Wechsler coreographed exploring ranges of dynamic in expressive gesture – from small discrete finger movements, medium sized "conversational" gestures, to large, energetic swipes and explosive outbursts – and how these movements can be interpreted sonically. The title plays on the composer Francois Bayle’s theoretical work regarding the phenomenology of listening and acousmatic music – music without visual sound sources. The piece utilizes TOF (time-of-flight) sensor technology and custom-built software implemented in MotionComposer. With exception of the fixed intro, the piece is entirely composed with csound. An edited video of the performance can be found at Listen to an audio excerpt here.

Workshop at Concordia University


2014: May the 29th me and Robert Wechsler had a workshop at Concordia University Montréal aimed at dance, music and technology professionals and students. We also had generous assistance from Teoma Naccarato (who hosted and organized the event), Jossia Clement and Annika Dörr who danced an excerpt from "Jeu de Modes" as an opening of the workshop. Robert talked about his artistic work and followed up with the more recent work with motion composer. I had a short technical session explaining the general functionality of the EyesWeb component of Motion Composer along and the csound component of the Particles environment. The fun began when we divided the group into two and let them play with each their Motion Composer system. The participants, many of them dance students, were very good at exploring the environments and they were so caught up in it that the problem was actually to make them stop moving and dancing. A lot of fun! We closed the workshop with an open conversation/discussion where many interesting points and experiences came up.

Motion Composer workshop at C.A.R.E

Participants from the
C.A.R.E centre, Montréal

Together with Robert Wechsler, Teoma Naccarato, Annika Dörr and Jossia Clement I held a workshop at the C.A.R.E centre in Montréal using the Motion Composer May the 27th (2014). The participants from C.A.R.E were a group of great people with a positive attitude and curiosity for this strange piece of soundmaking technology we brought with us. Since they were exclusively wheel chair users they mostly worked with the chair versions of the environments of the Motion Composer. Many of them played great solos, especially Frank, who played an amazing solo on Tonality, shaping out beautiful musical phrases with nuance and dynamics, often reminding of Liszt. The picture below is taken at another event.

Motion Composer Workshop at InfoMus

The Motion Composer team was gathered for a little week in beautiful Genoa March 2014, working with development and testing of MC version 2.0. This time, a new member of the team, Ives Schachtschabel, was introduced, and we greatly enjoyed his improved version of the Tonality environment.