Y. Harder (photo by N. Rojnic)+ M. Gustafsson (photo by Ch. Pallin)
Thursday, 03 December, 2009 - 21:00
sololala 2009 (2nd night)
Alvin Lucier: Bird and Person Dyning (1975)
performed by Yvonne Harder (D/Geneva)
Mats Gustafsson Solo (S)
Alvin Lucier: Bird and Person Dyning
for performer with microphones, amplifiers, loudspeakers and electronic sound producing objects (1975)
Route a binaural microphone system with long cables through amplifiers with limiters to one or more pairs of loudspeakers. Place an electronic bird or similar sound-producing object anywhere in the performance space. Plug it in. Set the amplifier's volume levels so that the sound of the twittering bird, picked up by the microphones, can be heard through the loudspeakers, and feedback, controlled by the limiters, occur.
Stand away facing the bird. Listen to it, wearing the binaural microphone system, a miniature microphone in each ear. Walk in very slow motion, passing the bird and/or loudspeakers, mapping the acoustic characteristics of the space in terms of the pitches, intensities, and shape of the encountered strands of feedback. Turn, dip and tilt your head to make corrections and fine adjustments and to move the sounds of the twittering bird from loudspeaker to loudspeaker. Stop from time to time to catch and hold single and multiple strands of feedback so that interactions, if any, between them and the twitters can more clearly be heard.
Search for phantom twitters, including mirror images above and below the originals, caused by heterodyning.
Use the directional properties of the binaural system to localize the phenomena for the listeners.
[Original Prose Score taken from "Alvin Lucier: Reflections", Edition MusikTexte, 1995, Köln, www.musiktexte.de]
Mats Gustafsson Solo (S, *1964)
"...For me, you have your language, that's number one. If you want to start doing improvised music you have to build up your own language. I don't want to sound like someone else, that's stupid. Someone else is someone else, I'm me. I sound like me and people should be able to recognise me [...]. But you can't just relax that and say 'I'm done'. You're never done. You have to continue to develop and you have to broaden your palette. The more you work, the more techniques and sounds you can add to the music. You have to add more and more and more all the time, otherwise you are going to get trapped, and then there is no more inspiration and then there is no more communication. It's a life-long process."
(taken from an interview with Benjamin Dwyer, 2006)
Yvonne Harder's Statement about "Bird and Person Dyning:
Tickle the speakers with your ears
In the performance piece "bird and person dyning", a performer equipped with binaural headphones makes the soundscape, generated by 4 loudspeakers and a birdlike sound source set up in their centre, decipherable for the audience.
The difficulty, as often in Lucier's pieces, lies in the simplicity of the prescription that demands a great deal of precision in the execution.
I move through the space, cautiously, the binaural headphones on my head like antennas make the invisible sound waves intelligible. I oscillate between the sheer catching and amplifying of the present sound waves and the processing of sound by moving through space and sound. By slowly and carefully inclining my head I explore the point where the binaural headset, bird sound and speakers interact - as a finger explores another person's ganglions, until the ticklish body collapses by overstimulation, rolling across the floor wincing, laughing and panting.
And then back again to the utter experience of sound.
As part of the festival sololala 2009