My work is purely improvised. It is immediate... and the result of a certain moment in time, situation or space. In the recent years I have explored several forms of vocal investigations. I attempt to experience relationships in space through voice improvisation and experimentation. The work is developed site-specifically, in connection to the architecture or environment I am working in, as well the audience present during the performative action.
All music is an expression of a moment. It is fleeting. To record music, is merely to document a specific moment in time. If we listen to the radio with that in mind, we can see how making and listening to music is just like peeling off skin... it is the extension of a process.
Has there been a time where the atmosphere of a place was not condusive to your performance?
No I don't believe so. Although work done in a studio can be more focused on the purely auditive translation, the atmosphere of a studio can definitely have an effect on the recording. But I see it more a question of what questions are being asked in the situation. I can do a recording that does not question or connect in any way to the space, but that is not really what I am interested in.
I love quoting Fritjof Capra in describing this process. His approach to epistemology and the cognition of language has a close relation to the work relating to the becoming of language in the performative field. Systems thinking involves a shift from object to 'epistemic' science, to a framework in which epistemology "the method of questioning" becomes an integral part of scientific theories; "What we observe is not nature itself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning" (Werner Heisenberg). Thus this method of questioning our own personal questions becomes the essential „know how" and effective method of execution of the experience in the performative moment.
Sound as a creative act becomes the partitur for the mapping of inner and outer realities, documenting a process as a form of inherent language. Although the process still encompasses our modern definition of music as well as performance art and sound art, it is no more a question that can be explained in musical terms. Disonnance - Harmony, Melody - Spatial Awareness - A cry in the wind - A very fine variation in frequency - i.e. what question is being asked and in what time and space is it being asked in? The questions become questioned... and so on.
What is it about the interplay of vocals that strikes you most?
I love harmonious as well as dissonant orchestrational layering of vocals. When I am singing, it feels like I am the composer, the conducter, and the musician and the instrument all at the same time. Each layer being another piece of the whole that never ends. Also I really like variating the frequency very slightly below or above the first tone, and allowing for the mix of variating frequencies and sound.
What are you searching for?
Well I suppose I am not searching for anything that can be described in words... In German the phrase "Werdung der Sprache" is quite appropriate and is associated with the Sanskrit Language or ancient Hindu practice. Due to the elemental connection the language has to the idea of „word" equaling „form", the pronunciation of the word becomes the integral form of its meaning. These are thoughts that accompany my work often. The most effective way to find words for that which is indescribable is to describe that which is not. Or simply to act purely on the instinctual experience of energy in space, with an understanding of the unavoidable fallibility of language.
Tell us about your recording setup.
I set up using Ableton at the sound recording studio at my university. I record alone and mix the channels on the fly. And I do little mixing or editing afterwards. I usually can only do one recording per day so it either is a good recording or it is not usable. For that reason, if I have technical issues, I have to weigh out the quality of the recording and the quality of the performance and decide if the work can still be presented to the public. Usually I upload the work immediately to the internet. I can not really rest until I do that. It seems an essential part of the entire process.
In executing the life performance work, I come into the performance situation completely unprepared, reacting solely on the present moment. An extremely heightened level of focus and awareness is necessary. Therefore performative methods depending on the context can be undertaken to strengthen this process. I enter a space and avoid rehearsing before the performance begins. I either like to sit on the floor or stand, use technical looping equipment or performing purely acapella . I begin to sing. If I am using the technical equipment, I control different channels of the live material and mix live during the performance. Recorded loops are repeated and distributed on different channels to create a spatial atmosphere and experience.