Not to be confused with (2007)
tape piece, duration 10′00′′

Basteln (bricolage/collage[1]: by subjecting the clump, or little clusters of ones own as well as found material to a process of subtraction, excavation and critique (from Greek kritikos, the ability to discern)it is recycled and re-ordered.

The piece is based on two methods applied in (contemporary) fine art that I have transferred to the processing of audio material.

The main element is inspired by the Copy Art techniques employed by Sigmar Polke, Emmett Williams and others since the late sixties.

The primary material is a piano improvisation, which I recorded with the Dictaphone (memo) function of my mobile telephone. This first electronic step in the transformation creates the particular sound coloration of the entire piece.

I then played the recording back in 22 different sampler modules simultaneously at different speeds (spread across a microtonal range as well as straddling several octaves). This produces rapid glissando effects at the beginning and a slow, downwards motion overall (because the length of the sound files played back on a "classic" sampler changes in proportion to the pitch).


The audible result is like the explosion of an extremely dense sonic texture, which then proceeds to thin out in a successive, ten-minute long process of ebbing or respiration.

The second element, which appears as a sort of coda, is inspired by the work of German artist Udo Koch who, "...aims to objectify empty space in materialized, negative forms..."[2][3]

I take white or pink noise as a "block" from all the frequencies, from which I then carve out the frequencies of an individual sound file, leaving me with an acoustic negative form. The sound file used in this case was the second part of "Déserts" by Edgar Varèse.

Technically, this was achieved with an "external" written for me by programmer Olaf Matthes for the programming environment MaxMSP that subtracts the results of one FFT analyses from those of another.

The noise block minus the frequencies from "Déserts" appears in the last minutes of the piece as the outline of a memory, stands alone for a moment and then breaks off.

[1]see also: Claude Levi-Strauss, Das wilde Denken, S.29f, Suhrkamp Verlag 1973 (The Savage Mind, University of Chicago Press, 1966) and: Vilém Flusser, Nachgeschichte, Nachdenken über Collage: Wert und Abfall}, S.238f, Fischer 1997
[2]Hans-Ulrich Obrist, Schriften zur Sammlung des Museums für moderne Kunst Frankfurt am Main/Udo Koch, S.43, Verlag Jürgen Häusser 1994