Digital Archive in the Web
The production of electronic sounds is still very young and topical, nevertheless, historical archiving took place as a result of the rapid technical development. The diverse pieces, here collected, show the different creative possibilities of the new technology: sound synthesis, pitch alteration and vocal editing and their mixture in collages of sound. Often you can no longer discern the source nor the mode of production. The classical differentiation of the sound world returns to an almost chaotic variety of possibilities.
By publishing the digital archives in the Web, the sound world becomes global and shows herein the universality of the physical sound system and its possibilities, which have natural causes.
This archive contains pieces or parts of pieces compiled in series. You can get an impression of the rich variety of electronic music with regard to the history of the object as well as to the person.
This archive in progress will contain great part of the work of a lifetime, making it open to the public. The pieces of this archive were originally recorded with 8 tracks on the DA 38 / 88 of Tascam, arranged in chronological order.
This archive will become a library of electronic music recorded on DAT. The pieces produced in the course of circa 30 years are either original stereo recordings or tape compositions. The selected pieces are numerically arranged not chronologically.
Trost /Waltershausen digital: A New Kind of Virtuality
About 400 years ago, something happened that is comparable to digitization: the creation of the pipe organ arose from the world of vocalization, vocalization changed to instruments. Completely new innovative possibilities, never known before, came into being, e.g. the fugues of Bach. Digitalization allows now to change deeply the material, the musical text as well as the pipework. The computer doesn ́t work like the movement of hands or of feet, nor in accordance to the conceptions of human
imagination, but by using algorithms it makes a total mutation of the musical texts and the concrete pipes possible. The transformation of vocalization into instruments as mentioned above was just a transmission in a virtual world. The new kind of virtualization goes even further, transcends the human being and leads back to nature.
Schnitger /Stade digital: Digital Organ as Attempt at Evolution
The term organ is derived from the Greek „organon“, Latin “instrumentum,, German “Werkzeug” i.e. tool. The system of the organ consists of two systems of tone, the classical system of keys and the classical system of instruments, the registers or stops. In this regard, the organ is an integrative and closed system. But the organ is also a representation of non-natural, anthropogenic snytheses.. The classical system synthesizes out of the infinity of sounds twelve tones, the registers synthesize distinctive sounds, f.e “trumpet”. These syntheses transmit the natural reality into another reality, which is related to the reality of nature. Therefore the organ may be considered as the first synthesizer. During the course of the past decades, in reality, a quantum leap has taken place, above all the digitalization of the reality. This new reality can be considered as a second reality. In the history of the organ, this new reality has taken place due to the fact that several manufacturers digitized pipe organs, which are now available for manipulations by the computer. Classical works are played here, digitalized and controlled by the computer, modified by an algorithm, in this case the American software Level II (Dr. T ́s) for Atari. The results are extremely diverse and almost infinite. The classical systems are based on the condition of stability: C is C, the trumpet is the trumpet. Objects lose their uniqueness, they merge into each other and can be continually combined newly and differently. The rule of registration (e.g. Plein jeux, Tierce en taille) has no longer a clear relation, the integrity of pitches and stops disintegrates in quantum dots, attracting and repelling each other and harmonizing. The integration of the organ is dissolved into a mosaic of sound, in which you can however hear the original integration. The whole production here is an attempt – improvisatory and imperfect – to approach the phenomenon organ , the synthesis of reality into a new one. The organ allows this evolution: Gabler created his vox humana, Aelion-Skinner the string sections, and now the last technogical evolution is taking place: the digitalizing of systems.
Schnitger/ Stade digital: Bach and Schnitger in the Underworld
The pieces here are based on the well-kown Schnitger organ in Stade, whose manuals and pedal can be touched by the hands and feet. Hitherto, this instrument has had a development and history, resulting in some modifications of the work. In this century, something new has happened: the concrete pipe material has been transferred into digital rows of numbers. The mediator is the new instrument, the computer. It didn ́t only digitize the instrument but also the note values of classical works, here of the works of Bach. The pipes and the notes are now available for a creative editing by the computer, which has the task of executing algorithms, whose structure is created in the computer itself. All this has happened to the Toccate F-Dur and the Präludium h-Moll of Bach. Such variations (=Mutationen) can be continued endlessly, as well as changes to the assignment of the registers and manuals. Brand new combinations are generated from the original material. A part of the improvisations can be considered as “Instantaneous Compositions” according to classical patterns Fugue, Prelude etc.), but interfused by a sort of “sound process”. The mix of stops are relatively undifferentiated. Combinations of sounds, as well as fragments emerge, which don ́t form a new recognizable structure. It ́s a process of fragmentation, an unpredictable sequence of sound quanta. The basis of this decomposition doesn ́t lie in the middle dimension, which is recognizable for humans and enables us to hear structures. On the contrary, sound quanta are the basis, controlled by computer algorithms, which become intertwined or repel each other, often unpredictable. These productions try to enter a new world, hitherto unknown to humans by means of the computer and the digitalization
Schnitger / Stade digital: Classical Composers in the Evolution
In recorded music up to now, you come across classical works, instruments and performers, all aim at perfection and you can hardly recognize greater differences.
In these productions, there is a quite different access. The works are no longer original, the instrument (here the Schnitger organ in Stade) is transformed and you can no langer define the performer or the performers. The main tool is the computer, standing in the center, which receives and modifies the given reality, in this case
the instrument and the note values The Schnitger organ was digitized, the works also transformed in digital values (notes became numbers) and the initiator for the reproduction is a program and an algorithm. The transformation of the mechanical organ system into the digital world is significant, comparable with the transmission of the natural tone of instruments and voices into the abstract pipework of the organ 300 years ago. Then and now there are and there were more or less audible changes. The vox humana of an organ is no longer a human voice, the same applies to the trumpet. The digitized note values are edited by the computer with his algorithms (here the program Level II by Dr. Tobenfeldt, USA) freely and without qualification. The possibilities of variations are nearly infinite, however some classical criteria e.g., inversion, changes of the registers and organ-manuals can still be recognized. The overlapping of the notes with themselves is new. The results are not limited to the above mentioned frame but go far beyond this. In the pieces here “played”, the structure remains largely intact, e.g. in the Scherzo of the Eroica or the mutations have not yet reached a stage at which the work is disfigured beyond recognition. In addition, no organ works but orchestral compositions and a piano piece were edited for these productions. The deeper reason doesn ́t lie in the typically human idea of perfection and fixed values but the concept of permanent variation and metamorphis of given facts, here produced by applying the recent possibilities of the digital evolution which you can compare with the invention of musical notation.
Trost / Waltershausen digital: Free Improvisationes
The title above tempts one to believe that the improvisations here are in a classical form, used in the history of the pipe organ especially in Germany and France. Improvisations of this kind are concerned with classical forms, themes, types of variations such as riccercar or sonata. It ́s just composing in real time according to the
capabilities of the player. Another kind of improvisation is evolved rather freely by searching and finding and finding, by correlating the sounds in real time. The result is predictable only within limits. Especially the choice of the organ stops plays an influential and inspiring role. The improvisations recorded here came into being on the virtual Trost organ including the computer. One cannot exactly distinguish the share of the player of the keys and of the mutation by the computer. The improvisations and the demonstration of the organ stops revert to the human skills of the player, but shaped by the influence of a deconstruction of the material: instability and different algorithms. But one thing is clear: the form of these improvisations isn ́t a composition but a decomposition. Combinations of organ stops, casual forms of themes are not composed but decomposed, so that a sound reality emerges quasi point by point. One can seek the thinking behind / the background in abstract painting which separates
the complex reality into particular elements, think of artists such as Miró. The organ is a composed universe with regard to its disposition and the kind of music which was played on it or should be played. The improvisations which are offered here make these demands obsolete and show, what other options there are to connect the keys to the computer.
Schnitger / Stade digital: Metamorphosis of an Organ
In the classical performance of an organist, there are normally musical scores (e.g. of Bach or Widor) and instruments (e.g. an organ of Schnitger, Cavaillé-Coll) for an adequate interpretation. Now you can adapt Bach to the French organ, Widor to the organ of Schnitger. A fundamental transformation of a traditional performance has taken place here. The present computer with its completely innovative possibilities is the instrument of this transformation. The instrument, here the organ of Stade, is digitized, the musical text is fed into the computer with the purpose of “interpretation”. The computer works with the digitized organ and its registers and with the notes of the musical text by algorithms which produce always other results than the correct execution of the musical text and of the registration which is usually required. These results never aim at perfection, but they are always searching for possibilities of mutations using changes in the structure of the tones, the rhythm, the assignment of the manuals and the stops. Maybe the results have a strange effect, but they show one of the principles of nature, aimed not at perfection and completion but at a combination of available elements always newly being reordered. The organ as a closed, addressable instrument is perfectly qualified for these algorithmic processes, executed by the computer. Hereby an original is substituted in the same way as the organ with its stops has substituted the sound possibilities of the classical instruments (e.g. Crumhorn) ranging up to the human voice (Vox Humana).
Schnitger / Stade digital: Qanta Composition
At the beginning, God created vibrating air columns, vocal chords, sonorous metal bands and so on. These natural facts were translated in the instrument called organ, into a technical system of high quality. The vocal cord became the “Vox Humana”, the breath produced as air flow, a “Flute”. The Greek tone system, comprehending five to twelve tones, which is valid until today, was imposed on the mechanical system. The different instruments were transferred as “stops” into the classical order - manageable, discernable, differentiated – into the classical organ imparting a completed quasi timeless system stability and order. The ”improvisations” here aren ́t improvisations in the classical sense, but rather procedures which decompose completely the sound of the organ aimed at stability and transform it into “sound quanta”. The way of the secure world above leads to the underworld of the irregular quantum physics. When producing such quanta compositions, you are assisted by the computer, the new facilitator of new compositions. The organ as a complete entity was digitized into the computer, a complete metamorphosis of mechanical facts into the invisible digital world, and is now available as a simulation of the concrete instrument. There are fixed assignments in the form of musical scores of how to play a classical organ. They must and should be transferred correctly into the technology of the pipework by the human mechanics of the fingers and the feet. But now, the computer has accepted the musical scores and calculates out of it completely innovative variations. So far it has been was possible to reinterprete the French organ music (e.g C. Franck, Vierne) , e.g. on an organ of Schnitger, but now the computer interpretes the data in its way by algorithms. The results are metamorphoses of the classical parameters: changes of tones and registers, the rhythms become irregular, the manuals are swapped quasi arbitrarily. An innovative and infinite diversity of variations arise from the uniqueness of the musical score. Maybe the result is strange to the classical listener who seeks centres and limitations, both offered by the classical organ. These basic values are made obsolete by the computer, there is no longer a centre (i.e. the score) nor a limitation (i.e. the registrating). The sound of the organ, “witness of eternity”, appears here, as mentioned above, in decomposed parts, hence “quanta”. of high qualitiy
Schnitger / Cappel digital: Tools
The productions here, surely experimental, related to a unique instrument, the Schnitger organ in Cappel, creates an individual life, mostly marked by the organ, quasi to a conclusion. The music, the sheets (e.g. Bach) were existing, the organ – organon – the tool served as an interface for musical and human capabilities, of the spirit as well as of hands and feet. Using the computer, a new tool is available, that enables you to deal quite differently with the facts viz. the classical instrument and the classical works, e.g. Mozart. Both tools give an insight into the potentiality of the human mind. Traditionally humans have played an instrument, interpreted works, the computer however computes, neutrally, without history. You can find the results very interesting and you will accept them – or exactly the opposite. Both tools are available, both are an “organon”, the organ concrete and tangible, the computer abstract, creating a virtual reality. Here, the Schnitger organ is present in an altered form, just as extracts of playable classical works.
Trost / Waltershausen digital: Trost-Organ-Virtual
This triad lacks a fourth element: works, compositions of the past and improvisations of the present. Something fundamental has happened to the pieces here: the craftsmanship (Trost) and the works (e.g. Bach) are transmitted by digitalizing into a new world. In the productions here, two digitalizations became interconnected, the transmission of the musical texts and the transmission of a crafted concrete pipe organ into a virtual computer language. The results are computer-compatible and often they may evoke alienation. This is intended, they are meant to show the possibilities of the digital world.