Tuesday, October 28, 2008


body body body body body and work dripping from me


I started in March 2008 by selecting some short beat-promising audio files and throwing them into Radial (a Max/Msp program I sketch and process sounds with and, lately, sometimes compose with).

I made one file, maybe 3 minutes long...stretching, arranging and looping intuitively around (if you care to listen, now this file comes in for the first time at 35 seconds and starts to play a main role at 1:10).

I imported it into Logic and saved under the name: Kalter Maerz (Cold March).

When Rayna asked me to do a piece for her Process Series, I was too busy to say no really. I thought her approach was intriguing so I decided to have no plan and no rush.

I chose an email from an email list (probably [spectre] or Rhizome), a seemingly ambitious text. Printed it and went to the recording booth.

I recorded with a Lawson L251 Microphone into Manley Slam, limiting slightly, reading and picking up words or phrases from the printed page without any goal or plan...just repeating what sounded good and felt challenging or comfortable to express.

While recording I ran the sound file in a loop making sure I had a few vocal recording tracks overlapping since the composition is linear. From A to B, from left to right on my computer screen. This gave a randomness to the order of words, which was helpful, because the brain can get in the way when it comes to words!

I thought the sound file sounded lame and processed it trough a chain of devices such as Manley Vari-mu, hoping to make it sound more distinct. Still, it was not telling me much of anything, still lame...so I stopped working on it and...

...moved from Germany to Finland and had not time for a few months to even think about the piece. Also, my studio changed and was more limited after that.

When I opened the track again in July I started editing, taking out words and lines that did not belong there, sounded weak or in the way, not fitting...I chose 25 percent of what I had recorded and the rest flew away to rot on my hard drives.

How do I measure fitting? How do I know that things don't belong there?

I thought about this a lot because I am frequently asked, Why do you make what you do? What makes it sounds unique? Where did everything start? Over the years I have had a lot of answers and it's funny. The answer changes, where everything began...

I remember more and more or forget things or maybe I just try to be smarter every time I answer and produce another self-indulged lie.

Just yesterday I suddenly remembered that there is this photograph thats shows my very young parents before I was conceived singing together in a singing group (probably communist propaganda songs) and the memory of that photo came to me while I was doing yoga after seeing a documentary about Chet Baker and his childhood.

I had totally forgotten about that photograph.

So what I am saying here: The process and intention of creation can not be absolutely defined and isn't that beautiful?

It's my very personal gone-through-evolution-since-I-exist-measurement and probably with the most honest self approach, a team of 12 psychologists, analysts and music experts - its not figure-out-able!

The question is: Where do I find the confidence to do this?

Another question for a shrink, but mainly I believe I have a strong need for original expression, and when to my knowledge I hear original expression in an interesting context, I personally wake up.

And moments of awakening and forgetting about existence are most desirable.

I am a singer, vocalist, songwriter, composer and producer and became a digital craftswoman looking for personal freedom of expression.

Along the way to becoming a composer I developed this poem-producing technique...recording and sampling from carefully chosen or absolutely random text files and using my voice and internal rhythm and melodies to form a song.

So after that happens...my vocals are writing the piece.

I write a melody, a song.

After that I take the software sword, the editing process begins...

Then I add more sounds either form self-made sample banks or soft or real synthesizers.

I choose a bass and some sounds to create a carpet beneath the vocals.

I keep editing the vocals and at some point a song appears!!

Or a direction of a song...

When i get that, I am safe. I produce the hell out of it or I sometimes just leave it, beautifully unfinished.

With this piece, Confusion Dripping from Me, it took awhile to see where the main expression was lying.

I found it after all.

After I have finished the piece to my liking I go and add some melodies, some harmonies because humans love that.

And I think it is beneficial for my music because it opens an emotional dimension to the piece which helps communicate with the listener, helps you to be carried away and in the best case have butterflies in the belly and makes you press replay while thinking, What the hell was that?