The recording from the performance on the 19th of September is now online.
In the search of an organic live sound – instead of using just a bunch of oscillators – I have implemented spectral samplers into the live process.
The latest pieces are now on the sarana SoundCloud page.
The coming album Melancholy Paradox will be published in the first half of 2015. The album is the result of years of work, and it’ll be a mix of old remixed material and new compositions.
The album will be published by Erototox Decodings, and it’ll be available on vinyl LP in addition to digital.
Sample of the live set at Akusmata sound art gallery
The whole 30 minute performance into the spectral content of a small choir recording and whispers.
sarana Live at Akusmata on 2014-11-05
Sample of the live set at warehouse L3 in Helsinki. The warehouse was transformed into an urban park for a day. The set was performed in conjunction to a morning yoga session.
The two hour set
Friday the 19th saw a party happening by a field, by an ancient rock wall. There were two bunkers, and in one of the bunkers the main party took place. The other bunker was sadly unusable as the chill out cave, so the setup was arranged outside by the rock. Two sarana sets were performed. One around the midnight and another one in the morning.
They are now available: https://archive.org/details/srn2014-09-19
Sample on Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/sarana/kivi
I think that generative and emergent music mean different things. In my view generative music is based on algorithms that try to mimic natural dynamics. Emergent music on the other hand is not based on algorithms but an analysis (of natural processes), and the outcome can’t be mathematically formulated.
The dynamics are in constant change, but on the other hand in the context for example the sound of waves or wind is based on the physical properties of the said processes and the environment. They are not random, but they also never repeat themselves and there’s constant change, evolution.
I’m thinking about this because I’ve maybe found a label for the music I create – emergent spectral ambient.
For an example and to make my point; yesterday I was experimenting with Spectral Toolbox for Max/MSP. There is a wonderful tool there, that remaps the target sound’s partials to the nearest overtone of a harmonic series, where the fundamental frequency can come from another sound. I created a multi path system instead of just one harmonic set, which was then fed by a frequency analyzer in realtime.
In the experiment a sound of wind provides the partials, and a short cello progression the fundamentals. The combination of natural dynamics and the continuity errors in the analysis process create something unexpected, a whole piece of music with melody and harmony that goes on for eternity.
The scintillating piece is also on SoundCloud.
The latest set from Uunolan Ukotus now on Archive.org
The live process I’ve build for many years is slowly taking the shape I’ve dreamt it to be. The phase now is to move the control elements from the computer to an external device. This is achieved with iPad and the wonderful infinitely customizable Lemur application. This in turn takes the live performance where it was before: in the music and sound creation.
The system still lacks the fluidity and elements to make it a seamless experience, but I feel more and more confident that this can actually work. I’ve had doubts many times, but the clouds are shifting.
It’s rather interesting that I cannot in any way foresee the frequencies that the system picks up, so I have to be acutely aware of what’s happening at the moment. It’s exhilarating that I’m not in total control and can only guide the process and progression to certain direction. On the other hand the music doesn’t have progression if I don’t do anything. Balancing myself somewhere in between makes me a listener and the creator at the same time. The system doesn’t let me go, and on the other hand it does if I do too.
I was honored to be a performer in Dark Ambient Friday, a concert preceding the conference.
The 30 minute set on Archive.org
Excerpt of the set on Soundcloud
At the wheelhouse of a cosmogonical glider the navigator slowly moves about. There’s no reason for haste; the time itself bends around the craft, which rests on the emptiness of space. The curvature is present and coincidentally emanates an odd feeling of modesty, as if not wishing to disturb.
The helm intentively flickers in unison with the navigator’s thoughts. The electro-resonant link is in a biological feedback loop with the perception system. The balance seeking process takes a relatively short while. The undulations mellow like the aftershock on a star in the hands of a flare eruption. After the first impact of the waves of a planetary amplitude the energy is trapped in a sphere made of unbroken magnetic field lines.
With the supra conducting steering and sensing system in place, the travel can begin.
Melancholy Paradox is well on its way. Most of the tracks are ready and some need a bit more work. I’ll also record a couple of acoustic instruments – the album already presents a multitude of real acoustics.
The final recordings happen early next year, after which the tracks go through a final mix before the release. I dare to say the album is going to be something extraordinary.
I’ve implemented a couple of new techniques in the live process. The timing of the sound triggers is now more flexible, and follows the spectral content of the source material. The individual spectral band related triggers can be adjusted separately, and the end result is livelier than before. I’ve ended utilizing a central timing mechanism based on fixed fractions rather than free oscillation. This gives the resulting music a nice fundamental structure. The base sync is usually a few beats per minute.
I’ve recorded a small demo of the system. In the demo a thunderstorm recording is transformed into music. In this example the higher frequencies produce shorter envelopes for the synthesizers in use. Enjoy a spectralization of a thunderstorm. The process happens in real time, so it never quite repeats itself, even though the storm recording would be played in loop.
The other technique of which I’ve been really fascinated is about stopping the playback of a sound to a standstill. This has been enabled by modified extreme time stretching algorithms provided by Jean-Francois Charles. Typically in a live performance I’m playing the source material between 1/100 – 1/1000 speed, and the music and other elements follow the slowly changing spectral content analyzed from the material.
I recently performed live at a library main room in Helsinki. The recording of the spectral ambient set is now available.
The compilation album Survival International Vol.2 was released by Survival International and Random Records. The album includes a track Eastern Glitch by Master Margherita, which employs various remixed sarana material.
“The Psychedelic Ambient, Dowmtempo & Dub compilation Survival International Vol.2 part of our benefit project with top world artists donating their music like: Igloop, Specialmind , Kalumet , Khooman , Aedem Feat. Aurora WindDancer, Oikeusjyvä, Agni & Ancient Core, Master Margherita & Sarana, Senzar, Semtex Yoyo, and Kryptozoolog.Compiled by Dark El Kante, Mastering by Mariano Sinestesia and Artwork by Ivan Juric, to support with all the profits the N.G.O. Survival International: http://www.survivalinternational.org/ . Release date: 20th March 2013. You can find it here:http://randomrecords.bandcamp.com/”
5th part for the Sounds of Calligraphy series has been published. The original images were provided by Vuokko Koho. Uncials on Canal Grande comprises of two calligraphy works, which transform to one another in a video. The work was presented as the opening for a workshop held in Venice in March 2013.
Live video matrix is analyzed and sound waves and processing properties are derived from the image information. The pitches are based on color channel luminosity: they control the frequency and the matrix is read in three parallel processes. The resulting sound is fed into an image controlled 16×3 channel filter with image controlled cut off, resonance and panorama.
Gravity is a major psychophysical driver in the human mind.
Flying in dreams feels liberating, as does diving and floating in space. Getting rid of things in one’s life and easing thoughts that keep one on the ground and heavy is freeing. Repression is something to fight against. The mental antithesis of gravity has been the basis of religions and self-help literature. When the external reality equals the inner it ceases to exist, and the simplified composition focuses thinking. The balance is like a zero-g environment, when the boundaries are the easiest to cross.
Imagination and innovation is paralleled with words describing flying and freedom. In the limitless one floats and breaks boundaries – the physical constraints. Being on the move feels like being more alive: a whole part of the stream of time, like falling in a free fall.
Truth is seen as coming from above, even from the blue sky – there’s so an unsatisfied desire towards weightlessness. Air superiority means great power. We don’t have a weight except in relation to something else, so in essence we are weightless. It’s something that is longed for, and maybe lost even.
What if the Earth is dropped from the equation and we wouldn’t feel its gravity anymore consciously and subconsciously? When everything else besides the humans is removed, the only gravity that remains comes from the mass of bodies. The force that now is meaningless becomes the most meaningful.
Funny phenomena begin to occur. The heavies individuals form human systems around them, and around someones moon systems are formed. We wouldn’t keep things with us, because they would grind many to dust like the rings of Saturn.
But still no-one would be the center point like the Solar System’s center of gravity is not always in the Sun. The Sun and planets revolve around a common point. The force would be transpersonal and non-subjective, and it would mold our thinking the same way as we know think about the birds in the sky – only now we would live it.
When the force of gravity of our bodies is dropped from the equation, we wouldn’t be attached to them at all: the molecules and basic elements would now have the largest effect. The emotions would glue us together, and in the end only electrical currents would remain – and they would form interference fields and energy resonances. The communication becomes instantaneous.
What kind of effect all of this has in our subconscious: being aware of the interactions, which are blinded by an immense mass. It’s an illusion.
What remains, if the constants of the universe are dropped, and the electromagnetic forces ceased? The final detachment, but logically towards liberation and the greatest union.
It’s comforting that the final composition is always present. It’s not something that needs to be invented. It can be imitated, but nothing needs to be constructed – although practically the means of communication are constantly being developed. It’s something to be found and discovered – each in one’s own way. It’s understood through action, and the obstacles are pruned out of the way of the laminar flow.
This is repeated in baking for example. The final state is known and understood from experimentation and observation, and there emerges a pattern and a formula, which will always have more or less the same ending if followed dutifully and without sidesteps, feeling the material at hand. The ingredients provide many permutations of harmony.
The StillStream set is now on Archive.org. It was supposed to be a three hour set but ended up being shorter because of unexpected software glitches in the music creation process.
The second recording is of an online session with Blu from Britain. Blu provided most of the played material, which I used in the process as input and then created new re-synthesized sounds and spectral mixes as my part of the dialogue.
I created a video documentary / music video of the Ambient² installation: