Archive for Bach + Mantione

Atlas Sets at RAM

Posted in Duos, Sessions with tags , , , on January 4, 2014 by glenncbach

Not bad for a Thursday night. A successful performance and recording session for Soft Sound Loud Loud Sound Soft, the Atlas Sets session with Philip Mantione. A good crowd, some perhaps in town for the annual Festival of Lights in downtown Riverside.

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Bach setup + recording to Zoom H4n

We captured a four-channel recording of the atrium space, as well as separate direct feeds from our own boards. We’ll be reviewing the recordings over the next few months. Stay tuned.

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Accoutrements.

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All eyes on Phil.

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View from the balcony.

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Near the end of the set.

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Bach + Mantione at Riverside Art Museum

Posted in Duos, Sessions with tags , , , , , on December 21, 2013 by glenncbach


Soft Sound Loud Loud Sound Soft
A site specific performance by sound artists Philip Mantione and Glenn Bach featuring live computer music and custom-built instruments to take place in the Atrium of the Riverside Art Museum.

Bach’s music features typically loud sounds (ie. distorted guitar) that have been manipulated and drastically reduced in volume to contemplative levels, encouraging the listener to experience the subtleties and delicacies in timbre and texture which he creates.  In response, Mantione will use manipulated samples of typically soft sounds (ie. pins dropping) and raise their levels to expose the sonic detail normally beyond the scope of human hearing. He will also perform on a custom-built electronic Aeolian harp, an instrument traditionally designed to be activated by the wind.

Listeners/viewers will be able to freely enter and exit the space and get up close and personal with the performers. The artists have agreed to collaborate as part of the Atlas Sets. Conceived by Bach, the Atlas Sets are “a collaborative conversation about musical map-making, contemplative practice, creative community, and artistic intention.”

Riverside Art Museum

January 2, 2014
7:00 – 8:30pm

Bach + Mantione: SSLLSS

Posted in Duos, Structure, Themes with tags , , on November 8, 2013 by glenncbach

Mantione: I’ve been playing with ideas for our RAM performance.  Writing a new patch that will double as a sample playback device and live input manipulator.  I think I’m going to use an electronic Aeolian harp I built for an installation some time ago. It has 12 strings and is made from Home Depot materials.  Completely untunable, but that’s okay.  Today I made a bowing structure from a cool tree branch I found.  Strung it up with a low E string, and will use that as one way to activate the harp.  So, I’ll divide my performance between live activation and manipulation of the harp and triggered samples.  Plan to record a ton of sounds (about 100) with contact mics to compile 4 banks of 25 which can be triggered with my little Korg KB.  Will also program some generative ideas in MAX.

I know we roughly discussed a 2 hour performance/installation.  Now I’m thinking that may be a bit long.  On the other hand, I’ve found that pushing the time frame just beyond the limit of comfort can yield unexpected and fortuitous events. How does 90 minutes sound to you?

It’s a square space and very reverberant with a high glass dome.  There are actually four balconies, one on each wall facing each other.  I’m thinking we could place speakers up there in stereo pairs facing each other on opposite sides and facing down.  This may require significant cabling regarding length.  I will bring my 8″ Mackies…do you have something comparable for the second pair? We could set-up on the ground floor in the center and run cable such that we would hear the other’s sound in the front and back and our own sound left and right.


Bach: 
This sounds perfect. I’m excited about the harp and sample alternation; seems like a fertile palette.

Following the Loud/Soft approach, I would love to take those initial recordings, overdrive them into feedback, and then parse them back out into the space as part of our performative conversation. A transmutation of quiet into loud and back into quiet.

I’m fine with long performances, and ninety minutes seems like enough time to investigate and explore the sounds as they are broadcast back into the space. That would also give us time to reflect on the space itself and the overall soundscape of that evening’s festivities. Did you hear back from Kathryn about an artist talk?

I will bring my M-Audio BX5 monitors, but I’ll have to invest in some longer cables. Yet another reason to visit the space soon and map out our intervention.

Soft Sound Loud Loud Sound Soft

Posted in Duos, Proposals, Structure, Themes with tags , , , on May 17, 2013 by glenncbach

Soft Sound Loud Loud Sound Soft

Proposal for a live sound performance/installation by Glenn Bach and Philip Mantione
@ the Riverside Art Museum

Sound artists Philip Mantione and Glenn Bach have agreed to collaborate as part of the Atlas Sets. Conceived by Bach, the Atlas Sets are “a collaborative conversation about musical map-making, contemplative practice, creative community, and artistic intention.” This event would be part of that series.

Artist Statement

Soft Sound Loud Loud Sound Soft

Glenn Bach’s music features typically loud sounds (ie. distorted guitar) that have been manipulated and drastically reduced in volume to contemplative levels, encouraging the listener to experience the subtleties and delicacies in timbre and texture which he creates. In response, Mantione will use manipulated samples of typically soft sounds (ie. pins dropping) and raise their levels to expose the sonic detail normally beyond the scope of our sense of hearing.

We propose the use of the Atrium area at the Museum. Each composer would set-up on one of the opposing balconies that jut out into the space and perform live for the length of the show (approximately 2 hours). Listeners/viewers will be able to freely enter and exit the space, and move about to experience the sound from various perspectives.

Proposed Time and Date

We would like the performance/installation to coincide with the Festival of Lights in Riverside and the Riverside Arts Walk on Thursday, January 2, 2014 – 6:00pm to 8:00pm.

Requirements

Access to A/C power for each balcony set-up

Bach + Mantione: Idea

Posted in Duos, Structure, Themes with tags , , on February 19, 2013 by glenncbach

Mantione: Just had a thought about our collaboration.  I was impressed with your performance quite a bit and it occurred me that since you’re taking loud sounds and taking them way down in volume, it would be a nice contrast to record very soft sounds and exaggerate their volume.  To borrow yet another Cagean concept (from the directions for Atlas Eclipticalis) where he suggested that loud sounds be played short and soft sounds be played long, I would focus on short bursts of timbre based on recorded samples while you do your thing.  Sort of a blanket of sound periodically pierced and divided by points of focused aural saturation.  Of course we would need to secure a location and I still like the idea of capturing the sounds in the same space prior to the performance.

Bach + Mantione: Extramusical Ideas 4

Posted in Duos, Themes with tags , on September 3, 2012 by glenncbach

Bach: In projecting myself out among the audience and trying to experience the performance as an observer rather than an active participant, I aim to grasp the overall shape and tenor of the soundscape as an image in my mind. Since the soundscape has no discernible edge and is constructed out of infinitely shifting relationships between source and receiver, this process can only fail. Still, for my own curiosity, I assume the role of witness/caretaker of the soundscape with its musical, emotional, social, and psychological impact on the audience, estranged and idiosyncratic as they are.

Mantione: This idea of being a caretaker is interesting.  It assumes there is a sort of sonic being that exists on its own but needs some sort of “protection” to remain valid.  I view the soundscape as a collaborator with regards to sound art or in a more general sense, music.  Left on its own it doesn’t need me and is beautiful nonetheless. I impose my sonic presence on it…and feel some sort of responsibility that stems from a general respect and admiration of sound.

For me, this hyper awareness of the soundscape-as-entity, multi-faceted and ever shifting, is one of the extramusical threads I’m currently exploring. The other is the idea of ‘critical distance.’ When we talk about a particular sound and its reverberation in a space, the critical distance is the point at which the level of the direct sound is equal to the level of its own reverb (from the point of view of the listener). Applying (bastardizing) that idea to the live improvisation, I’m interested in the precise moment when the sounds generated by my performance approach the level of existing ambience or room tone of the space itself. Often this is very, very quiet. It’s safe to call it the threshold of audibility. This type of inquiry happens primarily in my solo work and with my most recent collaborations: qqq and SCSE. With the Qs, the three of us share an interest in very quiet and very subtle alterations of the existing ‘noise floor.’ With SCSE, the hovering at the threshold is only possible because of our individualized amplification spread out through a space.

Critical distance is all about the dominance (in the sense of intensity) of one sound over another.  To me this is an idea of balance, hovering back and forth over the line.  It’s the essence of the ensemble, as distinct voices emerge and subsequently recede into the texture.  It’s really like a conversation isn’t it?

Is my interest in finding and activating these very quiet relationships extramusical or simply a technical nuance of the performance? Am I interested in these phenomena because I notice how profoundly they impact my participation in the ongoing improvisation?

I can understand your emphasis on the quiet.  It’s like leaving headroom for the occasional scream or outburst, which would be swallowed in a more intense setting. I can imagine in a live setting this can work well.  But how does this translate to a recording situation.  What is the perceived loudness of such a recording.  Since the listener now has the capability to increase the overall level substantially, how does this affect the work?  What to do with Peak levels, RMS levels, and perceived loudness levels in the digital realm? Or does the recording even matter?

Bach + Mantione: Extramusical 3

Posted in Duos, Themes with tags , , , , on June 24, 2012 by glenncbach

Philip Mantione wrote:

But when you “toggle back to the point of view of the audience” aren’t you really still hearing from your own perspective.  How can it be any other way?  How can you group an audience together and conceive of some consensual experience they are having?  And even if you could, how would you determine the difference between that and your own?

Yes, I will always hear from my own perspective, as we all do. And the fact that there can be no agreed upon consensual experience doesn’t mean that there isn’t an experience going on that is more than the sum of the individual parts.

In projecting myself out among the audience and trying to experience the performance as an observer rather than an active participant, I aim to grasp the overall shape and tenor of the soundscape as an image in my mind. Since the soundscape has no discernible edge and is constructed out of infinitely shifting relationships between source and receiver, this process can only fail. Still, for my own curiosity, I assume the role of witness/caretaker of the soundscape with its musical, emotional, social, and psychological impact on the audience, estranged and idiosyncratic as they are.

For me, this hyper awareness of the soundscape-as-entity, multi-faceted and ever shifting, is one of the extramusical threads I’m currently exploring. The other is the idea of ‘critical distance.’ When we talk about a particular sound and its reverberation in a space, the critical distance is the point at which the level of the direct sound is equal to the level of its own reverb (from the point of view of the listener). Applying (bastardizing) that idea to the live improvisation, I’m interested in the precise moment when the sounds generated by my performance approach the level of existing ambience or room tone of the space itself. Often this is very, very quiet. It’s safe to call it the threshold of audibility. This type of inquiry happens primarily in my solo work and with my most recent collaborations: qqq and SCSE. With the Qs, the three of us share an interest in very quiet and very subtle alterations of the existing ‘noise floor.’ With SCSE, the hovering at the threshold is only possible because of our individualized amplification spread out through a space.

Is my interest in finding and activating these very quiet relationships extramusical or simply a technical nuance of the performance? Am I interested in these phenomena because I notice how profoundly they impact my participation in the ongoing improvisation?

Maybe I’ll just call it Slow Sound and leave it at that…