35
years
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Radio Beams

In three places in Europe, 's-Hertogenbosch (NL), Graz (AT) and Berlin (DE), musicians contributed to a concert that was broadcasted simultaneously in Austria (ORF radio) and the Netherlands (NVRC radio); a project by Gerfried Stocker and Horst Hörtner.

Radio Beams

Radio Beams

5
 
Oct 1993
 
21:30 to 22:15
location: V2_, Muntelstraat 23, Den Bosch

In three places in Europe -'s-Hertogenbosch (NL), Graz (AT) and Berlin (DE)- musicians contributed to a concert that was broadcasted simultaneously in Austria (ORF radio) and the Netherlands (NVRC radio). From half past nine until ten the concert entitled Radio Beams could be listened to on radio 4 in the Netherlands. Audience was present at all three locations. In Radio Beams telephone lines were set-in between the three cities to exchange live music, computerfiles and images. In Graz, 's-Hertogenbosch and Berlin, besides robots that were able to produce music and could be operated by telephone also musicians with "conventional" instruments were playing together in the electronic environment.

In 's-Hertogenbosch Victor Wentinck, Huib Emmer and Peter van Bergen played respectively keyboards/computer, electric guitar, cello and reeds. The sounds of the musicians in 's-Hertogenbosch was mixed with the sounds from Berlin and the sounds produced by the robots in 's-Hertogenbosch. These robots were operated by people from Graz. In this way a dynamic structure was created with which the musicians had to deal according to previous made agreements.
 
Gerfried Stocker and Horst Hörtner, the artists who had developed this project, had been working for a longer period of time in their studio in Graz on possibilities to control robots through telephone-lines. They did this for example by conversion of the movements of the musicians in midi-control signals. These signals were then sent by telephone to another location where they could be used to operate robots or such machines such as samplers and synthesizers.

Originated in this way were different "body-interfaces" such as a data glove, arm-joint- and head-interface, that could transfer the mechanical movements of the limbs in control signals. Because midi-signals can simply be sent by phone they are perfectly suitable for telematic concerts or concerts in which musicians can participate situated in different geographical locations.

Gerfried Stocker, Horst Hörtner and Wolfgang Reinisch gave a concert for an audience in Graz. The wore a helmet that could define the spatial character of the music. The helmet could define coordinations in the room and pass these on to a computer which could for its part place the sounds generated by the computer in the room. In this way the movements of the heads of the musicians could control the spatial dispersion of the sounds. At the same time the control signals given out by the helmets were being send to 's-Hertogenbosch through a telephone line connection, where they controlled a robot with a conical light beam. This light beam scanned the room in "s-Hertogenbosch where the concert took place. Light sensors were installed in this room and as soon as the light hit one of these sensors a signal was sent to a computer controlling the electronic instruments such as synthesizer and sampler.

The sounds obtained in this way were the bases for the concert of Victor Wentinck, Huib Emmer, Petra van der Schoot and Peter van bergen in "s-Hertogenbosch.

In Berlin Isabelle Bordini (It), Roberto Paci Daló (It) and David Moss (USA) from the DAAD-studio made music. Their music and text-contributions were being passed on through telephone lines to 's-Hertogenbosch. The musicians in Berlin improvised to the music they received from "s-Hertogenbosch and again returned this by telephone. While on the radio in the Netherlands only those signals were being passed on that had been realized with the help of the light sensors, in Austria a negative mix was made. So what was not passed on in the Netherlands was broadcasted in Austria and vice versa.

 

A report

A program about interfacing man and machine in music. This program was initiated by X-Space, an interdisciplinary group of Austrian artists in the area of art and technology. A few years ago, Gerfried Stocker completed his studies at the Vienna Conservatory and has since been working on projects where electronic music is combined with remote controlled interactive works. For instance, Stocker designed the sound sculptures that could be seen in the Austrian pavilion in the Sevilla World Fair.

In cooperation with X-Space, a plan was developed in which the radio medium took an important part. Three cities in Europe (Berlin, Graz and Den Bosch) were connected through image and sound links. Live telephone lines connected the locations where musicians" performances were based on a previously determined template (a sort of graphic compositions). The project could only be brought to completion if the ORF (Austrian radio) and the NCRV Radio were prepared to participate, since a live radio broadcast was essential to the success of the project.

Both the ORF and the NCRV were very enthusiastic about the proposal and decided to join in this exceptional project.

The connection between man and machine (from computers to robots) was central to the project and served as point of departure in creating a dynamic environment where the actions of the musicians in one location strongly influenced the musical developments in others. The fact that each influenced the others "environment" through the machines made it possible for starkly different concerts to take place and two completely different radio broadcasts were aired, in spite of the fact that the musicians were connected live through image and sound.

Video and audio links were present to make the locations visible and audible. Data lines were used to transport midi files which controlled light robots and sample machines. These connections gave rise to a dynamic structure which enabled different concerts to originate in different locations while at the same time the musicians were playing together. The radio broadcasts, for example, were each others counterpart. Actions in one location influenced parameters in the others.

Nederlands / Dutch text

Een programma rond het 'interfacen' van mens en machine in de muziek. Aanvankelijk was voor dit programma onderdeel Clarence Barlow (NL/D/IND) benaderd. Door omstandigheden, kon het, samen met hem, gecureerde programma geen doorgang vinden. Het tweede voorstel voor deze presentatie ontstond via het contact dat al langere tijd werd onderhouden met X-Space, een interdisciplinaire kunstenaars groep uit Oostenrijk op het gebied van kunst en technologie. Gerfried Stocker is afgestudeerd aan het conservatorium in Wenen en werkt sinds enige jaren aan projecten waar electronische muziek ingezet wordt in bestuurde interactieve kunstwerken. .Er werd samen met X-Space een plan ontwikkeld waarin het medium radio een belangrijke plaats kreeg. Drie steden in Europa (Berlijn, Graz, Den Bosch)werden via beeld- en geluidsverbindingen met elkaar verbonden. Via telefoonlijnen was er een live verbinding tussen de locaties, waar muzikanten musiceerden via vooraf vastgelegde stramienen (een soort van grafische composities). Het project kon alleen uitgevoerd worden indien de ORF (Oostenrijkse Radio) en de NCRV radio aan het project zouden deelnemen omdat in het uitgangspunt een live radiouitzending in beide landen noodzakelijk was om het project volledig te doen slagen. De ORF en de NCRV radio waren beide zeer enthousiast over de voorstellen en besloten mee te werken aan het bijzondere project. Voorwaarde voor de ORF en NCRV was echter dat het voorstel opgenomen werd in het V2_jaarfestival, dit van wege de publicitaire begeleiding die aan het jaarfestival gekoppeld is. .In het project stond de verbinding tussen mens en machine (van computer tot robots) centraal en werd hier het uitgangspunt voor het creëeren van een dynamische omgeving waarin handelingen van de muzikanten op de ene locatie ingrijpende gevolgen had op de muzikale ontwikkelingen op de andere locaties. Doordat, via de machines, elkaars milieu werd beïnvloed, werd het mogelijk dat op alle locaties een totaal verschillend concert plaatsvond en dat beide radiouitzendingen volledig verschillend van karakter werden (ondanks dat men live, via beeld en geluid, met elkaar verbonden was.

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