Concert installation for 8 to 32 loudspeakers, large turntable, vinyl and orchestra
While a needle glides in the groove of a classical turntable and translates vibrations into audible tones, a laser beam scans the surface of the sound carrier in the macrograph. The digital data obtained in this way form the source material for the composition. The basic principle of the macrograph is the translation of form into music. For the composition process, this means that the "translation" of the data into music can be determined according to freely definable parameters and that even non-musical topologies can be translated into interesting musical results.
The macrograph is designed as a long-term project: Different volumes will be published one by one.
Volume II - Schnelle Antwort
With Volume II - "Schnelle Antwort", the macrograph builds a bridge to the digital world. The surface structure of the vinyl record represents a physical relief for scanning as a sound source and analogue playback, and at the same time a graphic membrane to online filed sound memories. The gateway to sound is open, but the path still needs to be travelled.
Volume I - Microgram 400
The occasion for the concrete realization is a composition commission of the Festival Neue Musik Rümlingen, which in 2021 is dedicated to the work of the Swiss writer Robert Walser. The focus is on his micrograms. In barely decipherable millimeter-small writing, Walser has written down prose texts, poems and dramolettes in the micrograms and thus at the same time refused to publish them. For the commissioned composition "Volume 1 - Mikrogramm 400", Walser's original handwritten version of Mikrogramm 400 is engraved in a spiral on an oversized vinyl record. The data captured by laser scanning of the macrograph form the basis for the composition. By setting to music not the content but external features, indeed the texture of the original text, the mysteriousness of the content remains respected.
Walser's Microgram No. 400 comprises a longer essay, a short dramolet entitled "Die Europäerin," and two poems. Presumably in September 1927, Walser wrote it on a paper measuring 17.5 x 8 cm.
For the engraving on vinyl, a photograph of the text is used, kindly provided by the Robert Walser Archive Bern.
Supported by: Pro Helvetia, Schweizer Kulturstiftung
Kulturförderung Appenzell Ausserrhoden
Kanton St.Gallen Kulturförderung