Spatial Sound

4DSOUND & SVS CREATIVE LAB: Transgressing Borders and Redefining the Collective Space Through Sound

From August 18th to 27th, 4DSOUND hosted a 10-days creative lab at the Spatial Sound Institute in Budapest in collaboration with Munich’s experimental imprint SVS Records. Since 2007, SVS hosts every year a residency in secluded venues around the world, creating a platform for an intensive social and creative exchange between the participating artists. The close encounter between various artists is reflected in the label’s musical output.

4DSOUND and SVS Records began working together in 2014, when 4DSOUND provided a custom spatial system for SVS’s music-theatrical series MYCEL at the Maximilians Forum in Munich. The continued collaboration revolves around a shared fascination for the spatial manifestation of sound as a means of stretching, crossing and dissolving borders - both artistic, cultural and metaphorical. In our society that is becoming increasingly dominated by fear of the ‘other’, where transgressing borders is being regarded as a crime, and those who transgress are regarded potential criminals - or terrorists -, the notion of listening to space is gaining ever more importance. The threats of both religious and political terror are slowly but steadily intoxicating the public discourse on a fundamental level, resulting in constant anxiety, random outbursts of aggression and social exclusion. We suffer from this climate on a personal level, with lingering physical and mental distress for many individuals as a result. Listening to space can be a means to counter-balance this influence that we are involuntarily exposed to on a daily basis.

Developing our ability to listen sharpens our awareness and sensitivity to the world we are a part of. It can enable new insights to experiencing the environment, and can help to overcome separative notions of self and other, what is here and there, and what belongs where. Listening to space incorporates a reality that naturally transgresses borders, and sound is a medium to reconnect to this understanding of space. The creative lab enabled twenty young creators to explore the language of spatial sound and thus contribute to its evolving development. In the lab, the artists investigated the meaning of space in music production and how that changes the communication between people - new worlds that can emerge through listening.

The participants that took part in the lab came from all over the world, bringing together a variety of artistic backgrounds and expertise. During the lab new collaborations were formed to explore the 4DSOUND system, with a strong focus on improvisation and spontaneous musical interaction. Enhancing the working process, different methods and tools emerged allowing intuitive and playful interactions with the space through sound.

Camila de Laborde (MX) and Daniel Hermann-Collini (DE) are Camila Fuchs. They met during their art studies at Goldsmith University in London and began making music with a mutual desire to explore introverted, contemplative, dark, emotional, ethereal and ghostly energies through sound - yet with a danceable twist. A wide-open confession fed by the influence of surrealists' landscapes, and a desire to create something sincere, emotional, contemplative and visceral all at once.

Crypt Thing a.k.a Joseph Smith (UK) is an artist and musician from West Yorkshire. Working across a wide range of mediums including hardware, software, video and sound, most of his work stems from the crossover between contemporary art, science, and the natural world. Drawing on these sources as a starting point, he seeks to provide a thought-provoking and creative challenge to common preconceptions that surround his inspirations.

Lukas Rehm (DE) works multidisciplinary in a variety of media. Besides installation, audiovisual or theatrical pieces he works as musician mainly under the alias LYBES DIMEM. His artistic interest circles around economies of knowledge, cognitive and affective phenomena as well as the potentials and social consequences of the digitalization. The compositions evolve in an interplay between affective and referential elements, often introduced through eruptive manners. Sound entities temporarily engage in antagonisms or bonds, evolving from or dissolving into global multi layered foundations. Rehm has explored these principles already in different spatialization systems such as Sound–Dome, Wave Field Synthesis or other multi-speaker arrays, and during SVS Creative Lab for the first time in 4DSOUND.

Mint Park (US), aka BAKÁH, is an electronic musician and a multi-media artist currently based in Los Angeles. She works closely with analog synths and digital sound bytes. Aspired to produce sound and image to constantly redefine perception of time and space in perpetually fluctuating contemporary techno-media culture, she has created and collaborated in interactive intermedia projects with choreographers, filmmakers and visual artist as well. For the presentation of her work MorphingXYZ in 4DSOUND she collaborated with contemporary and Korean traditional dancers Chunwoong Kim (IL) and Hee-eun Jeong (KR).

Emil Lewandowski (DE/UK) has released several club music records under the alias Neinzer, and is a DJ that performs regularly in Berlin. Since late 2014 he has focused his attention on writing music for dance and collaborative projects. In November 2015 he was invited to write the music for a 20ft high light installation for the Glow Festival in Eindhoven. He is a regular collaborator with the world touring Butoh dancer and director Valentin Tszin.

Kamron Saniee (US) is an electronic producer and data scientist based in New York. He graduated summa cum laude in mathematics from Princeton University in 2013, having previously trained as a classical violinist with master pedagogues Cyrus Forough and Shirley Givens, and taken on additional studies in composition and performance at Mannes Conservatory. He began producing spatial sound works with the CT::SWaM experimental concert series. Central to his spatial sound project are notions of the social potential of the medium, higher degrees of spatiality, and an aesthetics of psycho-spatial awareness. Saniee works as a data scientist and applied researcher in NYC.

Since 10 years David Goldberg (DE) is composing and writing music within the field of the electronic spectrum. Influenced by his father who was a successful opera singer he was in touch with music from the very young age listening to classical and neo-classical composers who awakened his interest for contemporary art and music. He studied conceptual art and sculpting at the academy of fine arts in Munich. His debut EP came out on SVS Records.

DJ GROUND (JP) a.k.a. Gr◯un⼟土 started DJing in his teenage days and has played all over Japan with Osaka's underground music scene at his base. He’s a true omnivore when it comes to music - his style is a widespread border- a genreless garden of sound with absolutely no barriers, picking bits and pieces of whatever feels right and good to him.

Ritornell is Richard Eigner and Roman Gerold (AT). Richard is a composer, sound artist, producer and drummer residing in Vienna and Linz, Austria. In his music he is crossing the borders of experimental acoustic music, minimalism and electronica with a focus on the symbiotic use of acoustic elements and electronically produced and processed sounds. Roman Gerold, born in 1983 performs as jazz-pianist and on modular synthesizer. He is as well a cultural journalist at daily newspaper ‘der standard’.

Loading Grid, a project by Dirk Handreke (DE), explores the relation between rhythm and synthesis in the digital domain. The instrument is based around a pulse generator (max msp) that interpolates adaptive rhythm tables which are mapped to synthesis parameters. Dirk studied at the Centre of Music Technology, Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Finland and Music design at Staatl. Musikhochschule in Trossingen, Germany.

Manuela de Laborde (MX) is from Mexico City and studied Film & Video (MFA) at the California Institute of the Arts and received an Art BA at Edinburgh College of Art. Laborde’s practice, by abstracting concepts from their concrete properties, seeks to create [virtual] spaces and [regenerate] the image. Inspired by simplicity of expression, economy of detail, location of exhibition, her practice is a meditation on physical presence. Its focus is on the subject(s) in relation to the object, one in relation to the other, and the state of being in relation to becoming. To the eye, her work carries aesthetic claims and pleasure; yet in its presentation is performative and in its purpose, conceptual.

Sea Songs is a project focusing on electroacoustic improvisation, comprised of London-based musicians John Harries and Chloe Owen (UK). In performance, Sea Songs builds noisy, maximal soundscapes and hypnotic live techno tracks from a minimum of live sampled sources - radio static, contact mic'd percussion instruments and other objects - which are then richly layered with drones and melodies from Chloe's violin. The duo prioritizes in-the-moment communication and responsiveness; aims for compelling, unpredictable spontaneous collaborative composition. Chloe Owen is a violinist who creates improvised electroacoustic/ambient compositions, through the manipulation of the natural sound of the violin. John Harries is an improvising electronic musician and drummer. John is also a lecturer in popular music at Goldsmiths, University of London, and the founder of The Lumen Lake, a live night, label and musicians' co-operative for experimental, alt-electronic and improvised music in South-East London.

Parallel to his academic career, Benedikt Brachtel<link bio page> (DE) developed a devotion for electronic music, which he expresses in his act Bartellow. While studying jazz guitar and jazz composition at the Anton Bruckner University in Linz and HMT Leipzig he spent much time in the studio and on stage. With concerts in New York, Rome, Bucharest, London, Paris, Madrid, Moscow or Berlin, he is known as a composer, arranger, musician, DJ and record producer. He is also represented on many recordings, writes music for various theater productions e.g. at the Münchener Kammerspiele, the Staatstheater Karlsruhe, Theater Ulm or the Vorarlberger Landestheater Bregenz.

The lab was presented as a 24-hour performance on 6th of August, 2016 with a sequence of electronic live shows, sound sculptures and spatial performance art created by the participants collaborating with each other in different capacities. The all-night-long sequence of shows lasted until the early morning hours, and also featured acte de presence from 4DSOUND’s resident artist and long-term collaborator Stimming, who was joined this time by German ‘supernatural’ pianist Lambert for a spatial musical encounter.

From the early morning hours on, the collective installation POINTS OF RESONANCE was showed. Each participant of the creative lab contributed with one sound element taken from their individual performances to a self-organizing, organically evolving spatial sound sculpture that was constantly changing throughout the day, enduring for twelve hours. The installation started at 6am ending at 6pm on Saturday, 27th of August, 2016.

Header photography: Manuela de Laborde