Spatial Sound

20th Anniversary

As part of ZKM’s expansive GLOBALE programme, a 300-day festival exploring art in the globalised and digital age, 4DSOUND presented a new series of artist-residencies and creative exchanges.

Entitled Points On The Curve, the programme investigated landmark historical spatial compositions, whilst exploring new possibilities for musical forms and sound exploration using emerging spatial sound tools and technologies. As part of 4DSOUND's Artist Residency series at GLOBALE,  ZKM and 4DSOUND hosted a night with raster-noton in celebration of the pioneering Berlin imprint’s 20th anniversary, with live-performances in 4DSOUND by Kangding Ray, Frank Bretschneider and Kyoka.

During the presentation, David L’atellier, a French musician better known under his moniker Kangding Ray, performed new material which he had developed during his residency on the system. At that time, L’atellier’s recent raster-noton album Cory Arcane defined new boundaries in industrial-influenced post-techno, crafting uncompromisingly physical music that drew on his background as a trained architect: defined sonic surfaces and planes dissolved and flickered into motion, conjuring at once bleak and yet emotionally intimate spaces.

4DSOUND also welcomed for the first time Japanese musician Kyoka. Inspired by her early experiments with tape compositions, the Berlin-based multi-instrumentalist worked with synthesis and digital processing to create heavy-rough textures, broken pop-beats that were both experimental and danceable rhythms.

Kyoka used her time at the system to record a lot of new material, recordings of her voice, the space and the surroundings of Karlsruhe, and also improvised a lot of beats and other electronic material directly on the 4DSOUND system.Also a custom patch on the iPad was developed for her with which she controlled shakes, rotations, doppler shifts, phase and anti-phase of sounds and movements. Kyoka performed at Raster-Noton's 20th Anniversary Showcase in 4DSOUND at GLOBALE ZKM, in Karlsruhe.

‘The first thing I did on the 4DSOUND system was playing my released music to hear what sounds good on the system. My idea was to use field recordings or natural sounds rather than something too punchy. Certain rhythms also worked very well. But in my opinion, not every sound was effective in that environment, nor was using a stereo file, so I used mono files. But I was very curious about what would happen if phase and antiphase of the sounds would meet, because when they meet in a musical software, they cancel each other; they just disappear. So I wanted to try it in a physical space. Firstly, the 4DSOUND crew wasn’t sure about it since the system itself actually isn’t symmetrical; but eventually, I tried it out and it worked. Then I tried to put a little bit of reverb on both the phase and antiphase of the sounds to see if I would only hear the reverb as a result of phase cancellation. I think it worked.’

- Kyoka at CDM

During the programme, they were joined by long-time 4DSOUND collaborator Frank Bretschneider, experimental minimalist composer and raster-noton co-founder. Bretschneider continued his latest work ‘Isolation’, undertaking an auditive journey along the narrow edges between the inner and outer acoustic world. The work explored the impact of longtime sensory deprivation and how this environment affected the auditory perception of prisoners as well as such effects as perceptual disorders and tinnitus - an unexpected and unsettling exploration into sensorial space.