A new series of programs by Roland Kuit. With in this program composer, improviser and researcher Palle Dahlstedt.
Palle Dahlstedt (b. 1971) is a composer, improviser and researcher from Sweden, working in the borderland of advanced technology and art. He grew up in Stockholm, where he studied classical piano, baroque harpsichord and composition. Later, he studied instrumental and electronic composition at the music academies of Malmö and Gothenburg, and did a PhD on evolutionary algorithms for contemporary composers at Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg. His music, ranging from chamber music and orchestral works to interactive computer installations, has been performed on six continents, and awarded several international prizes (e.g., Gaudeamus Prize 2001). As an improviser, he performs on piano and/or custom electronics, and has toured and performed all over the world with, e.g., AMM, Gino Robair, Stephen Nachmanovitch, John Tilbury and his own duo pantoMorf. He has also composed music for over thirty dance and theatre productions, and has spent a lot of time in Kyoto, Japan, to study traditional performing arts and collaborate with local traditional and contemproary artists and performers. In his research he develops new technologies and interaction models for electronic improvisation and composition, and studies computer models of artistic creativity. Dahlstedt is currently Obel Professor in Art & Technology at Aalborg university, and Associate Professor (Docent) in Computer-Aided Creativity at the Department of Applied IT, University of Gothenburg/Chalmers University of Technology, and lecturer in electronic music composition at the Academy of Music and Drama, Gothenburg. https://soundcloud.com/palle-dahlstedt https://www.youtube.com/user/otoskope Gummi (tape piece) 1995-96 Durata 11’30”. Released on e1999, Elektron EM1001 (CD) Gummi means rubber in Swedish, and that is what this piece is all about, in both acoustic and musical material and form. The raw material comes from normal balloons, played in many ways – breathing, rubbing, scratching, picking with needle, bouncing, tapping with fingers etc. Some of the recordings are even made with the microphone inside the balloon. From this huge bank of material is then sorted out a small selection of attacks used mostly in dynamic loops, and some other sounds used more ”naturally”. The sounds are nowhere manipulated, except for transposition and cutting. In this aspect this is a very ”concrete” piece of music. But Gummi is not about balloons; it’s about accelerating and decelerating movements compared to steady pulses. The piece consists of several parts investigating different ways of producing and transforming these phenomena. Supposing Gummi is about movement or not. Gummi was completed in april 1996 in the Lindblad Studio, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, and had its first performance at the Skinnskatteberg Festival of Electronic Music in June 2, 1996. It has been performed all over the world. Gummi recieved Prix Résidence in Bourges, France, 1996. The sound material is soundscape recordings from around a city, played 8-64000 times too fast. Normal human activities and surroundings are transformed into totally different worlds, but still they are worlds, with all of life’s complexity. And they still bear signs of human presence. Much of the material is treated with spectral subtraction techniques, to filter out a lot of unwanted sounds, bringing the small details to the front. It is, like all music, about time, but in a very special way, by showing us different time-scales at once, where time becomes rhythm, cars become birds and boats become melodies. This version of Anakolut was awarded the Gaudeamus Prize during the Gaudeamus Music Week, Amsterdam, September 2001. Fifth Broken Circuit (live electronics) 2005 Durata 5’59” Excerpt from Eight Broken Circuits, released digitally on Bandcamp, 2011 https://otoskope.bandcamp.com/album/eight-broken-circuits The natural breathing of thoughts, as emerging from a complex feedback system. Just like in our minds. This is part of a series of longer live-electronics works, including the sister release Seven Solo Meditations, recorded with different instruments and modes of interaction. One take, one machine, one musician. Duo PantoMorf: two tracks from the album antiforms: falling parts 2’54” Palle Dahlstedt and Per Anders Nilsson: live electronics 2009 released on LJ Records LJCD5247 (CD) This duo plays electronic free impro. With the main rule is: Taking there hands away, the instruments go quiet. Every sound springs directly from a physical gesture, and considerable physical effort is required for performance. There are no ongoing pre-programmed processes, no overdubs, and everything is free improvisation. The instruments are based on new ways of mapping gestures to sound, allowing fingertip control and expression while retaining a vast sonic potential. The question is: How can complex electronic sound spaces in improvisation be explored and controlled, regaining the millisecond interaction that is taken for granted in acoustic improvisation, but has somehow got lost in electronic music? Duo pantoMorf is Palle Dahlstedt and Per Anders Nilsson performing on instruments implemented on the Nord Modular G2 platform all tracks by Dahlstedt/Nilsson Recorded, mixed and mastered by duo pantoMorf at The Lindblad Studios, Academy of Music and Drama, University of Gothenburg. Noh flute (nohkan) + electronics, improvisation #13 & #16 Improvisations by Kumiko Nonaka (nohkan) and Palle Dahlstedt (electronics) 2009. Palle Dahlstedt has here collaborated with nohkan player Kumiko Nonaka from Kyoto, Japan. Nohkan is the bamboo flute traditionally used in the music of the Japanese Noh Theatre. These two short improvisations are part of their first recording session, made 2009 on Brännö Island, Sweden, which was the first in a series of collaborations between Dahlstedt and Nonaka. Northern Mirror (tape piece for contemporary Noh performance) Durata 8’11” 2011 Northern Mirror is a follow-up to the piece Eastern Mirror, composed for the NoHo Theatre Company (Kyoto, Japan) and noh master Akira Matsui in 2001. At the time, Palle used sounds from the Noh, processed with advanced electronic tools developed by Palle. In Northern Mirror, Palle has chosen to bring sounds from outside of Noh, partly exposed to similar processes. To Palle, the title could mean that the fine art of my Noh friends is mirrored in a Northern mind. Sounds complementary to Noh – piano strings – are composed with Noh in mind, influenced by twenty years of listening, and numerous intense encounters with very fine Noh musicians, actors and teachers in Kyoto over the years. The details of the music come from within the sounds themselves, while the form was planned to tell a story, still abstract at the time of writing, later turned into a real story based on the title by the directors Jonah Salz and Akira Matsui. In the stage version, this tape part is accompanied by noh flute (Kumiko Nonaka) and kotsuzumi shoulder drum (Shun’ichiro Hisada). Northern Mirror was first staged at the Oe Noh Theatre, Kyoto, Japan in 2011, and will be re-staged in December 2015. Foldings II (piano+live electronics) 2011 piano: Palle Dahlstedt In 2006 Palle developed a novel mapping technique for duo pantoMorf, allowing musical exploration of large parameter spaces from different performance interfaces, later expanded into a family of novel improvisation instruments. In 2011, it was adapted it to his main instrument, the piano, creating an augmented hybrid instrument from a normal grand piano. Foldings consists of acoustic and virtual resonating bodies, all sounds originating from the piano, allowing for unorthodox playing (knocking, plucking, …). Processed sounds are projected from speakers behind the piano, and acoustic and processed sounds interact and blend into one new instrument. The processing is controlled from keyboard alone, with no faders or knobs, and no presets or timeline mechanisms. Each key has a certain effect on processing parameters, and effects of different keys are accumulated; essentially a dynamic vectorization of control parameters, allowing intuitive control of complex processing by ear. The instrument is not random, but somewhat unpredictable. This feeds into the improvisation, just like how ideas from a fellow improviser provides unpredictability and food for reaction, leading into a new direction, spurring further reactions. Like chasing a moving target. Hence, the instrument itself is an essential part of the musical outcome. The second sound engine of Foldings, as used in this track, is based on a shuffle mechanism. It is a kind of small autonomous looper, continuously collecting material, which is played back based on parameters generated from the keyboard mapping mechanism. This engine is very (but not at all entirely) unpredictable, and provides a lot of creative feedback to the performer during playing. Each key affects how the material is played back, and simultaneously enters new sonic material into the buffer. Playing it requires big ears and very fast response from the player. Still, it is very rewarding and fun to play. The Foldings system is regularly used by Dahlstedt, solo or with other musicians. It has also been used extensively by the pianist John Tilbury.