Een special over fluitiste en componiste Anne La Berge.
00:00 – 00:32 electronic frequencies tune 32″
00:32 – 21:20 Anne La Berge: Brokenheart (2007) 20’49”
21:23 – 40:47 Anne La Berge: RAW (2014) side one 19’24”
40:48 – 59:26 Anne La Berge: Flock (2008) (excerpt) 18’38”
59:26 – 59:58 electronic frequencies tune 32″
Anne La Berge (1955):
Anne La Berge’s career as flutist/improviser/composer stretches across international and stylistic boundaries. Her most recent performances bring together the elements on which her reputation is based: a ferocious and far-reaching virtuosity, a penchant for improvising delicately spun microtonal textures and melodies, and her wholly unique array of powerfully percussive flute effects, all combined with electronic processing and text. New World Records released her CD speak in 2011 and her music is published by Frog Peak Music (US) and by Donemus (NL). She is the co-director, with her husband David Dramm, of the Volsap Foundation that supports composed and improvised music internationally.
Anne La Berge grew up in a small town near Minneapolis, studied flute at Northwestern University and at the University of New Mexico. After her graduate studies at the University of Illinois she moved to Los Angeles where she became actively involved in the new music scene. She spend two years at the University of California, San Diego in post graduate work. At the beginning of 1989 Anne La Berge moved to Amsterdam where she has lived ever since. Initially she made her name as a performer of contemporary music who explored and developed extended flute techniques for pieces by other composers. But soon Anne La Berge started making pieces of her own.
“The earliest of the works she composed in Holland, like the works written just prior to that in California (several of them documented on her 1994 portrait CD blow) she describes as “composer/performer pieces, more like written-out improv”; they are gutsy, noisy sound worlds, involving a range of new flute techniques in the domains of timbre and intonation. Already in these early pieces the amplified flute emerges as a new instrument in its own right, analogously to the electric guitar: indeed, much of La Berge’s playing, then and now, is closer to punk guitar styles than to anything from the classical wind tradition.
The aspect of Dutch music life that attracted her more strongly than composition was the improvisation scene. Initially, she says, “I was naïve enough not to see that in the improv field there still are hardly any women. They’d all gone into performance art”. Soon, though, she felt she wanted to contribute something in that domain, and here the use of electronics really became her ally. “I learned in working with David Dramm [composer/electric guitarist, her husband] that if I was going to play with the guys I had to play loud enough. Amplified flute is not loud enough, but processed, amplified flute has a characteristic that lets you be up there with the rest of the boys. As does all that mouth sound, highly amplified”. As a consequence her technological set-up expanded to include an array of effects pedals, and later an interactive computer system that permitted digital processing techniques in live performance. The testing ground for much of her work in these years was Kraakgeluiden, a improvisation series she, together with drummer Steve Heather and keyboard player Cor Fuhler, founded in Amsterdam in autumn 1999, and which continued until 2006. The aim of the series was to make improvised music that explored combinations of acoustic instruments, electronic instruments, computers, and real-time interactive performance systems. Kraakgeluiden literally means “crack sounds” (sudden, sharp sounds) and also invokes the Dutch word “kraakpand”, a squat; the series mostly took place in a series of squatted buildings in various locations in the city. Its placing of cutting edge performance work in an informal, workshop-like setting was highly successful and influential; La Berge says she learned much from the Kraakgeluiden series, not only in acquiring greater hands-on familiarity with increasingly complex technology in a live situation, but in refining her sense of time, and material, in improvised performance.
A new strand in La Berge’s compositional world in the early 2000s, quite independently of her focus on improvisation, was the use of text. Sometimes listening to her performances one imagines that part of her would like to write songs, to emulate the apparent straightforwardness of the singer-songwriter genre, where a whole world is brought into being by a single voice and an amplified guitar.”
Bob Gilmore, in the liner notes for the CD speak (2011)
a guided improvisation for musicians and Max/MSP/jitter
Cor Fuhler, prepared piano
Anne La Berge, electronics & voice
Brokenheart is a piece for computer-controlled electronics, acoustic instruments using small loudspeakers on and in their instruments and live video.
The “broken heart syndrome,” is a condition in which intense emotional or physical stress can cause rapid and severe heart muscle weakness. This condition can occur following a variety of emotional stressors such as grief, fear, extreme anger, and surprise. It can also occur following physical stress such as stroke, seizure, difficulty breathing, or significant bleeding.
It affects primarily women and occurs most frequently in middle aged or elderly women with the average age about 60. While it can also occur in young women and even in men, the vast majority of the patients are post-menopausal women. The exact reason for this is unknown.
With the brokenheart syndrome, the heart muscle is overwhelmed by a massive amount of adrenaline that is suddenly produced in response to stress. The precise way in which adrenaline affects the heart is unknown. One of the main features of this syndrome is that the heart is only weakened for a brief period of time and there tends to be no permanent or long-term damage.
The brokenheart syndrome can easily be mistaken for a heart attack. Most of the people with the brokenheart syndrome appear to have fairly normal coronary arteries with no severe blockages or clots. The heart cells of people with the brokenheart syndrome are “stunned” but not killed as they are in heart attack. This stunning heals very quickly, often within just a few days. Even though a person with the brokenheart syndrome can have severe heart muscle weakness, the heart completely recovers within a couple of weeks in most cases and there is no permanent damage.
First described medically in 1991 by Japanese doctors, the condition was originally called takotsubo cardiomyopathy. Takotsubo is a type of pot used by Japanese fishermen to capture octopuses. When doctors take images of a person who’s experiencing brokenheart syndrome, part of his or her heart resembles the shape of the pot.
A selection of text fragments that are typed live during Brokenheart:
attack : The pain was somehow completely different than the sorrow. But it still felt like some kind of attack. although I couln’t describe what or where the pain actually was. But I remember it as an overwhelming attack from the inside out. I just wanted to find a way to ease away from all of it.
blood : There was an old and deep trust that my heart would get through it. Or at least that my blood would find its way back to where it wanted to be. it moved with quiet power. – constant blood stopped its twisted route There inside me where belief was supposed to be safe.
breath : Something in my heart went very very wrong but nothing in my breath has changed. Another way to solve it was not to have loved at all.
stress : never quite sad enough to fully break – pushing the sadness from room to room
ventricle : A silly shaped heart with too many beats. Named after a super old Japanese pot. It generally hits the left side when it finds a heart. only the favorite ventricle gets so weird Takotsubo is the name of the old pot
for six players and Max
performed by MAZE and soon to be released on LP by Unsounds
RAW is a work that asks the musicians to improvise on unfinished musical material and to collectively create a work in real time as they are given ongoing random choices to make. RAW embraces the unpolished and unbridled opportunities that unforeseen combinations offer us to respond to in the process of making art.
RAW is a Max patch where each player influences the structure by sending a message to the patch at his or her own discretion. The Max patch in turn chooses random combinations of players to play, suggestions for the type of music to play and a random prerecorded text samples to be played.
The original version was made for MAZE with the instrumentation of flute with electronics, bass clarinet, double bass, electric guitar, piano with electronics and synthesizers. All of the voice samples were made in 2014 and are the voices of the members of MAZE:
Anne La Berge | flute and electronics
Dario Calderone | contrabass
Gareth Davis | bass clarinet
Reinier van Houdt | piano, keyboards and electronics
Wiek Hijmans| electric guitar
Yannis Kyriakides | computer and electronics http://www.maze.nu/
a Hørspil #7 commission from Radio WORM
A three membered flock flies over locations from Benbecula, Scotland to the South Indian lake in Canada. Each location is close to 57.4 degrees latitude and gives a different impression depending on its history and geography. In order to survive their journey, the three members of the flock have agreed to avoid crowding one another and steer in the same direction. Adhering to the simple agreements of separation, alignment and cohesion is not always straight forward but in their travels they are nevertheless able to find common experiences. Most of audio material in flock was made on the ARP 2500 and the Serge synthesizers in the CEM studio at WORM in Rotterdam. The voices are Nina Hitz, Anne La Berge, Cora Schmeiser and Anne Wellmer.