by espen sommer eide

Len Live at HKS, Bergen 6.3.2011

Len Live at HKS, Bergen
From H.C. Giljes Flickr set.
Tags: phonophani

Radio Arc

Radio Arc from Material Vision on Vimeo.

I received my Arc today. After unboxing, I updated an old patch I had lying around to be controlled by it. The patch mimics a long-wave radio, and the "stations" I tune into are soundfiles lying on my desktop. It was actually originally made to be controlled by the Griffin Powermate knob. But this upgrade to Arc gives me much better control through high resolution and visual feedback. One knob is for tuning in larger/coarser steps and the other for fine tuning into the stations spread around the Arc.


Phonophani - "Nold" (Live)

Phonophani - "Nold" (Live) from Material Vision on Vimeo.

Live from the 2011 Présences Électronique Festival, Paris. Video and sound by François Bonnet INA/GRM.

Tags: phonophani

The Sound of Dead Languages

The Sound of Dead Languages by phonophani A mini-LP with a collection of various experiments based on audio clips of dead or dying languages. What is a language? What do we loose when a language dies? If not any meaning, then at least the unique sound. Each track tries to extract harmony, rhythm and timbre from recordings made of the last speakers of various languges. The set is released under a Creative Commons License.

Wind Speaker

The amazing guys over at Voy (famous for their WIFI lightpainting amongst other works) have made a (kind of) music video to present my new instrument the "Wind Speaker". The instrument was made in collaboration with Voys Einar Sneve Martinussen, who designed and built the birch casing for my electronics. 

The Wind Speaker may best be described as a digital electro-acoustic harmonica made of birch that turns blowing into computerised singing. The sound emerges from the speakers at the front of the instrument when the player blows into the holes in the wooden mouthpiece at the back. The amount of pressure controls volume and various effects to add expression. There are both singing and speaking poetry modes (the latter I play towards the end). The red wire out of the box is the powercord.

More images and information over at Voy (how many Scrabble points for that name?). They just started their design-studio and opened their webpage, so pay them a visit!

And yes... in case you were wondering... the location is a woodshop, the birthplace of the Wind Speaker!

3 Phonophani events

3 upcoming concerts:

19. April: Phonophani at Hear it! 2, Stedelijk / Trouw Amsterdam
10. May: Phonophani at Bogotá electrónica, Colombia
31. May: Phonophani vs. Pierre Bastien at Mutek 13th Edition, Montreal, Canada

See you there!

Tags: phonophani

Where to buy music? Pyramids, ruins and the rise of Alogcoin

I often get the question: Where can I buy your music? or Where should I buy your music? It used to be easy to answer, go to your record store or order the physical album by mailorder, but with the rapid decline of the CD format, and the rise of streaming it has become more complicated. My recent releases are also available in vinyl which by now most people agree will be the sole physical product left for music. But my earlier works were only available on CD so their digital future is at stake. 

The situation is changing so fast and new services come and fade away every year. So I find myself in the strange position that I cannot answer the question. Even the question itself seems old and out of fashion. Why put a price on music at all? It only seems to decrease the value of the music, because it builds a old fashioned paywall and ends up in fewer hands and ears. This leads to the question of the value of music. The value of people having musical experiences versus the economical value. And right now the economical part is more or less hijacked by the evil pyramidal empire of Spotify and the like. 

Lets talk briefly about streaming. Like in pyramid scheme I am working at the bottom, trying to recruit new workers (fans), and then everybody pays money upwards in the system. With the dream of reaching more listeners as the reward. Seems to be a circular argument somewhere... But to complain today about this model is a dead end, because it has become ubiquitous. In a parallel reality there should be a completely free and distributed streaming service for subculture-music (maybe organised without owners, like bitcoin? Alogcoin?). At least then no swedes would get rich by giving away my albums with commercial breaks between the tracks. 

Its an irony to think about all the work that used to go into mastering the album just right. It used to take days and weeks to even conclude about the length of the breaks between tracks on the CD. 2 seconds like normal, or maybe 5 seconds will make a greater emotional impact or flow? But I am not such a reactionary about the album format, lets not go there... Being a romantic one must allow a building become a ruin. It only increases its beauty, right?

End of part 1, I will continue to rant in a second part soon. In the meantime if you still would like to actually buy my music online (shocking!) a favorite right now is Bugge Wesseltofts Gube Music, that also includes hi quality weird formats your computer will probably not be able to play. Alog and Phonophani available.

Kvaale II by phonophani

Autumn shows

So finally I got some time to play a few concerts again. Visual art is a time vampire I hope to kill. 

11. October Phonophani @ Dark Ecology, Nikel, Russia
5. December Espen Sommer Eide & Mari Kvien Brunvoll @ Utmark, Bergen, Norway

Tags: phonophani