The Baltimore Technology Overdrive presents RTFM
A night of visceral elasticity, open forms, and closed systems
with Gert-Jan Prins, Keroaän, Robert van Heumen
This edition of RTFM will feature a the Dutch electronic musician and master improvisor Gert-Jan Prins performing with his unique FM transmission feedback based instruments. The night will open with the fixed media quadrophonic piece "Stranger" by Robert van Heumen followed by the dynamic artificial intelligence driven synthesis, laser, and stroboscopic music of KEROAÄN.
Gert-Jan Prins (Amsterdam , NL)
A unique and acclaimed performer works with self built analogue electronics, Gert-Jan Prins, creates a fascinating sound world rumbles, rattles, and buzzes but with a keen awareness of aural surfaces and dimensions. An auditory scupltor, using feedbacking radio transmitters, he creates dense fields of texture then empties the musical space and puts the listener inside the electrical circuits that he manipulates; energetic, urgent, temporal, visceral and delacate.
Gert-Jan Prins is a master improvisor on the Dutch music scene, has been the recipient of the Ars Elctronica Honorable Mention for Digital Musics and has numerous releases to his name and in ensemble.
Gert-Jan Prins (1961) has been giving performances on self-built electronic systems based on transmission and reception techniques for the past 20 years. He is mainly interested in the musical qualities of interference, so-called noise. In recent years visual aspects have become increasingly important in his collaboration with video artist Bas van Koolwijk, with whom he designed the Synchronator (a device that transforms audio into a video signal) and by his latest sound installations. The installation "Break Before Make: The Cavity Version" (2008) was recently purchased by the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam.
Current projects include Synchronator, M.I.M.E.O. (the 12-piece Movement in Music Electronic Orchestra).
He has collaborated with Pita, Thomas Lehn, Lee Ranaldo, Tomas Korber Anne la Berge, Fennesz, the Vacuum Boys, Peter van Bergen, Domenico Sciajno, Marcus Schmickler, Thomas Ankersmit, Giuseppe Ielasi, Carlos Giffoni, Luc Houtkamp, Misha Mengelberg and many others. He has worked with visual artists: Greg Pope, Bas van Koolwijk, Rob Flint, Xavier Quérel, Manel Esparbé i Gasca, Petra Dolleman, Martha Colburn, Cyrus Frisch.
Prins performs at international festivals & clubs throughout Europe, North America, South-Africa, Russia, Central Asia, Australia.
KEROAÄN is a musical artificial intelligence developed by FRASER/ROSENBERG that performs by implementing XENAKIS’S Dynamic Stochastic Synthesis. This non-standard synthesis is played in real time by the KEROAÄN program. Pushing and pulling between sections of hard noise, singing glissandos, jagged melodic scribble and other sonic curiosities, the program liberates the computer from its position as a mere tool of hyper-productivity and transports the machine into a state of creative and performative being. Operatic in scope, a live diffusion of KEROAÄN features lasers, strobe lighting, and fog synched to both audible and structural qualities of the music as an infinitely morphing chorus of digital voices croon, cry, scream and everything in between.
Ian M. Fraser is a computer musician working in free improvisation and algorithmic based composition. His primary focus is generative structures, pseudo-artificial intelligence, stochastic processes and networking systems for audio/visual output. His current projects include Keroaän, a musical AI programmed with Reed Evan Rosenberg, a networking comedy quartet with Rosenberg, Matt Wellins and Michael Haleta, an improvised duo with Jesse Kudler, as well as his own solo material. He is the co-director of the Philadelphia Sound Forum and an active member of the Fun Vac web ring.
Reed Evan Rosenberg (b. 1986) American male from New Jersey. Works in areas of radical computer music, improvised music and installation art. Recent projects include chaotic map synthesis studies, artificial intelligence driven composition systems, generative compositions for laser and LED lights, and networked improvisation driven computer music systems. Co-creator of funvac.net, an experiment in web based experimental music curation.
Robert van Heumen (Amsterdam, NL)
Stranger (Part 2 / 2008 / 8:20)
Stranger is inspired by Albert Camus' L’Étranger and Philip K. Dick's Do androids dream of electric sheep. And as always by L.E.J. Brouwer and is is conceived as an electronic composition as well as a research in the composition process.
Does anything matter? What really is empathy? What does it mean to be human? How do we control our lives? Can we control our lives? What can it mean to know another person, to understand another life? Is it possible to break free from the bonds of the familiar, from existing concepts and beliefs?
What is it to create a piece of music? How do we choose sounds and processes out of many? Can that process be arbitrary, even random, or should every sound and every process be weighted again and again until we know it’s right? What does that mean, ‘it is right’?
The obvious metaphor: a composition as life itself.
Robert van Heumen is an electronic composer-performer using an extended laptop instrument to perform highly immersive and hyper-dynamic electro-acoustic music. As a musician, live sampling is his main tool. With a joystick and other tactile controllers, live sampled source sounds are gesturally manipulated and reworked within open ended narratives. Van Heumen is constantly searching for new strategies for live sampling and for the perfect balance between free improvisation and structured music. The laptop is used in an instrumental, tactile way, connecting action to sound like any acoustic instrument, and is used in live performance as well as in the studio to generate sonic material for fixed-media works. Van Heumen is performing regularly with Shackle (with electro-flutist Anne LaBerge), ABATTOIR (with cellist/vocalist Audrey Chen), SKIF++ (audio-visual trio with Jeff Carey & Bas van Koolwijk), Whistle Pig Saloon (with guitarist John Ferguson) and Davis/VanHeumen (with bass clarinetist Gareth Davis). He uses STEIM's live sampling software LiSa and realtime audio-synthesis software SuperCollider.
Van Heumen documents his performances as well as his composed work on labels like Creative Sources Recordings, Evil Rabbit Records and Fridgesound. He is regularly teaching workshops on live electronics and structured improvisation at universities and other educational organizations, both in the Netherlands and internationally. Van Heumen worked for 10 years at the Studio for Electo-Instrumental Music (STEIM) in Amsterdam as project manager, curator of the Local Stop concert series and member of the artistic committee. In the theater he worked with director Dirk Groeneveld, writer Simone de Jong and choreographer Anouk van Dijk. In a previous life he was a trumpet player, mathematician and software programmer. He still reads mathematician and philosopher L.E.J. Brouwer.