From the Unseen World

Image From the Unseen World

The very first Hybrid Event was an adventurous journey of sound through strange sceneries taken from worlds that hide from sight. The tour guide was Prof. Dr. Barry Truax, both outstanding composer of electroacoustic music and internationally acclaimed researcher, currently holding the DAAD’s Edgard Varèse Guest Professorship for Computer Music at the TU Berlin.

The founding member of the “World Soundscape Project” presented four octophonic pieces: electroacoustic compositions and soundscapes, artificially composed auditive envelopes, that are often based on digitally altered recordings of actual places or events. They were deconstructed by means of granular synthesis, which deals with sound as a succession of small particles. These so called “grains” are isolated digitally and rearranged to whole new textures.

The first piece of the evening was titled Riverrun from 1986, a strongly metaphoric piece, that bathed the audience in the possibilities of granular synthesis. It was followed by The Shaman Ascending from 2005, a digital translation of the chant of a traditional shaman figure striving for spiritual ecstasy. In the third piece, From the Unseen World, Traux swapped his former instrument, the mixing console, with the piano and wove soft appregios into digital soundscapes. The evening came to a long reverberating conclusion by Earth and Steel, a soundscape describing the production halls of large steel ships the way they might have been heard one century ago.

Being equally experienced and successful as an academic researcher and artist, Truax perfectly fulfilled the intentions of the Hybrid Event format to present topics between the poles of science and art in an innovative, hybrid form to a wide public. In conversation with Stefan Weinzierl he gave us an interesting insight into his principles concerning his music and the experiences he gathered during his versatile interdisciplinary career.

Those of you who weren’t able to experience this exceptional sound-artist in concert will get another chance on January 14 at the next Hybrid Talks “Soundscape”. Truax and further colleagues of the TU Berlin and UdK Berlin will present individual perspectives on the concept of soundscape in only 12 minutes each. Come to the Hybrid Lab and join us!

– Marten