Immanuel Hunte shares his experience with Ask Kæreby’s experimental sound workshops

During the month of November, Fresh Milk resident artist Ask Kæreby held a series of three workshops looking at experimental ways of working with sound. One of the participants, Immanuel Hunte, wrote about his experience with the workshops, as well as sharing two of the pieces he created based on what was discussed in the sessions. Read more below:

I attended a 3 day workshop, which was held by Fresh Milk via their Artist Residency Programme. Ask Kæreby, a Danish composer and sound designer was the chief facilitator of this particular project, being that it was about sound and sound design. I have to say that in my opinion, even though only a few people attended the workshop, it was AWESOME. Ask helped me to open my eyes to how sound can be used in unconventional ways to express one’s self creatively.

Over the course of 3 days we looked at the technical aspects of sound and talked about the the artistic and philosophical aspects of it as well. During that time, I gained an understanding about sound and sound design; ie. that sound does not only come from musical instruments, or an orchestra, or notes and pitches. Sound is present in our everyday surroundings and in our everyday lives, whether it is natural ( eg. wind, water, trees, animals) or generated/man-made (eg. engines, machines, traffic, interaction of objects). To sum it all up, I was informally introduced to the world of sound art: Sound art is a contemporary art form in which sound (natural or artificial) is utilised as a medium or a form of expression. Sound art comprises of different elements that are often intertwined eg. audio media, electronic synthesizers, noise music, acoustic or psychoacoustic art, to name a few. Sound art tends to be experimental in that it gives the artist a chance to stretch his/her imagination. I got to learn about the people who were pioneers in this sound art movement, such as Luigi Russolo, who composed for noise machines (which he created) and had members of a London-based orchestra play them, …….which did NOT go down too well with the traditional audience! Russolo at that time wanted to escape the confines of what his generation called traditional music.

There was also Pierre Schaeffer, who was into experimental sound in the 1940s and developed musique concrète. We listened to one of his manipulated recordings of trains. My favourite part was learning about Delia Derbyshire, a woman who was instrumental in the early days of the BBC in London in the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. She has been revered for being a pioneer in electronic music. This unique workshop consisted only of oscillators and various analogue machines. Music for radio and television was scored using only these machines, including sound effects. One famous example is her electronic rendition of Ron Grainer’s theme to Doctor Who, one of the first television themes to be created and produced by entirely electronic means.

Immanuel Hunte’s Soundscape

Also, during this time, the group was given assignments to record our environments, and to manipulate them in an artistic manner. The sounds I used were recordings of my toilet flushing, the washing machine, doors, a spray-can and my voice. Using what I learned in the workshop, plus my experience in making music on computers, I got some satisfyingly interesting results. I edited parts of the audio from my raw recordings and I applied some delay and reverb effects, as well as vocoder effects. The recordings were made using my phone, and the finishing touches were done in digital audio workstations called Propellerhead Reason and FL studio.

Immanuel Hunte’s Desert  Scape

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Thanks to all of those who participated in the sessions, including Annalee Davis, Adrian Green, Immanuel Hunte, Katherine Kennedy, Jesse Phillips, Melanie Springer and Andre Woodvine.

Sign-up for a sound workshop with upcoming resident artist Ask Kæreby

Danish composer and sound artist Ask Kæreby will be hosting a series of workshops around experimental ways of working with sound during his upcoming Fresh Milk residency in November, 2015.

Find out more about the programme below and email us at freshmilkbarbados@gmail.com to let us know if you are interested in attending, as space will be limited. More detailed information about the dates & times of the workshops will follow:  

sound flyer final

About the workshop:

What sounds are available for artistic expression and how can we approach them?

As a composer or musician it is very possible to take available instruments and their sounds for granted, as most have a heritage of hundreds of years, and many new are simply variations or emulations of earlier models. But what if we suspend “the usual suspects” for a while, and try to listen in a different way? What if we refrain from identifying a sound by its source, origin or processing, and instead try and describe what we hear by its own merits? If we open ourselves to the soundscape surrounding us, how can we appreciate this in a meaningful way, and can we communicate to others by means of our own soundscapes, composed or fabricated from field recordings?

In a number of workshops, we will focus on sound as a medium of intrinsic value and its own source of information. With inspiration from the World Soundscape Project from the 1970’s, we will begin an aural mapping of the environment, documenting the local soundscape via field recordings and discussing possible signature sounds or soundmarks. Using different types of transducers, we will investigate vibrations in different types of materials such as gasses, liquids and solids – thereby exploring different modes of perception and listening. These recordings will also function as the compositional base for experimental construction of sonic narratives, musical compounds or combinations thereof.

ask kaereby

Ask Kæreby

Artist Statement:

My artistic practice is interdisciplinary and research-based, involving experimental composition, sound design and electroacoustic music. I’m interested in the presentation of narratives by means of sound – not through traditional musical gestures, but using different approaches such as musique concrète or the futurists’ bruitism, thereby giving the listener a more subtle way of experiencing the essence of the work. By placing myself in the intersection between the known formats, I wish to challenge our ways of listening – to music (live as well as recorded), to our surroundings and to (sonic) art.

Since the days of Aristotle, narratives in art have been characterised by a “poetic” organising principle, which is both logically and aesthetically superior to the random historicity of factual events. The incorporation and processing of pieces of reality in the shape of sounds in forming an audible work, contains possibilities for combining and juxtaposing these two principles, which I find extremely interesting.

My projects begin with a longer period of research, where I collect factual and historical information and gather impressions and sounds from the area and/or subject. Particularly interesting ideological or technological methods may appear, and form the basis of my further compositional work.

Bio:

Ask Kæreby is a Danish composer. He studied music production in Copenhagen, earning a MMus degree from The Royal Danish Academy of Music.

Kæreby’s artistic practice is interdisciplinary and research-based, including elements of experimental composition, sound design and electroacoustic music. He is interested in the presentation of narratives by means of sound – not through traditional musical gestures, but using different approaches such as musique concrète or the futurists’ bruitism. Working in the intersection between known formats, Kæreby wishes to challenge our ways of listening – to music (live as well as recorded), to our surroundings and to (sonic) art.

He has been awarded grants in support of his work from The Danish Arts Foundation, Danish Musicians’ Union, Wilhelm Hansen Foundation, Familien Hede Nielsen Foundation, Dansk Artist Association, Ellen & Erik Valdemar Jensen Music Grant, Anders Månsson & wife Memorial Grant and Karen Margrethe Torp-Pedersen & husband Foundation.

The Sound of Now

The Sound of Now

Calling all sound enthusiasts (musicians, composers, sound designers, creatives, etc.) Fresh Milk is proud to be collaborating with veteran sound and visual producer, McLean Greaves. We’re asking for your sound contributions, to help us create an amazing audio piece that will be used to air on basic.fm (UK). Submissions are due August 15th. Feel free to email submissions or questions to us at freshmilkbarbados@gmail.com.