Percy Grainger — The Kangaroo PouchTone-tool, Grainger Museum, University of Melbourne, Australia
The Kangaroo Pouch Tone-tool was build in 1952 by Percy Grainger with wife Ella and physicist Burnett Cross, in order to play Grainger’s Free Music, a concept based on 8 continuous tones and gradual changes in pitch. On the Kangaroo Pouch, pitch, volume and timbre from 8 valve oscillators and 8 amplifiers are controlled by the paper rolls varying shapes rotating on turrets. During his life, Grainger devised various continuous, “gliding tone” instruments like this one.
Beyond the world famous and spectacular Vegetable Orchestra there is a myriad side projects and solo outings. Orchestra members Nikolaus Gansterer & Jörg Piringer are part of another Austrian collective known as Institut für Transakustische Forschung (or Institute for Transacoustic Research), a quartet formed in 1998. Behind the Transacoustic concept is a mix of interactive installations, self-build instruments, audience participation and DIY electronics, with the occasional hint of literature or board game design – a multidisciplinary approach which, in my view, is typically Viennese and recalling the short-lived Wiener Gruppe, or The Vienna Group (1954–1960).
Composed by the duo of Gansterer & Piringer alone, Kassasturz is a monumental collage of traditional, Austrian folk music, dialects, political rants, TV idents and commercials, etc, not so much as a deconstruction of cultural memes, but rather as an ironical assault on nationalism – what the duo calls “Kleptoacoustic exploration of the Austrian nation”. Granted, we’ve heard this before in The Tape Beatles' Grand Delusion (1993), for instance, but Kassasturz is still a wonderful collage of old vinyl rips and electronic manipulations.
Fernando Ramallo and David Kanaga – Proteus Live mix, October 2012 (60:00)
Spiritual jazz, classical music and electronic sounds form the backbone of this soundtrack mix to a demonstration of the Proteus game by original designers Ramallo and Kanaga during GameCity 7, 2012 edition, Nottingham, UK (see video here). Click on image above for tracklisting.
Arne Nordheim i kunsten: Ingen -ismer for meg, takk!, Henie Onstad Kunstsenter, Høvikodden, Norway, August 22, 2013 – January 12, 2014
The exhibition “Arne Nordheim and Art: No -isms for me, please!” displays music scores, portraits of Nordheim by painters, stage designs for his operas and ballet music, archive films, sound sculptures and sound installations, some in collaboration with other artists.
In 1958, Dutch hydraulics engineer Cornelis Gijsbert Jan Vreedenburgh (1895–1975) was asked to complete the mathematical calculation necessary to the building of the Philips Pavillion at Brussels World Fair.
The structure, conceived by architects Le Corbusier and Iannis Xenakis, was made of several Hyperbolic Paraboloid forms whose mechanical properties were not known to engineers at the time. To further assess the feasibility of the project, two engineers from Delft University of Technology, A. L. Bouma and F. K. Ligtenberg, created scale models of the structure of the Pavillion.
First a teacher at Bandung’s Institute of Technology in Indonesia during the 1930s, Prof.Vreedenburgh (pictured top) taught at Delft University of Technology after his return to Europe in 1939, until his retirement in 1966. In the 1930s and 1940s, Vreedenburgh was the editor of the magazine De Ingenieur in Nederlandsch-Indie, or The Dutch East Indies Engineer, published in Sumatra and Java Islands. Vreedenburgh’s speciality was “the problems of seepage through dams and levees in irrigation fields.” [source]
Images above from a French translation of a Vreedenburgh article.
Poème Electronique (Het Electronische Gedicht) Texts: Louis Kalf, Le Corbusier and Iannis Xenakis Images & book design: Jean Petit 110pp book published by Philips, Eindhoven, The Netherlands, 1958
The Poème Electronique was a building, a sound collage, a film, as well as a book – pictured above. The entire project was commissioned by Philips lamp designer Louis Kalf, and the large team included:
Louis Kalf, Philips Art Director (Eindhoven), commissioning
Le Corbusier, project design
Le Corbusier and Iannis Xenakis, architects
Iannis Xenakis, project coordination and transition music
Edgar Varèse, sound spatialization and music
Prof. C.G.J. Vreedenburgh (Delft University), mathematics of the Hyperbolic Paraboloid structure
A. L. Bouma and F. K. Ligtenberg (Delft University), architecture scale model of the Hyperbolic Paraboloid structure
Hoyte C. Duyster (Strabel Inc., Belgium), prestressed concrete
J. Matthys, works foreman
W. Tak (Philips Eindhoven), acoustician, sound system (~350 speakers)
Le Corbusier, Jean Petit and Philippe Agostini, films, slide show