Natural Dynamic Concert

________a sound journey by xname

Figure 1


Title = Natural Dynamic Concert (NDC) also spelled as Non Direct Current
Concept = One week long live-streamed sound performance whose musicians are software agents, circuits, bots, xname and the environment.
Theme = Relation nature/technology in electronic music making and art. Use of natural phenomena as chance, uncertainty or 'randomization' elements in order to create an interactive organic environment.
Space = Collision of two different manifestations of the concept of space: physical space (the boat, its internal ambient, and the external environment it passes through), and the reticular space of the internet. Data will be travelling through a distance which can become musical material: information generated and collected from the intimate local space of the boat will be in fact streamed on different servers at the same time, and replayed. Playing one stream into the other the time-lag of the different servers used will be amplified, and the sound of packets travelling through the network will become audible.
Illusion = The boat becomes a musical instrument made of organic and inorganic parts.
Thanks = STWST.


Linz (AU) July 21st - August 4th 2010
radioubique and Phantasmata in Natural Dynamic Concert at Eleonore


Home-made DIY circuits, solar panels, temperature sensors, arduino, humidity sensors, pure data, linux, GPS.

Figure 3


First week: inspect the space, prepare the instruments, refine electronic circuits, test the sound, test and tune pure data patches (arduino connecting light, temperature and humidity sensors), choose different spots for microphones, record live sounds, study the boat's route and finally cross-test streaming and bandwidth.

Second week: the concert starts, 24 hours a day it is a narrative, low density radio program. Music will be generated by the patches and the noise bots (reacting to natural light), the ambient sound streamed and manipulated. There will be a continuous interaction between the weather (light/humidity/temperature) and the sound (basically the weather will be controlling the sound).

Figure 13

Figure 12

Figure 11

Figure 10

Figure 9

Figure 8

Figure 7

Figure 6

Figure 5

Figure 4


August 4th 2010
Sitting on a bus heading to London, the memory of a sunny day in Austria, and the ducks and a sort of affection to the place, the people and the boat... All that seems far and disappearing, and the last days were basically spent like the following: dismantle the working table at STWST, dismantle the mobile table of the live-set, visit the Ars Electronica Center, have an interview with Radio Fro, go back to Eleonore, unpack again, simulate a big mess and a working table for a local artist working on high resolution images of artists studio, drink a beer, sit down for a sec - just a little nap before dinner... and accidentally sleep for over 12 hours. The day was gone, but where? The day on Eleonore starts like that: get up, pump the water, say hi to the ducks, make coffee, check the batteries level, eventually start the generator, finally connect to the net...
The performance was short, the volume was not too high, some people seemed enthusiast, Ferdinand, the dentist, looked like he had had an electro-shock. Yes, because the boat is a community project, it is a place in Linz, for the city of Linz, a place which means something because it engenders a sort of collaborative micro community. The fisherman, by example, was just an hologrammatic figure sitting next to Eleonore from dawn to sunset. Rumor says fishermen don't really fish, no one knows what they are doing there, obviously it is a great excuse to call oneself out of any duty or discussion, and forget everything loosing the eyes fixing a point, waiting for the fish. Ferdinand on the other side was part of the crew, he was coming almost everyday and it was possible to meet him everywhere in town. He brough some food and ice for the home-made fridge. Other people were coming around - Chris, Taru, Melanie, and someone else's name who knows - watering the plants, fixing something, working on the boat, swimming, checking that everything was fine and that the artist was not feeling too lonely. A beautiful walk was separating the boat from the STWST, a straigh walk along the Danube, illuminated by the bloody lights of this post-modern architecture, too new to be of historical interest yet, too old to be still new - especially since the style aims to claim futuristic modernity. The problem is that everything new becomes old, and the future of the Italian Futurists is the time of our ancestors, and modern art is so old and also contemporary art is past. The bus passed next to Bow Church and it's now going through Bethnal Green Rd, while the GPS is still searching for satellites. One night, after working til late, during a foggy walk over the river, heading back 'home' ... TO BE CONTINUED

In the meantime, find joncates excerpts: 1 and 0, otherwise - if you are afraid of noise, have a look at these: pictures!

Figure 21

August 2nd 2010
The performance will be streamed:
and audio:

The sun is back since two days, the internet is still flickering on the boat, although running on a solar panel router is kind of delicious. Otolab are here: Tony Light, Sergej and xo00. The performance, after Sergej's intro and xav and xname's presentation of the residency, will start with the stream of the sound of the stars. Noise will come.

Figure 20

Figure 19

Figure 18

Figure 17

July 30th 2010
Stream is not on yet and who knows whether it will be. Things break and then are fixed, there is a graveyard of lynksys laying in the corners of Eleonore. The potential difference between reality and expectations is called 'adaptation'. Due to adaptation and current interest and focus, the arduinos and the pd patches are left out, whereas the boat's lab is full of small electronic components, lights, glue, 3 soldering stations, breadboards, schematics etc etc. Xname is a slow learner... So as usual it is all about logic, and the surpassing of such logic towards something above, or below... Post-Logic art, could be called! Last late-night definition of the music coming out of the new born bots was 'Quite Electronic', which seemed to fit the bloodily electric sound coming out of the tiny headphones transformed (with some imagination) in a great sound system - just for the occasion. Logic and Mathematics... To go one step further that of logic, in harmony with the Oracle Machine's dream. On Monday evening there will be a performance/presentation at Cafe' Strom, the STWST's bar. My friends and beloved collaborators Otolab from Milan are coming to play along as supporters (FUN!).

Figure 15

Figure 14

July 27th 2010
Water is another important element in this project and on the boat. First of all, a boat is surrounded by water but its internal use has to be measured carefully. On the other hand not only water makes beautiful sound, it is also an extremely powerful conductor, as some might have personally experienced... From 'Science & Technology Focus': "...water does not absorb sound, so it can travel for great distances before it dies out. The speed of sound in the water is 4,750 to 5,150 feet (1,448 to 1,570 meters) per second. This time increases by 7 feet (2 meters) per second whenever the temperature increases by 1° degree F. Yesterday we installed a submarine microphone in front of STWST, possible location of the performance. It will be a sound performance... The title refers to a Natural Dynamic Concert, but what type of concert is that? Is there something outrareous in naming a noise performance 'concert'? Shouldn't people expect somebody showing up with a violin, or a pop-rock band exploding on stage? The idea of this residency is to reflect over elements and composition, so, what is the meaning of the word 'concert'? The dictionary reports two main meanings, which are, from a certain perspective, equal: on one side there is the idea of the musical 'instrumental' performance, on the other that of an 'agreement in purpose, feeling or action'. Here 'concert' is intended both as a sound performance and as an agreement between the musician emitting sound and the listener receiving it. It is thus a form of communication, as much as music is a codified language. So what happens in a 'Natural Dynamic Concert'? The performer is Nature, the instrument is Matter, the audience is the Self, with its capability to perceive and amplify. For the concert to happen there must be an agreement on the level of purpose, feeling and action: the act of listening, feeling noise and sound with the purpose to spectate a slow/long concert.

July 25th 2010
Eleonore is a special place. The boat is 100 years old or more, costed one Euro and a lot of work. It happens to me to be the first 'artist in residence' of the series, and to be named almost the same, for the joy of the press - people laugh. This project is about electricity transformed into sound. Eleonore is quite and silent, and silence is the best place to pay attention to noise. Living in a boat is different: there are important teachings in its general economy of the living space. Electricity doesn't flow like a river through the domestic habitat, and its use has to be planned and calibrated. In Linz people seem very concerned with electricity and electronics, and Tesla was Serbian and Croatian thus Austrian back then... So the codename of this residence can be spelled 'Non Direct Current' as well, and this may be the name of the performance, NDC. These two weeks of research are accompanied by two books: 'Getting Started in Electronics', a hand written work by Forrest M. Mims III, and 'Noise and Capitalism': "Improvised music has the potential to disrupt previous modes of musical production, but it is up to the player to tear them apart in order to find a way in. Opening new fields of permissibility means to go fragile until we destroy the fear that hold us back." (Mattin 2005). The extreme beauty of instability manifests itself in the search for control of delicate instruments regulated by chance and error. Listening is the status 'a priori' which can trigger certain reactions, the deconstruction of the expectations: what is experienced as music or sound? Here is an autonomous act. Maybe 'noise' is the capability to amplify - breaking a code or a mode or a predicate - that which is considered to be irrelevant, disturbance or accident. The attitude to refuse, following another mental quest.

July 21th 2010
The concert has started. I am finally sitting on the train, there is a long list of material I decided not to take, a short list of things I forgot, and a couple of regrets: I decided to leave the video-camera and the wireless bridge, and I left home the special wine bottle I had chosen for xav because it was almost 40 degrees in Milan and I was hot and full of stuff having to travel over Europe for another month... So I have very few clothes and no towel, no soap, not a single picture of Ubik, my dog, to be set in the studio, and maybe some tea tree essence to make me feel at home in the boat?? Also, no colours or brushes to make sketches.

Travelling by train is great, I have an entire big table for myself and 2 big windows. I wouldn't mind to live on a train because it moves.