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10 min read 🤓

Awesome Foursomes (ii - No. 284)

july 09, 2021

« Because the sounds evoke words, and the words do the sounds, round and round and round and rounds... »

No. 284

1. Sudoku 202043 [Har​$​]

My Sudoku Solutions are intertwined pseudo-looping double cut-ups of a certain stretch of cassette tape (with recordings on both 'sides'), generated in a formal, procedural way, that brings blinks of (wink-wink) 20th century serialism (I propose we call it sudokism) to 21st century free dictaphonic improvisation. It transcends whatever personal emotion the sounds might evoke and allows for a compactly scripted ('encoded') dictaphonic performance. You do it the way traditional musicians perform a piece of music from a score, their eyes scanning the notes, nerves beaming them straight down to their arms and fingers (and mind you, that does not necessarily mean 'routinely'). To keep the automaton going, you... count.
Sudoku Solutions can be performed manually using a cassette player that is equipped with an auto-reverse switch. Preferably one that reacts smoothly and swiftly and can be held in the palm of one's hand. And the scores are, yes indeed: sudoku solutions. I did my first ones live on the evening of Good Friday 2006 (April 14th) when I met up with Rinus van Alebeek for a di-dictaphonic performance in 'De Nor' (a cultural centre in Heerlen that shortly afterwards was re-invented as 'Poppodium Nieuwe Nor'), just a few days before Rinus joined the ookoi for a short secret concert in the bar of 'De Balie', also a cultural centre, and platform for the freedom of speech, art, politics, culture, et cetera, this one in Amsterdam (a flash event of which back then Martin Bril was the sole witness). When at some point in time, due to excessive use and maltreatment, my favourite SONY TCM 500DV dictaphone broke down, for many years I no longer could perform Sudoko Solutions. I almost forgot about the little technique, until about two years ago, when WeiWei found me a second hand Aiwa 'Crosstrainer' SP370 walkman/radio in Taiwan, with an auto-reverse switch. Not as cool a tool as the SONY TCM 500DV, but it was in mint condition, and the switch was a good one.
In order to celebrate, and profit from the Aiwa's A/B-switch before also this little machine would break down (as of course it eventually will), I decided to record one Sudoku Solution every week of the year 2020.
This track is the 43rd one in that series of weekly recordings.
And it actually makes use of a virtual cassette tape, that is acted upon by a virtual 'cassette player' equipped with a virtual auto-reverse function, all of that captured in a short Ruby script that I wrote for the 'live coding' application Sonic Pi. The script executes Sudoku Solutions with uncanny precision, a precision that with a manual performance using an analogue player and a real, analogue, cassette tape is near to impossible to match. Whether that is an argument for or against scripted execution? That of course is a matter of taste and/or context. (Think a post-punk rhythm box like the Mini Pops versus a sweating & swinging post-punk human hitting their drum skins and cymbals.)
The virtual tape used here is a 50+ minutes mix by Drusz Kharg that includes digitisations of parts of analogue cassette tapes that FPCM recorded in the early 1980's, most probably some time in 1982. The virtual tape is made up of the mix's first half as its A-side, the second half as its B-side. From the A-side we hear parts of a recorded 1982 telephone conversation between FPCM and Jan Dietvorst, in which they exchange tips and tricks that will enable the blurring of screen print lithographies. (As music mixed in with the telephonic trick-exchange you can hear Carl Banks or Barry Beckett on organ with Jimmy Ray Jenkins and Albert Lowe on guitars, ready to back Etta James in I’d rather go blind.) On the virtual tape's 'back side', the Sudoku Solution strays in the midst of an 'ULTRA-electronicky' transition between mixed-in music tracks and 1982 telephone calls.
The 43rd Sudoku Solution [7,6,4,9,1,8,5,2,3,  3,2,1,6,7,5,9,4,8,  5,8,9,4,3,2,7,1,6,  4,5,2,8,6,3,1,9,7,  1,9,3,2,5,7,6,8,4,  6,7,8,1,4,9,2,3,5,  8,1,6,5,2,4,3,7,9,  2,4,7,3,9,6,8,5,1,  9,3,5,7,8,1,4,6,2] generates a string of pseudo-loops along a smallish stretch of the virtual tape, whose total length, measured in playback duration, is precisely 21 seconds. Cuts within these 21 seconds, on the A-side and on the B-side, are being mashed, repeated, mixed, skipped, according to the numbers of the sudoku solution. Read line by line from the left to the right, we keep stepping back and forth within a doubly folded, curled, bent, cockled, crackled, rippled, crimped & crumpled stretch of time, some of which was caught on tape almost forty years from here...


(The graph shows the alternating A/B plays generated by the auto-reverse switching. The line segment with a positive slope [the ones that go 'up'] correspond to 'A-side' cuts, those with a negative slope [the ones that go 'down'] to 'B-side' cuts. The length of a segment corresponds to the duration of its playing, given by the number of 'ticks' in the sudoku solution.)

{{ You can read a lot more on 'Sudokaising', in 'The Art of K7 :: Sudokaising [i]' and 'The Art of K7 :: Sudokaising [ii]' }}

2. Wudy Wudy [ookoi]

"Jazz!" (Woody) was the original title; we then for a while called it Woody; but eventually we settled for Wudy Wudy. It is a hit-song-sized ookoi track dating back to early or mid 2008, when it became both soundtrack and script for a machinima clip that we acted out as our Second Life avatars, Frans Peterman and HarS Hefferman. The clip—filmed and directed by Evo Szuyuan (Brigit Lichtenegger)—was titled like its soundtrack: Wudy Wudy. A big portion of Wudy Wudy's sounding flesh was moulded out of recordings we made of the infernal racket raised by the seagulls on one of the vast breeding grounds of the island of Ameland, a hellish choir if ever you heard one. As residents in the medialab set up by Timo Mank in his gallery 'Dit Eiland', on several occasions we went there to listen and record, but also to perform, outdoors on the beach, for and along with thousands of gulls.
Wudy Wudy was constructed around such breeding ground recordings made over the years 2003 to 2005, cut and merged with other sonic and musical fragments performed and recorded during our 2005 stay on Ameland: the chanting of the chorus annex couplet of the track, that sounds like "woody woody", or "wudy wudy" (an invocation that I wished I were able to explain to you; but I cannot, and I remember that already at the time of recording I seriously wondered what it was that had us say these words); the mysterious, unobtrusively wavering chords & clusters and the enchanting, repeating closing phrase played on the electronic organ, and—most notably—a longish clicking, ticking, batting and clapping session, that ended up sounding as if it were the performance of a group of drunken tap-dancers going berserk with their metal plated footwear on the very top of Timo Mank's Henk Vos table.
On closer inspection, though, it's the references to pop culture that make this ookoi hit stick most.
First there's the couple of samples that we stole from Alfred Hitchcock's classic 'The Birds', including the girl's voice saying « Jazz! » (It is the final word in a longer phrase: « Oh mum please! I know all that democracy jazz! » ), which sets the tone and—quite literally— ignites da birds.
And second, notice that Wudy Wudy, though of significantly shorter duration, has a built-up and comes with the same sort of form, has a similar (abstract) architecture (a similar structural template) as Kraftwerk's Autobahn.
Give it some time. I am sure you'll agree... 😎

3. Oerdvlieg [Har​$​]

When in the spring of 2003 Timo Mank invited me to come over to the island of Ameland and be artist in residence in his gallery Dit Eiland, for a week or so I became DJ Harsman, and on a solid Gazelle bike—generously provided by Garage Visser as part of the sponsoring of my residency—I roamed the island and recorded sounds that caught my ears. On cassette, using a (monophonic!) Sony dictaphone with a small microphone attached to the lapel of my jacket, and on a mini-disc recorder—also Sony—which for a very brief period of time was a common means for collecting 'hi-fidelity' field recordings digitally. (We can now think of the minidisc as a transitional medium, in between the analogue cassette recorders and digital recorders like the Zoom. The widely used small square metal mini-disc machines notably lacked a possibility to transfer the digital sound files directly to a computer's hard drive, which was an industry measure meant to prevent —how silly can one be?—massive music pirating by mini-disc users).
A selection of the sounds thus harvested were then used to create an interactive, online sound map of the island of Ameland: 'Het Geluideiland' (Isle of Sound). That was quite some time before online, interactive 'sound mapping' became a popular 'discipline' within a fast growing herd of sonic arts practitioners, when it became (relatively) easy to do, with the arrival (early 2005) of Google maps and its kin, php scripts and MySQL databases. For the 2003 sound map of the island of Ameland, I painstakingly packed it all within a Macromedia Flash animation, cutting a simple drawn map of the island into eleven square parts, each the center of a separate « scène », in which sounds could be found, clicked and played back. In comparison with the soon after emerging mapping techniques introduced most notably indeed by GoogleMaps, the Flash way of building a sound map was as if trying to cross the ocean on a home-built scrap-wood raft. It was a lot of hard work. But it was fun, fine, smooth, and good looking in a cartoon-like way. A cute piece of interactive compu-handicraft, that, btw, also came with a fine atmospheric 'starting-up' / opening midi-track composed by Cees van den Oever, who in the ULTRA-years with Martin Keuning and his brother Martin van den Oever created and released the 'Muziekkamer' cassette-trilogy, a Dutch ambient masterpiece.
In its (never completely) finished form, I intended the sound-map also to function as a musical instrument, a means for composing and/or for live-performing with a pre-selected set of field-recordings, and the maps as the instrument's interface.
Oerdvlieg is one of the few remaining results of these 'sound map instrument' experiments. The track was made for a net-CD curated by Jan Turkenburg (Splogman), with theme 'Water, Wind, Zeilen' ('Water, Wind Sails'), which in 2004 became the first official release of WM Recordings, a now defunct netlabel set up by Marco Kalnenek (based in Heerlen, the Netherlands) as part of his 'Weirdomusic' (WM) undertakings. The track was composed using 5 hot-spots on the 'Isle of Sounds', corresponding to five different island recordings made on Monday may 19th, 2003, on the eastern part of Ameland. I rehearsed the playing of Oerdvlieg a couple of times, to get the timing and layering right; then recorded it onto hard disk, in one single take, without overdubs.
You can hear the 'oerdvlieg' at around 3'34" in the track.


4. Swing [Har​$​]

On my 2017 birthday the tiny village of Alwine, about 120 kilometers to the south of Berlin, abandonded by most of its inhabitants in the early 1990's when brown-coal mining in the area came to a grinding halt, was sold by auction to an anonymous bidder for an amount a little over 100,000€. That little news flash at the time reminded me of Swing, music I imagined to be played by a trio of late middle aged semi-pro musicking nihilists, whose remaining days pass away slowly and repetitively while they drink too much cheap wine and earn too little money. We find them at a sadly bleak 'no future'-wedding celebration in the community centre of a decaying post-industrial village in former communist Germany, that, like Alwine, after die Wende was rapidly abandoned by the bulk of its inhabitants, who went to the west. « Finally free, » they said to each other and themselves, « let's pursue our happiness the capitalist way! Profit! » The musicians, that for unknown reasons, along with some handfuls of other perseverers, had stayed in the east (which at least they knew to be theirs), sit on an improvised stage set against a wall where a big holed-out dart-board hung next to an old piano. Bride, groom and almost all guests already left. Only this one drunk couple remained, desperately hanging on to itself. Euphorically they swing-dance on the dirty tiled floor, between tainted wooden chairs and tables. Round and round and round and round their world's edge they swirl, breathless, out of sync with themselves and oblivous to the music that paces onward, unruffled...
Swing was multi-track recorded on a Yamaha Clavinova keyboard, a rather sophisticated electronic variant of the player piano, some time between mid 1996 and late 1998.


To receive updates on the ookoi's b.ookoi's progress and all related events and activities, follow Stduio on Bandcamp!

Bandcamp is our preferred platform, but you can also listen to Stduio ookoi's No. 284 on streaming music platforms, like YouTube Music or Spotify ... :


The b.ookoi are coming!


next up on b.ookoi:Awesome Foursomes (iii)

Read about the ookoi and Raudio and Stduio on the SoundBlog:
(2022, april 25) - Awesome Foursomes (viii) - No. 664
(2022, march 31) - Awesome Foursomes (vii) - No. 138
(2022, february 20) - Awesome Foursomes (vi) - No. 419
(2021, november 01) - Awesome Foursomes (v) - No. 954
(2021, august 20) - Awesome Foursomes (iv) - No. 793
(2021, july 18) - Awesome Foursomes (iii) - No. 562
(2021, july 09) - Awesome Foursomes (ii)- No. 284
(2021, june 21) - Awesome Foursomes (i) - No. 019
(2021, may 31) - d.ookoi writes b.ookoi (i)
(2020, january 26) - STDUIO Arti: aLife @Hal-fIve
(2020, january 25) - STDUIO Arti: The LⒶst Weekend
(2019, march 03) - ookoi 2.0: the remake of a spect[r]al b[r]and
(2017, april 12) - 1024
(2015, march 07) - The men once in green are now writing a book!
(2014, may 09) - You are NOT Hier!
(2013, july 03) - How to keep devils away
(2013, may 06) - Next Numbr!
(2012, june 24) - Ninja Fruit Plus Instruments
(2012, may 06) - Y.3 = Yltra !
(2012, may 06) - Our final gig / Ons laatste optreden
(2010, may 23) - 'Raise the trumpet, sound the drum'
(2010, april 02) - [Second Life and WudyWudy]
(2010, january 05) - ookoi: onderood
(2009, november 17) - Soli Deo Gloria !
(2009, october 10) - Project Icarus OST
(2009, august 24) - ookoi ShakeNRoll
(2009, july 18) - Pure . Reactive . Music . Hack Day
(2009, april 07) - "Blood and Bottom" (Raudi0GaGa)
(2009, february 21) - Insular arithmetic (ookoi toont)
(2009, january 31) - A glimpse of Heesbeen
(2009, january 15) - Rien à voir
(2008, october 02) - The right to be slow
(2008, june 06) - Raudio Graffiti: almost live !
(2008, february 24) - The Great Washing
(2007, december 04) - I'm an island
(2007, november 20) - Live Beyond the Paradiso, Amsterdam
(2007, september 04) - leve ookoi! (3)
(2007, august 22) - leve ookoi! (2)
(2007, august 12) - leve ookoi! (1)
(2007, april 12) - Back to Berling [Raudio 11/15]
(2007, march 24) - Vicky, Killers and Avatars
(2007, february 15) - Every presentation is a premiere
(2007, january 25) - 1024 Waarden, by ookoi
(2007, january 19) - Preparations for a Second Life
(2006, november 05) - Cellarlar Heroes
(2006, october 20) - Funky shit
(2006, august 14) - placard : la générale
(2006, july 07) - de-'tails of lite house keeping'
(2006, may 06) - jam karet?
(2006, april 04) - 100+ new (r)audio philes ... [3] [Raudio 07]
(2006, march 20) - raudio @cosman's
(2006, march 12) - 100+ new (r)audio philes ... [2] [Raudio 07]
(2006, march 03) - 100+ new (r)audio philes ... [1] [Raudio 07]
(2005, october 12) - Raudio #06 [Raudio 06]
(2005, september 25) - 0 OK, 0:1, life on ze road
(2005, july 31) - Outside - Inside Paradiso
(2005, june 18) - Sand-Y da-Y #5-7 [Raudio 05]
(2005, june 05) - Sand-Y :: da-Y #04 - da birds
(2005, may 26-24) - Sand-Y :: da-Y #03, #02, #01 - Crew cut ; "The truth is out here" ; ::
(2005, may 14) - 9 Beet Stretch [Raudio Special]
(2005, march 31) - Raudio #04 :: "GespRek 1982-2005" [Raudio 04]
(2005, february 10) - raudio #3 (drie/three) [Raudio 03]
(2004, december 08) - pure sound [Raudio 02]
(2004, november 24) - other, and good news! [Raudio 01]
(2004, october 10) - raudio launched
(2004, september 24) - made in ameland
(2004, june 09) - boyzz buzz # listen!global corpus
(2004, may 20-31) - >∞-îl_o_tré

Read some of the ookoi's papers [pdf]:
(2014) - Localized Sounds, Sounding Locations.
Presented at the International Symposium "Locative Media and Sound Art", Kortrijk (be)
(2007) - ookoi - Uptime Publishing Demonstration. (With Jay Needham.)

Read about the ookoi in Gonzo (Circus) [Dutch]:
Gonzo #88, september/october 2008 - Zelfcomponerende Klankstukken

ookoi - The works:
(2015—now) :: writing b.ookoi: pick a number!
(2017) Weekly, 10'24" :: ookoi dooki podcast
(2014) HIER - iPhone app, 4 track album of localized Future Popp
(2013) Y ¬ Y.1024 (HTML5 web app)
(2013) Wandelzand - iPhone app, soundwalk for the Dutch isle of Ameland
(2012) Palm Top Theatre V2
(2010) WudyWudy, machina movie, filmed in Second Life by Evo Szuyuan (trailer)
(2009) ookoi_@_E@rport, Amsterdam - channel 19 of the RAUDIO IIIII streaming audio art iThing app
(2009) ShakeNRoll, Project Icarus OST - scenes for the RJDJ reactive music iPhone platform
(2009) iRingg®, iPhone ringtones
(2009) 2525 (video)
(2008) L'Ecoute - public space screen video
(2008) Jam Karet I & Jam Karet IV - pocket movies
(2007) Live beyond the Paradiso (USB-stick data-dump)
(2007) Leve ookoi! - channel 16 of the RAUDIO IIIII streaming audio art iThing app
(2007) 1024 (DVD)
(2007) 1024 Waarden - flash animation
(2006) "Roam Stroam" - channel 12 of the RAUDIO IIIII streaming audio art iThing app
(2006) Tijdrekken - flash animation
(2005) Sand-Y (Zandoog) - channel 7 of the RAUDIO IIIII streaming audio art iThing app
(2004) Muziektafel-Tafelmuziek (CD)
(1980) Signs and Symptoms

tags: ookoi, b.ookoi

# .509.

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