Between June 9 – 12 I was a guest in STEIM’s studio 2 to work on the filmscore for the new film of Dutch filmmaker Jan Suschitzky. I have collaborated with Jan on two former occasions, and for his new film we decided to try to first make the soundtrack and Jan will make the film based on the rhythm and atmosphere of the sound. Since his work is very poetic and rhythmical I think this could be a very interesting experiment. I have received a grant from the Fonds voor Scheppende Toonkunst to realise the composition.
Most of my music is made out of sampled material, recorded material and found experts from records. I wanted to look for new ways of collecting material and my idea was to collect sounds recording with musicians which I will later manipulate and rework to use in my composition. Also I wanted to find ways to work and communicate my ideas with performing musicians since I don’t work with written scores or traditional notation.I have worked in the studio with percussionist Diego Espinosa, bassplayer George Cremaschi and saxophonist Ties Mellema. I asked Diego to play the vibraphone since I love the instrument, and it is great to sample it. Also I love the bass (being a bass player myself) and the combination would just be great for the atmosphere of the film. I worked with Ties on many occasions before and he is just an excellent player. I have recorded sessions where we improvised, I gave them specific tasks to execute and I let them use the Wii remote. I developed a JunXion / LiSa setup so they could sample and playback their sounds themselves, using the motion detectors of the Wii remote to go back and forward in the sample buffer and control filter parameters. In the case of Diego and George it worked really well, while they were playing vibes or bass they created percussive effects by holding the Wii remote in their hand.
I work a lot with STEIM’s audio instrument LiSa since I really like the direct and intuitive way you can use it and its live sampling capabilities. My controllers for improvising and controlling sounds live are USB game controllers. Since STEIM has implemented the Wii remote in JunXion I have become a enthusiast user of the sexy white controller. I looked into different new ways of using and adjusting my LiSa and JunXion setup using the Wii remote and I spend some time creating patterns and sounds with the fantastic Putney VC3 synthesiser. The time I spend and concentration I could achieve really helped finding ideas for my composition. I realised again what a unique and valuable place STEIM is, I cannot conceive the music scene without it.