paper at IFC 2020

We will be presenting our work on 1-bit audio at the International Faust Conference 2020 taking place on 1.12.2020 and 2.12.2020 at the Maison des Sciences de l’Homme Paris Nord. Our presentation will be about the bitDSP faust library developed by Till Bovermann and Dario SanFilippo.

Performance at Sound Campus, Ars Electronica Festival Linz, September 11

Thomas Grill, Till Bovermann and Kathrin Hunze will perform “merge and dissolve”, an audiovisual performance concept in the SOUND CAMPUS program, part of the Ars Electronica Festival 2020.

This performance involves three interactants, two predominantly working in the audio domain (Thomas Grill and Till Bovermann) and one focusing on a visual counterpart (Kathrin Hunze). We generate and exchange streams of 1-bit audio, a signal representation with properties of both the digital and analog domain that we have already been investigating in the artistic research project “Rotting sounds – Embracing the temporal deterioration of digital audio” (FWF PEEK AR445-G24). With simple switchboard matrix devices, we channel such bit streams between the individual performers and through simple processing modules, like delays, logical operators, etc., generating feedback and interferences on the way. These phenomena are made audible and are also mirrored by a visual representation of particle streams, forming directed jets and point cloud aggregations.

11. September 2020 – 20:10 – 20:35
Hauptplatz 6, Glashörsaal D (H6.DG.04)
4020 Linz, Austria

1-bit audio: Testing audio hardware

For an upcoming performance at the Ars Electronica Festival 2020 SOUND CAMPUS, we are testing hardware to interconnect 1-bit audio streams.

For that purpose, we are using an STM32F4 Discovery Board to generate 1-bit audio streams, sent through a Future Sound Systems MTX9 point pin matrix (Figure 1) as often found in modular synthesis systems.

The software used on the STM board to efficiently generate 1-bit audio streams using DMA transfer over an SPI interface is an offspring of our DADA hardware development efforts.

Figure 1: Testing Future Sound Systems MTX9 with high-bandwidth audio signals

The FSS MTX9 can be used as passive hardware (only 1-to-1 connections), or using the MTX9A buffer board to sum over input busses.

In passive mode (Figure 2), the bandwidth is sufficient to come close to 1 MHz bit rate which allows 32-fold oversampling at usable PCM audio rates.

Figure 2: Oscilloscope screenshot of MTX9 output (purple) against 1-bit audio input (turquoise) at around 500 kHz bit rate

For active mode (using the buffer board MTX9A, Figure 3), the hardware introduces low-pass filtering, reducing the audio bandwidth to around 100 kHz. This is good enough for high quality analog audio, but not for 1-bit digital audio at high bit rates.

Figure 3: Oscilloscope screenshot of MTX9A output (purple) against 1-bit audio input (turquoise) at around 100 kHz bit rate

Clearly, it must be noted that the summing function over inputs is not strictly meaningful for 1-bit signals, where some kind of post-processing needs to bit applied to return to single bits.

Dust a bit – recordings

The audio-laser installation dust a bit by Klaus Filip is the first of our installations, which – over the duration of more than a year – has eroded to a state which would be commonly described as “broken”, at least from the standpoint of the original concept.
The audio signal is not modulated onto the laser any more, as intended – what is heard is purely collected, amplified noise.

At this point, we will not attempt to repair it because it is already scheduled to upgrade the installation to a fully digital version on the basis of our custom 1-bit audio hardware DADA. We expect this to happen at the end of June 2020.

In the last year, the installation has been restarted a couple of times because the carefully calibrated laser beam tends to wander out of focus by the time. This is most probably due to temperature changes and/or vibrations, causing the mirrors to lose their precise adjustment.

We have prepared timelapse recordings of the sonic developments of the several installation runs – every time several weeks of collecting “dust”. One minute of a time lapse corresponds to a day of operation. Technically, the recordings are concatenated (and cross-faded) 1-minute snapshots taken every 12 hours. The naming of the recordings corresponds to their starting date. Enjoy!

2019-05-07 2019-08-21 2019-09-20 2019-11-07

“gestern-heute-morgen in der Konservierung” – Verrottende Klänge bei der Tagung des Österreichischen Restauratorenverbandes

At the annual conference of the austrian restorers association the rotting sounds were represented by Almut Schilling, discussing the <patina> as fundamental part of all preservation processes and opens valuable points of views to think about digital aesthetics of temporal deterioration.

6.-7.03.2020 Salzburg

do trans-Art_44 performance, February 13

Rotting sounds will be guest at the trans-Art series organized by Astrid Rieder. Thomas Grill will perform “musical materials”, in this case a worn concert zither explored with digital music signals.

trans-Art is a real-time dialogue between two or more artists. It breaks through conventional boundaries between different genres of art and enables a deeper understanding and reception of abstract art on several layers. (Astrid Rieder)

Thursday, February 13th at 7:30pm
studio Bundesstraße 37, in Wals-Siezenheim.

Art’s birthday 2020

We had a great evening at the Kunstradio Art’s Birthday Party! The audio CDs we produced live were given away as presents to the audience, hopefully delighting Art too.

Our performance is aired on Kunstradio-Radiokunst, radio ORF Ö1 on February 26 2020 11pm.

Art’s Birthday 2020, January 17, ORF Kunstradio

Rotting sounds (Thomas Grill, Almut Schilling, Tobias Leibetseder) take part in this year’s celebration of Art’s Birthday with a CD audio production line. We will live generate digital audio on compact discs by mechanical and chemical means, and finally subject them to a testing procedure.

Art’s Birthday 2020 – 1,000,057 Years of Art
In 1963 the French Fluxus artist, Robert Filliou, declared January 17 to be the 1,000,000th birthday of art which for some decades now has been celebrated worldwide. As in the previous years, in 2020 artists all over the world will organise a networked birthday party for art.

Performances and gifts by:
GOGO! von Michael Baumgartner mit Omid Darvish und Reza Tavakoli
Heavy Mental Superhereos (Runar Magnusson, Josef Trattner und Esther Vörösmarty)
Ars_Poetica (Magdalena Hahnkamper und Bernd Satzinger)
Heya Netzwerk (Nour Sokhon in Berlin, Jilliene Sellner in Wien, Yara Mekawei in Kairo und Zeynep Ayşe Hatipoğlu in Istanbul)
Instant Places (Laura Kavanaugh und Ian Birse)
Rotting Sounds
Milan Mijalkovic von Makedonien
Rdeča Raketa (Maja Osojnik und Matija Schellander) mit Patrick K.-H.
Rojin Sharafi
Susanne Schuda
Presentation: Frida Kahlo (Rosanna Ruo)

On site: 08pm – 11pm,
RadioKulturhaus Wien, Argentinierstrasse 30a, A-1040 Vienna.
On line: kunstradio.at, http://oe1.orf.at/konsole, artsbirthday.net, http://artsbirthday.ebu.ch
On air: Ö1 Radiokunst – Kunstradio live 10:08pm – 01.00am

Sound:Frame conference, January 16, AIL Vienna

Thomas Grill was invited to share a panel at the Sound:Frame conference with Arthur Flexer (OFAI) to discuss the post digital era within their topic “Sound Art and Curating – Machine Learning and Limits of Control”.

Navigating the Postdigital
Where do you want to go? Enter starting point. Enter destination. Get directions.
Eine einfache Gleichung. Doch was, wenn man auf diese simplen Fragen keine Antwort weiß, weil die Parameter unbestimmt sind? Wo stehe ich eigentlich? Wo will ich hin?
Das Postdigitale verweigert sich dem linearen Denken. Es ist wild, vernetzt, assoziativ, sackgassenintensiv. Gleichzeitig ermöglicht es eine Neuauslotung von Kategorien und Prioritäten und schafft damit Raum. Gemeinsam mit Künstlerinnen und Wissenschaftlerinnen diskutieren wir, welche Erkenntnisse der interdisziplinäre Austausch von Kunst und Wissenschaft bringt, wenn es darum geht, mögliche Parameter für die Gestaltung unserer Gesellschaft zu finden.

Artistic Research Konferenz
Duos aus Kunst und Wissenschaft diskutieren über postdigitale Tendenzen, Machine Learning, Hybrid Art, das Wood Wide Web und mögliche Navigationsstrategien.
Konferenz: 16.01.20, 10–20:00
Ausstellung: 15.01, 10–20:00, 17.01., 12-17:00
Führung & Performance: 17.01.20, 13:30–15:00

ANGEWANDTE INNOVATION LABORATORY, Franz-Josefs-Kai 3, 1010 Wien, Österreich

Materialities symposium, Sussex University, Brighton, December 4+5

Thomas Grill and Till Bovermann will represent activities of the Rotting Sounds project within a fast-paced symposium on the subject of materialities in music making.

Duo Performance @ the Rosehill Arts: December 4, 9pm

Thomas Grill – Musical material
Probing of fragments of deceased instruments by use of digital sound. Sounding the materials, shapes, resonances – tracing remnants of a musical life.
Till Bovermann – Buffer manipulations
Probing and fragmentation of deceased digital sound. Sounding the materials, shapes, resonances – tracing remnants of a brief ephemerality.

Masterclass and Round table/panel discussion: December 5, 10-13h
Notions of materiality and influence on practice

Topics relating to notions of materiality and influence on practice are discussed by a panel of academics/composers and performers. This promises to be a lively debate relating to media archeology, liveness and audience perspective.
Participants include Evelyn Ficarra, Tom Richards, Till Bovermann, Thomas Grill and others.