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3 CD Box Set: L'Oeuvre Musicale The complete works of Pierre Schaeffer, re-digitised and re-issued with newly discovered tracks.
Book and 3 x CDs: Solfege de l'Objet Sonore This book, accompanied by 285 tracks on 3 CDs of examples is a unique and indispensable resource work for all those interested in electroacoustic music. Examples by Parmegiani, Henry, Bayle, Xenakis, Luc Ferrari etc. illustrate Pierre Schaeffer's text.
Book: Audible Design by Trevor Wishart
5 CD Box Set: GRM Archive 5 CD Boxed Set containing music spanning half a century of GRM inspired compositions
12 CD Box Set: Parmegiani: l'Oeuvre Musicale The complete works of Bernard Parmegiani on 12 CDs

Trevor Wishart - Globalalia/Imago

Trevor wishart - Globalalia/ImagoA re-issue of Globalalia which explores human speech and the syllables common to all, and Imago, which is constructed entirely out of the sound of 2 whiskey glasses being clinked together. Classic Wishart at his best!

Wishart writes: "In Globalalia, I wanted to use human speech, but focus on what we hold in common as human beings. Although the world’s languages contain many millions of words, these are constructed from a much smaller set of sounds, the syllables. I wrote to several friends asking them to collect voices from their local radio stations, and also recorded voices from TV stations via satellite dish, assembling sounds from 134 voices in 26 different languages. I then edited these into their syllables, ending with more than 8300 sources."

Francis Dhomont - Etudes Pour Kafka

Francis Dhomont - Etudes Pour KafkaA new release from Francis Dhomont, who in the opinion of many is the greatest living composer of electroacoustic music. This CD contains 3 studies which were the seeds from which many of his other works grew. Behind major works of the scope of … mourir un peu, Sous le regard d’un soleil noir, and Forêt profonde, in these studies Dhomont experiments with the themes, tries out sound materials, and unveils glimpses of the final work. Dhomont at his best!

Denis Smalley - Sources - Scénes

Denis Smalley - Sources - ScénesrOne of our most popular titles is back in stock. Denis Smalley is one of the UK's best known composers of electroacoustic music, and this CD is a personal favourite of ours - definitely a desert island disc. The music is simply stunningly beautiful, the production and sound quality are as good as it gets. If you don't already have this CD, don't put it off any longer.
Parmegiani: l'Oeuvre MusicaleWe are fans of Bernard Parmegiani and so we now have all of his CDs in stock, including the newly released l'Oeuvre Musicale. If you don't know his music, we recommend that you make an acqaintence with it by listening to some clips and reading the comprehensive notes which we have on the site. Click here for links to his biography and all his CDs.
Pierre Hanry: Labyrinthe We now stock a selection of the best electroacoustic CDs from the GRM Catalog, both historic and new - Electroacoustic Classics from Pierre SchaefferPierre Henry Luc Ferrari and  Jean-Claude Risset are just some of the new offerings.

One of our most popular GRM titles is Pierre Henry's Labyrinthe - Pierre Henry says of Labyrinthe - "For the first time during my journey and ventures into the world of creation, I dreamt of a breath of fresh air deriving from the electronic realm." This CD is a real retrospective of this pioneer of electronic music.
New from Digital Music Archives - Download a continually expanding catalogue of electroacoustic music tracks!

You can now download a selection of single tracks of music from our website. All the tracks are encoded as top quality MP3s at 320k. All you have to do is go to our tracks page, add the ones you want to your shopping cart, and you will be presented with a webpage with links to the tracks as soon as your credit card payment has been authorised. You will also be sent an email with the links and a seven day period to download the tracks.
Our UK Event Listings service is now online....

We now have a listings page for concerts, festivals, conferences and workshops of electroacoustic music in the UK. We hope it will soon be the place to check up on whats happening and where. Its already up and running - click here! to check it out.
Looking for a course in electroacoustic composition? - Try our links page for some of the best places in the UK. You'll also find links to organisations and institutes all over the world.

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Book Details for Ros Bandt: Sound Sculpture

Sound Sculpture Ros Bandt
The merging of sound design, sculpture and environmental sound is explored in this beautiful book set within the context of Australian artists. It is an inspiring read, graphically stunning and an essential buy for anyone interested in the field. Chapter 3 is presented in full below (including artwork and audio clips) although we must admit that we couldn't reproduce the fabulous layout and design of the book on a web page.
No. of pages
Out of print
 Customer Reviews 
 Other Titles by Ros Bandt 
 Sleeve Notes 
About the Author

Ros Bandt is an internationally recognised Australian composer and sound artist who has pioneered spatial music, sound sculpture and audience-interactive sound installation through her original works and writings.

Her radiophonic works have been commissioned by the Studio of Akustische Kunst, WDR, Koln, the ORF, Vienna, and the Australian Broadcasting Company.

Her many awards include the inaugaral Benjamin Cohen Peace Prize for innovation, Ball State University, USA, and the prestigous Australian Don Banks Composers Fellowship.

She has recently been working on endangered sounds and electronic sound archaeologies for new media installation and was awarded an Australian Research Council grant to develop multi-channel sound sites in virtual space. She also curated 'Beaming the Theremin' for the Melbourne International Festival, installing the entire Grainger Museum in sound and light.

Ros Bandt's works are recorded on New Albion, Wergo, EMI and Move records. She has a PhD in Music from Monash University, Melbourne, and performs, recordss and tours with many artists and ensembles including the early music ensermble, La Romanesca.

Chapter 3 in full

The point at which sound objects become machines — mechanical or digital — depends on the degree to which they can be made to run automatically. The forms of power may be electrical, mechanical or electronic. Machines and automata are self-running, three-dimensional systems which emit sound without the aid of a human performer. As the physical power is supplied by mechanical or electrical forces, or both, their automatic function allows the artist to program the operation over long periods. In the case of kinetic systems, gravity, levers, wind or winding torques may also play a part, and these can be more indeterminate in their behaviour and less reliable but at the same time attractive to artists because of these in-built discrepancies. Computer systems have considerably increased the possibilities for programming sound design. The degree of self-containment varies from work to work, as does the type of sound and the visual and sculptural sophistication.

When motion is added to a sounding object, the passage of time seems to be made more visible, particularly if there are contingencies of sound and sight. The listening process can be facilitated by watching the parts moving at different times. The distinctions between kinetic sound sculptures, automata and playable machines are far from clear, and there are examples of many types and hybrids since Percy Grainger’s great range of free music machines and inventions. Grainger had a keen interest in all available forms of mechanical and electrical sound devices, such as the typewriter, Chinese zither, theremins, pianolas and electric pianos. He became dissatisfied, however, with adapting available instruments, a result of his unsuccessful attempts to modify three electronic solovoxes connected by strings. What he couldn’t find but could imagine, he made with the help of US scientist and engineer, Burnett Cross, his long-time friend and collaborator.

Percy Grainger, Sketch for 'Sea Styles', 1907. Sketch courtesy of the Grainger Museum, The University of Melbourne, AustraliaGrainger’s early fascination with mechanical sound-emitting objects and machines began as early as 1890 when he was inspired by the lapping of the water at Albert Park Lake and Brighton Beach in Melbourne and by the wind in the Adelaide Hills. He heard the environment and wanted to translate it into music, music which could embrace continuous sliding tones, microtonal glissandi, the hills and dales, and difficult rhythms which musically were beyond the human performer. ‘Machines (if properly constructed and properly written for) are capable of niceties of emotional expression impossible to a human performer.’

His Sketch for ‘Sea-Songs’ Style, written in 1907 [fig. 3] for piano and then in 1922 for pianola, was a short piece calling for a different metre in every bar — for example, 11/64, 15/32, 3/4, 7/64. Grainger cut the piano roll himself, in 1928, and it enjoyed a limited commercial release. This is his first example of beatless music, music he believed was best performed by machines. It was a music of complexity, pre-dating the rhythmic complexities of Stravinsky and Stockhausen and using piano-roll technology while Conlon Nancarrow, to whom these innovations are attributed, was still a boy. This seminal piece redefines music as sound design which can embrace all pitch and rhythmic systems without the limitations of the human performer. The recording, included on the audio CD, was made from Grainger’s original roll (which is in the Grainger Museum), direct from the player piano, so that Grainger’s idiosyncratic performance style can still be heard in the acoustic space he designed and gave to the nation [Audio CD Track 12].

The need to liberate music from the conventional constraints of pitch, counterpoint and rhythm, described by Grainger in his Free Music Statement of 1938, was realised by the invention of composing machines, starting with the early slide whistle experiments and culminating in three major mechanical sculptures designed to compose and emit sound directly. These machines used carefully prepared paper or plastic rolls with undulations cut to control the pitch and duration of the tones. This is audible and kinetic space notation.

Percy Grainger, The Kangaroo Pouch Free Music Machine (detail of original drawing) 1952. Courtesy of the Grainger Museum, Melbourne, AustraliaThe most famous machine, The Kangaroo Pouch Free Music Machine, 1952, was built by Grainger with the help of Burnett Cross, and was essentially a method of playing and synchronising eight oscillators. Each oscillator can produce a pitch range of three octaves. The pitch and volume are varied by control rods which follow a moving track caused by the movement of the curved brown paper scroll notation as it passes over the oscillators [Audio CD Track 13].

Physical measurement in inches translated into duration, time and pitch space, but there were problems with rests, small intervals, and fluidity of the speed or tempo of the machine.

The Reed Box Tone Tool was another device designed to handle these problems. A large, air-powered reed box enabled unlimited voices, sliding tones and intervals of very small magnitude to be realised — what we today call microtones, intervals smaller than a semitone, common since the advent of electronic music. The reeds in this harmonica-like box were tuned in eighth tones.

The third machine, never fully assembled in Australia due to the loss of some parts in shipping, used a clear plastic roll. The undulating hills and dales markings could be simply inked onto the plastic. These markings could be read by light beams projected onto photocells which, in turn, controlled the pitch of the oscillators. Unlike the valves of The Kangaroo Pouch Free Music Machine, Grainger used transistors, which would have meant greater stability and therefore more control had it been fully realised before his death. Grainger’s composing machines pre-dated synthesisers and computers which similarly control the audible sound directly by machine. From the beginning of this century, Grainger was already crafting the pitch, rhythm, duration, speed and volume of the sound mechanically and electronically. Before The Kangaroo Pouch Free Music Machine, Grainger and Cross had experimented with and built many free music machines and free music devices, many of which can still be seen in their original form in the Grainger Museum at The University of Melbourne. Percy Grainger remains Australia’s seminal figure in the world history of sound art and electronic music.

Jonathan Lawrence - Carillon, 1994 - approx. 180 x 280 x 110cm, First Site Gallery RMIT, Victoria 1996. Photograph courtesy of the artist Carillon, 1994 [Plate 22], by sculptor Jonathan Lawrence, is a completely mechanical percussion machine. The frame is welded from a hand-bent, D-form reinforcing rod. The six suspended recycled oxygen cylinders have been transformed into bells by cutting them to different lengths. The hammers are made from recycled red-gum fenceposts and the bearings are bronze.
This music machine emits slow, resonant tones tuned from left to right Ddgf#aD. They are struck in a repeated sequence by beaters that are powered by a windscreen-wiper motor.

 Jonathan Lawrence, Carillon, (Music Machine Number 2), 1994, notation drawing showing sequence of bell tones as performed by the carillon. Drawing courtesy of the artist. The sequence played is 1265354, emitting the notes in the order notated in Fig. 5 (see left) — DdDagaf#. The tonality of D major gradually fills the acoustic space as the harmonics and long resonances collide, ring on and decay as the tones are struck [Audio CD Track 14].

Not all machines are as engaging as these to watch and listen to. Electrical and computerised machines tend to be more static, designed for their sound-programming qualities. Rainer Linz’s electronic circuit board with speaker, (Dis)continuous Music, 1978 [Plate 25], is an example of a simple and direct sound-emitting object, a self-contained sound machine, programmed for ‘Sound in Space’, a two-week exhibition at Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA). In correspondence with the author, Linz described the piece as ‘an electronic circuit board which spits random bursts of noise through a two-inch loudspeaker’ [Discography no. 15].

Howard Dillon, Cantus Filorum, 1992 2 x 2 x 2.15m. Linden Gallery, St. Kilda, Victoria. Photograph: Ros BamdtThe degree to which mechanical and digital controllers are engaged in the design of sound sculptures varies considerably. Howard Dillon’s Cantus Filorum (Singing Wires or Threads), 1992 [Plate 23], is a computer-controlled string sculpture. It can be played either automatically (controlled by a computer) or manually from a synthesiser keyboard. Dillon describes its construction: ‘Sound is generated by vibrating strings which is then amplified by a wooden resonator box based on the same principles as a piano, guitar or violin. There are twenty-four strings attached to these boxes and stretched up to the wooden frame. The wires are activated electronically by electromagnets attached by copper pipes to the frame beneath the wooden boxes. Each string is tuned to a particular note. Because of the limitations of the electronic system only four strings can sound at any one time.’2
Dillon has composed several major musical works using this machine, which can be classified as real-time realisations of its many capabilities. The Shape of Light, 1992, is a two-hour composition [Audio CD Track 15].

In the case of the Cantus Filorum installation at Linden Gallery, the music was prerecorded and stored within the computer as digital code defining note lengths, note position, loudness and other aspects of music. This code can be sent to synthesisers and other equipment which turns this information into sound. This code, designed specifically for electronic musical instruments, is called MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface). The controlling mechanism for Cantus Filorum consists of a sequencer which records and replays MIDI information, a synthesiser which turns digital information into sound modules, and amplifiers and switches to amplify the sound and send it to one of the strings. In long-term installations, the sequencer controls the installation in one of two ways — by replaying the stream of purely musical information, or by sending information to a switch box in which MIDI code turns the switches on and off so that electrical signals can be sent to the various magnets and strings. This is a very musical automatic music machine which can also be played.

Rodney Berry, Roatary Scissors, 1993, Photograph courtesy of the artistThe composer Rodney Berry has created computer-controlled kinetic instruments, the Rotary Zithers, 1993 [Plate 24], which use cyclical motion to drive a series of pitches through different sequences. ‘Each instrument is a soundbox with thirty strings along the length of it. The whole thing spins around so that the plectra can move into the path of the moving strings when fed signals from the computer. It is never certain which of the thirty strings will sound when an individual plectrum is activated. The fixed speed of rotation means that by varying the rate at which the strings are plucked, local areas of relative predictability appear and disappear. For example, the first note can’t be determined but you can determine the next note or the one near it. Another feature is the Doppler effect created by the motion of the sound source and the sound waves bouncing off the nearby walls before recombining with the original sound. This kind of work comes out of the desire to feed some of the concepts normally associated with computer music, particularly the use of algorithms, back into acoustically produced music. The rotary zither could be seen as a hardware algorithm for pseudo-random note generation. The appeal here for me is that the algorithm is visible and a long look at the thing can tell you what’s going on. Software algorithms are by contrast intangible and invisible.’3 Berry composed Hack’n Hocked for two rotary zithers in 1994 [Audio CD track 16].

K!net!c sound scu|pture

Kinetic sound sculpture is capable of becoming a moving sound tracer, a tracking device for creating a living audible composition, selecting the sounds and making the music as it goes.

Such is the case in many works by Ernie Althoff, who over the years has built his sounding compositional machines which deliver delightful dances of sounds through a clever juxtaposition of mechanical and kinetic devices. These have included suspended acoustic sounds, recycled turntables and cassette machines used as rotating mallets, flexible bamboos as balancing beams, and the torque of twisted threads and ribbons.

Left: Ernie Althoff, Balanced Beams, 1993. Monash University Art Gallery, Melbourne. Photograph courtesy of the artist. Right: Filomina Renzi, The Forest of Repeated Action (detail) 1994, 'Sound Sculpture in the Bagging Room', The Malthouse, Melbourne. Photograph: Ponch HawkesA large-scale installation such as Althoff’s Balanced Beams, 1993 [Plate 26], (see far left) could be said to dance continually through its sound-designed elements which are choreographed through time for their sonic and visual outcome. A slightly indeterminate funky rhythmic style spreads out the narrow pitch bands of carefully selected percussion timbres within the confines of Althoff’s concept. The location of each sound is intrinsic to each piece and the overall sound and space are shaped with the whole composition in mind, just as in an orchestral symphony. In Balanced Beams, there are two layers of contrasting sonorities — the pitched steel bowls played by shells suspended from the flexible bamboo rods, and the automatic drum machines played by cassette-driven rotary mallets. The audience is free to turn these rhythm machines on or off, which considerably affects the music heard [Audio CD Track 17].

The visual and audible then play out over the extended timeframes of these pieces, with variations emanating from the speed discrepancies of the turning devices in relation to each other, often forming subtle phasing effects. A special kinetic music results. These works are site-specific, designed to the physical conditions of the particular acoustic space, its size and resonance.

The sculptor Filomena Renzi has always incorporated kinetic, ephemeral and temporal elements in her installations. In The Forest of Repeated Action, 1992/94 [Plate 27], (see above right) she implants her individually adapted clock mechanisms on stands with fragile newspaper and ageing paper fronds. Some twenty of these units form a forest through which the perceiver can wander. The clocks in the trees are set to a time scheme devised for each performance period. When an alarm goes off, a tree shakes and makes a mechanical sound from the wire arms attached to it. In walking through the forest for a ten-minute period, for example, one might hear the quiet ticking of all the clocks in varying proximity. When close enough to observe the tiny moving parts inside the clocks, the ticking is audible. After a while, one begins to hear the soft ticking rhythms all through the room. Time is needed to focus. One becomes aware of the changing spatial configuration of the sounds, and when a tree alarm goes off, the fragile, vulnerable forest becomes unnervingly animate, due to the unpredictable movement and sound. This is a subtle composition harnessing the unknown and unpredictable, while addressing time as object in the sculptural sense.

In these works, time and movement become contingencies, controlling what is heard, how long it is heard and how soon it is repeated. The artist plans the system and designs the interplay.

Interactive sound scu|ptures

Two other sound sculptural works in the same exhibition, ‘Sound Sculpture in the Bagging Room’, at The Malthouse, South Melbourne, were audience-interactive. Irit Caspi’s mechanical door, Awakening, 1994 [foreground, Plate 28], (see right) when opened, set off other contingent chimes to ring throughout the space. The physicality of the piece was overwhelming, requiring great strength to play the door. Manic loud sounds would ensue from the wobble steel sheet and large wind chimes.

In the background of Plate 28 (see above) can be seen Ros Bandt’s Trio Peligroso, 1994, three dangerous black deities of alchemy, goddesses of glass, money and fire. Each figure contains a sound loop relating to one of these substances which is turned on or off as the audience passes the infrared sensors implanted in the figures. In each of these works, the prepared sound is shaped in the space by the listener/perceiver. In the Caspi piece, the duration, pitch and loudness are under the hand of the single person. In the Bandt piece, the three sensors may be activated separately or together, by one or many people. The different combinations alter the position of the sounding cycles. Each cycle is of different length, so that their rotations phase the vertical connections in the composition.

The sensors can induce space or silence between the three deities. Their sounds of crashing glass, water, money machines and fireworks come and go, which gives them a living feeling, as if engaged in dialogue with each other, as well as with the observer. The perceivers have individual sound experiences, depending on their position and when they arrive in relation to other people. Trio Peligroso is a mobile sound composition designed to be programmed by the audience, who trigger a part of the chaotic eight-track playback system, changing the configuration so that the sounds always change in relation to each other. Bandt’s system, the SSIIPP (Sound Sculpture Interactive Installation Performance Playback), which interfaces two lots of four-track machines with altered sensors, has been used in some twenty installations in Australia, Europe and the US since 1985. It resembles a mobile sonic chess game with in-built indeterminacy. With interactivity, the audience can be a part of the automatic control or, in other works, exercise a choice about whether or not to play, and if so, for how long and in what style.

Iain Mott/ Marc Raszewski, The Talking Chair, 1993, Linden Gallery, St. Kilda, Victoria. Photograph: Ros BandtElaborate systems and machines have been built with interactivity as an important component. The machine or system may be intended to be played, as in the case of Iain Mott’s The Talking Chair, 1993 [Plate 29], which he made in collaboration with sculptor Marc Raszewski. The individual perceiver/ listener is invited to sit in the chair and is able to control all the spatial movement of sound from the surrounding speakers built into the chair. The listener can call up the various preprogrammed configurations of prepared sounds through the use of a wand, rather like a conductor. One can control the spatial aspects of the composed music in real time. The sculpture is the furniture. Electronic devices behind the scenes make it possible through the use of an Atari computer (with MIDI, synthesisers and effects boxes) powered by Mott’s own software.

Noel Essex, Untitled, c. 1980, 110 x 117 x 122.5 cm, Geelong Art Gallery, Victoria. Photograph: Ros BandtIn this piece, the auditor is asked to perform a discreet action — moving a wand — to enable the task to be completed. Other simple playable machines include Noel Essex’s adapted sewing machine, Untitled, c. 1980 [Plate 30], which is reminiscent of Grainger’s from many decades before. Working the treadle activates the sound, thereby controlling the speed of the rhythm and its duration.
Chris Pendlebury’s Beethoven’s Hearing Aid, 1990 [Plate 31], is a sound sculpture which the auditor pushes along like a shopping trolley or pram. ‘It squeaks as it hoots and blows party whistles as it wheels,’ said the Ballarat Courier.

Chris Pendlebury, Beethoven's Hearing Aid, 1990, Ballarat Arts Umbrella Group, The Mining Exchange, Ballarat, Victoria. Photograph courtesy of the artistThis whimsical sculpture is a delight to the eye and the ear as it perambulates through spaces, carefully steered from the front. As the five-wheeled structure moves, the velvet-covered bicycle pumps mounted on the wheels blow air into the horns and whistles which are mounted on the sides of the sculpture. The bells and trumpets of these sounding objects protrude from the sides. The tiny seat on the fifth wheel rises up and down, producing a clackety-clack sound, the tempo of which depends on the speed of the wheeling. A small child could sit on the seat while the sculpture is in motion. Other sound sources that have been incorporated include three Balinese ceremonial cymbals, a cello which may be plucked or bowed, a toy piano and a functionless ornamental music stand, intentionally positioned so that it cannot be viewed while making the sounds. The artist’s diary entry for the sonic intention of the piece reads: ‘Whizz, bang, click, woo, sizz, puff.

The novelty of the motion causing the sounds is visually enticing and adds to the musical phrase, but there is also the possibility of playing the piano and cello while the sculpture is stationary. This piece is very versatile, in the spirit of the busker. It is mechanical, automatic, kinetic and playable.

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