Apr 3, 2016

Sundaze 1614


Today's artist for the third and final time, is that Japanese minimalist electronic composer, a leading figure among the new crop of computer-based musicians exploring the aesthetic possibilities opened up by digital production technologies. Rhythmically, his music is highly imaginative, exploiting beat patterns and, at times, using a variety of discrete tones and noise to create the semblance of a drum machine. His work also encroaches on the world of ambient music; many tracks on his albums are concerned with slowly evolving soundscapes, with little or no sense of pulse........N'Joy

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Japan’s leading electronic composer and visual artist, Ryoji Ikeda, born in Gifu Japan in 1966, focuses on the minutiae of ultrasonics, frequencies and the essential characteristics of sound itself. Fascinated by data, light and sound, he shapes music, time and space by mathematical methods and explores these phenomena as sensation, pulling apart their physical properties to reveal their relationships with human perception. Ikeda has gained a reputation as one of the few international artists working convincingly across both visual and sonic media. Since 1995, he has been intensely active through concerts, installations, and recordings, integrating sound, acoustics and sublime imagery. He has been hailed by critics as one of the most radical and innovative contemporary composers for his live performances, sound installations and album releases. His albums +/- (Touch, 1996), 0°C (Touch, 1998) and matrix (Touch, 2000) pioneered a new minimal world of electronic music, employing sine waves, electronic sounds, and white noise. Using computer and digital technologies to the utmost limit, his audiovisual concerts datamatics (2006 – present), C 4 I (2004 – 2007) and formula (2000 – 2006) suggest a unique orientation for our future multimedia environment and culture. His ongoing body of work, datamatics, is a long-term programme of moving image, sculptural, sound and new media works that use data as their theme and material to explore the ways in which its abstracted view of reality is used to encode, understand and control the world. In spectra II (2002), a narrow, ceiling-covered corridor fitted with strobe lights and coursed by high frequency sounds, continuously alters the visitors’ sensory experience of the space. In a later adaptation, spectra [for Terminal 5, JFK], the installation emanates an aura of almost total invisibility and inaudibility due to its intense brightness and ultra-frequencies.

In Spring 2008, Ikeda presented his first solo exhibition in Japan at the Yamaguchi Center for Arts & Media, featuring a number of works in the datamatics series including data.film, a sculptural wall installation consisting of a series of 35mm film mounted in a light box, and data.tron, an audiovisual installation where each single pixel of visual image is strictly calculated by mathematical principle and projected onto a large screen. The exhibition premiered test pattern, an installation comprising visual patterns converted and generated from sound waveforms in real–time. Ikeda released his eighth solo album test pattern (raster-noton) in April 2008 to coincide with the exhibition.In Summer 2008, Ikeda produced a series of large-scale public realm works for Dream Amsterdam, lighting four cultural and civic spaces with intensely bright white light. This concept - spectra - was then adapted for Nuit Blanche, Paris’ all night arts festival. In this version, Ikeda installed powerful vertical beams of bright white light, and an accompanying sound installation within a grid next to Tour Montparnasse, the city’s tallest skyscraper. In June 2010, spectra formed part of Sonár / Grec Festival de Barcelona, and it was exhibited in September 2010 at the Aichi Triennale in Nagoya, Japan. Ikeda intends to continue the series through  site-specific works commissioned for locations across the world. A solo exhibition of Ryoji’s work was presented at Le Laboratoire in Paris (October 2008 – January 2009). The exhibition was inspired by discussions with Harvard number theorist Benedict Gross about mathematical definitions of infinity, and took for its title the mathematical and philosophical concept V≠L. The exhibition featured new works including a prime number, a natural number, line and spectra III.

In April 2009, Ikeda presented his largest solo exhibition to date at the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo. +/- [the infinite between 0 and 1] included three adaptations of a prime number / a natural number, in a series entitled the transcendental; data.film; data.matrix [no1-10], a ten- screen installation featuring video sequences from datamatics [ver.2.0]; matrix [5ch version], a pure sound installation formed by a grid of speakers through which visitors walked; and data.tron [3 SXGA+ version], a three -channel version of data.tron. A selection of these works toured to the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (February – March 2010). data.tron [8K enhanced version] was commissioned for the Deep Space Gallery at Ars Electronica Center, Linz. It has been screened there regularly since January 2009. In September 2009 data.scan was exhibited at the Surrey Art Gallery, Vancouver, followed by exhibitions at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London (December 2009 – April 2010), Seconde Nature Festival, Aix en Provence (June – July 2010), Museum of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing (October – November 2010). data.scan is currently showing at the Garage Center for Contemporary Culture, Moscow. In September 2010 Ikeda presented his first New York Exhibition, the transcendental, at the FIAF Gallery. Ikeda was back in New York in May 2011 to present the transfinite, a new commission by the Park Avenue Armory. In the Wade Thompson Drill Hall, the artist created a visual and sonic environment where visitors are immersed in projected synchronised data. The versatile range of Ikeda’s research is demonstrated by his collaborations with Carsten Nicolai on the project cyclo. and with choreographer William orsythe/Frankfurt Ballett, artist Hiroshi Sugimoto, architect Toyo Ito and artist collective Dumb Type, among others. The first complete catalogue of Ikeda’s seminal work, formula [book + dvd] (Forma) was published in 2005. In 2009, a catalogue of +/- [the infinite between 0 and 1] was published alongside the exhibition at MOT, and provides a history of Ikeda’s work to date. In 2001, Ikeda was awarded the Ars Electronica Golden Nica prize in the digital music category and he was short-listed for a World Technology Award in 2003, and then again in 2010.

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For many popular films, the soundtrack, it seems, has been reduced to a crass marketing ploy—stuffed with filler from big-name acts “inspired” by the movie (or, if you’re lucky, stuffed in to the end credits), a soundtrack becomes a compilation of mostly C-grade material from the top 40. Put See You at Regis Debray, Ryoji Ikeda’s soundtrack to CS Leigh’s film, at the opposite end of this spectrum: over two discs, Debray includes the entire sound reel from the film, including both Ikeda’s soundtrack and moments of only natural sound.

To begin with, your suspicions are correct—the passages which feature only the sounds of the one actor in Leigh’s dialogue-less movie are generally dull and, while the idea of the inclusion of said sounds is interesting on paper, in practice it proves easily skippable. The other half of the soundtrack belongs entirely to Ikeda, and features some of his most gorgeous and, it must be said, accessible work. Leigh’s film portrays Lars Eidinger as German radical communist Andreas Baader, of the Baader-Meinhof group, and the things he might have done while staying alone at the French apartment of philosopher Regis Debray in 1969; the liner notes explain which sounds accompany which visual action.

Not having seen the film, I can’t say whether Ikeda’s music fits, but the epic minimalist synthesizer swells he’s prone to appear fascinatingly appropriate to accompany one man’s engrossment in the act of “Listening”, while “Tearing” features the crisp sounds of paper being ripped over Ikeda’s bet of reverb-heavy, western-style guitar plucks. “Tearing” is further aided by the progression of the piece to include a bass part and more guitars, which lead into “Polaroiding”, shockingly non-experimental coming from someone like Ikeda. “Masturbating”, of course, appears awkwardly without any musical accompaniment. All in all, it sounds like one hell of a series of emotionally intense, yet physically minute events, which makes Ikeda a perfect sonic counterpart.

This album was illegally released without the artist's consent. Ryoji Ikeda states: "After the post-production of this film, the director and his team disappeared. A few months later, this CD was suddenly released without any permission or contract. I do not have a copy of it."

Ryoji Ikeda - See You At Regis Debray  (flac  365mb)

01 Staring Writing Cooking Sleeping Listening 48:26
02 Tearing Polaroiding Masturbating Dancing Pissing 46:57

 Ryoji Ikeda - See You At Regis Debray   (ogg  165 mb)

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Following 2005's Dataplex CD on Raster-Noton, Test Pattern is the second audio release in Ryoji Ikeda's multimedia project, Datamatics, an ongoing exploration of the potential to perceive the invisible multi-substance of data that permeates our world. Test Pattern acts as a system that converts any type of data (text, sounds, photos and movies) into barcode patterns and binary patterns of 0s and 1s. Through the conversion of raw data into digital audio files, Ikeda enables us to listen to the flow of data, creating an extraordinary and unexpected soundtrack. These sequences of data reveal a rich variety of microscopic structures which form Ikeda's raw material; working with these micro-structures, they sometimes form the basis of chronological sequences, and sometimes he focuses on their rhythmic qualities. All sounds are the result of Ikeda's manipulation of this raw data. Test Pattern aims to examine the relationship between critical points of device performance and the threshold of human perception, pushing both to their absolute limits. Almost all tracks on this release are unsuitable for conversion into high-quality mp3 files. The velocity of the audio files is ultra-fast, some hundreds of frames per second, so that the album provides a performance test for the audio equipment, as well as a response test for the audience's perceptions. A sticker on the CD jacket warns "Caution!" , this CD contains specific waveform, impulse and burst data that perform a response test for loudspeakers and headphones. High volume listening of the last track may cause damage to equipment and eardrums.

Ryoji Ikeda - Test Pattern (flac 370mb)

01 Test Pattern #0001 1:00
02 Test Pattern #0010 1:21
03 Test Pattern #0011 3:52
04 Test Pattern #0100 3:43
05 Test Pattern #0101 4:06
06 Test Pattern #0110 4:00
07 Test Pattern #0111 5:00
08 Test Pattern #1000 5:00
09 Test Pattern #1001 5:10
10 Test Pattern #1010 5:02
11 Test Pattern #1011 5:03
12 Test Pattern #1100 5:08
13 Test Pattern #1101 5:11
14 Test Pattern #1110 2:35
15 Test Pattern #1111 7:12
16 Test Pattern #0000 3:55

 Ryoji Ikeda - Test Pattern (ogg   184mb)

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"dataphonics" [radio program series] consists of 10 six-minutes segments, each one is narrow-focused into a single parameter that is one of the significant elements what music/sound is. All sounds generated from non-audio file formats.

A star of minimalist electronica and sound art, Ryoji Ikeda (born 1966) focuses on the building blocks of sound and aural minutiae, often deploying frequencies at the very edges of human hearing-sound that, as he puts it, "the listener becomes aware of only upon its disappearance." His albums +/- (1997) and Matrix (2001) spread this soundworld of sine waves and ambient glitchery to a wider audience; since then, he has exhibited and collaborated (notably with Carsten Nicolai) across the world. A homage to Musique Concrète pioneer Pierre Schaeffer's Solfege de l'objet sonore, Dataphonics began as a monthly broadcast on France culture's Atelier de Création Radiophonique, in which Ikeda created a highly physical auditory experience based on the idea of binary-logic data made audible, "to materialize the invisible domain of 'totally pure digital data.'" This book and CD includes spreads of graphic scores, codes, symbols and the composition itself, recomposed from the ten segments in which it was originally conceived.

Commissioned by "Atelier de création radiophonique" (ACR) for France Culture. Broadcast monthly from November 5 of 2006 to July 1 of 2007 and eventually remixed as a special version broadcast September 2 of 2007.

Ryoji Ikeda - Dataphonics  (flac  282mb)

01 Principle 6:00
02 Spectrum 6:00
03 Transmission 6:00
04 Transformation 6:00
05 Rhythmics 6:00
06 Automatic 6:00
07 Quantization 6:00
08 Harmonics 6:00
09 Counterpoint 6:00
10 Structure 6:00

 Ryoji Ikeda - Dataphonics   (ogg    136mb)

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Cyclo. is a collaborative research project by Ikeda and Nicolai which focuses on the visualisation of sound. The artists are developing a database of sounds that they are composing for the visual responses these produce when analysed in real time using equipment developed originally for phase correlation in mastering vinyl records. With such stereo image monitoring equipment, the phase and amplitude of stereo signals can be illustrated graphically.

The audio elements have been constructed and chosen through agendas concerned with the minute editing of frequencies (often beyond the physical range of human hearing) and the perceptual amassing of audio elements to an undefined point. For Nicolai and Ikeda an 'infinity index’ of sound fragments is a conscious motivation forming the basis of their research and feeding cyclo. with the audio material required for visuality.

In amassing this archive, Nicolai and Ikeda transcend the usual dynamic whereby image acts merely as a functional accompaniment to sound. They arrive at a standpoint from which the audio element in the process is subservient to the desire and appetite of the image. Although this imaging is purely 2-D in display, the process proposes 3-D possibilities. Their proposition is that the structural complexities of these visual metered shapes, born and examined from the perspective of audio metering, may have in them a rich potential for architects, designers and engineers to find starting points for structural readings.

Cyclo. - Id (flac 252mb)

01 Id#00 6:56
02 Id#01 4:09
03 Id#02 2:05
04 Id#03 2:44
05 Id#04 4:23
06 Id#05 2:03
07 Id#06 4:51
08 Id#07 3:52
09 Id#08 5:36
10 Id#09 4:09
11 Id#10 3:31

Cyclo. - Id  (ogg  134mb)

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1 comment:

Adam K said...

Hi Rho

I missed Ikeda's Dataplex, Dataphonics and Ikeda & Nicolai's Cyclo.I was snoozing on those for sure but if you are feeling generous enough with your time I'd be (as always) most grateful for a re-up.
Thanks for all your time and work.
Cheers, Adam.