Trauriges Tropenorchester, Photo: Daniel Jarosch

The Synthesizer


BArch 2 Studio: Analogue Digital Production

Kathrin Aste | Damjan Mikovski

1 The term instrumentation is used to describe the process of assigning the voices of a musical composition to individual instruments, or of writing a piece of music correctly for each instrument.1

2 In the seventh chapter of his book “Style in the Technical and Tectonic Arts; or, Practical Aesthetics”, Gottfried Semper describes tectonics as the art of joining rigid, bar-shaped elements in a system that is inherently stable. In contrast, the term tectonics in structural geology describes the structure of the Earth’s crust, and the movements and forces that determine it. In this sense, tectonics explore the existence, formation and movements of structural and deformational elements, such as faults, deformations, folds etc., in terms of spatial, temporal and causal aspects.

3 Consequently, instrumentation and tectonics are comparable structural principles that give artistic expression to structures and constructions.

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The Synthesizer


BArch 2 Studio: Analogue Digital Production

Kathrin Aste | Damjan Mikovski

4 “Cybernetic machines: Indeed, only machines of this type (probably weighing several tons and costing hundreds of millions!), with oscillating circuits equipped with a certain memory, will permit endless play with complex numerical combinations, which are the key to all musical phenomena.” – Pierre Schaeffer in 1952, predicting the future of music due to computer music studios.

5 As in art and architecture, the methods of digital representation and editing have dramatically changed instrumentation in music as well. For instance, modern technologies can be used to capture sounds on pocket-sized devices, and then to endlessly transform them through sampling.

6 The music genre Noise generally works with abstract, non-referential sounds. Many Noise artists want to make the usual range of instruments and sound events, with their typical sound, disappear. The transformation from note to noise may be a strategy that could serve as a model for this studio.

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The Synthesizer


BArch 2 Studio: Analogue Digital Production

Kathrin Aste | Damjan Mikovski

7 Digital technologies have served to change and expand our understanding of tectonics in architecture in terms of materiality, the role of artefacts, and ways of working with assemblage and performance.

8 Can the concept of assemblage serve as a structural principle by positioning individual instruments, configuring their elements, and deconstructing their form? “The parts of an assemblage do not form a seamless whole. Assemblages are rather wholes whose properties emerge from interactions between parts.” – De Landa, 2006

Instrumentation turns a multitude of instruments into architecture, and architecture into a synthetic instrument – an analogue-digital synthesizer.

1 “Thus, instrumentation is the art that allows us to write correctly for each instrument.” – Jean Barraqué

 

Link Booklet s17