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Noise Galaxies


ohrenhoch, der Geräuschladen

during the festival "48 Stunden Neukölln" | X WEGE ZUM GLÜCK
20, 21, 22 June 2008 

The Journey through the Electric Noise Galaxies is the final presentation of a workshop with six children from Berlin-Neukölln between ages 7-12, directed by sound designer, composer and multimedia artist Knut Remond.

With Ferdinand, Clara, Clara G., Paul, Louis and Lucie.

We met 6 times, individually or in groups. The first meeting was on June 7th 2008 at 'ohrenhoch, the Noise Shop'. The children didn't have to have any prior knowledge.

To the presentation of "The Journey through the Electric Noise Galaxies" over the fixed loudspeaker installation in the sound gallery.

"The Journey through the Electric Noise Galaxies"

For voices, microphone, mixing desk with effects, balloons, rattle, flute, tambourine with jingles, cow bell.

The children were confronted directly with listening how they can manipulate their voices – through reverb, delay and pitch – but also with the possibilities of the voice together with the instruments and a microphone. They got to know after a short time to discover the differences with diverse positions and different dynamics to the microphone. The children had a headphone, but they also could hear their own voice and each other directly in the room through a small amplifier.

The improvisation was an important element in this workshop, and will be so for my further classes. On the basis of my experience I think that with electroacoustic music or computer music too much weight is attached on the technique-oriented handling. In order to stimulate the phantasy and curiosity of the children, we should support their creative range and their immediate ideas, but open up simultaneously with little steps the technical and musical paths.

The piece "The Journey through the Electric Noise Galaxies" plays back in the Noise Shop through the ohrenhoch loudspeaker installation.
It is played back in loop mode, the running time of one loop is 27 minutes.

The recordings came into being in the ohrenhoch basement. These are individual and group recordings at the microphone. The children played with the electronic effects directly with their voices and instruments. There was a concept, namely – among other things – the imagination that they zip around in the space and that they are on an imaginary journey through the electric noise galaxies.

In their piece-loop the children also welcome the listeners entering the Noise Shop. The children created words, little sentences which came to their mind spontaneously through the microphone and mixing desk and with the different electronic effects which they directly integrated with their voice.

They also blew up balloons and produced noises with different air pressure. The coloured giant balloons were the access, by the way, to the workshop in ohrenhoch – without microphone, in order to get connected with the room and its different acoustic qualities.

Afterwards I processed the piece in the studio by computer. I cut the single voice sequences of the children, retaining the real processes and successions. I interlaced a few additional effects and samples, for example the balloons were processed in endMIX...

In the ohrenhoch basement you can hear simultaneously the audio recordings that the children made in their familiar surrounding. I explained them how a digital recorder works, and that they should try to record their audio observations of their everyday life with the tape. They were allowed to take home the audio recorder in order to explore their acoustic everyday surrounding. What you hear in the ohrenhoch basement are the pure recordings, the noise observations by the Neukölln children.

Audio recordings by the children themselves:

About the concept in the ohrenhoch basement

In the audio concept with the two loudspeaker boxes in the basement I divided a stereo image into two rooms – installed and divided with a black curtain.
You can hear the diverse recordings by the children in the small narrow room and in the bigger room alternately. The audio images jump and change like ping-pong between the two rooms, and occasionally the sounds can be heard in both rooms through both boxes simultaneously.

My idea is, how to present an audio experience by simple means, and to senzualise the imaginary but also abstract audio world maybe with astonishing surprises.

The ohrenhoch team wishes you a great and exciting audio journey, and unforgettable 48 hours Neukölln.

Many thanks to the parents, children, all involved persons with 48 Stunden Neukölln, Annette Wellhausen and the team of "X Wege zum Glück", and to the sponsors.

Knut Remond, 19.6.08