LOG BOOK: a sound diary
Visual artists and writers traditionally use notebooks, sketch books, diaries, log books, to prepare their future works, to report details, informations, to record events, experiences, impressions.
Whether this material is later used in a broader shape, in a further development — novel, paintings, installations, — or let aside, doesn’t change the fragmentary character, its roughness, its openness and incompleteness. In music this idea of a sub work, a parallel and regular activity is not so common, it’s usually reduced to sketches, the first notes Beethoven wrote for his famous 9th symphony for instance.
WHAT IS "LOG BOOK"?
I had the idea of making a sound diary/note book since a few years, documenting my life in Berlin. Actually it started even earlier, since i've been using autobiographical material since 2000.
The material is either voices, mine, my surroundings, conversations, radio snaps, stolen fragments of talks, and field recordings, jingles, personal compositions, found footage (commentaries on events, field recordings of protests, etc).
There is no general form given to the fragments: they respect the chronology given by their material, but there is no overall form.
The relation between the work and the artist is a constant debate. Should we read the novels of Louis Ferdinand Céline, who was openly anti semitic?
The statement in my project is that there is no break between the person and the work. So all the efforts are made to blur the frontiers between subjectivity, objectivity, result, process, individual, collective, natural, artificial, personal, general.
IN WHICH SENSE IS IT PRIVATE OR PUBLIC?
Both aspects are present, because it’s exactly in the confrontation of the inside/outside, private/public, visible/invisible, prerecorded/found footage, music/text, that the idea of a log book, or a sound diary, will give its more interesting features. It’s not a private diary only, which would have only a personal or limited interest, neither a documentary about Berlin, or about a composer living in berlin in 2020. It’s the confrontation of these layers, switching quickly between the two, alternating or superimposing layers of presence. One general, recognizable as a Berlin landscape (public spaces, events, voices, typical sounds of the city), one private (my voice, the ones of my surrounding, personal musical inputs, and of course editing and mixing)
So far the project has no end. I’m working on a set of 90 fragments lasting from 1 to 15 mn, started in november 2019. Each of these fragment is a snapshot of a certain moment, a certain location, and elaborates a musical context around it, by adding music/organized sound/soundscape to the original footage. At the end of 2020 i ‘ll have a set of 200 moments, but in average 3 to 5 mn. They vary not only in length, but also in content, spirit, intentions.
musicalisation of conversations (montage and background and music counterpoint to found conversations)
found songs (by bums, children, etc)
short music pieces
stories, commentaries, quotations of texts, flow of consciousness
What is the consistency? What is the goal of this massive material?
The consistency is chronological. Whatever the content suggests, it’s strictly kept on a time line which is if not clear, at least suggested. The project opposes to the prestigious universe of a close world of a Work the fragmented slices of moments where the signature of the author appears in filigrane, more as a witness, a collector, an EAR, than a architect of a large piece. The identity, the unity comes from behind, as a shadow, not by strictly musical choices, but by resemblances, connections and reoccurrence of voices or material.
The material can have various final shapes and modes of presentation.
sound installation : non stop in a room in multi channels.
radio program, under the form of a chronicle, or a radio program. It can have a fixed duration (short, between 2 and 5 mn) and each episode to be broadcasted in a regular schedule.
radio piece: a edit of some of the moments, glued together in order to reach a certain dimension.