Beruehrungen

Project | Live Electronic & Visuals (1996)
Produced by Kunst Halle Krems and the cultural departement of Lower Austria

Composition, voice, sound design: Elisabeth Schimana
Sound engeneering, midi programming, sound design: Norbert Math
Light design: Rainer Jessl
Computer animated video projection: Alexandra Schuda

An unusual situation marks the beginning of the vocal - electronic performance by Elisabeth Schimana: the singer and composer is not on the stage, yet you can hear her sing and a live - video projection makes her visible.

The music is based on her singing - long sustained tones and glissandi, for example - and the electronic music structures support or contradict the vocal structures. Live, electronically transformed, the vocal and electronic sounds start to build up mighty sound walls. Slowly chanching light-effects and different kinds of video-projection are the stage- set for the 42 minute long piece.

The titel refers to the narrative theme of the piece: there are different circles and systems constituting a human being, referring to mind as well as body- the nerve net and the blood circulation, for example. All of these systems exist on the one hand according to their own lams and on the other hand in constant exchange, one influencing other.

The different levels and elements of the piece Berührungen act according to this model: the voice, the video projections of moving nerve nets and blood circulating, sounds of water and other liquids, electronically transformed voice, light effects - they all tell their own story as well as of constant exchange as a symbol for the intensity of relationship between the body and the mind.
(Christian Scheib)


The hallelujah melody"Verba mea" from 10th and 11th century manuscripts is the central theme of the composition featuring nonverbal singing and watersounds. Alluding to the intentions of the polychoral monumental Roman style of the 17th century electronic choirs, generated by my voice, are projected into the space of the church. A sea`s sounding is finely dispersed by spectral filters into single layers of frequency bands spread in space and reveals itself with the placement of the last layer. All acoustic materials are stored without dynamic preadjustment and are modeled and attuned to the shape of the the room.

Within the bounds given by the score of the composition the live voice can move absolutely freely and react spontaneously to the digital loops built up by it. This material can be used freely by the sound engineer during the performance. In addition there is acoustic material on eight mono-sound tracks coming from fixed positions in different vertical and horizontal planes of the room and inviting the audience to walk these spheres of sound. The voice is also used as a control device to call up stored material by MIDI, to play with it, to let it fall again, or not to be able to catch it at all.

The listening, the feeling into the circulations hidden in the body, the idea of visualizing its inner structures and the cosmology of tribes of southwestern Kongo and Zaire speaking Kikongo are the base of the visual concept of Berührungen.

"The cosmic circle encloses the black, white and red domain of existence. It contains the dark, bounded domain of the earth and the physical body. It also contains the light, open domain of the mind, wether associated with the intellectual debates in the village square, the supreme insights of the white spirits in the land of the dead, or the white body of the inner person, which may leave its black shell. Further, the cosmic circle contains the marginal space of the graveyards and refuse heaps, the rivers and river banks, or any place of encounter between self and other. All these marginal domains provide red gateways between the black and the white spheres of existence." Aus dem Artikel "The Encounter in the Water Mirrow" von Anita Jacobson Widding in Body and Space (1991)

"When my voice starts to scream, the sea could begin to roar and the nervous system could project itself onto my body.“ (Elisabeth Schimana)

supported by SKE, BMWVK

credits


Norbert Math

is an artist active in the fields of radio art, electronic music, installation, and Internet. He studied at the Academy of Music, Vienna (institute for electroacoustics). He is co- founder (with Andrea Sodomka, Martin Breindl, and August Black) of alien productions, an artist's network for theory and aestethics of new technology and media. Norbert Math was born 1962 in Bozen, Italy and works in Vienna, Austria. | homepage

  • Beruehrungen part 1

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    Minoritenkirche Stein

  • Beruehrungen part 1B

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    Minoritenkirche Stein

  • Beruehrungen part 2

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    Minoritenkirche Stein

  • Beruehrungen part 3

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    Minoritenkirche Stein

  • Beruehrungen Norbert Math

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Berührungen Excerpt part 1

Berührungen Excerpt part 2

Berührungen Excerpt part 3