Refractions in Air
Refractions in air traces the
diversity of interactions that arise in this duo between Philipp Wachsmann
and Michael Bunce
The recording was made during one day of
continual exploration and development.
The acoustic violin is routed through the
players own electronics, and both of these sources are fed to Michael.
These are in turn selectively captured through time, to be processed and
re-performed with transformations shaped by gestural input or as static
samples. The transformation processes are mainly time-based, with a focus
upon the expressive nature of gesture, where the original contour and
dynamic of a captured sound can be reformed and given a new trajectory.
The relationship between interaction and
process varies, sometimes becoming circular over varying time spans. This
gives rise to detailed forms over time; it creates structures with memory,
and in this way challenges the habits of normal process. A fabric of spontaneous
interactions unfolds, comprising structures that result from both the
attitude and set-up, and from deliberated choices.
The temporally eclectic nature of Refractions
in Air ranges from the familiar to the oblique and on to an extraordinary
and daring counterpoint. A cyclical process of transformation threads
its way through an array of intersections, uncovering a diversity of forms,
structures, gestures and articulations that are performed, resultant,
implied, projected, displaced, mirrored, assimilated, appropriated or
The work is sensitive to small gradations as well as more dramatic gestures and therefore may be best heard in a quiet space.
Michael Bunce is an electroacoustic composer,
live electronics performer and sound installation designer. Works include:
Gallery (2000), electroacoustic music composed to accompany
About Collage, an exhibition curated by Peter Blake at the
Liverpool Tate and performed on Mixing It, Radio 3; Musicode
(2001) an interactive and accessible sound installation at the Science
Museum in London, designed around the capabilities of LiSa*; and Static
Spell (2002), an electroacoustic composition inspired by and entirely
derived from the materials and processes of transformation involved in
My work with Phil centres around the
use of LiSa, (*Live Sampling software developed by STEIM (Studio
for Electro-Instrumental Music, Amsterdam)). My configuration of
LiSa enables me to simultaneously capture, treat and re-perform sounds,
using a MIDI controller. Although this can often be a complex process
to manage, it enables me to concentrate on gestural and interactive performance
processes and allows an immediacy of expression and dialogue within
the duo. The alluring friction of these events can at once generate complex
dialogues, volatile structures and delicate stillness.
Philipp Wachsmann, as violinist, improviser
and composer, works in a wide variety of contexts, solo, in groups, with
dance, architecture, painters and film. (silent films, including his own
on the cover painting, refractions in air - catherine hope-jones
I realised that the title refractions in air stimulated my imagination towards the evolution of a group of images of reflections I was preparing around the time of the birth of this CD. I felt that I could transpose something of the duos musical collaborative methodology into my own work, for instance the parallel between live sampling and creating visual fragments, electronic modification and detailed image variation. My response to the poetics of the sound composition on these tracks is reflected in the diversity of image fragmentation, which I have sourced, including a wet, shining natural limestone pavement observed in Cumbria and domestic reflective paraphernalia. The reconstruction of visual elements into a cover image attempts to evoke qualities I find in the music of a desired yet unobtainable wholeness.