Summer University Reboot

Steph Holl-Trieu, Marijn Ottenhof, Laurent Prost-Deschryver, Kenza Sand, Nicolas Siepen

Sonic Time Machines

8-13 August

Sonic Time Machines departs from the medium of sound to reflect on questions of science fiction and worldbuilding. It is meant as a place for the presentation, reflection and feedback of sound-based work. The week-long program unfolds in workshops, screenings, reading circles and feedbacked improv sessions. Together, we want to dissect, sample, cut together/apart and compose ideas of sonic futurism, deep listening and sound as narrative tool. We will practice listening as “a chase through the thickets of percussion” (Kodwo Eshun), exploring the ways in which, “Each sonic image [...] opens a world of its own”(Pauline Oliveros). We see this as a collective exercise of noticing how, “From time to time, like a diseased eyeball in which disturbing flashes of light are perceived or like those baroque sunbursts in which rays of light from another world suddenly break into this one, we are reminded that Utopia exists and that other systems, other spaces are possible” (Mark Fisher).

A list of screenings, listening sessions and a reading list will be shared with the participants prior. Sonic Time Machines is open to anyone interestedin the proposed topic and offers space and time to think, listen, experience and create together. Apart from the suggested formats you are invited to join in with your own equipment, practice, voice, ears and presence.

The following reading groups / listening sessions / screenings will take place throughout the week:

Sonic Fiction circle (Steph, Marijn)

Discussion of a selection of texts by Kodwo Eshun, Mark Fisher, Pauline Oliveros, Steve Goodman, Octavia Butler, Ursula K. Le Guin and J.G. Ballard, with a focus on the potential of sonic and science fiction to create alternative systems and modes of living. Reading and discussion will be intercut with the soundtrack to these texts; a playlist of sounds that appear in these writings.

Screenings (Nico, Laurent)

Open air film programme featuring John Akomfrah, Sun Ra, and others.

Philosophy circle (Laurent)

Lecture by Laurent Prost-Deschryver on philosophy & compositional structure of Iannis Xenakis’ La légende d’Eer followed by a discussion + Reading of Gabriel Catren’s What is ensoundment? an essay on the sonic ontology of quantum mechanics.

Mixing and Mastering in Ableton (Marijn)

Some experience in Ableton or similar DAW would make this more helpful but anyone can join. Best to bring your own laptop with Ableton but will present the workshop on a big screen so everyone can follow. The workshop will focus on mixing, EQ-ing, spatializing sound, using compression.

Beat sequencing workshop (Marijn)

In this workshop we will approach making beats from a DIY, anyone can do it philosophy. We will dive into different ways to build drum patterns, make sequences and use arpeggiators. In the second session we will continue to look into off-beats and clashing patterns. Bring your own synths, samples, midi-instruments and programming tools.

Audiostream  (Steph, Marijn, Laurent, Nico, Kenza)

We will work together on a live broadcast from the sound studio to reach out to people who couldn’t come to PAF and to share what has been cooking the previous days. It’s an open format, so bring that track you’ve been working on, a text you want to read or just decide on the day you want to contribute something.

Workshop and reading group ‘Transforming words’ (Kenza)

We will read aloud a fragment of your own writing or a text of your choice for one minute, one at a time. Through this guided voice game we transform the intention, feelings and address we relate to while speaking or singing the words. Choosing postures we are comfortable with or uncomfortable with. Transforming the text into a gesture of the body-mind. During the workshop we will build a collaborative performance that we give to each other, as we hear the unfolding of different vibrations, evolving through time and the shiftings of mental-corporeal space. It is also a reading group, the pleasure of hearing out the words we each picked as a material to play with.

Sculpting sonic worlds workshop (Steph)

In the first part, we will familiarise ourselves and experiment with “worldbuilding” methodologies, its possibilities and constraints. The idea is to collectively build a scenario through a series of exercises. For the second session, everyone is invited to interpret this setting with a medium of their choice (spoken word, vocals, digital and analog instruments), creating sonic embodiments for this scenario. The second session will be dedicated to sharing and feedbacking these sonic worlds.

Workshop introduction to PureData (Laurent)

How to build a basic synthesizer with PureData programming tool. Material requirement: a computer with PureData installed; please download the Pd-extended version here.

‍‍DOXA sessions during the week (Nico)

“In composition you have all the time you want to decide what to say in 15 seconds, in improvisation you have 15 seconds.” — Steve Lacy

A collective music making process without a fixed pre-conception but a shared horizon of POP/PUNK - NEW MUSIC - FREE JAZZ. Based on an already written refrain the goal is to begin an ongoing process together as an open group which would try to produce improvised composition together from time to time. During this process I would like to institute the PAF Dolls Arkestra for that matter. A long term combo at PAF for music making and conceptual thinking around sound as a practice between improvisation and composition. The PAFDA combo can change all the time and is open for everybody to join and leave at any time. PAF means here POPULAR - AVANTGARDE - FREE and is as such connected to develop the new Sound Studio at PAF and experiment with ways of production in a very practical sense.  

Sound studio workshop series running all week (Nico, Marijn)

Best practices to handle equipment at PAF, in connection with the newly constructed (or under construction) sound studio. Functioning both as an introduction to each other's workflow, the potential of the studio and equipment in the building, we will gather daily to share skills and create guidelines to take care of the studio now and in the future.