Two projects of musical interaction in digital spaces initiated by Volkmar Klien Sometimes a Thousand Twangling Instruments' and 'Substitute Actions without Physical Contact' present very different approaches to common sound and music generation disconnected from real, physical interaction:
Sometimes a Thousand Twangling Instruments
Strolling through parallel worlds
by Volkmar Klien in Kooperation with Momus Collection, Polygonal Mind & Snark.art
Named after a line from Shakespeare’s The Tempest, Sometimes a Thousand Twangling Instruments (SaTTI) is a truly open work of art created by Volkmar Klien in collaboration with the blockchain-based art production platform Snark.art. It is comprised of 2000 one-of-a-kind images connected to singular sounds, for which they serve as visual indices. Each of these sound-image pairs (sound drawings) are coined ERC-721 tokens on the Etherum blockchain and hence digital originals.
Collectors can explore SaTTI by collaging these images with the help of an app developed by snark.art thus creating new musical arrangements and re-compositions of Sometimes a Thousand Twangling Instruments.
Blockchain art collector Sebastián Hernández of Momus Collection, who purchased 210 of the sound drawings took the project even further. He (partly funded by Decentraland) hired the game development studio Polygonal Mind to build a virtual gallery in Decentraland, a blockchain-based virtual reality platform. (https://play.decentraland.org/?position=9,40). There visitors can explore Sometimes a Thousand Twangling Instruments, remixing the sonic experience by walking through the virtual museum.
For Ö1 Kunstradio’s Sometimes a Thousand Twangling Instruments - Strolling through parallel worlds we invite people to join us to jointly explore the exhibition of the MOMUS collection at decentraland position 9,40. The individual visitors’ sonic experiences will be remixed in real time into a stereo radio signal and broadcast on Austrian National FM Radio (Ö1 ORF) as well as on Kunstradio ON LINE.
Acts of substitution without bodily contact. Making music in the age of quarantine.
A project by Paquito Chiti, Martina Claussen, Isabella Forciniti, Volkmar Klien, Tobias Leibetseder, Michael Mikolasek, Kamran Moharramzadeh, Katharina Roth, Astrid Schwarz and Peter Trabitzsch
The original plan for this semester’s composition seminar by Volkmar Klien at Anton Bruckner University was to reflect technology’s influence on compositional processes and the notion of the musical work. With the meetings scheduled suddenly outlawed a week into term time the project was forced by circumstance to focus on musicking under the digital condition. In a world in which communication in person outside one’s household is possible only by means of technology, playing together is possible only in media space. There it is possible, regardless of physical location, to come together intimately. But still; the technical medium interfacing between human bodies resists as much as it enables. The membrane interfacing also remains impenetrable.
The medium allowing communal music making while quarantined, enables acts of substitution without bodily contact or risk of infection. And it is especially through these acts of substitution that the media itself shifts into focus. The ear is fast and the net quite often slower than hoped for. And more importantly: Can souls really touch while their bodies don’t?
Sitting at our interfaces we listen to the slightly delayed sonic acts of others and – alone and under the glow of screens – we react to them. Together we seek out replacement therapy for the inebriating act of making music together. We hope for the best.
Anton Bruckner Privatuniversität