OTO ARCHIVE

OTO SOUND MUSEUM constitutes an archive of sound works. The recognition and conservation of works of intangible nature is one of the missions that characterized the museum since its foundation. The presentation of soundscapes in the museum marks their entry into the collection, conceived as archive for consultation available to anyone interested.

To consult the collection and the archive, please write to info@oto.museum

ARCHIVE : LIST OF WORKS

ZIMOUN
Various vibrating materials, 2020
2h 22min, sound loop

LUCA RESTA
Urban Sound #6 // Gripia City, 2021
16m 49s, sound

PALOMA AYALA
Mestiza y Migrante CumbiaMix, 2021
22m 05s, sound

JO THOMAS
Massive Angels, 2021
37m 18s, sound

JURCZOK 1001
unemployed hero, 2021
23m 09s, sound

MAGDA DROZD
Preludes for the Post-Normal, 2021
22m 21s, sound

POLISONUM
PASSI 13”36’, 2019
13m 36s, sound

ARI BENJAMIN MEYERS
Serious Immobilities (Module 4/Instrumental Version), 2013/2021
41m 35s, sound

AXEL CRETTENAND
Turbulence in C minor, 2021
12m 00s, sound

VANESSA HEER
Ghostly Matters!, 2021
32m 16s, sound


WORKS' STATEMENTS

ZIMOUN
Various vibrating materials, 2020
2h 22min, sound loop

Various vibrating materials is a sound work edited by Zimoun in 2020 and based on various microscopic recordings of different materials which have been set under vibration, collected and processed by the artist to build a new composition. The work has no narrative but it can be listened as a 'situation', a 'moment' or a 'space'. It is characterized by an organic and primordial sound, like a burning fire or a blowing wind. A soundscape that moves away from its real mechanical and technological nature to solicit the mind's eye, the imagination. The piece is made up of imperceptible changes, slow variations that can be perceived as the changes in natural light that settles on a sculpture and gradually changes as the day goes by. With every slight variation that occurs within the microstructures of the work and its psychoacoustic elements, even our perception delicately migrates.
Various vibrating material is set up in loop. Headphones recommended.



LUCA RESTA
Urban Sound #6 // Gripia City, 2021
16m 49s, sound

The URBAN SOUND series gathers works realized through the recording and editing of sound collections. The sixth version Gripia City (2021) comes from the collection of street musicians’ recordings started in Paris in 2012. Each single recording captures a melody and also returns the surrounding soundscape – the frenetic footsteps of passengers, horns, rails, voices – giving life to a portrait of specific temporality and spatiality. Like in a walk in the city, the work evolves over the time of a journey among the different metro lines and the street melodies played by musicians from East to West of the world. Gripia City retraces 2020, also translating class struggles, the daily frenzy and the health dramas, shedding light on those invisible and atonic sounds that continue to fill spaces of transient sociability. Between pauses and movements, even the strikes against the labor reform and the manifestations of the French feminist group and of the European act of Black Lives Matter participate in drawing the portrait of a recent Paris and its social and political complexity, that still lives in the public space and appears already distant from today. Animated by the ephemeral, the work lives in the condition of invisibility and, paradoxically, highlights the a-sonority of the underground musical performances.



PALOMA AYALA
Mestiza y Migrante CumbiaMix, 2021
22m 05s, sound

Mestiza y Migrante CumbiaMix is a declaration of intent by Paloma Ayala in collaboration with Elimix. It is an invitation to retrace every gesture and to rethink the mobile tradition and culture that we carry in our hands in every migration. Behind this work are several female figures, mainly mothers and artists. Resistant and strong, working women. Zurich-based Mexican artist Paloma Ayala is the creator of this journey into Mestiza cuisine, the cuisine of traditional dishes mixed with contemporary circumstances. Cumbia is a popular form of entertainment in the Latin communities living in the USA. A sound form that contains a great ingredient of belonging and empowerment. This Cumbia is a gift from women to other women. An invitation to believe in the importance of one's role. A voice to defend ourselves against all violence.



JO THOMAS
Massive Angels, 2021
37m 18s, sound

In 2020 artist Jo Thomas spent time in North Wales UK crossing the landscapes of the highest point of Anglesey in the rotating wind farm Trysglwyn Fawr. Here she met vast areas of countryside and fields inhabited only by giant Turbine windmills that constantly work to produce electricity thanks to the airstreams. Those places, which hint at limited human presence, are privileged for the passage of the wind, captured and transformed by the Turbine windmills who dance elegantly in the landscape. Their sound, recorded by the artist through a binaural microphone, returns a remote and inaccessible motion making us perceive their mechanical and metaphysical functioning with the infinite time through which they produce clean energy. By elaborating the composition Massive Angels (2021), Jo Thomas turns to the invisible and sonorous electricity; she urges our gaze to imagine and get closer to what would otherwise be inaccessible. To reach the hidden beauty of these white supernatural presences, we must close our eyes and listen to their extraordinary linguistic code: a sort of sound message in "Enochian", the language of angels.



JURCZOK 1001
unemployed hero, 2021
23m 09s, sound

Jurczok 1001 is a Zurich-based singer, beatboxer and spoken word artist who has been collaborating with writer and musician Melinda Nadj Abonji since 1998. The duo have created their own idiosyncratic sonic universe using three elements – voice, human beatbox and electric violin; exemplified in their CD Voice / Beatbox / Violin (Masterplanet, out of print) released in 2006. Having spent a few weeks in his archive, digging out unreleased recordings to assemble an album of fragments for the OTO Sound Museum, Jurczok 1001 has compiled a compositional mix of 15 tracks.
The sketches have stayed in their original forms and have never been worked on further; they had remained unemployed – as if they had been waiting for this moment.
Most of the pieces are improvisations – single takes with a loop sampler and a delay pedal. All the pieces came into being during sessions and were recorded on impulse: We gotta get this on tape! Hold the mic in your right hand and press record with your left.



JURCZOK 1001
unemployed hero, 2021
23m 09s, sound

Jurczok 1001 is a Zurich-based singer, beatboxer and spoken word artist who has been collaborating with writer and musician Melinda Nadj Abonji since 1998. The duo have created their own idiosyncratic sonic universe using three elements – voice, human beatbox and electric violin; exemplified in their CD Voice / Beatbox / Violin (Masterplanet, out of print) released in 2006. Having spent a few weeks in his archive, digging out unreleased recordings to assemble an album of fragments for the OTO Sound Museum, Jurczok 1001 has compiled a compositional mix of 15 tracks.
The sketches have stayed in their original forms and have never been worked on further; they had remained unemployed – as if they had been waiting for this moment.
Most of the pieces are improvisations – single takes with a loop sampler and a delay pedal. All the pieces came into being during sessions and were recorded on impulse: We gotta get this on tape! Hold the mic in your right hand and press record with your left.
Apart from one live concert and one studio session, these are recordings made during rehearsal – on MiniDisc, tape, DAT or with a Zoom H4 recorder. The LoFi is part of the aesthetic and speaks about the time.
The unfinished character, rawness and spontaneity make these pieces what they are. More importantly recognizing that some things get better when they’re left in the archive for a few years. The rough draft can be the final version.
Melinda Nadj Abonji: voice, lyrics, electric violin, octave and delay pedals, kazoo Jurczok 1001: human beatbox, voice, lyrics, JamMan loop sampler.



MAGDA DROZD
Preludes for the Post-Normal, 2021
22m 21s, sound

The artist and composer Magda Drozd presents the sound work Preludes for the Post-Normal (2021), a composition made up of 13 different preludes, short pieces known mostly from classical music that become here sound images. Better recognized as intros in the contemporary pop musical contest, preludes do not have a rigid compositional structure and can take a wide array of forms. The work, whose sounds were entirely recorded and composed during this time by the artist, evokes different directions and emotional states. It suggests to us the opportunity of imagining multiple possible beginnings which, in turn, allow us to foresee or invent as many imaginable futures: suspended projections that open gazes in the evolution of time. Preludes for the Post-Normal is indeed a journey through sound visions that invite to enter in different spaces and get projections that call to an elsewhere and suddenly vanish. The work, presented for the first time in OTO SOUND MUSEUM, is made up of different atmospheres and rhythms through organic and metallic sounds, noises collected in nature or the private space, violins, percussion, voices, birds. These preludes can reflect the time we are currently in and, through their suspense character and playing with the concept of ‘post-normality’, leave space for speculation and invention.



POLISONUM
PASSI 13”36’, 2019
13m 36s, sound

PASSI is a walkable mirrored surface, a site specific work by the artist Alfredo Pirri. It is a lake of mirrors that reflects and expands space, disorients to seek a new orientation, distorts and overturns reality to offer new perspectives of observation, thanks to a vital process that feeds on the steps of those who cross this border made of reality and illusion. Each step defines a transformation of space and the reflected image, which is shattered, millesimated and finally pulverized with the passage of time. As result of a collective and individual action, the break determines the spatial perception and simultaneously becomes our sign of existence. PASSI 13"36' is the sound work presented in OTO SOUND MUSEUM created by Polisonum, who collected and composed the sound given by the action of the breaking of the steps generated on the work of Pirri. The composition is the result of a dramaturgy that returns the portrait of experience, movement, passage. Made up of unpredictable acoustic signs, creaks, crunches, crackles and rhythmic accents, the sonority of PASSI 13"36' becomes the restitution of a threshold as tangible as it is interior: that border between the real and the apparent that we are invited here to tread, twist and overcome through sound.
The work PASSI 13"36' – also recorded on vinyl in a limited edition as result of the collaboration between Alfredo Pirri and Polisonum – was created in 2019 at Palazzo Altemps in Rome where Pirri's work was set up under a sixteenth-century loggia.



ARI BENJAMIN MEYERS
Serious Immobilities (Module 4/Instrumental Version), 2013/2021
41m 35s, sound

The artist and composer Ari Benjamin Meyers presents a recorded excerpt from his work Serious Immobilities (Module 4/Instrumental Version). The title is a quote from the introduction of the famous piece Vexations by Erik Satie: “In order to play the theme 840 times in succession, it would be advisable to prepare oneself beforehand, and in the deepest silence, by serious immobilities.” Meyers originally composed the ten music-performance modules of Serious Immobilities to be performed continuously over a span of 6 hours a day by 2 musicians and 4 singer/dancers for his first show at the gallery Esther Schipper (Berlin, 2013). What we hear in Meyers’ piece for OTO Sound Museum is Module No. 4, as played in 2014 in the famed Berlin space Kantine am Berghain by two musicians with whom the artist has often worked over the years. Conceived almost as a sculpture, the musicians play directly across from each other for 45 minutes, facing one another, repeating and shifting a cyclical and energetic musical phrase, in a dark and ritual atmosphere, witnessed by an absorbed audience that tightly surrounds them in the middle of the space. The musicians become tableaux vivants locked in a paradoxical immobility of pure repetitive intensity. They immerse themselves in their amplified sound, they merge into it, and we do it with them now years later, also questioning our ability to listen and visualize: the performance and its recording become today an evocative rite.



AXEL CRETTENAND
Turbulence in C minor, 2021
12m 00s, sound

Turbulence in C minor is a sound sample collected from the installation Chaotic arrangement for 66 voices (2021) by Axel Crettenand, an apparatus designed to translate the chaotic behavior of temperature into a choir of human voices. The process comes to life in a volume of water that reminds a monochrome monolith, embodiment of a scientific direction: data are collected through thermometers spread in the water and sent to a program specifically designed to translate the temperature information into MIDI notes in real time, which are ultimately synthesized into voices. The outcome is a sound orchestration that intertwines and overlaps different voices, chords and notes giving rise to a random and unpredictable harmony that does not respond to any musical writing, nor to any previous score. Instead, it is the immediate result of the unrepeatability of a chaotic process that manifests itself in the turbulent oscillations of the water’s temperature collected at a given time and place. Here then, behind the choral vocalism that belongs to the human being, there is a scientific process; a passage is opened up, allowing spirituality and science to meet while the relationship between man and machine is once again tickled. The sound piece Turbulence in C minor, recorded in October 2021, was not the subject of any post-production nor compositional intervention.



VANESSA HEER
Ghostly Matters!, 2021
32m 16s, sound

The work of Swiss artist Vanessà Heer is an invitation to explore the practice of non-human listening and to concentrate on a metaphysical journey of memory. The artist is a witness of sound and thanks to recording technologies she brings us back the acoustic suggestions of a walk in the mountains. Regardless of place or space, this sound report gives us the possibility to listen and participate in this experience. Our ears have been amplified by microphones and so we find ourselves able to be receptors of sounds that we could never have heard because we have not being there directly. As undirected listeners to the experience, we are invited to perceive and attribute a new value to objects, whose relationships generate sound in their collision and encounter. Nature becomes animated, the elements of nature are the active protagonists of the exploration. Their reactions appear unexpected to us and put us in discussions with the limits of our human comprehension. Vanessà Heer, in her process of documentation, decides to get involved. The artist does not abandon the sounds to their reality, but chooses to guide us and interact with them, creating further suggestions for the listener, but also in direct experience for herself. In assuming this half-human, half-animal state, she questions the relationship between artist and nature, but also that between present and memory.

For any enquiry please contact: ZAIRA ORAM zairaoram@gmail.com