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Creatures and Signals
Site-specific performance for Fairlight CMI and mutated animal sounds. 2018
first performance 30.9.2018 Dystopia Sound Art Festival




Millions of insects and tiny creatures inhabit the earth, most of them undiscovered, some thriving under the most unwelcoming of conditions, many are endangered.
The work was developed for Dystopia Sound Art Festival 2018 and is based on speculative research on extinct and imagined animals. What animals will survive (us) on earth? What beings will they evolve into? Will they develop a new language? Will they communicate with other beings and life forms?
The sounds used originate from benign, seemingly insignificant creatures, namely insects. They are fragile sounds, soft or mutated, distorted, often incorporating a certain electronic quality. The sounds were researched in the vast collection of the Tierstimmenarchiv of the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin.
These transformed animal voices sound together with sounds of the Fairlight CMI (Computer Musical Instrument). The synthesized and sampled sounds of this archaic yet futuristic, ›utopian‹ instrument are reminiscent of animal sounds showing a linguistic quality, very specific, very mysterious, very beautiful.
The Fairlight sounds are manipulated through pedals and sliders triggering algorithmic real-time processes. By zooming in and overlaying simple patterns on micro levels structures of temporal density and spatial multitude are created that in turn show a likeness to the structures of insect sounds.
The premiere performance took advantage of the unique environment of the Teufelsberg listening station - a site that today is characterized by decay and overgrowth.

With kind support by the Tierstimmenarchiv Museum für Naturkunde Berlin (Dr. Karl-Heinz Frommolt).

> audio: Kirsten Reese Creatures and Signals performance Teufelsberg 2018 radio version

> Catalogue Dystopia Festival 2018

Creatures and Signals at Teufelsberg Berlin 2018 © Golo Föllmer, Kirsten Reese