Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Batuhan Bozkurt - Laconicism (Agxivatein, 2010)

This is one of the coolest things ever. This is not a regular record. Batuhan Bozkurt made software, which in turn makes music, and your job is to fuck with it and make your own sounds, in essence creating a collaboration between you and Bozkurt. The general idea he started with was that music doesn't need to be "locked to definite micro or macro event sequences in time." He believed that when that happened, there was a "transmission loss between the composer and listener" and Laconicism is his means of eliminating that "transmission loss."

The software "provides a recipe for computers to generate sounds utilizing various sound synthesis techniques on the fly." Basically, totally fucked electronic noises that you can make sound like a swarm of bees, a glitchy blip orgy, a crumbling wall of static, or a minimal 20 BPM snooze fest. It's entirely up to you. There are 18 "songs" on Laconicism, each with a certain number of slider bars which are always set at specific levels when the "song" starts. Moving the sliders up and down change various aspects of the sound in a "circuit bending fashion." There's even a "Random" button that throws the sliders into random positions if you're feeling lazy/adventurous.

This is a piece that requires full attention. You can have fun and create all you want but as soon as you stop, the program continues playing the same loop you set it at until you come back and change it. This isn't necessarily bad, though, as some of the "songs" have really interesting sounds & patterns. But to hear another "song" you need to manually cycle to the next set or go fuck around some more.

Laconicism is easily the most unusual piece of music I have in my collection. It takes user accountability and the static/dynamic dichotomy to levels I've only ever seen in museums or galleries. And going along with the whole audience manipulation theme, this is a CC licensed program so you can download it for free from Bozkurt's site, or you can spend a couple bucks and get a physical disc in the mail from Agxivatein.

And I know I did a terrible job of explaining how this works, so watch this video and be persuaded by Laconicism's awesomeness.