Robert Barry, Jemma Woolmore, Still be Here (Hatsune Miku)
What does the future sound like? Future Soundscapes invites you on an audiovisual trip through time: Over the four days of the festival, artists from the realms of music, media art and sound art explore the past and present of science fiction sound in pop culture, music and cinema.
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 10
silent green Kuppelhalle
7pm Opening lecture by Robert Barry
8pm Dome projection by Jemma Woolmore
silent green Betonhalle
9pm Concert: Still Be Here - A Performance with Hatsune Miku
The Music of the Future
Opening lecture by Robert Barry
The music of the future may be older than we think. By comparison, the history of the future itself, of dreams about the world tomorrow, is surprisingly short. For as long as we have entertained speculation about a time to come radically different from today, such fictions and designs have been conceived in distinctly musical terms. We tend to hear the new, the strange, and the other before we see it. For as long as utopia has been a place distant in time rather than space, it has been conceived as a city of sound, a paradise of ubiquitous musics. Today, it might seem as if we have achieved precisely this: music all the time, everywhere. Yet somehow a trip to my local shopping mall does not feel quite like the Eden I was promised. Somewhere along the line, something must have gone wrong…
Robert Barry is a writer and musician, based in London, UK. His music has appeared in feature films, dance performances, art exhibitions and he is the author of the books, The Music of the Future (2017, Repeater Books), Three True Tales About Music & Technology (2018, Rough Trade Editions), and Compact Disc (2020 – forthcoming, from Bloomsbury Publishing). He is currently a senior editor at the Quietus and a member of faculty at the Institute of Contemporary Music Performance in London.
Of Fragile Things
Dome projection by Jemma Woolmore
Of Fragile Things explores a complex world inhabited by interconnected, abstract structures, that fluctuate ambiguously in scale between the micro and macro. Created specifically for the dome ceiling at Silent Green, this piece takes the form of an audio-visual journey weaving together dark soundscapes from recordings of electromagnetic fields, singing ice scapes and a chorus of lost voices together with a bright and glistening visual world. Of Fragile Things continues the artists ongoing investigations into the multiple, intricate and fragile connections between living and non-living systems.
This piece grew out of research, thinking and conversation around invisible systems and forces both natural and man-made, highlighted in speculative climate fiction The Overstory by Richard Powers and The Camille Stories by Donna Haraway, the proliferation of and unforeseen effects of electromagnetic fields and the theoretical writings of William Connolley.
Blurring the boundaries between real and virtual, artist Jemma Woolmore explores the spatial and emotional possibilities of light and sound in performative environments. Spanning audio-visual performance and installation her work shows a strong sensitivity for combining light, sound and structure.
Woolmore has exhibited, performed and given workshops internationally. She now lives and works in Berlin where she is also a curator for Scope Sessions and is a member of the artist studio Lacuna Lab.
Still Be Here
A performance / installation with Hatsune Miku
Commissioned by CTM Festival and transmediale for their joint 2016 editions, "Still Be Here" is a unique collaborative performance that draws us into the multiplying realities of a 21st Century pop star, and traces the dynamics at play between fans, corporations and social desires.
Since her 2007 launch in Japan, Hatsune Miku (whose name means “first sound of the future”) has become the ultimate pop star, developed from a vocal synthesizer product into a globally adored and collaboratively constructed cyber celebrity.
"Still Be Here" explores Hatsune Miku as the crystallisation of collective desires, embodied in the form of a teal-haired virtual idol, forever 16. In watching the deconstruction of this perfect star, the audience comes to the uncanny realisation that Miku is simply an empty vessel onto which we project our own various fantasies. In this void, the topology of desire within a networked community becomes tangible and Miku becomes an allegory of the commodified female body as governed by corporate regulation and normative social etiquette.
Following an idea initiated and conceptualised by artist Mari Matsutoya, "Still Be Here" is collectively created with music producer Laurel Halo, award-winning choreographer and visual artist Darren Johnston/ Array, virtual artist LaTurbo Avedon and produced by digital artist Martin Sulzer. This project presents a unique arrival of aesthetics between the participating artists, in their search for the identity of Hatsune Miku.