The time it takes from the moment anticipation begins until the sound shines.
The time it takes from when a sound is introduced until it is repeated.
The time it takes from when a sound is played until it is heard.
The examples mentioned under Anticipate are the original inspiration to my experiments with delay and time lag, leading up to the pieces “Lag, Accumulated A” and “Lag, Accumulated B” on my solo release Stop Freeze Wait Eat, and Video Ensemble, performed on the Final Artistic Presentation on 22 April 2015.
I record what I play in the moment with a delay unit. I send the original non-delayed signal into amplifier 1, and the delayed signal into amplifier 2. What I do in the present will come back to me in amplifier 2 after a set time delay. This setup triggers a certain self-dialogue, and it causes an interesting germinating process.1 I have found that this setup works best if the delay is at least 12-15 seconds. It also works best when I am not considering the delay purely as a repetition of the real thing, as an echo, but rather something that also is the real thing. Something that happens now, even if it already has happened… not purely an echo of what was, but something that is.
There is a certain slowness that comes with this, no matter how quickly I play. It is like panning slowly in the woods with binoculars. What appears in your right eye will be repeated in your left in a while.
Someone played Henry Flynt’s “Violin Strobe” from Hillbilly Tape Music2 for me when I worked on this setup. It became influential to my work. “Violin Strobe” seems to include a fairly similar setup: a violin is being mixed with its delayed signal about 10 seconds after the original. The material Flynt uses has more variation. It has stops, chord changes and more dynamic variation. I have found that I prefer less variation. I am intrigued when I myself am confused. When I am uncertain what I am playing in the present and what I played in the past. When the delayed signal is (con)fused with what I am playing in the moment.
Note to self:
The delay becomes a tedious obviousness, but less so if the material has less variation, or is more focused – i.e. if my played repetition fuses and confuses with the loop machine's repetition.
1. I used this setup for the recording of Huntsville’s POND. Here is an excerpt from the track “(AGE)”: (01:32)
2. I also used this setup on Stop Freeze Wait Eat. Here is an excerpt from “Lag, Accumulated A” (01:04). The present is in the right channel, the past in the left channel.
3. This is an outtake from Stop Freeze Wait Eat. The track never passed my self-evaluation. The judgmental me feel it lacks energy. The changes in tempo do not cause any interesting moirés. Tempo changes sound more like the results of a bad performance. However, the track illustrates an early attempt on the delay setup and the (con)fusion between past and present. The freeze effect is audible at 01:14 and 01:22. (02:34)
4. From solo concert at Norwegian Academy of Music, October 2014:
Video documentation: Torgrim Sollid
5. From Video Ensemble at Final Artistic Presentation, April 2015:
1 I feed the loop with something repetitious. Let us call it a “human loop”. I record it in the delay unit while continuously repeating the human loop and then hope for an interesting surprise when the playback begins. The unit continues to record what I play, and repeat the human loop. Sometimes I am lucky enough that the playback, the repetition is in time with the human loop that is being played in the moment. Sometimes it is off the beat, it is ahead, or it is behind, sometimes it creates an interesting and unexpected collision, sometimes it is just plain chaos. Perhaps this is when I’m “lucky enough”? There is a certain risk factor that comes with this, a risk factor that is highly welcome.
I alter one or two of the notes in the human loop, or move an accentuation, add something new, a fertilizer, a short noisy plunk. I play with dynamics, change tempo, add pauses, alter the tonality, the tone character. All the choices I make will come back to me after a while. I am stuck with all the ideas, good and bad, they will come back to me in a while. After a time delay. And they will stay. At least for a little while. I prepare my own surprises. I buy my own birthday present. I try to look into the future. I anticipate what I will have to communicate with in a while.
2 Released on New American Ethnic Music Volume : Hillbilly Tape Music, Recorded Records 007