Hans Tutschku

Monochord


2-channel electroacoustic composition
year: 2008
duration: 12:14 min
studio: Harvard University
dedicated to Oscar Wiggli


This composition is a musical gift for the Swiss composer/sculptor, Oscar Wiggli. Oscar is practicing a multitude of artistic expressions, ranging from electronic music composition to drawing in Chinese ink to forging iron sculptures. It was this diversity of thought and experimentation that impressed me since we first met. All sounds are created from recordings I made with objects of instruments from his collection, as well as ‘playing’ some of his forged sculptures.


Oscars electronic studio

 

Oscars gallery

In January 2008 I spend some time in the gallery space of the Oscar Wiggli foundation, where many of his sculptures are exposed.

Already during a previous visit in 2006, I had recorded some sounds on an instrument, Oscar calls the “monochord”. It has actually 13 double strings. This time, Oscar brought even a second model with 13 single strings. Placing all kinds of objects onto the strings and playing them, created a rich repertory of sound possibilities. I spent almost 2 days playing and recording them.

Later on I was even placing one monochord on the strings of the other and creating thus a coupled resonating body. From there one, the installations became more and more “crazy” and the resulting sounds more and more complex.

 

recording the monochords

The composition uses exclusively the sounds I recorded in January 2008. There are almost no sound treatments, except for some transpositions. Everything else is only layering of played sequences on the monochords.
While working on the piece I was inspired by his sculptures and imagined, how these sounds would “talk” to his fluent, organic, proud and solid forms.

 

 

For more information on Oscar Wiggli’s work : http://www.iroise.ch/fondation-wiggli/

 

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