Spatialized sound as an expressive form is at the centre of the two different yet conceptually related pieces by composer Laure M. Hiendl that are to be presented on two consecutive days at Radialsystem: NeoQuartet performs “String Quartet No.2” on electric string instruments that are hooked up to samplers. The ensemble KNM Berlin performs “In Abeyance”, an instrumental-acoustic ensemble piece. Both compositions are Hiendl’s intimate articulation of queer plight and desire, whose expression finds its form in the temporality of the pieces: Hiendl uses sampling techniques to deconstruct the hierarchical structures of acoustic linear sequences in favour of a simultaneity of sound material, generating a sort of equal, spatial sound. The quartet and ensemble works are presented as part of the “SENSE” series, through which Radialsystem explores power relations within a geography of perception.
String Quartet No. 2
Laure M. Hiendl’s second string quartet is written for four electric string instruments that are hooked up to four samplers – the pitch of the string instruments controls the playback speed of the sampler. The audio material comprises orchestral sample packs for film music, so each of the NeoQuartet musicians controls the playback of an entire orchestra with their string instruments. Minuscule, constantly shifting pieces of sound material generate shimmering, oscillating soundscapes that move more across spatial rather than temporal coordinates.
A video piece with text and imagery punctuates the music; artist Jamie Shi’s text responds to contributions by composers and artists Wojtek Blecharz, Nico Navarro Rueda, Stellan Veloce and Weronika Wro Wrzesińska. The video, a kind of dialogic overdub, is a nod to the work of Barbara Hammer, US-American filmmaker and pioneer of queer feminist cinema.