New release: TAMTAM’s “Stromschauen”

The inspiration and the recordings for the piece Stromschauen (view/look current/power) were formed during walks in Berlin/Pankow in the last days of December 2020. In a situation of urban sound environment slowed down by the Covid rules and the holidays in general, various power boxes and their whirring and humming became more noticeable. The AC frequency is 50 HZ in the European electricity system, which is between a musical low G and a G sharp. This tone determines the resonant frequency when operating electrical devices like e.g. the lighting in streets or our refrigerators, that resonate in this frequency.

The starting point of Stromschauen is the manifold quotidian and mostly overheard resonances of our electricity infrastructure in interaction with their environment. Its compositional material is the sound textures found in these processes. Microtonal moods, sound aggregates at the interface of timbre to harmonics, overtone patterns, spectral layering, and rhythmic beat patterns become the musical material. The piece also acknowledges the influence of essential genres such as industrial and noise music on TAMTAM’s compositional work.

TAMTAM is the collaboration of Sam Auinger and Hannes Strobl, active on artistic research on urban living space, with a strong interest in the audible. This is approached through a longstanding practice in city studies with field recordings, producing releases, radio broadcasts, and performances. Concurrently they also produce sound installations with a focus on the audible relationship between designed architectural space and an acoustic event in interior or exterior spaces.

TAMTAM’s instrument is, for all intents and purposes, not only a sounding object that we are well familiar with. It is also the space itself where sound lives-the acoustic and psychoacoustic fields that enable us to extend our accepted senses to hear the habitual and the quotidian as something extraordinary.

Stromschauen is now available for stream or download.

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