Øyvind Brandtsegg’s “Persistent Disequilibrium” reviewed by Salt Peanuts

«Persistent Disequilibrium» is a new sound art project of Norwegian experimental composer-scholar-educator Øyvind Brandtsegg. Brandtsegg devised a set of new musical instruments where finger-mounted piezo contact pickups are used with transducers on vibrating plate-like objects (metals, plastics, wood, ceramics, concrete, glass, bioplastics and even human bones in a living body) to explore intimate resonances by touch. The performer’s finger acts as a filter in the feedback circuit, and variations in performative gestures (pressure, angle, touching with the nail or the flesh) bring out different potential resonances of the objects.

These instruments create a chain reaction of deep, low-frequency feedback loops when the sonic vibrations pass through the plate-like objects and allow Brandtsegg to investigate these vibrations. The basic feedback mechanism was kept simple and often Brandtsegg’s voice was added into the feedback loop to create further diversions of textural resonances. This sound-making process offers a new method of embodied sound production and allows close performative control over the expressive nuances of the performative environment.

Brandtsegg recorded a set of seven haunting and quite unsettling drones at the NTNU Music Tech in Trondheim, where he is a professor of music technology. He was assisted by the «external ear» of Maja S.K. Ratkje, and discovered weird and detailed sonic universes within the vibrating chain of feedback, some are even suggesting friendly rhythmic alien transmissions and twisted yet subtle melodic veins, and the last one «Moebius Guessthetics» offers a deep and peaceful meditative mode.

«Persistent Disequilibrium» offers an enigmatic and immersive listening experience. Eyal Hareuveni

 via Salt Peanuts

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