Extracts from his speech held on July 3rd, 2009
„… Classical aesthetics as both a theory of perception and a theory of arts has practically limited itself to the description of surfaces, of what we see with our eyes, what we hear with our ears. However, in the meantime, we have invented instruments, devices, a technology that penetrate deep under these surfaces we can acknowledge with our own sense organs.
And the artist couple Schäfer and Krebs has actually succeeded in saving and isolating just these aesthetical moments. We can say in a certain way that Krebs and Schäfer are the Hookes [Robert Hooke, 1635-1702] of sound-light art. They offer acoustic microscopes which enable us to perceive new sound worlds as well as new image worlds.
In this respect, Joachim Krebs is correct in having applied the term „sound microscopy“ to this technology he has been developing since the nineties of the past century. „Skopeis“ is the Greek word for seeing, so that the best term would actually be: Sono Microscopy – to make sounds audible by means of acoustic microtechnology, sounds that come from creatures which are themselves of microscopic size.
In expanding the sound world to the molecular, neuronal elements, the artist couple Schäfer/Krebs has succeeded in supporting a new kind of musical concept. This is what I want to demonstrate in my concluding remarks.
One of the founders of modern music – not John Cage, not Boulez, but a certain Morton Feldman – said that music should no longer submit itself to the tyranny of the metronome. You all know the metronome – that's actual tyranny of time. It never changes. It is a mechanical kind of time. You all know what a check clock is – „Stechuhr“ in German, closely related to „Stechschritt“, goose step. And it is rather peculiar that music as a so-called free art submits to the metronome. For that means that music submits to time. However, it is a fact that we invented music in order to subordinate time.
And this is exactly the phenomenon you [the recipient] described here: You relaxed. You suddenly let go, and you heard a music that invalidates the rules of the metronome. You haven't even noticed that maybe ten minutes have passed and you missed your next date. You just dissolve. You dissolve in a certain way, just like ink dissolves in water once you pour some of it in a fish tank. If you do that, you will see how clouds form, without any interval. This means, that when listening to this musical example [the "MicroSonical Shining Biospheres No. 1" by the artist couple <SA/JO>], you will find that it subordinates time – by means of EndoSonoMicroscopy – instead of submitting to time. …“
In addition, you will find here extracts from Peter Weibel's article:
molecular music or:
AN INTERVIEW BY PETER WEIBEL WITH PETER WEIBEL ON PETER WEIBEL …AND ON MUSIC
„… Music should be something that releases us from the dictate of space and time, from the three bars of this cage: three spatial axes and a time axis. In practical terms, this means that we need a music that is not based on rhythm and not on the big interval theory of music postulated by Hegel. …“
„… Sound waves are to me pressure waves in the first place. Music is to me a part of physics. That's what its therapeutical effect is based on. Music is applied mathematics, complex physics. This is why the future of music rests in the computer – the one universal instrument, the best one to calculate music. …“
„… Music is a temporal, physical code. It enables the human being to retransform into a mere creature. This is the major satisfaction brought upon by music rather than, as is often said, metaphysical transcendence – it is, quite on the contrary, physical immanence. You are part of the material environment. …“
„… Molecular music is music that treats music as a compository technique, as a cellular machine. The micro range of sounds in which sounds are arrayed in adjacent fields controlling and modulating their dissemination autonomously just like the algorithms by Conways „Game of Life“ allows us to forebode a music submitting to time. …“
„… Thus, music is not only the mother of all time-based arts, it is also the mother of all technological arts. …“
Issue:: Neue Zeitschrift für Musik 6/2009
About the author: Peter Weibel