With Theodor Adorno’s Aesthetic Theory as its anchor, I am exploring and capturing the “truth content” in contemporary experimental electronic music or CEEM™, as I’ve come to call it.
In additional to using these truths alongside new compositions, an additional outcome of my exploratory research includes the incorporation of new knowledge as grounded theory applied to my artistic practice to invent new embodied CEEM™ instruments and audience interfaces.
The exploration of “truth content” (Wahrheitsgehalt - from the German) interrogates the art object, in this case a CEEM™ composition and the stories behind its creation, rather than one’s perception or opinion of the composition. Wahrheitsgehalt might also be thought of as a “measure of truth” – since the German “gehalt” can also mean “salary” or “payout” - an artistic rendering may be thought of as having earned its truth. “Gehalt” can also mean “import” or implication, as results from the dialectic interrogation of the artwork’s position relative to its subject, its societal position, and its internal dialectics.
I continue to be interested in interviewing CEEM™ creators and experiments with recording video and audio content. My expectation is that more “truth content” will increase understanding, consideration, and engagement with CEEM™ by revealing new insights and perspectives. Key questions include; how might we understand the relationships between composition and instrument, between the machine and ‘technical poetry’ of the artist, through interactive machine musicianship, and the engagement of simultaneous roles of performer, improviser, and orchestrator – all topics from my undergraduate scholarship.
As a part of this human/technology relationship, I have designed and built a prototype one-piece suit that doubles as an embodied signal processor. The suit will function not unlike a signal processor, with various elements (i.e., filters, envelope, effects, etc.) distributed on my body, requiring the musician to physically connect and patch the technology to the self. I've incorporated four effects units -- a reverb, a flange, a delay, and a freeze, an arduino programmed to output random low res rhythmic patterns, a microphone, and an external audio input that one can connect to various instruments (guitar, keyboard, computer, etc.) and outputs.