by Wilmer Chan and Olaf Hochherz

(3 Recordings by Olaf Hochherz and Wilmer Chan)

The project „ Natural Languages “ explores improvisation through imitations of environmental sounds with computer synthesis and acoustic instrument. Olaf Hochherz plays with synthetic sounds that emulate screams, shouts and songs of the animal world. Wilmer Chan creates organic ambient sounds with extended playing techniques on the double bass.

We reference the natural atmosphere and its aural structure and transform the ideas into musical materials. The interaction between double bass and synthesizer produce different mixtures, chimera between animals and instruments, hybrids between automatism of body movements and electronic algorithms. The sounds are condensed into sonic environments, which we produce in different spatial and acoustic situations, an imagined “wildlife scenario”.

Olaf Hochherz programmed a synthesizer which simulates half-animals. Half-animals are deliberate created occurrences, which resemble notions of nature. The instrument is the result of a research, where he developed an interface to control sounds through their relation to memories, things and sounding machines – a way to let the computer sing, to let machines mime animals. The sounds are a result of the chirping of a feedback and the memory of the sounding of the environment, created by a blurry apparatus. This instrument allows a playing with the affection to things and animals: animal-voice-transmissions.

With a double bass that is known to produce sonorous deep tones, Wilmer Chan focuses instead on the brittle, peculiar timbre from his instrument that often requires physical tension to produce. He transforms the functional bass of the rhythm section into a supporter of textures, timbres – producing sounds that blends into the atmosphere. With reference to a wide array of extended techniques, he investigates the gradual transformation between different timbres and sounds through repetitions and variations of gestures. His performance is structured by playing movements that reacts with the materiality of the instrument. The double bass develops into a living machine, an organic apparatus.

Wilmer Chan solo improvisation: