80 Channel Installation by Moritz Tobler and Till Eiholzer
exhibition at Pakt Bern
Duration: 21' 26''
In August 2017, Tobias Reber asked us to work out a remix of his piece “Ending II” in the form of an installation. The association Pakt Bern organized an event with the theme Flash! (Back and Forward), which also guided us in the process of creating said remix. The entire composition Ending II was played on and recorded from a Korg MS-20 synthesizer from the 80s. In terms of content it was clear to us that this retro aspect of the composition symbolized the Flash Back, while our part, the installation, would be the Flash Forward.
The Idea to work with eighty speakers came from the very beginning. We collected loudspeakers from second hand stores, flea markets and junk dealers. The focus in the search for the equipment was on variety and quantity. The usual quality criteria played a minor role. At the end we had a very mixed up setup. From cheap HIFI speakers over home cinema boxes to first-class active speakers, everything was there. The whole technical setup had to be visible to the visitors, so we wired the speakers to the ceiling, creating a systematic chaos. The interfaces, amplifiers and the computer were a visible part of the installation. Finally, a walk-in room installation with 80 suspended and horizontal loudspeakers was created.
Lead by our decision to use eighty loudspeakers, we searched for an appropriate meaningful approach for our composition. We had a clear intention for what we wanted the composition to sound like, which lead to the idea to develop a setup where the piece sounds different depending on the listeners position. In addition, we wanted to move the sound three-dimensionally through the room, creating its own ever-changing soundscape. The frequency spectrum of the original material by Tobias Reber was divided on the computer into up to 80 frequency bands, which were distributed individually to the speakers. The source material of Tobias Reber remained largely unchanged. The coloration of the sound was caused by the spatial distribution of the sound and by the distortions of the different loudspeakers. By modulating the number and selection of frequency bands, we achieved a complex, frequency- and space dependent three-dimensional sound movement.
As the listener moves through the space of the installation, he experiences a kind of virtual spatiality. He can listen to a single sound of a speaker, move away from it, and hear the sound distribution and movement throughout the whole installation. Because of the distribution of the frequencies, he will never hear the whole sound through a single speaker. Only through the spatial mixing of the 80 speakers, he gets an idea how the sound could sound on a stereo setup. During one part of the composition a single sound shifts from speaker to speaker, creating a three-dimensional motion. This allows visitors to not only follow the sound with their ears but also their eyes.
Program Text for Pakt Bern
Based on a composition by Tobias Reber, Till Eiholzer and Moritz Tobler created a remix in form of an installation.The sounds from the original composition came from a synthesizer from the 80s - flash backward! In a second part, the two Sound Arts students at the HKB tried to add the outlook into the future as a flash forward:To enter a single room, a geographical constant, while at the same time diving deeper and deeper into various virtual worlds. Thank you: This installation could only be realized thanks to the company Merging Technologies. The company has provided us with two interfaces.