First appeared as part of the limited edition Exposé on Die Schachtel.
(1) Collect incomprehensible passages, such as radio transmissions suffering from static disturbance or manuscripts in illegible handwriting. Transcribe what I am capable of understanding even if the result are senseless words or sounds.
(2) Try to make jokes or games out of words from languages that I don’t understand or only understand a little.
(3) Create visual representations of recordings of sound-scapes.
(4) Rebuild gardens using sound exclusively.
(5) To create madrigals through Chinese Whispers in the following way: the separate voices for each madrigal would be recorded separately; each voice would be heard by somebody wearing headphones who would sing back in the very moment they hear the voice. This new voice is also recorded. The procedure is repeated with other people also wearing headphones and also singing back. Lots of voices. The duration of the voices would remain the same while the melodies are transformed. Finally, all the voices would be superimposed in a final recording in such a way as to recreate the madrigals.
(6) Tape people singing along to Karaoke excluding the accompanying soundtrack. The people listen to the soundtrack through headphones but we can only record their voices. Rearrange these voice recordings but irrespective of the base track, adding instruments, sounds, noises, and rhythms to taste.
(7) Journey on the tea route from Beijing to Berlin by the Transmongolian railroad. Make as many stops to drink tea with as many people as possible. Tape the base words and phrases that they use while drinking tea together in all the languages encountered. Compose an acoustic piece based on these words and phrases and on the way they are transformed in space, from language to language, dialect to dialect.
(8) Bring recordings of acoustic soundscapes from the occidental and industrialized world to traditional cultures that live in acoustic soundscapes that are almost entirely natural (Amazonian Indians, the Temiar of Malaysia for example). Ask these people to recreate as precisely as possible the recordings, using their voices exclusively or objects that are part of their daily lives.
(9) Rent a lot of DVDs that are considered tearjerkers (Titanic, for example). Watch all the films and document the moment when you cry with photographic portraits.
(10) Make a series of photographs of chance-encountered people sharing a set of headphones to listen to music, one of the earpieces in one persons ear, the second in the other’s.
(11) Make videos of people singing a single long fixed note while a stream of water is squirted into their mouths. The video portrays the people in profile. You only see the person’s open mouth and the stream of water. You don’t understand where the stream is coming from. You make various videos in which different people sing different notes to show later on different monitors in the same room. The sound of the notes ends up being a chord.
(12) Print a series of ideas like these on sheets and sleep under them.
(13) Write poetic texts and have them whistled by people from the island of Gomera, who speak a whistling language and who can whistle sentences over long distances. Go to where the receiver is and record what I am capable of understanding.
(14) Compose acoustic portraits of languages I don’t understand.
(15) Compose 12 pieces exclusively using sounds coming from a single object for each piece.
(16) Create tractor tires with relief carvings that tell circular stories: “Once upon a time there was a King, seated on a sofa, who said to his loved one, ‘Tell me a story,’ and the story began: ‘Once upon a time there was a King…’” drive the tractor through muddy terrain in the autumn.
(17) Spend a night in the chamber of the Physics University in Berlin where there is a void generator for particle research.
(18) Dress in a bridegroom’s suit and wait.
(19) Apply a frequency transducer to a saxophone. Apply a contact microphone to the saxophone. Connect the contact microphone to an amplifier. Connect a second frequency transducer to the amplifier. Connect the transducer to a second saxophone. Connect a second contact microphone to the second saxophone. Connect it to a second amplifier. And so on and so on with any number of saxophones, contact microphones, amplifiers and frequency transducers. Finally, create a circle connecting the first transducer to the last amplifier.
(20) Repeat the entire procedure with all the instruments from a symphony orchestra.
(21) Maybe insert a recorder into some point of the circle described in (19) or (20), record and make a CD on Touch.
(22) Maybe not. The instruments are listening to each other.
(23) Bring CDs of experimental electronic and contemporary music to people in African villages and make them listen through headphones. Tape everything that happens in the meantime and create a piece.
(24) Create a typographic language with body positions. Cover the body in ink and then lie on huge pieces of paper in the particular positions to create the characters. The characters are new characters that have never been seen in any alphabet anywhere. Make photos to document the body positions used for each character otherwise it would be difficult to remember them.
(25) Select brief loops of video tape that I’ve made here and there in which people do things. Film myself while I’m copying—as precisely as possible—what I see these people doing. The imitation has to be synchronized: if a person in the video turns a book’s page, I turn the page in the very same moment. Present the synchronized videos in the same room.
(26) Like (25) but dressing up in costumes that have nothing to do with the original video.
(27) Discuss experimental vocal music with handicapped people. Record the conversations and make a piece.
(28) Try to create a mask that that doesn’t have anything to do with anything.
(29) I taped a video out of a Jeep window on the way to Sevarè in Sangha. The video jumps and wobbles over a half hour. You see the countryside passing by yellow and rocky from the Dogon plain. Re-draw the entire countryside that runs by on a very long piece of paper. Mount it on rolls, right above the monitor. Make it run so that the drawing always corresponds to the countryside passing by in the video. It’s very important that the rolls are unwound by hand with a crank.
(30) Write a text on the fact that in the 16th century silver traveled from the South-American colonies to Chinese artisans through Spanish hands. Write it on the skin of someone’s head without cutting their hair. Have it read out loud by somebody else who doesn’t know the text.
(31) Compose ten electro-acoustic tracks. Have each track played to a person through headphones. Film each one of the ten people while they are listening to it. Destroy each piece after the first hearing. In the video you will only see the listeners face but you won’t hear the piece because it’s in the headphones. You’ll only hear the room’s noises: breathing, comments, etc.
(32) Compose a piece to be made uniquely with trilling voices. In the Baroque, classic, romantic style of trilling, etc.
(33) Collect stories of real musicians who had lost their instruments somewhere. Both those who found them again and those who didn’t. Make a radio drama from it.
Europe is a castle. Elsewhere you find a discomfort that is both daily and cruel. After much traveling, it is absolutely necessary to release certain ideas. They clog one’s head. Some have already been carried out. Others will be in the future. Others still are impossible to carry out because they lack any tangible interests. Traveling outside of Europe doesn’t require any report. To continue traveling, however, it’s necessary to get some space from all the things that filled your mind during the delays, queues, the endless transfers. Perhaps, over the years, the restlessness of whoever that couldn’t survive a week locked up in a cell is mitigated by the experience of repetitive comebacks. The castle threatens to collapse. The differences are effaced while the discomfort appears benevolent. Trophies become objects of daily use.
© Alessandro Bosetti, 2006.