Of the principal challenges that I encounter as a live performance artist working with fixed media, imbuing a piece with a spirit of spontaneity, spectacle, and physical agency stands as one of the most difficult. This Piece works towards that challenge, by transforming the oval octophonic void of the gallery into the very center of an abstract, but very present, electronic instrument.
Although “Before It Begins” is not delivered live, it was derived through the process of performance using an 8-voice synthesizer and an octophonic sound system, exploring complex phrases, gestures, and articulations for this instrument.
Much of the artefacts used in this piece were derived by accessing sounds stored on memory of an old digital sampler. The sounds were strangely stored within preset files but take place before the sample/file start point- hidden from the common user, with no clear reason or purpose for their presence. These sounds could be accessed only by curiously examining what could be considered as boring and mundane factory presets in an on board sample editor- looking where one shouldn’t be looking. While the concept of this piece doesn’t revolve around these specific technicalities, the idea of finding an aesthetic on the cusp of a machine’s failure or by working against its design, is a recurring theme in the sound design of much of my art. Eliad Wagner.