Silent Noise Revolution - March 2023

Surrounded by noise

When I am surrounded by silence and sitting at my piano, nothing happens. Surrounded  by abstract sounds or a soft noise, my gates open and the notes and motifs flow in by themselves like a radio tuning in to a station.

This tension between soft piano sounds and a background radiation of dystopian sounds became my habitat. I have no idea why, I even don't want to know why.

Silent Noise Revolution - Jun 2020

Making my own colours of noise

In these times where many people live in the collective illusion that you can buy anything including happiness, getting to the essence of sound creation felt like finetuning the recipe of making your own bread.

White noise is created inside a transistor, by connecting it in a "wrong way". The noise is very weak, and needs to be amplified several thousands of times to be loud enough.
Next, different filters can make the noise more bright (blue) or dark (pink, red, brown).

Of course, there are computer programs to design circuit boards for this in a very efficient way, but efficiency was not what I was looking for. Drawing circuits with a pencil makes me feel more connected. 

Silent Noise Revolution - Sep 2019

Sparks and glitches

I designed a "crackle device", based on analog transistor circuits. The sound of the circuit is determined by several touch points and 3 banks of capacitors. The touch points are the bolts mounted on the top. The bolts are connected to nodes in the circuit. A collection of capacitors (coming from a variety of sources including old radios) can be connected using crocodile cables. 

The electronic design is based on the "Lil Sidrassi" circuit. The cosmetic design is inspired by an old speaker I bought on the flea market years ago. I used an old radio cabinet having the same curvature and look, and cut it to the size of the speaker (23 cm wide).

The challenge is to use nothing but sounds from this device (cutting up and adding effects) on piano compositions.

Silent Noise Revolution - Aug 2018

Connecting 2 different worlds:

piano & modular

I've been using piano and modular as 2 different worlds so far, looking for the contrast between abstract noise rhythms and the acoustic sound of a piano.

After a lot of searching, I'm getting close to the touch of magic I was looking for: sending piano sound to the modular, and create an interesting blend of textures thay goes along the piano.

I feel like a little boy with a new toy :-)

Silent Noise Revolution - April 2018

Designing new circuits

It is nice to design circuits with specific personal features.

This is going to be an LFO:  a Low Frequency Oscillator.

An LFO generates waves that are too slow to be heard.

I want an LFO to slowly change the behaviour of filters and noise. I already have 3 LFOs, but  this is one of my statements: you can not have too much LFOs!

Silent Noise Revolution - Mar 2018

Piano Day

Nil Frahm established the idea to call the 88th day of the year Piano Day. This is because a piano has 88 keys.

He started curating a playlist on Soundcloud in 2015, containing tracks that represent what I call the "Silent Revolution". This playlist was an epiphany to me.

Since I started Silent Noise Revolution early 2016, I had the chance to be in Nils Frahm's playlist in 2016, 2017. Yesterday I discovered that I'm also in the 2018 playlist.

Silent Noise Revolution - Feb 2018

Struck by a lighting

At the end of 2017, I felt like struck by a lightning: a strong power was pushing me to design and build my own modular synthesizer modules.

The learning curve is like the wall of a skyscraper, but lightings come from higher.

This is a part of a step sequencer. There are still a lot of challenges before it will be up and running. I did not put a deadline on the project, but I work on it at least 3 times a week.

The process of soldering everything together is very close to meditation: the required focus does not allow thinking of other things.

Of course, sometimes I get carried away by thoughts, which means that I need to undo and redo the work of several hours. 

Peter Vogel

Peter Vogel designed and created his own electronic circuits, without using circuit boards. He used straight wires to interconnect the legs and pins of electronic components, which resulted  into esthetic 3D structures, expressing the minimalistic sound they made.

Here you find a link to a documentary about Peter Vogel and his sound creations. Peter Vogel died in May 2017.


Silent Noise Revolution - Nov 2017

From The Sky - The making of

I was playing this old 78rpm record (Brahms op. 73 Symphony in D major)

at 33rpm, while reading a book about the universe.

At the end of the B-side, I heard the noise of the needle ticking in the end groove, and I was touched by the beauty of this simple rhythm.

I recorded it and used it as the background for "From The Sky".  (released July 2016)

Clicking the image plays the song on Spotify.

Nils Frahn & Olafar Arnalds

The 45 min movie about Ólafur Arnalds and Nils Frahm's improvised audio recordings 'Trance Frendz'.

During this session at Durton Studio in Berlin last summer, Nils and Ólafur invited Alexander Schneider and his camera to document it. The recording continued long after the first take, stretching out into the next day until, eventually, several new improvisations had been recorded in 8 hours with no overdubs or edits.

Watch it here.