‘Drawing in sound’ is a live improvisation, created by
sound artist Andreas Usenbenz (Ulm) and illustrator
Christoph Lammers (Munich) for the exhibition
opening of ‘Wiese’ (‘meadow’) by Artist and Curator
Andreas Pytlik (Munich) at Städtische Galerie
Rosenheim in the spring of 2018.
Prior to the performance, the artists exchanged
ideas, drawings and sound improvisations to find a
way of approaching the topic of ‘meadow’ in the context of
contemporary drawing and contemplative
soundscapes.During the performance, illustrator and
sound artist entered a dialogue: Usenbenz created
subtle sound textures and phonographic collages of
rustling hay, records, guitar sounds, field recordings,
tapes and effect devices.Lammers opened all senses to both space and
sound. Reacting intuitively, focussing on the moment
and with great physical effort he
composed his images, formed structures… more
released January 11, 2019
played and improvised by
andreas usenbenz, using objects, lo-fi microphones,
contact microphones, field recordings, guitar, ebow,
looper, ipad, dictaphone, cassettes, tape loops, op 1, field
kit. drawn and performed on a 7 x 4 m canvas by
christoph lammers, using different objects, ink, charcoal,
brushes and his bare hands.
recorded live at staedtische galerie rosenheim. additional
sounds recorded and edited at home.
mastering: klangmanufaktur ulm
photography: bettina gorn,
editorial: andrea toll, translation: tomi brem
D’un coté le musicien Andreas Usenbenz, armé de sa guitare et de divers effets, de field recordings et de dictaphones… De l’autres le plasticien Christoph Lammers équipé de divers charbons et encres noires, pinceaux, brosses et mains, devant sa toile blanche de 7×4 mètres.
Drawing In Sound est une performance qui s’est déroulée le 1er février 2018 à la Städtische Galerie Rosenheim, unissant musique et dessin, le peintre se laissant littéralement transporter par l’univers sonore développé par Andreas Usenbenz.
C’est le genre de projet où il y a peu de chose à dire, l’essentiel étant de se laisser guider par cet ensemble créé en symbiose pour former un tout, dont la finalité peut se percevoir en éléments distincts, développant leur propre énergie, détachés chacun de l’autre.
Christoph Lammers et Andreas Usenbenz proposent une oeuvre commune pleine de subtilité et de poésie, de détachement face aux gens qui les entourent, se concentrant et s’appuyant l’un sur l’autre pour donner vie à cet instant éphémère en forme d’accouchement créatif à la beauté fugace. Très fortement recommandé.
Auf dem multimedialen Kunstprojekt Drawing in Sound (Klanggold) von Andreas Usenbenz & Christoph Lammers ist jedes kleine Sounddetail sorgfältig geplant und in einer einzigen langen Improvisations-Session ein- und ausgespielt. Und doch funktioniert es bestens als puristischer Ambient.
This piece’s title is intended to be taken literally. Andreas Usenbenz produced a soundscape incorporating objects, lo-fi and contact microphones, field recordings, guitar, ebow, looper, iPad, dictaphone, cassettes, tape loops, an OP-1 synthesizer and field kit, according to the album’s notes. Artist and Curator Andreas Pytlik responded to Usenbenz’s work – and vice versa – during a live performance recording. He used a variety of objects, ink, charcoal, brushes and his bare hands to produce a seven- by four-metre canvas.
The pair’s goal was to interpret a “meadow in the context of contemporary drawing and contemplative soundscapes.” They shared their prework – sound improvisations and sketches – in advance of the recording session. That in turn was incorporated into an exhibition entitled Wiese (German for meadow)hosted by Städtische Galerie Rosenheim last spring.
This audio recording is a lovingly detailed, hybrid ambient/field recording piece. We hear wind blow, birds sing, rustling hay, guitars and more. The 24-minute work is loosely formed, like a casual stroll through the meadow it’s meant to depict. Not quite searching, not quite aimless. It has an extraordinary strength of presence.
Pieces like this are often referred to as a meditation on this or that. Usually, that’s simply shorthand for quiet.
In this case, the two artists are so clearly contemplating their subject matter – the meadow and by extension nature – that the term is appropriate. It encourages both a reflection on the environment and introspection on our place within it.
This is an improvised musical collaboration, not beti chrween two musicians as you might expect from the accreditation, but between a musician and a visual artist who, after some correspondence and preparation, performed a live work consisting of Usenbenz performing improvised soundscapes while Lammers drew using charcoal, ink, brushes and his bare hands on a 7 by 4 metre canvas. On a limited edition vinyl, one side is etched with the 24-minute musical content, while the other has a screen-printed image of part of Lammers’ finished artwork.
It was performed in spring 2018 as an opener for an exhibition named “Wiese” (“Meadow”) although musically it’s not as organic as that may imply. Usenbenz uses a soft and long electronic drone with a slight texture of guitar tonality as a base, over which are sparingly layered field recordings and tape loops that have meadow elements- rustling hay, birdsong etc.- to extend the sonic picture. As it develops it becomes a little windier, perhaps more autumnal, and the guitar plucking becomes slightly more distinct, before an extremely long fade into low tones, ambience and nothingness.
I’m not a visual art critic so I won’t make any comment on the artwork, except to say that it feels like a reasonably appropriate fit for the sonics on the other side. The inclusion of sharp-edged lettering is perhaps a little misleading, perhaps suggesting the music has more attitude than it really has, or indeed suggesting that there’s any vocal or lyrical content at all which there isn’t.
It’s a succinct and successful little sound-and-pictures collaboration and while the theme and the sonic layout used are not especially ambitious, it’s certainly a high quality and engaging listen. by Stuart Bruce
Our regular readers may remember Ulm’s Andreas Usenbenz from Bells Breath, a lovely time-stretched recording that was also an installation. Last spring he teamed up with Munich illustrator Christoph Lammersfor Drawing in Sound, a live performance during which the artists improvised with sound and brush. Now this performance has found its way to vinyl, each copy screenprinted with a segment of the original art.
The video causes one to reflect on the process of inspiration, especially one’s reaction to sound. Music can aid the focus of artists in other disciplines, from the obvious (yet often ignored) dancer in a nightclub to a choreographer to an author to a sculptor. Lammers is literally drawing in sound. Yet the feedback loop also contains Usenbenz, who reacts to Lammers’ art with additional nuances of his own: not just guitar, but tape and “rustling hay.” On the surface, one might ask, “Is this what the sound looks like?” or “Is this what the painting sounds like?” But the release offers only one interpretation; play it at home, and one may paint a different picture.
The title of the exhibition opening was “Wiese (Meadow),” which seems apt given the nature of the collaboration. Something grew out of (a seeming) nothing: curves on a white canvas, notes in a quiet room. But the value of the vinyl goes far beyond mere souvenir or objet d’art. Usenbenz’ piece is gentle and intimate, a perfect score for a new morning or a new year, a snow-covered landscape or the genesis of an artistic project. Flowing water implies life; birds the promise of spring; rustling hay the seeds of inspiration. Soft pings twinkle like stars on a clear night. As a single piece, the music allows listeners to sink into the undulations, providing deep rest or deep focus depending on the setting. When the notes eventually dissipate, the recording ends, but the creative fire has been lit. (Richard Allen)
Abstraction is the quality of dealing with ideas rather than events or the freedom from representational qualities. That being said, we’re about to venture into something bearing the above principal, but in a more fluid way. We’ll deal with abstraction, ideas and an event, free from strict representation.
In spring of 2018, experimental sound artist Andreas Usenbenz (Ulm, Germany) and illustrator Christoph Lammers (Munich) came together and tried to approach the concept of “meadow”. They collaborated for the opening performance of the Wiese (meadow) exhibition, at Städtische Galerie, Rosenheim, Germany. In a state of live improvised dialogue with flow and intuition, Lammers used charcoal, ink, brushes and his bare hands and created a 7 x 4m artwork and Usenbenz used phonographic collages, records, guitar sounds, field recordings, tapes and effect devices and created 21 minutes of non-static, abstract sound. Both artists performed simultaneously!
How can a meadow, a piece of grassland, be ethereal and overcome it’s weight? Drawing In Sound, a single piece of textured ambient, creates the means for transcendence to something eerie and in full movement! Archetypical, vital and fundamental floating movement. A feather-light soundscape with all sorts of micro-elements thrown upon the main stream of sound, drops and pieces, yet a deep, earthly sound object. Yes, this meadow unfolds, floating as an autonomous, time-limited existence, beyond the solid and the concrete. Should you listen to the album once or in a repetitive manner as I did, the circularity never stops; where beginning meets the end and the end transforms into the beginning. My subjective experience with this sonic meadow equals… flying!
Thankfully, Drawing In Sound was captured and now is engraved onto a beautiful, single-sided, 12” vinyl, by Klanggold, Andreas Usenbenz’s own label. Side A contains sound while Side B is screen-printed by the hands of both artists and features a small part (detail) of the 7 x 4m artwork.