Research | GIS Studio
Yolanda Uriz & Angel Faraldo
Release date: 27.12.11
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Yolanda Uriz Elizalde (1982, Pamplona, Spain) works focusing on cross-modal perception, between the visual and auditory systems, from experimental music to installations. She studied music in Pamplona (Spain), and in the Koninklijk Conservatorium in The Hague. Her interest in contemporary art
forms took her to study Sonology (at the KC) for two years, and nowadays she is specializing with a Master in ArtScience at the KABK (The Hague).
Ángel Faraldo (Spain, 1980) is a composer, sound artist, improviser and digital instrument designer currently based in The Netherlands.
At the present, he is working on a cycle of pieces around the concept of feedback.
Concept of the Project
We have being playing together since 2007. Therefore, the concept of our collaborations has been a mutable one, adapting constantly to our ever changing views on music, improvisation and art. Besides our improvisation project,
we have recently started collaborating on "composed" or "fixed" audiovisual pieces in which Yolanda is in charge of the images and I (Ángel) compose the music, and there the approach is absolutely different than when we sit to play together.
So when it comes to our electroacoustic improvising duet 'Ademen' --as we call the project-- an important part of our concept is to let the other breathe within each other's material (ademen, as a matter of fact, means 'to breathe' in dutch).
A common goal in our pieces is to fabricate a texture in which the individual contributions merge into a large and complex sound structure, in which -ideally for the listener- is no longer distinguishable who is doing what.
ÁNGEL: In Ademen I play a computer based synthesizer --MISS-- that I designed while I was at the Institute of Sonology in The Hague, and that I haven't changed or modified since 2009.
This has a number of advantages for me as an electronic musician, especially that I am learning to play the instrument just like any other instrument, accepting its many limitations and trying to look for new expressive gestures on the edges of its purpose.
At the same time, the instrument is kind of 'brainy': its design wanted to bring certain aspects of algorithmic composition into free improvisation, so I generate the sounds only with a bunch of knobs and faders;
this does not allow for that kind of immediate response that a flute player has, for example. So all these things influence and make my playing what it is. The 1st sound: sometimes is the least important one: I turn on the volume with the values
in random position (just where they were) and I start working from there: I guess in a way I am more interested in how the sound material develops than in the sound itself. Other times, I select carefully the sound material or the settings I am going
to start with, because after playing with the instrument for years, I have learnt which specific sounds/settings allow for more intimate control over longer periods of time, smooth transitions, etc.. This works well in Ademen, for the kind of textural
music that we make, but you could say that in general, I evaluate a sound as potential gesture, in terms of what I can do with it over a period of time, given the enormous limitations of my synthesizer.
YOLANDA: Sonic environments. I am fascinated with how abstract sound can be so clear defining its meaning, its mood, its inherent territory. As an improviser, that is my main interest, to try to create sonic contexts as the sum, in the case of Ademen,
of Angel's and my own contributions merged together. In the very beginning of Ademen I was playing acoustic flute being processed by him. I was delighted by the fact that I could be transported to many new places with the transformations of my own sound,
so I decided to learn DSP and design my own instrument (with Angel's guidance), also taking advantage that he was designing his computer based synthesizer. We became sonically independent. I use some basic processes in my instrument, which I call DFP
(digital flute processing): a harmonizer, random delays, a granulator, and all of its combinations with noises and extended techniques coming from the flute. It's amazing how these two absolutely far away instruments (MISS and the DFP set up)
can sound so similar some times.
Why you decided to become a musician and why an improviser?
ÁNGEL: I couldn't imagine another option than being musician, really. My father bought me a guitar when I was 10 and since then I couldn't stop playing. It was through the guitar that I got into improvisation playing in rock bands,
and then jazz and then… and also into written composition. I guess that becoming a computer musician was for me the way to bridge improvisation and composition, performing and writing (or programming), formalizing and reacting spontaneously to other's sounds.
YOLANDA: I started playing flute when I was eight. I came to The Netherlands to study classical music in 2002, so it is pretty easy to imagine the rest: as many other musicians, I needed more freedom, to create my own language with the instrument and
somehow to go away from the hierarchy of almost every aspect of classical music: traditional harmony, structure, instrumental functions, relations composer - instrumentalist, conductor - musician and so on. In contrast, I found in improvisation many aspects
I was looking for: its necessary involvement in the present moment; the connection with oneself and with the space; the direct communication with the rest of the musicians; the different state of consciousness you need to play, when words disappear and
sound becomes the language. It turned into not just a way of making music, but almost a philosophy of life.
Future challenges and interests?
ÁNGEL: I am absolutely fascinated with things such as feedback and fragility, and my recent pieces revolve around these concepts. For Ademen, I am building a new instrument which is going to be exactly the opposite of what I use now:
something physical, to play with my hands, and that will need constant input from me in order to produce sound… I know Yolanda is thinking about exactly the opposite and she is considering leaving the flute aside, so you never know: maybe we will finish
sounding exactly the same!
YOLANDA: Yes, my instrument is morphing slowly, each time sounding more denaturalized from the flute (or processed flute). Actually, from the music captured in 'Ademen ' until today, the development of my DFP in that direction is noticeable.
Our modus operandi is like a stair, we have this project for some years without a linear development, is rather a discontinuous one in intensity and way of work, along with our individual way of evolving and change of interests. So, though aesthetically
the main core is pretty stable, we have to constantly negotiate the corners, something that keeps Ademen organically alive.
Yolanda Uriz & Angel Faraldo
Yolanda Uriz, Digital Flute Processing (DFP)
Ángel Faraldo, Computer-Based Synthesizer (MISS)
Recorded on September 23, 2010 in The Hague (The Netherlands).
Mixed and mastered by Ángel Faraldo. Design by Aniana Heras.