Research | GIS Studio
"Live at MuseRuole - women in experimental music" Festival | 2012 Museion, Bolzano
Felicity Mangan, WJM,
JD Zazie - found sounds, electronics.
A new band formed in 2011 in Berlin. The Secretaries bring together three strong personalities to explore new musical directions and forms. Works are composed and performed through the reproduction
of recorded material whose manipulation acquires a new meaning in a game of tensions and balances, interweaving and setting of concrete sounds, environmental field recordings, rhythms, impulses, noises, and mistakes.
Felicity Mangan is from Australia, living and working in Berlin, Germany since 2008. In different situations being solo performance, with other players or installation Felicity plays back sound samples from an Australian
native animal CD, either through a stereophonic system or often via hand-made speakers made from re-cycled and displaced objects. Felicity has played in US, Japan, Australia and Europe in many different formations.
JD Zazie. Italian sound artist, DJ and curator based in Berlin. She is co-founder of Studio Urban Resonance, is a member of the Italian label Burp Enterprise and co-runs Staalplaat Radio.
As a DJ she focuses on experimental electronic music, playing solo and also with several groups, constantly extending the conventions of turntablism, musique concrete, free improvisation and composed music.
She was the director of Museruole Festival (IT, 2012) and has participated in numerous exhibitions including Audiograft 2012 (UK), Tuned City (EE), Echtzeitmusiktage 2010 (DE), STEIM's Turntable Night 7 (NL),
Audioscoop / IntroInSitu (NL), Das kleine Fieldrecording Festival (DE), Avantgarde Festival Schiphorst (DE), Soundscape and Listening (AT).
WJ M, Roberta WJM Andreucci is a percussionist, an experimental producer and DJ, and on air personality. She has more than twenty year of experience organizing and promoting alternative music events.
She practices plagiarism and the cutting and mixing of musical and ambient aural sources. Early in her career she started focusing on the use of voices and on vocal metalinguism, focalizing on her personal practice
of "cuttingandslicing" and on rhythm patterns obtained through an improper use of her tools of the trade (cdjs, cd player, md, me mixer). Through the years her percussion set morphed into a hybrid encompassing
a dj booth, a radio dj one, a microphone station for electroacustic experiments, and a mnemonic butcher's slab. She is a founding member of performing music units such as Jealousy Party, Semerssuaq, and Sistemi Audiofobici Burp.
She is the director of the music label Burp Publications.
History of THE SECRETARIES:
FM: We have been working together since we played our first show at Limbus Europae last year. When we played at MuseRuole Festival in Italy it was the third time for us to play together live, with a couple of sessions
in-between. The Secretaries is the three of us working with found and recorded sounds; playing, jumping, skipping, reversing, sliding, volume, etc with our CD playing devices and mixers. When we play together we have fallen
into parameters influenced by our 'music/sound' backgrounds, WJM plays more percussive, rhythms and impulses sound, JD Zazie plays more field recordings and impulse noises and l play animal and insect noises.
Outside of this project we also have two different duo projects; JD Zazie and WJM play as Semerssuaq and JD Zazie and I play as Wet n' Wild.
JDZ : Not all of us are based in Berlin, WJM lives in Florence.
I moved to Berlin in 2006.
FM: I have been in Berlin since December 2008, before that l was living in Melbourne.
WJM: Yes, I live in Florence, but I have spent most of the last 2 years in Berlin. I have been traveling back and forth from Berlin since 2007; JD Zazie whom I share the project Semerssuaq and Mat Pogo my partner in the band
Jealousy party and also in Burp Publications' label and graphics collective live in Berlin.
The sounds of the Secretaries:
JDZ: Typing sound
FM: Office drone and RSI.
WJM: Music from the desk.
And about your creative process?
FM: I have been working with the same animal noises for a few years. The sounds come from a Australian Native animal sound CD that l mix live. The sounds range from obvious animals and frogs sounds to insect noises
that sound like 'insects' or sound more like electronic sounds. I use these sounds in all my projects; the way I play them is effected by either concepts and/or the other people I play with.
JDZ: When I play with other people I'm interested in having a nice conversation with them.
I play using juxtaposition, decontextualization, fragmentation, repetition, sonic texture, scratch and error as elements of the grammar adopted to relate, organize and rearrange the sound material.
Intended as music instruments CDjs and mixer are my tools to mix the specific sound-sources I play.
WJM: I started as percussionist and DJ (also working on radio) since the early '90. I have shift from being percussionist to working more with pre-recorded material; working with errors and all the possibilities
of a dj's console to play the pre-recorded material in a percussive way, that has also developed through playing with other improvisers.
As an artist, how do electroacoustic and noise music
impacted in your lifes?
FM: This is a big quest. It has had a big impact on my life especially my social life, l have meet some really influential and inspiring characters.
JDZ: They opened my ears and showed me different ways of possible sonic relations.
WJM: As above.
Do you remember what was the reason to become musician
("this kind of experimental musician")?
FM: I started playing music in rock bands in grade 8. While I was at art school l was introduced to John Cage, music concrete, etc.. through this and becoming tired of guitar sounds and rock structures,
I become more interested to find ways to play with other sounds.
JDZ: I don't consider myself a musician. I'm a DJ. That's my background. I started my experience in mixing sounds by doing radio when I was a teenager.
After I moved to Florence I continued the radio experience focusing on "experimental music" and started to DJ in different contexts, getting involved with dance music, too. More or less in the same period I met
the collective Burp (www.burpenterprise.com) that introduced me to improvised/free-form music. With them I had beautiful experiences by playing with amazing musicians and by learning more and more how to develop my technique
in order to better relate with their language. The duo Semerssuaq was started at this time.
WJM: As briefly mentioned above, the encounter with experimental music started and developed by collaborations with musicians that for a long time were practicing and exploring it, often people with a well launched musical
carriers also in the rock, jazz and/or free-improvisation contexts. I think that my personal route initiated with the Jealousy Party and with the NEEM ensemble. The first experiences consisted actually of sets and performances
seeing Mat pogo on the vocals and me playing heterodox percussion and working at the rendering and editing of pre-recorded audio materials. I consider the encounter with Edoardo Ricci and Eugenio Sanna as quite decisive in
rapport of the decision of playing and researching the ambit of experimental music. They are both members of NEEM, an orchestra of about 30 elements that since the middle 1970's started in Italy, and particularly in Tuscany,
practicing and performing improvised electro-acoustic music. With Edoardo, who soon after became member of the Jealousy Party, we met Sanna, who is amongst the founders of CRIM (Centre for Music Research and Improvisation),
that represented one if the most interesting national institutions focusing on music research and improvisation.
It was on the base of these experiences that I developed my skills as a musician, trying to enrich and expand the possibilities of my acoustic set (drum kit and different types of percussion, including heterodox ones),
ending up with the construction of a console in between of a radio station and of a memory-bank of pre-recorded materials, using our own repertoire of recordings but also plagiarising and manipulating music and sounds of other
musicians. This process is anyhow involved in a continuous, ongoing evolution: experimenting trying to find always new musical solutions.
Advantages and disadvantages of independent curatorial spaces?
FM: Without independent spaces we wouldn't have been able to develop our project. We played for the first time together at Limbus Europae. We were given the opportunity to use the Liebig12 for three days in march to work
together before we meet again to play in Italy.
WJM: I completely agree, without spaces such as Limbus Europae, Liebig12, Quiet Cue, Altes Finanzamt, Bei Roy and more it would be really difficult in developing experimental, fully independent projects, enriched by the fact
of what happens in a receptive, reflexive and attentive context, able to note and register also small, unknown details. Such spaces [or: environments] (physical and human [or: material ad symbolic]), offer a decisive support
for individual artistic growth and encourage dialogue and exchange amongst the artists.
I live prevalently in Italy, where unfortunately - and not only in these last critical years characterised by disruptive economic
and political circumstances and dynamics – there are various restrictions and limits imposed to cultural expressions. In my personal involved with BURP collective, since more than 20 years we keep on trying to facilitate
and support the circulation of ideas and practices to antagonise main commercial circuits.
Through experiences such as the CPA Fi-Sud, Next Emerson and more squats here in Italy we coordinated and organised musical workshops,
we planned and implemented live programs of alternative music, stimulating the encounter and exchange while favouring and promoting an international network able to confront constructively the logistics and mechanisms imposed
by a cultural system permeated by patronage favours and glamour. Therefore, the encounter with people and places such as the ones we found in Berlin represented for us a great pleasure. Developing numerous cooperative projects
there giving us the opportunity of starting a new course of experiences to be developed also in the future.
JDZ: I agree with what they said.
Some cool sites and communities for experimental
& improvised music in your native country?
JDZ: Burp Enterprise!! and other labels as frigorifero prod., sgr dischi, wallace records, boring machines, trasponsonic, setola di maiale, megaplomb, palustre, afe records, fratto 9 under the sky, niente records,
FM: I have been away form Australia for a couple of years so l can't really say what is going on at the moment. Things change around fast there.
WJM: Well said Zazie! and burpenterprise.com :)
radio, is very important...the radio: wfmu.org , resonancefm.com, staalplaat-radio on dfm.nu (each Thursday from 11PM!) ...and more...
THE SECRETARIES, 14th July 2012
[ar073] THE SECRETARIES
Live at MuseRuole | 2012 Bolzano
"MuseRuole - women in experimental music" festival | Museion, Bolzano
Felicity Mangan, WJM,
JD Zazie - found sounds, electronics.
This recording documents the concert of The Secretaries at "MuseRuole - women in experimental music" festival (museruole.tumblr.com).
The live set was recorded on May the 4th 2012 at "Hall -1" at Museion - Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Bolzano (IT).
Picture by burp enterprise. Design by Aniana Heras.