BEFORE BEST UNU
TETTIX | Berlin
On June 21, Best Before Unu presented its new performance for
the Ohrengala at Bey Roy's series.
On January 3, they inaugurated also the series RAM-K77 with Salon Bruit.
Tettix is a premiere.
BEFORE BEST UNU?
UNU (Antonis Anissegos) and BESTBEFORE (Andreas Karaoulanis) met in March 2010 on stage at a Festival in Thessaloniki, following the invitation of the festival director to perform together.
The match was instant and after the success of their performance, they decided to form the duo best before unu. Since then they produced together many short audio/visual pieces, and performed
often in Greece and in Germany.
The intensive electronics of unu found a visual counterpoint in the moving images of bestbefore, generating complex sonic-visual formations. While audio frequencies are analyzed and passed
into image motions, which in turn feed back to the music, a never ending circulation of influence travels in both directions.
As an enrichment of the collaboration, best before unu appears also with live piano, adding an acoustic dimension to the creative process. A journey through morphing landscapes and imaginary organisms,
stimulating the audience to continuously perceive new associations.
About the artists
Antonis Anissegos, lives in Berlin and works internationally as a pianist, composer and electronic musican. He appears mainly on concerts and recordings in the field of contemporary music.
His compositions cover the range from solo, chamber music, ensemble and orchestra, to stage music (chamber opera, theater, dance) and music for media. He is member of the European Music Project and Ensemble Junge Musik
and co-founder of the following musical units: Trio IAMA, Lynx, ddaA, KAYA and oneone. Mr. Anissegos collaborated with the video artist Erika Matsunami (OIO) and the dance company adlibdances.
Andreas Karaoulanis comes from a Computer Science and Animation background. His current work deals with interactive media design and animation. He has present his work in Museum Of London, Moscow,
Paris and in various Galleries and spaces around Europe. One of his latest projects is bestbefore, an online interactive showcase blog with many daily visitors.
Your conception about music? How is the process working
in Best Before Unu?
Antonis: My only conception or better believe about music, and furthermore about any way of expression, is that if it's real and if there is pure intention behind, there can be communication achieved.
On the live performances with Andreas, I feel responsible for the music and Andreas the same about the visuals. I guess that Andreas is considering more the directions of the music, than me the visuals, as I am fully occupied
with the sound processing.
The few times that I received the video first, to add the music, I found my self at first lost by the endless possibilities, so I picked the first useful idea and continued taking fast decisions.
Once you are into it, the speed of taking decisions and achieving the next step is rising.
And for you Andreas?
As far for the animation, I prefer to use hand drawn sketches and primitive mediums like ink, pens, markers. Generally I try to avoid as much as possible computer generated graphics and vector shapes.
Try to keep it in a more old fashioned approach, but at the same time quite modern. I can't explain it very accurate, but when you take a look you can see a connection with old 40's and 50's experimental video artists.
Somehow this approach perfumed with today's technology.
Combining images with audio is very interesting, because both of them interact so fluent most of the time, that you get the feeling that the one made for the other but without knowing in which order.
Especially live it is very beautiful, because most of the times there's no previous structure, so we have to build and bring a balance between audio and animation at real time. In theses terms you could say that every
live is more like a rehearsal.
So my basic prepare before every performance is to keep a library with some loops, a live input camera passed through some patches, some audio analysis feedback, and once it starts try to bring pieces together.
Which isthe essence of your work together
and the concept behind the "TETTIX" piece ?
Antonis: I think that both of us expect to have an intensive and stimulating experience, whenever we perform.
If we feel like this, then there is a good chance that people from the audience will feel likewise.
The piece "tettix" has no concept behind, as all our works. The title means cicadas and the sound consists of recorded cicadas. But this is was not a concept, just my material.
The essence of our work is that we don't talk about it, we are just doing it, as long as it is fun.
Since when you’re based in Berlin?
Antonis: Since October 1998
Andreas: Since September 2011
Do you consider that the experimental and improvised music
scene is changing in the last years?
Antonis: Yes and No. The surface might change,
like the form, the material, the intention, but what doesn't change is the uniqueness of each performance and the search of unknown paths.
Andreas: Considering visuals, though the history is not as big as music, I find interesting the fact that more and more people try to express themselves with their own unique and personal approach
which I respect totally, and I'm a fun of. Visual artists try to find new ways and ideas
that many times won't bring the expected result, but the point is to keep pushing things to get to something new. This I like a lot.
In a few words describe Best Before Unu
Antonis: Both sounds and images are not concrete, but they can create the illusion of linear progression.
Even if it can occur an overload of information, the attention is always focused on certain elements, following them as they change in time or disappear. Best Before Unu is about the combination of stillness and high speed.
Andreas: Like having a paper bag full of cut images, fabrics sketches and stickies you throw them in a table and try to compositions out of these and create a story. In an abstract manner though sometimes clear as it can get.
The first images / the first sounds :
Antonis: We both use mainly prepared material so far, without intending to give an emphasis on the method.
Each one searches on his things, but we don't talk about it.
Andreas: it started as a playground and still stays that way, the concept was to be "no concept". Let's play, and balance audio with images in the way.
There are some-composed materials in some shows though many times could be just a camera input feed and the whole performance stay in a real time drawing approach. Depends. Somehow you decide in the way where to go with and what technique to
use according from the moment's feedback.
How do electroacoustic and noise music impact
in your lifes ? How animation?
Antonis: All powerful kinds of expression that I experience left their mark.
Andreas: Weird... but I manage it, so far.!
Why a musician ? Why an animator?
Antonis: No, I don't know and I can't remember.
Andreas: I was in computer science course along with fine arts and I found animation like the link to bring together both. To be honest I wasn't too good neither at programming nor at painting, so combining them together helped me
a lot to keep in my opinion the most interesting pieces from different areas and move on with mixed background.
Advantages and disadvantages of independent curatorial spaces?
Antonis: A mistake would be to stop doing it at one point.
Andreas: The good thing is that you have the freedom to perform the way you want without any restrictions, plus most people organising events in spaces are generally very friendly, easy going and open-minded.
And this is what I love in the independent scene. The disadvantages are most of the times technical limitations like poor sound system, and minimun budget.
Antonis: The future is now.
Andreas: Keep on performing and creating new material and compositions. Push it a little further, try to keep it interesting at least for us, and above all
enjoy it and stay creative.
Venues & communities for experimental & improvised music and animation in Greece:
Interesting greek artist: Sancho 003
Keep updated though our
to get notified for future events and live shows.
Thank you very much for this presentation
BEFORE BEST UNU, 30th June 2012 Berlin
[ar075] BEFORE BEST UNU
TETTIX | Berlin
Commissioned ANIMATION by RAM-K77 in collaboration with
Antonis Anissegos, electronics.
Andreas Karaoulanis, live animation (real time camera input, vdmx -
Quatz Composer Patches, max audio analysis, scanned sketches).
Home - Made AV production, Berlin June 2012.
Animated and produced by Best Before Unu for Audition Records and RAM-K77, Salon Bruit.
Picture by Andreas Karaoulanis. Design by Aniana Heras.