Magical Octopus Collaboration

Untitled’ World Organ Sequence October 2021 [stereo audio 12 minutes]

This experiment was part of emerges from an invitation from Knockvologan Studies on Mull to respond to work made in the first iteration of their ‘Magical Octopus’ project – ‘The Magical Octopus Sequel‘. Agreeing to be part of the next progression in this process of mutation, I received 8 riso printed pages that had been created by Kabinet Studio in Antwerp. They had been derived from original images of an octopus shared with them by Miek Zwamborn. She added the following information:

‘The beautiful details, texture and colours of the original pieces led to fill their canon system with eight colours and apply their playful, thoughtful design to its extreme close-ups. They began the alluring adventure by blending two images into a grid. On the second page, they erased one image and blended the remaining one with a new image. The same approach was applied to the colours used; they started the process with three colours, replacing one of them in each step that followed. Chasing this pattern allowed the artists to reveal the colors of the rainbow. Enjoying unraveling this canon of colour!’

In conversation about the idea, Miek threw out the idea that she saw the images as having a rhythm about them, and therefore she selected this example from the catalogue for me.

Ready to grab any clues that were going, I elected to use the pages as a direct means of creating a score to sequence elements of two recordings I would make using my World Organ installation on Jura. The World Organ is made of 8 tubes of different lengths, based on a pentatonic scale, which listen to the world and add a harmonic element as they are activated both by the sounds around them, and the weather. I used the Kabinet riso prints to map a sequence of cuts between two multitrack recordings I made 6 months apart, one in April 2021 on a calm day, the second in October 2021 as gales were blowing. The ‘score’ from Kabinet Studio was applied to create a 12 minute sound piece, and I decided how it would determine which tubes we hear, and from which of the two recordings. The Kabinet graphic used sections from an upper image to obscure parts of a lower image, and this process is mirrored in the audio.

I have created many streams of the World Organ that are available to hear. Typically these are created with all the tubes; a choice that the resultant soundscape is determined by how the weather activates them. However, I am also interested in adopting more directly musical processes, that select tubes and notes, and this sequence from Kabinet provided a new kind of template for that, and I enjoyed proposing this analogue to the graphical choices they had made.

The sound piece can be found here

Below are the riso prints from Kabinet Studio, in the sequence I picked