This album contains the recording of Mathias Brüssel's and my performance at the 3rd Cosmic Nights electronic music festival at the planetrium of Brussels' Belgium, on Friday evening, May 29th 2015 - plus various tracks that were either recorded in the five preceeding rehearsals in which we conceived the music and prepared for the concert (the bigger part), or which were otherwise produced in connection to that event.
This means there are several (and partly considerably different) versions of "ondes intergalactiques", our three part "suite" for the festival, but also tracks we rehearsed as possible encores (at the actual concert though non of the performing artists played an encore, and so we skipped our's too).
Also there are other improvisations we played as little "asides" during the rehearsals, partly to test various sounds, or strategies, or aspects of the main tracks.
Finally, some tracks were inspired by the experience and spirit of the festival as a direct reaction to being there, and some of these are included, too.
It is very important to me to point out the big role that Mathias Brüssel had in this project:
As some might know, the two of us form the improvisational electronic duo "Le Mansarde Hermetique".
When it was confirmed in late 2014 that I would perform at the Cosmic Nights festival, I invited him to join - first of all because we do harmonise very well in a live situation, but also because I wanted to make a performance that would work without any prerecorded backing tracks (which are to some degree unavoidable if You try to present complex music alone).
I'm happy to say that we reached this goal to at least 90 %. Generally speaking Mathias was in charge of most of the live sequencing (however he also played some chords, effect sounds and melody lines in all tracks) while I took care of the soloing and the chord progressions in the first place (although I also was responsible for one sequence in each track, and for some of the effect sounds).
In the first three months of 2015 I was very busy with other projects, and in this time, Mathias developed first versions of the basic structures for all three parts of the suite, while I only threw in some vague ideas and had the luxury of giving my opinion on ideas he presented to me (...usually I would just answer: that's great, yeah, go on, please!).
Also, the concept to "ondes intergalactiques" described below is largely Mathias' work (although it was vaguely inspired by my - skipped - idea to use a real shortwave radio and inbetween-stations-FM-souds as an intro...
Mathias had described this concept in a mail to Mark de Wit, the (excellent) organiser of Cosmic Nights, who invited us and (along with everyone else we met there) supported us in the most generous and friendly way! Here's an excerpt from this mail:
All tracks have been especially composed for the cosmic nights.
We will play three tracks, with transitions in between - so hopefully the whole music will convey a seamless experience, to ensure a cosmic mindsetting, for ourselves as well as for the audience ;-)
It will be more or less improvisations with a basic "framework" of sounds, sequences, moods, tonalities, tempos etc. and we will work spontaneously within these "limits".
All three tracks will be little "sound journeys", but with a different emphasis each:
the first one will start very abstract, and will be slowly building up sequences over an ambient atmosphere. It will be rather dark and solemn and perhaps slightly "oriental" in places.
The second track will be more lighthearted, lively and positive - it's also the fastest track.
The third improvisation then will be more dramatic again, but perhaps rather in a "space rock" way...
The first track of "ondes intergalactiques" incooperates some sounds both from and into "outer space". It starts with shortwave noises, including "number station" noises, melodies and even spoken word. (see also en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Numbers_station
Number stations have been very popular during the "cold war", so they are called spystations as well sometimes. Apart from a few examples, the true nature of those stations still stays a mistery.
Later on the Arecibo message can be heard, which supposedly is an audible encoded "self description" of man kind to inform extra terrestrials about us. (see also: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arecibo_message
) Some scientists critizise the idea, because it could invite aliens to invade our planet.
Also some recordings from the Cassini unmanned spacecraft can be heard (see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cassini–Huygens
). Those sounds are radio-waves, similar to for instance "northern lights" on earth, transformed by some scientific "magic" into audible "noises".
So the general idea of this first track is a voyage into space of sounds produced on earth and sounds coming back to us from outer space.
Of course sound can not travel where there is no air, but radiowaves can and sound can be transformed into radio waves and back again.
As we all know, mankind made use of this concept by inventing the radio, but radiation itself has been existant long before of course and those waves will keep on traveling from galaxy to galaxy until the end of the universe. That's what we describe (in French) as "ondes intergalactiques" - hope you will enjoy!
This project will remain the only one under the project name "Brückner & Brüssel" - of course we will continue our collaboration, but under the name "La Mansarde Hermetique", with a different stylistic emphasis (more "modern" maybe...).
Especially heartfelt thanks to Mark de Wit for his invitation an huge support, to Anke and Tommy Betzler for taking care for all aspects of the travel to Belgium, to everyone of the great Cosmic Nights team, to all our fellow musicians, to the wonderful audience, basically to everyone we met in connection with this event, it was an overall great experience for us! :-)
- Michael Brückner, June 2015 -
released June 23, 2015
Michael Brückner: various hardware synthesizers
Mathias Brüssel: various software synthesizers
front and back cover photo by Patsker Omaer Beguin
more photos by Patsker Omaer Beguin & Anke Betzler
planetarium visuals and cover design by Michael Brückner
tour management: Anke & Tommy Betzler
In "ondes intergalactiques" we used a couple of sound samples (most of them in the intro) especially of number stations and some gongs, which Mathias found at the excellent page www.freesound.org
Here's the full list, with correct attributions:
1: creepy melody.wav by kwahmah_02 | License: Attribution
2: USAF_Messages_2014-08-02T22-18-17Z_8992.0kHz.wav by AlienXXX | License: Attribution
3: Distorted.wav by kwahmah_02 | License: Attribution
4: another creepy melody.wav by kwahmah_02 | License: Attribution
5: Poly Tone Station - XPA Feb 06 by skytheguy | License: Attribution
6: Hello Flowers number station remix 03.wav by LG | License: Attribution
7: 11462.00 kHz AM Cuban number station.flac by Trebblofang | License: Creative Commons 0
8: Fischtrommel_Muyu.mp3 by the_very_Real_Horst | License: Attribution
9: Gong 3.wav by juskiddink | License: Attribution
10: low gong bash by hiddenpersuader | License: Creative Commons 0
11: Gong sabi 2.wav by Veiler | License: Creative Commons 0
12: Gong rumble by stomachache | License: Attribution