Happily, the future…

Thomas Ankersmit + Valerio Tricoli
January 27, 2010, 1:10 pm
Filed under: live reviews | Tags: , , , , , , ,

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Live at Ausland, Berlin, December 12, 2009

Ausland is a venue for outstanding experimental or improvised music and occasional film screenings in Berlin. The space is tiny and can merely accommodate a few dozens of people. Tonight, loudspeakers are positioned along the walls, parallel to them (not oriented towards the audience), so you get the impression that the sound, coming not from one source, is running around you. Berlin-based artists Thomas Ankersmit and Valerio Tricoli are sitting at a large table bearing three analog synthesizers and one computer. On the side, Tricoli also uses a tape echo connected to a microphone.

In the beginning, there is darkness. Into it, Tricoli throws some whispered phrases, mirrored in the room through the microphone and the tape echo as if they were spoken in a large, resonant, empty place. Tricoli’s murmuring is disturbed as if his device has been tapped by someone else. Ankersmit creates interferences floating around, mashing words. You’re getting a Cold War feeling here, and not without reason: the composition’s title is ‘ECHELON Teufelsberg’ and these first sounds are reproducing the acoustics of the geodesic radar domes in Teufelsberg.

Teufelsberg (pictured) is an artificial hill in Berlin built by the Allies right after WW2  made from debris from the destroyed city. The hill itself actually covers another building that was too robust to be destroyed at the time: a Nazi military-technical college designed by architect Albert Speer. 115 meters high (377 ft), it is the highest point in Berlin. The US National Security Agency, eager to intercept Soviet and East Bloc transmissions, built a listening station on it which was used until the fall of the Wall, probably as part of the Echelon network. Tonight’s composition is based on location recordings made inside the main radome of the espionage facility.

Read the rest of this review on tokafi.com


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