Marc Marc
Sonic Arts

In this issue you can link to all sonic projects documentation. It also will explain some of my backgrounds in 'Music' to make it more easy to catch the idea of my Sonic Arts and to feel affected when your are going to read about the projects and Sonic Laboratory.
Sonic Arts vs Music photo of Marc Marc in Studio
A musician plays an instrument and plays Music. Once this was an easy to understand phrase but, since the Art of Music also developed towards a wider interpretation of using instruments and sounds, the term Music does not cover all of todays aspects anymore, while the term Music and Musician still are used in a classical meaning. That is why I call my works Sonic Arts. This is more abstract and free of a 'doramifasol' syndrome. The disadvantage is that it becomes harder to describe in words what my Sonic Arts are. Secondly, it does not mean that there is not any relationship with Music in a conventional context.

not connected

The Reformatter
Berlin 1996

Water Creatures
Berlin 1996

Zone II
Amsterdam 1995
Arti et Amicitiae

Zone I
V2 wiretap
Rotterdam 1995

End of the World
Mobile III 1995

Mobile II 1994

Mobile I 1994

Washing 1994
Art Ship
The Stubnitz

Secret Water
The Absolute
Threshold 1994

Triple-X 1994
The Art of

See some lab
Laboratory 1976

Sound Moving installation - Directly to the Electronics

Not yet documentated projects
Studio STEIM Amsterdam 1989
'Nieuws van het front/Aparato de Oxegeno Und rauchen verboten': Sound Moving choreography for 32 loudspeakers.
Milkyway Amsterdam 1988
'Sonore Theatrum', 'Sound Moving' plays.

Some concepts

Auto Composing
The concept to create a piece automatically. By interconnecting all kind of analog modules (partly based on analog synthesizer principles) it is possible to create a machine that generates 'music' by itself. This 'music' can sound like a sound textures wherein timbre, rhythm and melody are varied. These variations are more or less due to a system of feedback that causes the machine to try to become a stable oscillating system but, which fails due to parameters that 'wake up' close to this point and start to prevent this. Another aspect of Auto Composing was the Psycho acoustic factor. When a certain static 'musical' texture is played for a certain time, the listener start to hear all kind of variations that are actually not played. This effect is partly due to the fact that by moving the head slightly, the frequency response of the room becomes different and thus the timbre changes - and partly because of the imagination of the listener as a result of the mechanism of the perception (our mind can not deal with a static input - it needs a dynamic input and therefore starts to generate anti sounds when the input remains stable). Based on these speculations I started to play with static and sublimized static patterns. I was inspired to do this because I memorized to hear very musical rhythms by listing to my clock as a kid when laying in bed (a memory which many of us will have).

Electronic Covers
The concept to create a cover of an existing piece by using automatic electronic procedures. A certain amount of individual analog devices is patched in such way that what comes out is different from its input with respect to the fact that the input is actually controlling this process. In the transformation of the original piece certain musical aspects are prolonged while others are transformed. The technique of Electronic covering usually requires that the original piece is ripped apart with all kind of detectors that detect certain frequency bands, levels or absolute tones. Then all these extracted signals are used to control generating, filter and effect devices. The output of these devices then are re-arranged into a new mix. A restriction that I put on this technique was that the transformation needed to be straight forward (so not cutting and pasting samples). This means that when the machine was build up to create an electronic cover, the original piece was started and for the rest it was hands off until the piece was finished.

The concept to create a piece by repeating a short sample. Digital sampler machines were at that time not available on the commercial market. The base sound to make the Replay was done by short tape loops and later with an Electric Harmonix 'Replay' unit that could sample 5 seconds. The base loop then is feed through a patch of several devices that make the dead repeat alive by varying all kind of its sound parameters. Usually the base sound was first split up into several channels that each were feed through a certain system and after treatment were (dynamical) mixed together again.

Blind Composing
The concept to create a total piece by dubbing several base pieces blindly. First one or more base tapes were recorded. Then they were dubbed blindly over each other. The end result could be amazing: one would swear that it was a composed piece.

A detail of my documentation about electronic covers

A documentation page


The concepts which just were described do not cover the entire field and also are a little simplified. Many excursions to related topics were made in both technique and concept but, it is not much of use anyway to go to deep into details without actual to be able to listen to several piece that belong to each topic.

Therefore I will now tell you about the global history of my musical period (for the case that you are interested).

Some history

As a kid I banged on my mothers piano and thus she decided that I had to take lessons. She brought me a private teacher at home and after one year it was decided that this was a waste of money. I did pretend to read from paper but actually played from my head. The teacher, not a fool, concluded that I had too much of my own interpretations and that I was not willing to adapt to his system.

Tape recorder
The only HiFi that I had as a boy was a transistor radio and a simple record player with only 2 records (the beatles: For Sale and Shocking Blue:At Home). When I went to Art Academy and got my own money to spend I bought a small tape recorder and was fascinated by the fact that the thing could record. This was in 1977 - not 1945 (some aspects of life were not included in my early youth). I started to tape all kind of sounds that were around me or were easy to make with the materials laying around and wondered why everybody always was doing 'doramifasol'. I was very naive at that time about the fact that there were records released that were what was called experimental music. I soon found out - by accidently laying hand on some records from the German band Kraftwerk. Of course I also found out that there was a lot more in the field of experimental music but, still after all these years I must say that Kraftwerk is the most close to me (the old records).
I learned about dubbing with more recorders, rented an electronic organ (could not afford myself a piano) and made a lot of tapes with horroble 'music'. My first exame on Art academy not only had the visual things but also was guided by a 'musical' piece that I specially made for this 'happening' (and to mask the motor noise of the extra hidden recorder that was secretly taping the event).

Not Done
By circumstances I also got into electronics. I had the ambition to make my own electronic instruments and devices. During these years, at Art Academy, I got more and more separated from my teachers. They did not understand what I was busy with. All this talking about electronics and electronic music - 'Jazz already was modern enough and after The Jazz nothing is there'. They said that I had to chose for either Art or Music. Which I didn't and thus they decided that I could not get into the last year (officially I had not any talent, sense for colours, composition nor for anything else that had to deal with Art).

As soon as I was kicked out from Art academy I moved to Amsterdam (1981) and just continued with what I was busy with for the last years. This means; Painting, doing sonic experiments and building my Sonic laboratory.
The obsession with electronics was grown to an obstinate level and after some years I concluded that I did not make many products anymore. Oh... yes, I worked hard and did an enormous amount of experiments but, they all got lost in the rush for more and bigger. I decided to draw back to simpleness and also to immediately create a product with it that could be brought out to the outside world. I started to tape my experiments and streamlined it in several conceptions. These tapes were released as 'Unicum' tapes (unique tapes without any copies of them existing). 80 of them I produced over a period of 3 years, representing my experiments and concepts. About 30 of them were sold and thus only exist in my memory (since I do not have any copies of them).
During this period I also was asked by Radio Rabotnik TV to join them to make radio broadcastings. This I did for about a year. I made 52 programs of 1 hour, playing compilations of my Unicum tapes and by giving radio lectures about musical electronic effects. With Radio Rabotnik also performances were done and also with other artists I did Ad Hoc performances and projects that had a link with my Sonic Arts.
In 1988 I designed the electronics and software to make sounds move over 2x32 loudspeakers. Radio Rabotnik, me and Willem de Ridder had the project 'Sonore Theatrum' with this installation in ' The Milkyway ' in Amsterdam for 3 weeks. This was for the years to come one of my last Sonic projects because the Graphical Arts on my new Atari ST computer took all the attention away.

Come back
Some years later, I started again with my 'sound moving' installation to create so called Determinating Sonic Sculptures (which performs completely computerized). I redesigned it to a more compact system and now I'am still performing with it occasionally. Amsterdam, Rotterdam, IJmuiden, Holland, The Netherlands, Germany Berlin, Rimbaud, Art, Kunst
Looking back
When I look back to my 'musical' period, in particular from 1977 to 1985, all the experiments I did seem to be very dated to me. This is, of course, not strange. Developments in electronic musical instruments accelerated within this period enormously. Things that were hard to do in 'my time' and required a lot of inventive thinking are nowadays extremely easy and better to do. It was the unknown that did attract a lot at that time.
Many experiments and research I did became in a more 'glossy' form a trendy thing (Ambient, New Age and House). Sometimes I feel frustrated by the fact that my audience at that time was very small and that most people thought I was an idiot (well... I got used to that).

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