Wednesday 27 November 2019, 7.30pm
Institute for Danish Sound Archaeology present a special defusion of composer and sound artist, Knud Viktor's 1976 work, Image VI – The Luberon Symphony as part of OTO's Musics and Other Living Creatures series.
Knud Viktor (1924-2013) was originally classically trained as a painter at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in the 1950’s. In 1961 he moved to France to live and work, but was overwhelmed by the sounds of the wildlife in Provence, and instead of painting began listening to and recording his surroundings. With these recordings, he composed what he called sound images – images sonores – and throughout the rest of his career, sound was his main medium.
IMAGE VI – LA SYMPHONIE DE LUBERON, 1976
Knud Viktor regarded Image VI – The Luberon Symphony as his most central piece, and the work achieved a certain fame in France. In this piece, he sought to create a unified sound image of the Luberon mountain. He described it as ‘a synthesis of sound’ that is partly a description of the mountain and partly a description of his own relationship with the mountain. In order to realize the work, Viktor invented an instrument that he called Tetramix: a mixer that enabled him to compose the work for four channels. In Image VI, Viktor allowed several of his recordings of animals and the landscape to appear unaltered so that the animal sounds can be clearly discerned.
Knud Viktor’s own description of Image VI:
“Luberon” was created for four speakers. I don’t regard it as music. Rather as a sound painting, created out of natural and ... local sounds. The expres- sion of impressions of thirteen years of living on Luberon. By organising various intensities of sound I seek the most unexpected, the most contrast- ing, modulated, dissonant. I seek to capture the air, the light, the wind, the rain and the rock, the tough and fragrant vegetation of Luberon.
I layer impressions of subterranean life, such as the life of the cicada, with impressions of the open landscape, of the airiness of THE WIDE MOUN- TAIN. The sound is almost silent, empty – and then suddenly it ows, gushes forward; then comes THE TALL MOUNTAIN.
The cicada’s METAMORPHOSIS and the MORNING marks the end.”
Institut for Dansk Lydarkæologi / Institute for Danish Sound Archaeology is a non-profit independent association and label, working towards uncovering and releasing historical Danish electronic music and sound art. In recent years the label has issued several releases by Danish visual artists and composers such as Knud Viktor, Henning Christiansen, Per Nørgaard, Lene Adler Petersen, as well as a compilation of sound experiments of Danish tape amateurs.
Introduction to Knud Viktor by Magnus Kaslov, institute member and curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Roskilde, Denmark.
Music and Other Living Creatures is a series at Cafe OTO (curated by OTO Projects) dedicated to music about, with, or by other living creatures. Birds, tigers, chickens, insects and many other living creatures are explored through sound-walks, listening sessions, commissioned performances, live responses and discussions.