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art project by Sarah Washington & Knut Aufermann

Feedback: Order from Noise

2004 UK tour
Curated by Knut Aufermann

“Feedback: Order from Noise” was the name of a trailblazing UK tour featuring music and video that was focused on the use of feedback processes. The artists were Alvin Lucier, Billy Roisz, Knut Aufermann, Nicolas Collins, Otomo Yoshihide, Sarah Washington, Toshimaru Nakamura and Xentos Fray Bentos. The seven concerts took place in Leicester, Newcastle, Norwich, London, Colchester, Brighton and Exeter between the 24th of June and 2nd of July 2004. A selection of recordings from the tour was published as a 2CD+DVD package in 2014 by the Mikroton label. Some of the audio-visual documentation from the tour is available below.

Feedback tour members (from left clockwise) Toshimaru Nakamura, Mark Hornsby (sound engineer), Alvin Lucier, Otomo Yoshihide, Knut Aufermann, Billy Roisz, Ben Drew (crew), Ed Baxter (producer), Rob Storey (crew), E M Thomas (recording engineer), Andy Hopton (crew), Nicolas Collins, Sarah Washington, Xentos Fray Bentos

Background: The basis for the formation of the tour was several years of research in feedback music I had carried out which took shape over three publications: as editor / curator of the Feedback issue & CD of Resonance magazine, my MA dissertation in Sonic Arts on Feedback Processes, and a contribution I gave to a journal of celebration for the physicist Heinz von Förster on Feedback and Music.  The idea for a tour purely of feedback-based music followed from London Musicians’ Collective’s Ed Baxter, who asked if I thought it was a feasible concept and invited me to put together a line-up. Von Förster invented the principle of “order from noise”, and I proposed this term as the subtitle of the tour.

Tour recollections: Beside the audio, video and photo documentation that is collated below, several texts were penned after the event including a tour diary by Toshimaru Nakamura for a subsequent Resonance magazine, a description of the process of recording the concerts by E M Thomas and track notes by myself for the release of the 2CD+DVD package in 2014. “Feedback: Order from Noise” was the last in a line of successful Arts Council England funded experimental music tours by the London Musicians’ Collective for the Contemporary Music Network, produced by Ed Baxter and Beverly Crew.

Audio: The first three tracks are taken from the Mikroton label release that was published ten years after the tour. The fourth track is a turntable solo by Otomo Yoshihide performed at the Brighton concert, which can be heard here for the first time.

Video: The first video was published in 2008 by Billy Roisz — the video artist on the tour — and is also included on the Mikroton DVD, featuring the quartet of Billy, Knut, Sarah and Xentos. The second video also comes from the DVD and shows the performance of my composition Block that was created during the tour for an ensemble of six musicians: Knut, Nic, Otomo, Sarah, Toshi, and Xentos. The third video is documentary footage by Simon Lucas of another rendition of Block, this time with a line-up of eight musicians: Daniel Wilson, Dominic Stephens, Hans W. Koch, Knut, Lu Edmonds, Moshi Honen, Sarah and Xentos, who performed it at Cafe Oto in London for the launch of the Mikroton release in December 2014.

 

Photos: These photos were taken by Sarah with a point and shoot analogue camera, and the hard copies digitized with a consumer scanner. Regardless of the image quality and the fact that there are hardly any performance shots (apart from rehearsals), the photos offer a great insight of life on the road with an international and truly inspirational group of artists, engineers, production team, and assorted visitors.