søndag 20. november 2016

Professor Waffels Assemblages


2016 has proved to be quite an active year for Hemmelig Tempo. Following their performances with Carte Blanche and the release of Are You Part of Some Kind of Cult?, we see the release of Professor Waffel's solo album Assemblages on Ugh Records.

Assemblages developed from Professor Waffel's idiosyncratic compositional technique which we see hints of in his work with Hemmelig Tempo, but coming into full life here. The work is constructed around tiny sampled fragments of classical modernist and ethnic music, field recordings and foley. These fragments are re-assembled in an audio editing program like a complex puzzle and subsequently combined with improvised performances on a range of instruments and objects ranging from flutes, brass, contrabass and percussion to analogue synthesizers, ethnic instruments such as Shakuhachi, Mezzoued and Anklung, several instruments constructed by Professor Waffel, and various objects such as typewriters, creeky doors and bow and arrow. Field recordings of chain saws, pinball machines, bees, etc. are incorporated harmonically and rhythmically into the compositions to create musical assemblages in which virtually everything is possible.

The work may share some similarities with Berio’s Sinfonia (which was also referred to as an assemblage by Berio), but the compositional technique owes far more to Stravinsky’s Russian period and the emphasis on musical collage and juxtapositions, as well as the "combines" of the late neo-dadaist artist Robert Rauschenberg.

By liberating the possibilities of sound from the inherent constraints and limitations of the symphony orchestra, Professor Waffel creates a Vareseian world of dramatic juxtapositions of timbre, an elaborate tapestry with violently rugged seams. Furthermore, genres are mixed at will: musique concrete, symphonic music, text-sound poetry, electronic experiments and jazz assembled together. '

As always, Professor Waffel's tongue-in-cheek attitude is never far away, as in the brief duel between a bee-hive and a snare drum roll ending Assemblage No. 7, or the Sonata for Door and Vacuum Cleaner which was given to Karl Heinz Stockhausen during his visit to Norway in 2005, and subsequently developed into Assemblage No. 6. And of course one is lead to wonder whether the musically transcribed news report of the murder of John F. Kennedy in Assemblage No.1 is some kind of satirical commentary on the current state of affairs in the US. However, the work was in fact composed in 2004-2005, predating both the recent elections and Professor Waffel's work with Hemmelig Tempo.

On a philosophical level, Assemblages draws slightly on the work of the social anthropologist Roy Wagner and his semiotic theories on creativity. Briefly put, the comparison or juxtaposition of two ideas, or in this case, musical fragments, inevitably creates some sort of semiotic debris, resulting in innovation in the way that fusion derived from jazz and rock, or in the way the Comte de Lautréamont’s, description of a chance meeting on an operating table between an umbrella and a sewing-machine inspired surrealism. Here, in a post modern tradition, musical genres are freely juxtaposed and interpolated. Atonal passages are released by gravity towards certain keys, pointillism may frame free improvisations, and jazz grooves may appear out of nowhere spiced with exotic instruments from unknown cultures. 

Available on Itunes, Spotify and all your favorite digital music stores. 

torsdag 1. september 2016

Are You Part of Some Kind of Cult?

At last, after 5 years Hemmelig Tempo returns to the charts with the album "Are You Part of Some Kind of Cult?" on Ugh Records, available right now on Itunes and elsewhere. Inspired by BBC’s Radiophonic Workshop and partly autobiographical, the album depicts a fictional island of pseudo-science worshippers, explored in a collage of electronic music, sound experiments, field recordings, foley, and analog synthesizer extravaganza..

tirsdag 2. februar 2016

"Av Carte Blanche" performances

Hemmelig Tempo performed alongside Norway's contemporary dance company Carte Blanche in Bergen on February 9th and 10th 2016. As a comment on the hierarchical constititution of contemporary cultural production, the company temporarily removed the choreographer, leaving the dancers alone on stage left to their own devices. Bands such as Motorpsycho, Susanna and Hemmelig Tempo were invited as collaborators.

However, while the dancers worked with a coach with a PhD based on a combination of a contextual and ethnographic perspective with a choreographic-somatic approach to dance, Hemmelig Tempo received very little tutoring. The group nevertheless remained confident that their scientific-ritualistic approach to sound would produce cymatic effects that would penetrate the paradigmatic veils of movement and force the dancers and audience alike to group into formations never seen before on stage.

Writing a wonderful review of the performance in Scenekunst, one commentator remarked that "In relation to the music of Motorpsycho, the seriousness of the dancers is not very apparent. But alongside the playfulness and role play of Hemmelig Tempo, the company appear almost burdened".

All photos: Helge Hansen/Carte Blanche


tirsdag 3. november 2015

av carte blanche 2016

Carte Blanche - Norway's national company for contemporary dance - have a vision of at least temporarily replacing the traditional use of coreographers with an innovative meeting between dance improvisation and live music. The concept is called "av carte blance" - "by carte blanche" and Hemmelig Tempo will be one of 5 artists due to perform with the dance company in Bergen in February 2016. Meanwhile, Professor Waffel has grown old, complains about the state of contemporary society and is proving increasingly difficult to work with during rehearsals. There is fear he may lose it alltogether before or during the performance. Tickets may be purchased at Billetservice.no at own risk.

mandag 27. april 2015

Bergen Seminar & Workshop April 24-26th 2015.

Hemmelig Tempo organized a seminar& workshop at latitude/longitude coordinates 60.394659, 5.310929 on April 24th-26th 2015. The agenda involved a formal meeting at 15:00 on Friday with Carte Blanche Dance Company regarding future collaboration in 2016. After having thoroughly confused the formal representatives of the dance company for the better part of the afternoon, the seminar adjourned the following day.

The first task due on Saturday morning was to complete the album "Are You Part of Some Kind of Cult?" This forthcoming concept album evolves around the discovery of an island of pseudo-science worshippers at an undisclosed location near you. The recording session culminated with a deafening Vuvuzela session which caused considerable concern within the neighborhood. It was decided by majority vote that the resulting 4 second track would replace a track featuring award-winning actress and actors Liv Ullmann, Anders Baasmo Christiansen and Dennis Storhøi. The latter track, "The Doomsday Machine", will shortly be released as a forthcoming single without further notice.

On Saturday evening, following a creative dead-end, the colleagues decided to move into the institution's workshop in order to conduct an experiment using only the tools and materials at hand. No animals were harmed in the experiment. However, Professor Waffel suffered a minor injury and may never be allowed anywhere near a metal spring again. The result of the workshop, an acoustic techno track, is documented in the following video.

tirsdag 7. oktober 2014

Report from the Emergency Festival in Bodø

"Dressed as chemists, Hemmelig Tempo offered a well-constructed wholesome of sound collages. Everything from industrial noise to pulsating beat measures and tiny keyboard themes were mixed at the music lab. It wasn't entirely devoid of humor either, and along with the accompanying image projections, the music stood as a pointed commentary on our technological existence.", wrote Avisa Nordland in reference to Hemmelig Tempo's live research session at the Emergency Festival  in Bodø in Northern Norway this year.

Not a word about the opening Pong game which Doktor Døv won by two points? No mention of Professor Waffel's Metal Detector Sequencer? Not impressed by the Unlikely Trio for bicycle pump, modified fan and hand-held synthesizer? It was all a commentary on something, but we are not quite sure exactly what.

lørdag 15. juni 2013

Bicycle Mixing System

Recorded and performed during Doktor Døvs Skjærgårdsseminar in Bergen June 7-9 2013, the Bicycle Mixing System consists of three - yes - bicycles, each equipped with an amplifier and speaker which transmits the sound of one of the following pre-composed sound sources: bass; beats and a combination of eclectric ukulele and organ. By placing microphones at each extreme side of the large-sized hall and manouvering the bicycles around the hall, a giant mixing system was in effect created, allowing unpredictable volume and panning effects that could not be replicated with a normal mixing board. Spatial music indeed. Alternatively, the experiment may be regarded as a public health initiative for professors and sound engineers alike.

onsdag 20. februar 2013

Dr. Space review

Dr. Space aka Scott Heller published a review of "Who Put John Cage on the Guest List?", concluding that "The music is totally experimental, far out, challenging, sometimes exciting, sometimes a bit too weird but always intriguing for patient people." He was right about the weirdness, we'd be the first to admit.


lørdag 19. januar 2013

Detailed review

Interesting and detailed review of Who Put John Cage on the Guestlist? from progressor.net: "a CD filled to the brim of some of the most uncompromising electronic music I've ever encountered"

"A production that I suspect will have a narrowly defined audience"

Also, a very nice description of our hit single: "Most accessible of all is A Study Dedicated to Arne Nordheim, but the brief click followed by six seconds of silence appears to be more of a comment about Nordheim as a composer than a musical statement as such."

See you on the charts!

(Gif made by LouLou)

tirsdag 27. november 2012

Nordmarkaseminar 2012

Hemmelig Tempo will attend a forthcoming seminar at Nordmarka, organized by Dr. Døv at a remote cabin which may or may not have electrical supply. Apart from information about the availability of a wood-cutter, little is known about the curriculum for the seminar at this point.