PLEIN AIR | Silva Datum Musica

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Gruen 187 | Vinyl > [Bestellung]
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Plein Air das Album, sind Aufnahmen eines maßgeschneiderten Instruments, einem „Pflanzen-Synthesizer“. Von unseren Ohren nicht hörbare physikalische sowie biochemische Reaktionen einheimischer Laubbäume, genauer einzelner Blätter, werden über Lautsprecher hörbar. Sensoren aus der naturwissenschaftlichen Forschung wandeln Datenströme aus Photosynthese, Messungen von Temperatur, dem CO2/Kohlendioxid Laubbaum-Feuchtigkeitsaustausches verschiedener Blatttexturen, sowie Lichtflussdichte um in sich stetig verändernde „data sonification music“. Die unbeschreibliche Klangfülle dieser computergenerierter Musik eines „Pflanzen-Synthesizers“ wird beeinflusst von der jeweilige Raumakustik, Umgebungstemperatur, Raumklima, sowie im live set-up von der Anzahl der im Raum anwesenden Zuhörer, aber auch wie gesund, gestresst, ermüdet die Pflanze ist, in welcher jahreszeitlichen Wachstumsphase sich das Bäumchen befindet, wie achtsam es gepflegt, mit Wasser, Nährstoffen und Tageslicht versorgt wird.


Seite 1: Insgesamt sechsundzwanzig Minuten, besteht aus 4 kürzen Aufnahmen, Laub schottischer Erle, Eiche, Holunder & Birke. Die Aufnahmen wurden in einem der historischen Gewächshäuser des Botanischen Gartens Glasgow 2017 gemacht. Sehr dramatische Lichtwechsel im Juni, intensive Sonne, schnell wechselnde Wolkenformationen, machen diese Klangstrukturen zu einem dynamischen, intensiven Hörerlebnis, kraftvoll wie ich mir einen Tornado vorstelle.


Seite 2: Fünfundzwanzig Minuten aus dem Baumklang-Studien-Zimmer Köln, 2015, einem Raum ohne dramatische Lichtwechsel, erinnert diese Aufnahme eines Birnbaum-Blatts an Minimal-Music, die zum Eintauchen in diese Klangwelt einladen. Dieses Hörstudienzimmer ist seit 2008 ein künstlerisch-wissenschaftliches Forschungsprojekt über das Hörbar machen von Pflanzenklängen.





Side 1 – PLEIN AIR Live in Glasgow, Scotland, 2017


1 ALDER 5:32
2 OAK 8:04
4 BIRCH 8:48


Side 2 – PLEIN AIR Live in Cologne, Germany, 2015


1 PEAR 24:42


5 Tracks (50′42″)
Vinyl (300 copies)








Tim Collins, Reiko Goto, Chris Malcolm
Plein Air | Silva Datum Musica
Format: 12 “ Vinyl
Style: Experimental, Electronic, Data-Sonification, Computermusic
Recordings by Chris Malcom, Tim Collins & Georg Dietzler
Software Programming: Chris Malcom
Mastering by Dirk Specht, Cologne
Produced by Georg Dietzler, Cologne
Artwork: Reiko Goto with mono prints by Nicola Chambury
Edition of 300 copies | 100 numbered & autographed
PLEIN AIR | Southern Appalachian Forest


Sound Art Series by Gruenrekorder
Germany / 2019 / Gruen 187 / LC 09488 / GEMA / EAN 193483354477





TJ Norris | Toneshift
With each names for trees, this latest collaboration between Tim Collins, Reiko Goto, Chris Malcolm (here as Silva Datum Musica) is a unique journey into the great outdoors via a custom-built plant-driven synthesizer – you heard that right. An instrument that “uses scientific sensors and software programming to generate real-time tree leaf data. Light, photosynthesis and transpiration modifies sound: the rhythm, melody, texture, tempo and harmony shift with atmospheric conditions and tree response – electronically.”


The trio act like performative sound painters on Plein Air. The outcome has a droopy quality on Alder, that seems like a retro flashback, like the accompaniment to a silent movie. This continues with gaseous exhaust and flourishes of organ and mysterious tones right into Oak and through the manipulated forest. Having taken a decade to orchestrate this, there were obviously a lot of technical aspects to overcome in the process – but this blend of scientific photosynthesis, etc. has a great impact on the pleasant awkwardness of the chords. This has the presence of something circus-like, or perhaps an organ grinder in the streets of Paris circa the 1950’s – it’s impossible to peg, and exciting to contemplate. Having been recorded in Scotland there lays the essence of the place in the tonal shadows.


The contraptions they’ve built (have a closer look here) seem more akin to those used by old school land camera photographers, and those who engage in the camera obscura than your typical musician – but they have successfully fused sound and vision with natural science to deliver an awesome ear-opener as well. The computer generated sounds are within their own world of improv, and the artists here definitely had to rely on chance for all of their inventiveness, in part. As light and temperature effect the sounds that come alive, this is one of those projects that would rightly deserve a fine museum exhibition, if you could bring the outdoors in (I’m thinking of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum with its open air courtyard that already has plant life). But the idea of seeing a sight such as this trio upon a hillside or in a public park would be a head-turner for sure.


Side two is fully dedicated to the solitary Pear as it runs just about twenty-five minutes: ” (the) regional heritage pear tree leaf that sounds more like Minimal Music. During the Cologne Tree Sound Study, we made the recording in a small office room in 2015, we had less dramatic weather changes. A warm summer, smooth light changes, generating a more gentle soundscape to deeply plunge into music (Georg Dietzler).” This track stands out from the rest, and it’s great to be reserved as such. The effect is a tad psychedelic, almost like music within Eastern traditions (like a snake charmer), and a bit removed. Though this also has plenty in common with German electronic music of the 1970’s, in all its futuristic, minimalistic glory. Plants are earthly beings, here given voice in a most unique way.


Frans de Waard | VITAL WEEKLY
A subject about I surely have very little knowledge of is that of bioacoustics; you know, where biological events turn into sound. I know John Cage experimented with plants, Michael Prime also, and I’m sure there is much more out there, but I have not much idea about that. Silva Datum Musica is a duo of Tim Collins and Reiko Goto and together they created a ‚plant-driven synthesizer‘. It uses sensors and software „to generate real-time tree leaf data. Light, photosynthesis and transpiration modify sound: the rhythm, melody, texture, tempo and harmony shift with atmospheric conditions and tree response – electronically“, which is a pretty cool idea. Ideally, every plant sounds different, one would think. Here we have two different recordings, both live. One side has four pieces, recorded in 2017 in Scotland and one long piece from Cologne in 2015. The four pieces are ‚Alder‘, ‚Oak‘, ‚Elderberry‘ and ‚Birch‘ and ‚Pear‘ is on the other side. The interesting thing is, but perhaps also sad to note, is that those four pieces sound kinda similar. I have no idea if that is the trees, leaves or perhaps the software; basically, because I have very little knowledge of how this software is supposed to work. Are there elements of sound in there that are activated by the plants and as such maybe that’s why some of this sounds the same. It makes it, perhaps, more the result of a scientific experiment, rather than some music that works as a standalone thing, which is, I think, what this should boil down to. No matter how interesting it is to translate the sound of leaves into music, one should also consider the fact that it is now ‚out there‘, on an LP, to enjoy. One doesn’t see or smell the plants, nor the machine to translate them, and therefore it is a bit difficult to understand why these pieces sound relatively the same. The long piece on the other side, curiously enough, sounds a bit different, although one can link both sides together. The sheer minimalism of all of the pieces is, however, something I enjoyed very much about this. It is slowly evolving and that is always a great thing!