First in 1993 and then in 1995, I have spent a lot of time studying the possibilities of Koenig’s program for instrumental music composition Projekt 1. I recorded over six hours of material while playing back my Projekt 1 output files with instrumental sounds from a General MIDI sound module, and made extensive notes on the input data for every recording. I had in mind at the time to eventually write an instrumental piece, which I actually started to write, but then the project was never finished.
In 2009 I found back the DAT-tapes from 1995 together with the notes I made, and I transferred the recordings to the computer just to save them from the possibility of the DAT tapes becoming impossible to play in the near future. I became quite intrigued with some of those recordings, especially with one where I had introduced a very long value in the entry delay table, resulting in little islands of sounds, separated by long rests. The pitches were calculated by using minor and major seventh intervals and their inversions.
For Projection, I used that recording as a starting point. The ‘ensemble’ in the sound module consisted of various keyboard instruments, marimba, vibraphone and timpani. I decided to use the quasi-instrumental phrases from the original 26-minute recording (in their original order) as input for Kyma sound transformations that I had developed previously for Apertures and Chroma. I then shifted the transformed results forwards and backwards in time, creating a kind of canonical network with up to nine quadraphonic layers.
The first rough version of the piece was indeed some 26 minutes long, after which a very spontaneous process of editing started. I first made all kinds of little cuts in the layers themselves. Then I started to listen to the result from the beginning, and every time I got bored I would insert a marker, then go forward to the next interesting entry point, cut all the layers there and moved everything from this edit point to the point of the marker. I kept ‘folding’ the piece in this way (at the risk of wasting some good parts), until I ended up with the 12 minutes of the finished version. This final editing process was inspired by the way one can make edits in cinema, where it is perfectly possible to jump from a day scene to a night scene, from an outdoor scene to an indoor scene, etc.
Projection was premiered in January 2014 at theatre Hebbel am Ufer in Berlin during the Club Trans Mediale festival.