IGM proudly presents the new album of IGM collaborator, mathematician & musician Tomas De Camino Beck, AKA Autómata, featuring music by composer Susan Campos - Fonseca. The whole process of creation of this album, involves a large quantity of information processes, language transformations and technological domains. In this work, Autómata used analog and digital synthesizers, sequencers loop recorders, noise generators, in addition of prepared guitar for which several tool where created using 3d Printers.
Tomás De Camino Beck (Synth, Guitar & Electronic)
Susan Campos - Fonseca
Release: March 28, 2019
Catalogue: Irreverence Group Music IGM-022
Producer: Tomás “Autómata” de Camino Beck &
Irreverence Group Music (IGM)
3. Espino Blanco
4. Fragile: Pt. 1
5. Fragile: Pt. 2
Some years ago, I started exploring with micro-controllers, small programmable computers that allow you to build relations between the physical and digital world. One of those explorations took me to the construction of noise boxes that I called Polymath-boxes, and from there to sonic explorations with noise and droning.
An electrical wave generation using algorithms and digital manipulation is the foundational concept in a Polymath-box. The first box that I created, was the copper polymath-box, from there an entire collection of noise machines emerged. The highest level of these boxes was achieved by a box that contains artificial life. In there, using an algorithm called “genetic Algorithm”, the box itself tries to generate sounds in an autonomous self-evolving fashion.
From these explorations a contact with composer Susan Campos - Fonseca was born. I had never worked before with composer music, and much less from academia. Susan got interested in the sound of my boxes. Although we have collaborated before (El corazón de lo que existe, Desierto, Medea devorando a Orfeo, A Woman of no importance, Cybernetic Oratorium), it is on this album that I really worked focused on my own style playing Susan´s music.
Working with Susan has been special. Her way of composing, or at least the way I see it, matches my logical and mathematical way of thinking. This next figure explains this better:
Initially, Susan music parts create elements that I would called germinal. The way I see it, they represent fundamental axioms, upon which constructively a complete work is generated. In the process there are moments of interpretation, understanding, abstraction and exploration.
Understanding Susan´s axioms was extremely important, they were the starting points where the work emerged. All pieces were “executed”, meaning that all material was prepared and the the construction comes with the execution of the entire piece. Although tracks were separated to get later a better mix, all pieces are played in real time. Espino Blanco and Katana are completely executed and recorded in one take.
I would say all pieces started as a constructive process and later a destructive, or de-constructive one. Does this sound to rational? Yes, it is, but for me rationality and creativity are close, and even the same thing.
The techniques used involved, looping, donning, noise generation, sampling, temporal structure and improvisation. All music has some sort of loop implicit, there is always something that repeats. A traditional work, uses loop in the following manner:
In this work, loops are limited to short fragments, imposed by the machine (Kaossilator Pro+). Loops are separated in channels and executed in real time, in the following manner:
In some sense it is the construction of an infinite languages using loops that define internal finite states in each piece (somewhat like a finite state machine). In each track there are states that change as the pieces progresses.
Some randomness is added using polymath-boxes that play samples randomly when moving one of the box knobs (clear in Katana). Also the prepared guitar adds some randomness and improvisation.
The whole process of creation involves a large quantity of information processes, language transformations and technological domains. The following graph shows some of the processes involved,
In this work analog and digital synthesizers, sequencers loop recorders where used. In addition, as mentioned before, noise generators created by Autómata, with the addition of prepared guitar for which several tool where created using 3d Printers.
We could say that this work is the result of a cybernetic research program. Cybernetics is defined as the study of communication and control of human and machines. In terms of communication, I try to use Herbert Brun´s concept of anti-communication. Anti-communication, is not no-communication, but rather a proposition that communicates something that is not prescribed with a meaning. Brun´s idea of anti-communication says that it is a relation between people and things, that emerges and it is maintained with messages that still don´t have social encoding-decoding defined.
In general musical pieces embed lost of predefined meanings, that are expected by the listener. Those meaning stay almost written in stone, thus when we think of electronic music, we think immediately in some esthetical and technological constructs of such genera of music. If we hear something and we cannot match to any genera, then we create a new genera, so we can prescribe meaning to it. I try to break this cycle, or at least to broaden it meaning. Give the listener some free meanings that can be structured or thought as they please.
There are a lot of dogmas in electronic music, or even in noise music… There is some expected how it should sound, what is and what is not… It is truly hard to propose something novel without even falling in the contrary set, the no-noise or no-electronic. I don't want that, I try to be in defiance of whatever is defined. I hope I left enough space for the listener to make it own mind.
Finally, the work is an attempt to extend human abilities using technology. Nor the machine, or the human dominate. It is simply a Cyborg, part human, part machine, or that is the way I see it. In fact, if you listen closely to this work, you´ll find times where machines domante, and others where they feel completely human. Monotony, repetitiveness, and also improvisations and errors.
Composer Susan Campos - Fonseca and The Butoh Meditations
Costa Rican composer Susan Campos - Fonseca wrote the first Butoh Meditation, Katana blanca sobre piano negro, in 2014 for Cuban pianist Leonardo Gell. This premiere of this piece was part of the Sono-Retratos concert, in October of 2014. The second meditation, Espino Blanco (for VIola d`amore), was played for the first time by violinist Edmundo Ramirez at the Queen´s New Music Festival, New York 2015.
The third meditation, Profecía de los trenes y los almendros muertos, was written for a string quartet. It is based on a poem by Costa Rican writer Marco Aguilar. It was commissioned for the Casse-Tete: A Festival of Experimental Music de Prince George, Canadá, in 2015. The premiere was directed by Costa Rican violist, conductor and visual artist, José Delgado-Guevara, with Katana, interpreted by Canadian pianist Indra Egan, and Espino Blanco by Delgado-Guevara.
The fourth meditation Gemido was written for a wind quintet, it is based on a poem by Russian Anna Ajmátova. It was commissioned by the Haria Quintet of Spain, with flutist Mar Morales Martínez as solo artist.
These four meditations are included in two productions dedicated to the composer Campos - Fonseca in the el album Minimal Aggression (2015), where Katana is interpreted by Colombian Pianist and composer Julian De La Chica. Espino Blanco by American violist Martha Mooke, and Profecía in a synth version by Julián De La Chica. The fourth meditation Gemido was included in the EP Minimal Umbra (2016), interpreted by Haria Quintet. In these album, all pieces were premiered and recorded in collaboration with electronic Costa Rican artist Alejandro Sánchez Nuñez, and produced under the Irreverence Group Music Label of New York.
The first recording of the fifth meditation Fragile (Pt. 1 & 2), was made by Tomás “Automata” de Camino Beck for the project “Automata Finito” 2019. In this new album, Autómata puts together for the first time, all five Butoh Meditations, with a new and radical electronic realization.
About this Album, composer Susan Campos-Fonseca Writes: “Butoh medtations are based in one principle: human moan, that has the vital breath of pleasure and weeping. Human life guided by two principles, love desire and the inevitable road to death”. Automata´s electronica explores that finiteness in which we pretend to escape, liberated by the machines, but them, in their own evolution, remind us we are not.
Mix & Master
The mix doesn't look for the normal balance fund in any recording. It is sometimes heavy on the right or the left, sometime dense, sometimes open. Sometimes pleasant sometimes harsh.
Initially it was intended to be mixed using aIl platforms for mastering like LANDR and CludBounce, however, these platforms did not create a satisfactory master (meaning that the master was too far from the original mix sound). The automated mastering was aggressive and normalizing unbalanced space. For this reason Autómata mastered the album himself. AI still has to evolve to find ways of mastering that extent the possibilities, not that normalize then.
Produced by Tomás “Autómata” de Camino &
Irreverence Group Music (IGM)
Music by Susan Campos - Fonseca
Tomás “Autómata” de Camino
- Synthesizer, guitar & electronic
Recorded by Tomás “Autómata” de Camino
in his home studio in San José, Costa Rica
Mixed, and Mastered by
Tomás “Autómata” de Camino
Program Notes by
Tomás “Autómata” de Camino
Cover design by IGM
Robot Cadáver Artwork
by Jonathan Torres
Video by Tomás “Autómata” de Camino
Susan Campos - Fonseca (BMI)
Manufactured and marketed by
Irreverence Group Music (Brooklyn, NY)
Made in US. Total time: 42 min | IGM - 022
Ⓟ and Ⓒ 2019 IGM