CHAMBERLAB – Anton Koch and Mark Matthes

WIEL Videoproduktion

Chamberlab is a project by Anton Koch and Mark Matthes dealing with experimental artistic practice in the field of musical composition and performance. Their primary focus lies in recomposing and re-contextualizing classical music in a conceptually connected audiovisual installation.

With very different backgrounds in Fine Arts and a classical musical eduction on the violin, as well as a purely code-based and algorithmic approach to both music and visualization, they meet at the intersection of musical performance. Finding a conceptual framework that truly fuses and incorporates both seemingly opposing fields is their project’s current foremost objective.

For “9 Evenings Revisited” they are working on a translation of the (western) harmonic system based on the circle of fifths into graphic forms and algorithmic compositions that make use of the complex mathematical and musical connections between chords.

These compositions or concepts will function like a tool for analyzing classical and contemporary compositions. Filtering certain elements and deconstructing an existing piece allows Chamberlab to recompose and perform under new conditions including the visualization and translation into a reactive installation. The challenge is to shift the perception of rather well-known compositions by performing them in a completely different way.

Starting with a basic setup of violin, computer and analog effects in the composition process, an ensemble can later be assembled to perform the final piece. Using both traditional stochastic methods and modern machine learning algorithms, the computer extracts and transforms patterns that in turn become building blocks for the compositional process.

The movement through the harmonic system (disharmony included), can be visualized in graphic forms making the underlying compositional structure of the performance visible and accessible through an alternative abstract perspective, realized in a combination of elements in the exhibition space and projections. At the same time it can function as an interface to the computer creating algorithmic composition based on sensor input turning the performance into an interactive installation.

Chamberlab will explain and perform work samples of their composition-process and give insights to the technical setup. Going through the stages of deconstruction and translation of audio and visuals will describe the “feedback-loop” of mutual influences. The developed tools will be summarized in a short improvised concert.