In his book ‘Ocean of Sound’, the British writer / musician David Toop describes how Debussy first came into contact with Javanese gamelan music at the 1889 World Fair. It forever changed his perception of exotic sound worlds. With the advent of the electronic media, cultural distances, such as existed at the time of Debussy, have largely disappeared. Many contemporary composers, musicians and DJs are inspired by the availability of sound from different cultures. Samples of native and exotic ambient sound, from existing music fragments and soundtracks are combined into new compositions, crossing cultural boundaries. In this context, Impakt is developing a long-term internet project that focuses on connecting musical cultures, their interaction and transformation via electronic technology and the virtual ways of the web. With Spiritworld, the first step is taken in the form of two performances.
Sensorband is an electro-instrumental trio consisting of Edwin van der Heide, Zbigniew Karkowski and Atau Tanaka. Instruments, built using various motion sensors, are used to translate the performers’ physical energy into direct control of electronic sounds. In the context of Spiritworld, Sensorband makes a number of compositions based on a selection of ambient sounds and instrumental pieces from cultures from all over the world. It shows the sound material and the structuring and editing capabilities of their electronic instruments at different stages. During the festival there is also the opportunity to hear new work by Sensorband in the media library in the Flatland gallery.
In Spiritworld, David Shea integrates samples with live music. An Italian percussionist and a Chinese Pipa player combine Shea’s sampled exotic sounds and overtone vocals.