See the sounds an introduction (Son-Icons – visual music)

Son Icons  

1. Touching music

I draw my inner visualisations of the sounds using both hands. Through the visual-corporeal track of the drawing
process I touch the music.

I often use several graphite pencils simultaneously, following the primal musical impulse – the musical gesture – and transcribe this through drawing.
What emerge are polyphonic or sometimes even orchestral drawn structures. The Son-Icons serve again as visual stimuli for improvisations and compositions.

The Son-Icons, drawn on semi-transparent paper, can be read rotated, mirrored, forwards or backwards, or even in retrograde and retrograde inversion. This is a clear historical reference to J. S. Bach.
Original row   Inversion   Retrograde
Orginaltonreihe   Umkehrung   Krebs
Retrograde inversion and many other possibilities
Son Icon  

2. Playing with musical-visual ideas

The Son-Icon may be turned on its head, the music may be viewed from underneath – the imagination has no limits.

The musical result will, however, always be sustained and imbued by the inner rigour or the sensuous pull of the formal language of the Son-Icons.

Son Icon  

3. Combined and Self-Contained

The Son-Icons exist in and of themselves – a harmonious whole. Nevertheless, they cannot come into existence in this form without their interaction with music. The same goes for the music.
The aim is not an unconditional joining of drawing and music, but the recognition of visual and acoustic ways of thinking and qualities, which accordingly generate other ideas and other worlds. Nevertheless, at certain moments they both enter into an intense symbiosis.

Son Icon  

4. The open air settings or distinctive

locations imbue the genesis of the music and the Son-Icons. Both are strongly influenced by their respective places of origin. Qualities such as those found underground, in wind regimes, rain, flooding, ice etc, influence the music as well as the Son-Icons.
Visual traces of the places are also apparent in the drawings (for example signs of abrasion, water etc). These structures in turn shape the music.

Son Icon  

5. The intervals between each medium

offer new spaces for thought and creativity - and hence great potential for renewal.

The eye often perceives differently to the ear. Where the eye and the ear incline to different results and questions, then the switching of media is an especially strong catalyst for ideas. Equally, any slight incongruence in the two media may continue in unpredictable and often surprising and harmonious ways.
The reciprocal process of composition, improvisation and Son-Icons is not linear but branching or fragmented.


2. Rotating Son-Icons

Drehbare Son-icons
Drehbare Son-icons
Drehbare Son-icons
Drehbare Son-icons

3. Underwater Son-Icons

Unterwasser Son-Icons
Unterwasse Son-Icons
Unterwasser Son-Icons
Unterwasser Son-Icons

Spatial Scores

„Insomnia“ Museum of Art Lucerne 2011, musical-visual installation: graphite on half transparent paper
9-chanel sound-installation, rhythms of light and video
„Slipways, Sirius Arts Centre 2010 “installation graphite on half transparent paper and dual-video-projection
Slipways   Slipways
„The thing from the deep“ 2007 Haus für Kunst Uri graphite on fluorescent paper, automation of lightning with random generator and live performances
the thing from the deep   the thing from the deep

1. Three-Dimensional Spatial Scores - Choreography of perception

Slipway to galaxies for solo viola & voice at the Lucerne Art Museum 2011
Slipway to galaxies  

Between composition and improvisation:
Moveable Son-Icons and various scenic additions enable ever new perspectives: “Sonic views”. These instantly stimulate musical discovery; this, despite a reciprocal musical-visual development process of solo performances often spanning several years.

Duo with Barry Guy at Porgy & Bess in Vienna 2009
Porgy & Bess Wien

The musicians are given different instructions for playing according to the context, such as timing and path. This makes possible a real choreography and polyphony of perception. From close up, every grain of graphite of the Son-Icon is visible. From a greater distance, the overview, or the encounter with other musicians predominate. Always the music which emerges from this is intimately connected to the Son-Icons. This enables the musicians, as well as the public, to discern the musical-visual forms and relationships.


2. Work with ensembles and orchestras

Orchestra Grand Eustache Casino Lausanne 2008

The orchestra, as an organism formed of individuals, fascinates me - in particular the formal possibilities of the individual within this collective. I am searching for the various forms of organisation within the orchestra.
Each musician in the orchestra receives their own Son-Icon, together with individual coaching, in order that they can familiarize themselves with the working method and the Son-Icons, and can participate in the creative process.

3. Conduction & Video-score

Depending on the context, the scenic formats can also be replaced by video scores. For large ensembles greater clarity in the coordination, or a strong sense of interaction are required. Often the orchestra is led by its own “conducting language”, based on the “Conduction” of the New York composer Butch Morris and especially on the work of over ten years with the London Improvisers Orchestra.
Lucerne Festival Academy 2011, Nachtplasmen KKL Luzern
Info Son-Icons (pdf)