Trapdoor

Trapdoor was a sound-performance by Bernhard Loibner (electronics) and Didi Bruckmayr (voice). It took place at Museum Essl, in Klosterneuburg (near Vienna) on May 15th, 2013.

Border areas can be dangerous. This is where the unknown, unexpected, unexplained, unspoken, unheard is lurking. An expedition into unexplored areas is risky, but may at least be profitable on an immaterial level: Great experiences. A chance for new knowledge and insight. An extension of our limits.

The expansion into new areas on the edges of reason or consciousness does also implicate the possibility of failure. This failure may be linked on a mental level with confusion, disgust and shock. On the physical level it can be associated with pain and, in extreme cases, physical destruction.

It is one of the core tasks of art to explore the edges and allow the audience to take a look at yet unexplored terrain. Experimental music is by definition located on the aesthetic edges. Artistic development is to explore new techniques and methods and to extend the limits of perception again and again. Anyone who is committed to the experiment, thus aesthetically oriented on these edges, may find himself also economically and socially marginalized. Some things found on this route may gradually be absorbed into the mainstream of the art world but only in rare cases the researchers themselves will benefit from this canonization.

Didi Bruckmayr & Bernhard Loibner once more aim to explore the edges of a musical territory with their performance.

The starting point is the human voice and its use by Didi Bruckmayr. He is looking for a path to the unconscious through the assignment of special vocal techniques. In 2009 he underwent a week-long special training in Rome where he learned to put himself into a trance, free of fears and compulsions, following his intuitions to sing and act from a state of unconsciousness. An intensification of this practices (which are often carelessly called “method acting”) leads to higher states of transcendence. The singer moves through “unconscious landscapes” without a sense of space and time by speaking and singing in weird languages.

Bernhard Loibner takes this acoustic raw material and tries to re-contextualize it. Using his computer instrument the vocals are processed, distorted, slowed down, accelerated, fragmented and destroyed, newly assembled and distributed to multiple speakers. The output of this acoustic particle accelerator serves Bruckmayr as a basis for further vocal activity, which again feeds the computer-controlled “contextualizing engine” — a musical-cybernetic system with an uncertain result.

Together voice and electronics form an abstract expression and effective tool for a walk through the border zones of the human soul. Uncertainty is waiting there.