International Festival and Academy for New Composition and Audio-Art

13th – 17th December 2014

avantgarde tirol - new music on a high level


Horst Rickels

Horst Rickels

The term "Audio-Art" originated in the plastic arts and is ranged next to "Pop-Art", "Land-Art", "Video-Art" etc.

The inclusion of sound processes, hitherto reserved to music, is essential to the field of plastic arts. Interconnected, musicians and composers working in audio-art together become the means of creating the work of art, dissolving the boundaries between disciplines that have been established since the end of the renaissance. Thus, new horizons in sensual perception become visible and audible. The process of perception does not follow the "either - or" pattern but is a simultaneous one, a synthesis of auditory and visual impressions, as well as others, of course.

Artists of audio-art embody the special qualities of composers, instrument-makers and performers, mainly because there is nobody else who is prepared to perform the various aspects of this work or because no one else can imagine what results might be possible in a way that is necessary for their realisation. Though difficult to imagine in this high-tech music industry - audio art is not about efficiency.

An audio-artist's work is individually associated with his / her personality and not based on division of labour. I therefore would say that it is post-industrial.

Audio-artists seek experiments, in fact they are part of these experiments: they use their bodies, at times in combination with advanced technology and try to define their relation to different artistic means again and again.

The artists do not depend on their mastery of an instrument. They create the instruments and ask them what they want and what they can and whether they want to play with or rather without them, or automatically, or just as they please.

In the end, the essential thing is not only the performance of previously prepared and composed sounds, but the process of sound generating which is made visible and audible in front of the audience. What is really important is the here and now, the momentary fusion of compositional and improvised elements.

Horst Rickels

is a composer, performer and audio-visual artist.
He is a lecturer at the interfaculty for "Sound and Image" at the Koninklijk Conservatorium in The Hague and at the Design Academy in Eindhoven. Also at the RITS in Brussels.

© Horst Rickels
Published in the programme of the 6th Academy (1998)
Published in the programme of the 7th Academy (1999)

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