Coca Leaves and Bourbon
Taking as a point of departure, a specific combination of flavours, Coca Leaves and Bourbon is an improvised sound piece for piano and electric guitar recorded by Ola Ståhl and Damon Little at the Headlands Centre for the Arts in 2010. Additionally, the sound piece formed part of Soundfjord’s sound art program / installation Exquisite Corpse, London, 2011.
Der Atem is a series of sound pieces for voice and breath, sine tone generators, field recordings and miscellaneous sounds generated using stones, metal foil and glass. Taking its inspiration from the Thomas Bernhard novel by the same name, the series comprise live performance from East Nile, Oakland, CA, pieces produced for programs curated by SoundFjord, London, UK, and sound recordings made with soprano Agnes Westfält, Malmö, Sweden. The final piece in the series, is a remix of the recordings by Ola Lindefelt.
Based on an extreme “slowing down” of the last three set of notes struck in Pierre Boulez’ Ninth Notation for Piano, Prolongation is a set of sound recordings made for sine tone generators. In its initial manifestation, the 24 hour long piece was divided into hour long sections, performed live in different context, with audiences of different sizes, without audiences, over video streams and in public spaces. The project has since been modified in different versions some of which include collages of found sound and field recordings, others layering and mixing the initial recordings in different ways. The piece was developed and performed, primarily, as a collaboration between Ola Ståhl and Carl Lindh. The short text accompanying the extracts below is from one of the performances of the initial piece at the University of Florida, FL, USA.
Exploring the relationship between sound fragments and suggested narratives, actions and gestures, Interferences is a sound recording made in a studio space in Malmö, Sweden, in 2009. Using instruments, props and objects such as cassette tape recorders, radios, pebbles and other stones, small magnetic cubes and metal foil, participants carried out minimal, spontaneous gestures and acts over a period of 8 hours, interspersed with small interventions in the forms of prepared readings and mumblings, recorded (sometimes modified) voices and radio transmissions. Sections from the resulting recording have been featured as part of various sound art programs and included as part of a sound installation by SoundFjord at a Swedish music festival.
Krapp’s Last Tape
The Krapp’s Last Tape recordings are performative audio reworkings by Ola Ståhl and Carl Lindh of Samuel Beckett’s play with the same title. They were made in a studio space set up with microphones, speakers, audio-streamings services, radios and transmitters so as to make any attempt at communication difficult, resulting primarily in feedback, echo-effects and other kinds of generated sounds. Trying to deliver the lines in Samuel Beckett’s play in this environment, and including stage instructions and instructions as of how to deal with audio set-up of the performance itself, the outcome is a soundscape oscillating between abstract sound, fragments of stage instructions and dialogue, conversation (often in Swedish) between the performers, and sounds from the streets surrounding the space in which the recordings were made. Making reference to the Jewish notion of text as “black fire on white fire,” the recordings were later turned into two distinct but interrelated collages of sounds – an inventory of sorts – comprising crackling rhythms and slow waves generated as part of the thwarted vocal performance. These latter revisions were published as part of the compilation Out of Silence, put together by Wolfgang Peter Menzel for Modisti / Podalida.
Kompoststation, variation is an audio translation and reworking for piano of Peder Alexis Olsson’s text Kompoststation, published in the journal OEI (#28-30, 2006). It was performed and released as part of a compilation of reworkings of the text in Malmö, Sweden, 2010.
Lagparagraf 13:3 (live at Stanza)
Tre Advokater was a short-lived sound art / poetry collaboration consistent of Ola Ståhl, Pär Thörn, Carl Lindh and Peder Alexis Olsson. The group’s mere handful of performances includes this live interpretation of a paragraph in Swedish law regarding disturbances of public order translated into sine tone frequencies. The performance was recorded at the poetry club Stanza, Inkonst, Malmö, 2009.
Using an archive of notes, photographs and recorded interviews and conversations taken entirely out of context, Ola Ståhl put together the 2009 manuscript SPOOLS consistent entirely of questions without replies, detached fragments of conversation, isolated extraneous sounds (hesitation, affirmations, negations), descriptive references to parts of photographs, and reflections on the environments, instruments and materials framing the recording itself and the transcription and editing process. The manuscript was later recorded, by Ola Ståhl and Kajsa Thelin, as a reenactment of sorts, but in its absurdity, without reference to its original context and including repetitions, stutters, hesitations and general comments made during the reenactment process itself. The resulting recordings were used for a sound installation at ISEA 2009, Ormeau Baths, Belfast, Northern Ireland.