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ARTIST
TITLE
Atom/Document
FORMAT
2LP

LABEL
CATALOG #
ICM 007LP ICM 007LP
GENRE
RELEASE DATE
1/20/2009

Double LP version. The vinyl edition is a limited heavy 180 gram pressing in a luxury gatefold cover with full-color printing. Atom is a collaborative performance by visual artist Christopher Bauder and Robert Henke. A matrix of 64 moving, helium-filled balloons each contains a bright white LED. By moving the position of the balloons and triggering the LEDs inside, it is possible to create morphing, flashing and flickering three-dimensional sculptures. Atom has been performed at Centre Pompidou in Paris, at Tesla Berlin, and at several other festivals in 2007 and 2008. This limited 2LP contains the music written for the Atom performance. The performances allow for a lot of spontaneous interaction between Christopher, who controls the height of the balloons in the matrix, and Robert Henke, who controls the LED patterns by triggering various musical elements. So each performance is different, and this release serves as a document of one possible scenario. The music for the performance has been created according to a few basic principles: there are floating elements that are not percussive and have no direct connection with the LEDs in the balloons. There are percussive elements where in each piece, each percussive element has to trigger an LED. And there are no percussive elements allowed that do not trigger LEDs. This strict conceptual approach made it possible to come up with impressive music and LED movements in a very limited period of time in 2007, before the first performance. Also each piece contains only four channels of percussive sounds, a deliberate limitation which made it possible to control the audio part of the performance entirely via a hardware MIDI controller box. Both artists felt the musical effort deserved to be conserved. Henke spent a lot of time refining each detail of the sounds and the patterns: "Some of the pieces I rebuilt from scratch, and in some cases I went in a totally wrong direction and came back to a much earlier version after weeks of unsuccessful attempts. The result is the most 'serious' album I created so far, and it marks a new coordinate in my musical universe, with its combination of noisy and rough industrial sounds, processed piano, and distant drones."