released May 15, 2023
The passage of time, the passage from one imaginary space, and from one mind (or computer) to another – these are the passages that give this album its title.
Of course every piece of music passes from mind to mind as the ideas of its creator(s) become audible waves, enter another's ear and get decoded in the brain of this listener. But in this case, the passage was already part of the composition.
After a decade of collaborations both in live improvisation and co-composition, EMERGE and Gerald Fiebig decided to experiment with a new creative challenge. The selection of materials and the composition were to be split between them.
For this piece, Gerald Fiebig collected a variety of sonic objects – field recordings, found sounds, instrumental parts, electronic sequences, both archival and original – and passed them on to EMERGE. Most of the sounds held autobiographical significance for Fiebig, but as no background information was supplied to EMERGE, the passage of sounds from one to the other allowed the sounds to free themselves of that limitation.
Nevertheless, the sounds were 'thematically' grouped in sets of twelve, in view of the memory banks of the Roland SP-404 samplers used by EMERGE, but without any prior agreements on the choice of material or restrictions imposed by Fiebig on how to use the sounds. EMERGE set himself the challenge to integrate all the supplied sound files into the resulting compositon.
Working through the diverse groups of sounds, he created five pieces of varying duration and very different character. The listener can choose to follow the imaginary passageway that connects these five sonic and atmospheric spaces, but they can also choose to find their own paths by listening to the pieces in a different order.
With every passage – from Fiebig to EMERGE, and from EMERGE to every listener – the sounds lose old meanings and acquire new ones, creating – between all the listeners – an ever larger virtual network of references precisely out of the things that are not communicated in language, but only in sound. As such, the compositional process behind „passages“ is something of a sonic utopia of human cooperation, because, als Walter Benjamin wrote: „Progress does not reside in the continuity of the passage of time, but in its interferences.“
EMERGE (b. 1977) and Gerald Fiebig (b. 1973) are two sound artists based in Augsburg, Germany. Since 2007, they have collaborated on numerous performances, installations, and recordings. Other joint projects include the radio piece Chinese Whispers for WDR Studio Akustische Kunst (2014), the concert series echokammer (2007-2009), and Fiebig's work for EMERGE's record label attenuation circuit (since 2010). Information on their individual activities can be found on their websites emergeac.wordpress.com
EMERGE has been a major presence on the European experimental music scene for two decades, releasing music on labels such as Drone Records, tâalem, and many others, touring extensively throughout most of the continent since 2010, and curating the re:flexions sound-art festival.
Gerald Fiebig has created radiophonic artworks for stations around the globe, including ORF Kunstradio, Arte eletroacústica on Radio Televisão Portugal, and Soundproof on ABC. His installations include work for Vienna's TONSPUR_passage and the Música Viva festival in Lisboa.