Jeff Witscher aka Rene Hell premieres new music for Lampo—and for a small number of people.
Variations in Pathological Sound Music is a two-day, multi-part live computer work, with elements for piano, radio, computer synthesis and rewired text-to-speech software. In this weekend matinee, Witscher performs for four hours both Saturday and Sunday. Each of 16 different 25-minute sets is a variation on a theme and a mere segment of the entire work, and is offered for one person at a time, listening on headphones.
Witscher’s composition is one of hybrid styles and reworked sounds. Sound music is his term for the overlap between electronic composition, computer music, and sound art. He also closely identifies with radio art, for the way it “raids all genres” and for its techniques, using music, sound and voice to tell a story.
Here, the tale is told twice daily, in four variations—”Sound Music,” “Tiling & Sound Music,” “Minor Calamities” and “Cob Music”—to create a sort of unhinged, serial narrative. Witscher touches on conventional human themes like work and futility as well as more instinctual arrangements. The goal, he says, is to make music that fluidly communicates corporeal ideas and abstract disorientation together.
Jeff Witscher (b.1983, Long Beach, Calif.) currently manages his own custodial and maintenance company, Vincent’s Expert Cleaners in Portland, Ore. He has recorded under many different names, Rene Hell perhaps being the most known. He focuses primarily on making sound compositions with his computer, using field recordings, the internet, text-to-speech software and computer-generated synthesis as well as video works for his live performances. He is currently working on a record for Alter. Recent solo recordings include Approximately 1,000 Beers (2018), Fly Monkey Sisaj Kura (2017), Cob Music (2016), Bifurcating a Resounding No! (2014), Meclu (2013) and Vanilla Call Option (2013).
In October 2014 Jeff Witscher premiered Bifurcating a Resounding No! for Lampo.
Variations in Pathological Sound Music is part of an occasional series of commissioned works, where artists offer short, serial, person-to-person performances, created for the 10 x 20-foot dimensions of the Lampo office. Attendance is limited to 8 people per day and 16 people overall.