Thomas Ankersmit

The Graham Foundation

Madlener House
4 West Burton Place
Chicago, Illinois 60610

Thomas Ankersmit premieres new work commissioned by Lampo—a composition for Serge analog synthesizer and digital oscillators, designed to produce a blizzard of microsounds and fields of pure tone.

“A storm and a landscape,” he writes.

In the piece, as yet untitled, Ankersmit contrasts a sense of overwhelming sound-mass and velocity with near-static tones that trigger additional sounds inside the listeners’ ears, an effect known as “distortion product otoacoustic emissions.”

Ankersmit’s project is his first significant foray into the digital realm and first fully quadraphonic composition.

Thomas Ankersmit (b.1979, Leiden, The Netherlands) is a composer, musician and installation artist based in Berlin and Amsterdam. Acoustic phenomena such as sound reflections, infrasonic vibration, otoacoustic emissions, and highly directional projections of sound have been an important part of his work since the early 2000s. His music is also characterized by a deliberate misuse of equipment, using feedback and disruptions to the signal, and the extremes of frequency and dynamics, to create visceral but finely detailed swarms of sound. Since 2006 his main instrument, both live and in the studio, has been the Serge analog modular synthesizer.

He collaborated with Sicilian composer and performer Valerio Tricoli on Forma II, a series of electroacoustic pieces released on the PAN label, and on music based on the acoustics of abandoned radar domes. Both projects were honored by Ars Electronica. Other recent collaborations include recording sessions with Kevin Drumm at GRM in Paris, and a new Phill Niblock composition for Serge modular synthesizer (Niblock’s first piece for an electronic instrument).

Ankersmit has performed twice before in the Lampo series—in February 2012 and September 2008.

Commissioned by Lampo through a grant from the Performing Arts Fund NL; presented in partnership with the Graham Foundation