Afternoon rehearsal & premier performance Thurs. 13th Sept. 2012 at the Menza Pri Koritu, Metelkova mesto, Ljubljana, Slovenia. The video fades in and out of the rehearsal and the evening performance because the camera position on the evening was too far away to adequately record the performance sound.
Flow Walzer is an improvisation performed on the Hydrophonium, an instrument made of water-filled plastic bags recycled from wine boxes. Sounds created by pouring water into the bags or any other actions causing vibrations in the water are registered by contact microphones and digitally processed using Max/MSP. The processing is very simple, involving a chain of compressors, filters and delay/chorus/flanger modules. The structure of the piece is dictated through presets controlling the settings of the effect chain. They progress from simple stereo echoes of typical water noises to subtle manipulations in tone colour using high/low pass filters and chorus. The final preset filters the input in extremely narrow bands, tuning each of the seven bags to a distinct pitch or chord. The performance evolves parallel to the musical material. In the first scenes, in which the sounds are not so audibly distant from observable actions, the two performers are involved in private, utilitarian tasks: filling the bags with water, adjusting their levels, each of them independently going about their assigned duties. As the sound becomes increasingly abstract and the apparatus begins to morph into a musical instrument, the performers become musicians, succumbing to the accords and discords of ensemble playing.