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Fragments were recorded in 2019 in Piémont-Cévenol and Ramifications in Paris in
In 1979 I enrolled in the workshop of Demetrio Stratos at Sainte Baume after hearing a recording he had made of John Cage’s Mesostics. Stratos died soon thereafter and was replaced by Takehisa Kosugi about whom I did not know very much. Little did I know at the time that I would spend a large part of my life connecting circuits and setting up electronic music-making devices.
With Kosugi there were no synthesizers or other apparatuses of that kind, no keyboards or cumbersome computer technology. We were using a branch of technology that had developed haphazardly — without music theory — and that seemed to reproduce certain aspects of living things — such as moss and lichen.
In Fragments several oscillators that generate sounds are interconnected inside a constantly evolving electronic “loom.”
It is difficult to describe the functioning of an oscillator in a world where things cannot be and not be at the same time. When several oscillators are involved, the mind boggles... Engineers have observed that when several wave forms are combined it is possible to obtain visual patterns that resemble ripples on sand or the fluting on cactus and many other things as well. It is the same for sound patterns.
It is easier to describe a shishi-odoshi because the oscillation of a piece of bamboo is much slower, but the functioning is rather similar to that of an electronic apparatus.
Oscillations can be provoked by charging a condenser. When the tension at the two terminals reaches a pre-determined value, a rapid discharge occurs. In the case of electronic music this results in a crackling sound in the loud-speaker membrane but by using other devices there are a thousand ways to modulate these oscillations.
It is very easy to see in these oscillations, as it were, the origin of all living things, the primordial tremor of creation.
Ramifications can only be performed in daylight, as the sound generators are powered by solar cells and natural variations of light play an important role in the process.
Ollivier Coupille, December 2019.