An artistic research project on “alternative” beats & metronomes 
by Marcel Zaes 2020

I am hoping to collect sounds from anyone who would like to participate, anywhere, at any time, and I am planning on making a sonic collage with them next Fall – though I will check back with everyone to find out if I’m allowed to use the sounds and in what form. All contributors will be credited unless they wish not to be.

All you will need is a device to record audio. Any device from a phone with a voice memo app to a laptop with a mic will do; whatever you have at your disposal. The prompts have been adapted to the COVID-19 lockdown and can be performed in any room as small as a bedroom. If you feel that the visual component of your performance is as important as is the auditory, then you may decide to record video. Otherwise, an audio recording is just fine. If you feel super inclined and if you are in an area where taking a walk in the outdoors is safe and responsible, then it may be fascinating and inspiring to perform some of these tasks in the street, on the balcony, in the backyard, or in front of an opened window. Otherwise, an indoor performance will perfectly do.

Prompt #1

Imagine you’re dancing. What tempo would be just right? Use your fingers/hands or any objects that you might have at hand to clap the tempo for ~3 minutes and record your performance, but don’t use any technological aid for keeping the tempo.

Prompt #2

Create a beat with any means that you might have at hand, or with no means at all. Make a recording of it that lasts for ~3 minutes.

Prompt #3

What would you imagine is an alternative metronome? Invent one, or find one, or perform one, and record it for ~3 minutes. 

Prompt #4

In whatever space you’re in right now, record its “silence,” that is, its ambient noise for another ~3 minutes.

Optional: if you feel like improvising along with your freshly created beat or alternative metronome, I would love to hear what you come up with!

Once you’re done, send the recordings to me, and include, as precisely as possible, for archival purposes, the recording date/time and the place of recording. The latter could be indicated as a postal address or as map coordinates from Google or similar. If you feel like it (but definitely not required!) post some of your recordings publicly on any of your own channels, using the hashtag #OtherBeats.

Thank you so much for contributing to #OtherBeats!