Prairie Urbaine

Media performance, 2013-2014

for double bass, sine tones, and town noise recordings from Cairo

74 minutes

Developped in close collaboration with, and premiered by, Sabrina Merz

Published on a record by Tonus Music Records in 2014
PRAIRIE URBAINE consists of four equally long parts, each of which corresponds to one of the four strings on the double bass. The composition is written algorithmically and computer-assisted with a strict set of rules which determine frequency, volume and point of occurance for each single note, and the only sounds used are the four natural harmonic scales on the four double bass strings. Sine tones are artificially extending the acoustic instrument. Field recordings of dense traffic noise from the city of Cairo appear every now and then, chopped up by the algorithm in small percussive fragments, as to contrast the fine harmonic sonic world of the pitched double bass and sine tones. In PRAIRIE URBAINE, a lengthy sound world emerges, in which sameness is shown from ever new perspectives.

The development of this music was made possible by the Momento Foundation as well as the Graf Fonds of the Zurich University of the Arts. It was premiered in January 2013 at the Zurich University of the Arts by double bassist, Sabrina Merz.

PRAIRIE URBAINE is available on an album published by Tonus Music Records, see Discography.