artist: Olaf Hochherz
titel: Pets EP
cover art: Olaf Hochherz
format: CDR
general: naivsuper NASU 009
music by Olaf Hochherz
recorded in 2004 - 2007
released by naivsuper
p + c 2007 naivsuper & Olaf Hochherz
all rights reserved

1. omo 3.20 // 2. draussen 6.33 // 3. Winter 4.08 // 4. nachher halt 4.36 // 5. celine 3.49
full-length: 23:00 min

Pets EP is the first record by Olaf Hochherz. Four extraordinary and rich compositions and one spoken word piece.
Sculpted with self-coded computer programs and lots of love for detail.

In 2004 Olaf was thrown out of his music university in Essen, Germany: The views of his teachers were just too different from Olaf´s ideas of electro acoustic music. On the same day he met a member of the naivsuper collective, who decided that his music had to be published.
Well, it took 3 years to compile this short CDR but it was definitely worth waiting for.

"Pets are just 5 pieces of a CD or the attempt to describe a sound-based form of life. Stuck inside a niche between nature and culture, acoustic inhabitants of ´nature-culture-land´, hairy little things made out of dust who wander around without reason and suddenly drop dead completely unexpected. They have to be pushed but sometimes move by themselves, they can speak sometimes fast and sometimes rather slow and then again cuddle up in silence pretending not to be here.
They could also be sound creatures from the world of Microrobotics who speak to us without communicating, glitching transistor noises in between loudspeakers - no more - no less.

The sounds come to life with the help of selfwritten programs which technically analyse very basic material just like voices or eating noises. But not what the computer hears is interesting - it is the structure that he reads and filters out.
There is movement between the basic material and his representation by the computer - sounds in motion. A broken relation between the computer and the sound material develops.
It becomes vital that from this method of sound production, sounds and sequences originate which have their own rules.
Language appears as pure sound, free from grammar and content. Or in other words: PETS could be an answer to the question - What´s the sound of the things and objects in our surrounding once they emancipate themselves from their functionality?" (Olaf Hochherz)

2004 wurde Olaf von einer Hochschule für Musik vor die Tür gesetzt: Die Ansichten der Lehrenden wirkten seinen Vorstellungen von dem was elektroakustische Musik sein könnte ungut entgegen. Just am gleichen Tag traf er einen Teamangehörigen von naivsuper, und man beschloss dass er seine Musik dort veröffentlichen sollte, da sich hier Ideen von elektroakustischer Musik produktiv begegneten.

Nach nun dreijähriger Produktionszeit ist das Kleinod endlich da!

"Pets sind 5 Stücke einer CD oder der Versuch eine geräuschbasierte Lebensform zu beschreiben. Eine die sich in die Nische zwischen Natur und Kultur zu klemmen scheint. pets sind die akustischen Bewohner von ´nature-culture´, haarige Staubknäul, die erst ohne Grund hin und her eilen und sich dann ganz plötzlich tot stellen. Überlebende also. Überlebende die angeschoben werden, sich aber manchmal selbst bewegen, mal schnell mal langsam, die unerwartet sprechen und unsanft verstummen. Es sind Klangkreaturen aus der Welt der Kleinstrobotik, die uns ihre akustischen Zustände und ihre kommunikationslose Sprache überbringen, durch Lautsprecher und Sprecher, letztlich nur um doch ihre Vergänglichkeit willkommen zu heissen.

Die Klänge enstehen mit Hilfe eines selbstgeschriebenen Programms, welches eine technische Analyse des Ausgangsmaterials (Sprechen, Geklapper und Geschmatze) durchführt. Diese computergestützte Analyse findet aber in einem andern Verständnis von dem was wesentlich an den Klängen sei, statt: Nicht dass, was man hört ist für den Computer entscheidend, sondern die Struktur, die von ihm erzeugt wird. Es kommt also zu einer Verschiebung zwischen dem Ausgangsmaterial und seiner Darstellung durch den Computer. Dennoch bleicht ein gebrochener Bezug zum Ausgangsmaterial erfahrbar. Die Bearbeitung fÜhrt so zu Ergebnissen die willkürlich erscheinen, die aber bisweilen Regelmässigkeiten aufweisen, welche Verständnis vermitteln.
Entscheidend ist, dass aus dieser Methode der Klangerzeugung, Klänge und Sequenzen entstehen, die ihre eigenen Regeln mitbringen. Dies ist auch der Schnittpunkt zwischen den elektronischen Kompositionen und dem Stück, welches den Klang der Sprache herausstellt. Hier zeigt sich Sprache als Klangereigniss losgelösst von Grammatik und Inhalt. Die Grammatik die die klangliche Bewegung in eine Struktur zwängt wird ausgeschaltet und übrig bleibt der Spass einer klanglichen "Willkür".

Anders formuliert ist pets eine Antwort auf die Frage, was die Dinge und Gegenstände unseres Lebensraums, nach der Emanzipation von ihrer Funktionalität für Geräusche und Klänge von sich geben würden.


foxi digitalis

Attention is the name of the game with "Pets". Perhaps the focus is on silence, or quiet pockets of movement within silence. The five tracks here are minimal, often to the extreme. What sounds emerge are glimpses, like water dripping or paper crinkling. (often they also sound like the bodily noises made by jock-turned giant frog Chet in the cult classic "Weird Science," but I digress.) Occasionally there is a louder pulse, and voice, as in the opener, "Omo," and on the final track, "Celine," features a female voice seeming to struggle to read an article in French about that author.

The struggle to vocalize may also prove to be entry into these five tracks.

Germany´s Olaf Hochherz explores the barely there moments of acoustics within void, and your appreciation of that may depend on your tolerance for moments that stay small. He calls these pieces an "attempt to describe a sound-based form of life," and seems to explore that angle at the micro-level. The brokenness of language, and the halting presence of both sound and meaning, make for alternately inspired and annoyed listening. "Pets" presents a natural space that may or may not be a rich space to inhabit. Hochherz challenges the listener both to pay more attention and struggle to keep it. 6/10 (Mike Wood / 8 April, 2008)

Vital Weekly #596

In 2004 Olaf Hochherz was thrown out of the music university of Essen, Germany, but that very day he also met someone from naivsuper, who offered a release of his music, even when it took three years to come to a release of only twenty-three minutes in length. He plays music on a laptop, using programs he built himself. It starts out in a rather noisy vein, with lots of crackles and static, but suddenly there is a female voice to be heard here, and things soften out. From then on until the end piece 'Celine' things are more interesting. Highly academic, even when Hochhertz didn't finish his school. Computermusic of software running amok, but with a lot of dynamics. The tides between loud and soft. I have no idea to what extent this was improvised or composed, but it surely sounds great. A bit like the recent Joe Gilmore CD on Cut. Quite an intelligent release, even when not entirely new as such. (Frans de Waard)

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