The Hacking Orchestra

The Unexplored Pitch in the Misapplication of Ordinary Things

What is the “audiovisual character” of a thing? How can we sensually invent, re-interpret, and transform it within the context of a band? In December 2016, students of KISD became “The Hacking Orchestra” and digged deeper into the »principles of misuse« of objects and explored the modes of »instant playing«. The “Hacking Orchestra” invited its students and the public to an audiovisual live set on December 9 2016 at KISD. And as it should be for a real band – there were blenders mixed, wardrobes kicked, razors effected, referee high seats sensorized, marbels synthesized, water amplified, and TVs destroyed.

“The Hacking Orchestra” is a project set up of a wired sound park of found objects, supervised by Prof. Nina Juric and Prof. Andreas Muxel. Students from diverse semesters hacked everyday objects in unusual ways in order to explore their pitch singularities. They enhanced experiences on improvisation with hardware and software. They designed different inputs and outputs, creating circuits, translations, compositions, and notations. They discovered live dramaturgy and proved the affordance of space. In only ten days, they had to find and act together as dialoguing futurists and bizarre musicians.

“From the beginning the students had to focus not only to play and hack, but also to listen to and find ways to interact with each other. For us setting up a band is a vehicle for enhancing communication. Jamming from the beginning – the instant playing mode- was an essential part to force interaction between the band members,“ says Prof. Muxel.

They built instruments to perform, defined a spatial choreography for playing these instruments and finally performed in public for the first time. They discovered not only the sound of noise and rhythm, but also the visual packaging and aspects of distribution for a band.

“The band is not just the music. It sounds easy to jam, but it is quite a big challenge to bring all the elements to a live act in ten days. Creating an impact and an experience for all senses means every detail – like sound, composition, performance, stage, light, objects and its aesthetics- has to be contextualized with each other,“ says Prof. Juric.

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“The Hacking Orchestra, a KISD project, supervised by Prof. Nina Juric and Prof. Andreas Muxel
Teaching assistant: Manuel Alejandro Juarez Saucedo
Participants: Dino Jin Tanaka, Dieter Pilger, Jakob Plöns, Kyosuke Ishii, Martin Samuel Simpson, Stefanie Grawe