“We humans try more and more to enable machines to think, but at the same time, we try to become more and more mechanic. It’s fantastic in a way, that we permanently expose ourselves to that polarity and conflict.”

Carsten Nicolai who also goes by Alva Noto and Identifies as a musician and sound artist. He was born in 1965 in east Germany, was influenced by socialized technology like the evolution of the tv. He experiments with sound on a physical and conceptual level, subjecting himself to many of these experiments. For example he will expose himself to uncomfortably high frequencies saying that at 1100 hz he experienced a feeling of home. Explaining that the old tubetv give off approximately 1100hz as well, embracing the fact the we are being socialized through television. He enjoys experimenting with how different sound provoke specific feelings, also how sounds can provoke memories, not so different the way smell can evoke nostalgic memories. He finds it challenging to produce unique sounds, but uses sounds like words; instead of inventing new words rather rearranging sentences. He experiments with granular synthesis, a method of taking micro participles “grain” of a sound which still has the characteristic of that sound, in the production of his last album which is under his alternative name Alva Noto. This granular synthesis uses a microsound time scale and complex software. In terms of his installations, he is attracted to using sound within a specific space, believing that acoustics of a space can be just as influential to a person as the people or experience that is taking place. He works with a oscilloscope when working with high/ low frequencies, to see which if  these frequencies existed at all when he was playing them or if he is just imagining it. He finds inspiration in the different wave spaces of each frequency, and works with software that creates “test sounds” and compares those to “natural sounds”. He uses glitches or digital errors, which happen during data transfer, saying “You have no control of what’s happening. There is something going wrong, obviously, but it’s really exciting.”He is interested in this polar conflict between humans wanting technology to think by themselves and humans become more mechanical in our thinking. He has collaborated with Ryuichi Sakamoto, a famous musician/ composer from Japan, and recently had in installation in the Pace Gallery in New York City, the pionier I. 




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