\\Mille Plateaux 
Number 14 
\\VER. MP 44 - RELEASE DATE 10.2000
\\LIST DIR\\                                              °01.LEFT waiting
                                                          °02.  Frames.001
                                                          °03.  Frames.003
                                                          °04.  Frames.005
                                                          °05. Systole.001
                                                          °06.  Frames.002
                                                          °07. Systole.010
°08.There was a girl/there was a boy.DECLAMATION
                                                          °09. Systole.009 
                                                          °10.  Frames.004
                                                          °11. Systole.008
                                                          °12. Systole.004
                                                          °13. Systole.011
                                                          °14. Systole.005
                                                          °15. Systole.006
                                                          °16. Systole.002
                                                          °17. Systole.007
                                                          °18. Systole.003
°19.Entre l'action et le deuil.002
°20.Entre l'action et le deuil.001                        °27.Homeward.002
°21.Entre l'action et le deuil.004                        °28.Homeward.003
°22.Entre l'action et le deuil.003                        °29.Homeward.001
°23.Entre l'action et le deuil.005                        °30.Homeward.004
°24.There was a girl/there was a boy.INTERSEX
°25.There was a girl/there was a boy.WENDY (15 minutes of shame)
°26.There was a girl/there was a boy.ANALSEX       °31.Phase of POST MUSIC
\\LIST DED\\°INTERSTICES° is dedicated to BERND_LENNARTZ, in gracious
appreciation of your years of tireless commitment to Mille Plateaux, and
your continued friendship. I wish you the best as you move onto plateau
number million and one.
\\LIST TNX\\This project was made possible with the kind cooperation of
Ultra-red °Frames.002, Pomassl °Frames.003, Haco & After Dinner
°Frames.004, Hanayo °Frames.005, eureka! °Systole.001 °Systole.009,
Pesco °Systole.003, Funk Shui °Systole.010, Achim ァepanski & Mille
Plateaux, Minoru Hatanaka & ICC.
\\LIST  CRED\\Audio, text, photos and design by Terre Thaemlitz
(Publishing T. Thaemlitz, BMI). Additional photo modeling by Larissa
\\°INTERSTICES°, by Terre Thaemlitz, is the fourteenth installment of
the Mille Plateaux QUEER MEDIA SERIES. A portion of the proceeds from
each record sold will go to support the artists involved. Coming soon,
\\Copyright Mille Plateaux 2000 °MP 94 °GEMA LC 6001
Weserstr. 7 60329 Frankfurt GERMANY °Fon: +49-69/239918 °Fax: +49-69/252280
°Email: ac@force-inc.com °URL: http://www.mille-plateaux.com/
°Released under license from COMATONSE RECORDINGS
°Email: interstices@comatonse.com °URL: http://www.comatonse.com/
\\°INTERSTICES° is produced through processes I call °FRAMING and
°SYSTOLIC COMPOSITION. I have used these techniques several times
before, including in °Residual Expectation from °COUTURE COSMETIQUE°,
°Resistance to Change - Transformative Nostalgia from °MEANS FROM AN
END°, as well as °Liberation Model and °Handsome - Ballad for George
Michael from °LOVE FOR SALE°. A primary goal of °INTERSTICES° is to
outline the relationship between my recurrent use of these processes and
the intended socio-analytical thematics of my compositions, while
attempting to complicate the formalist trappings of an 'album about
process' which plague so many digital synthesis and electroacoustique
\\On a technical level, framing refers to the manual selection and
repetition or deletion of individual sample frames in a digital audio
waveform. \\NOTE 1\\ Depending upon the number of frames in a selection,
repetition can result in an incongruous buzzing sound, or something
similar to an audio delay or time-stretching. Deletion can result in
clicks, gaps and sharp edits. Similarly, as a systole in prosody means
the shortening of a naturally long syllable, systolic composition
procedurally refers to the shortening of sound sources by removing
primary passages in order to create new compositions. It also refers to
a systole as the rhythmic contraction of the heart that pumps blood out
of the chambers - an ostracism of essence.
\\The original sound sources used in °INTERSTICES° include jazz, funk,
rock and country music. The passages most commonly deleted are vocals,
figuratively silencing the dominant discourse within popular music in
order to hear the interstitial sounds at their periphery. However, the
result of this removal of the music's voice, heart, or life blood, is
neither silence nor death. New melodies and phrases arise. Often times
the remnants of a singer's inhalation and exhalation can be heard in the
remaining passages, suggesting emotional, physical and/or sexual
exasperation, and occasionally resulting in the whispering of new words.
As a producer I am not only fond of framing and systolic composition for
the sonic results they render, but because of their conceptual emphasis
of sonic peripheries and moments between dominant melodic contents, as
well as their construction of new words and discourses. In this manner,
the results foster a symbolic relation to non-essentialist identity
politics including Queer pansexuality and transgenderism. \\NOTE 2\\ But
symbolic relations (is that anything like cyber sex?) have a tendency to
remain removed from material exchange, and after going through all of
the motions we may still find ourselves °LEFT waiting... particularly if
we are waiting for the promises of the Left.
\\It is when I begin audio production for a project - when I have
committed to it and claimed the beginning of its identity - that I feel
the most between projects. Like applying the first cold drops of
foundation to my face, there is no moment when I am less masculine nor
less feminine. I can control this sense of loss, determining the precise
moment I enter into it. But the contrary does not hold true. I do not
feel more masculine nor more feminine when I do not apply makeup. Not in
a predictable way. My sense of direction is demarcated by processes of
accumulative abandonment. I collect these interstitial moments,
recalling them like invisible snapshots of past actions that only take
shape when framed by the events which surround them. As I begin
°INTERSTICES°, recent tracks for compilations, remixes, and other audio
files fill my hard drives. The soundfiles are backed up. Some are then
deleted. Others are moved from disk to disk in order to create larger
contiguous blocks of free disk space. °Frames appear in the spaces
between files, composites of beginnings and endings of the files around
them, and the pauses between. Amidst this process of addition and
subtraction, new source materials are also being copied to the drives,
multiplying. There is often not enough room for the entire source
materials to be copied. Instead, they must be reduced to key passages,
becoming °Systole even before post-processing begins. Every now and then
a melody arises, comfortable, overread, suggesting a familiar foundation
for listening which is simultaneously eroded by what I am trying to
construct. They arise like the sound of stubble peaking through my
concealer. Somewhere between foundation and eyeliner, I must reconcile
with this pull between concealment and portrayal. This is the moment of
convolution that exists in action rather than resolution, the moment
that shall be lost through the very arrival at a stage of completion,.
In the end, its elusiveness and absence can depress as much as it
motivates. <<Hélas!>> she bemoans through perched lips while
applying her lipstick, <<... °Entre l'action et le deuil
...>> \\NOTE 3\\
\\My desire for interstitial process parallels my dissatisfaction and
mistrust for conclusions as anything more than moments of demarcation.
Identity is best treated as a strategy for transformation, rather than a
point of arrival for truths of essence. My sense of personal advocacy
cannot rely upon legislation as a means of resolving cultural
disenfranchisement, no more than I can honestly claim having
<<faith in people.>> More often than not, <<doing the
right thing>> means acting in accordance with the Right. The U.S.
has a long tradition of repealing Equal Opportunity initiatives and
other protective legislation with much greater ease than the initial
efforts undertaken to make them pass. Legislation intended to protect
people from discrimination based on race, gender, sexual orientation,
etc., are not only consistently overturned, but often followed by
counter-legislation which prohibits their reintroduction. Hollow
victories occupy the cracks between court hearings. Hollows of air
occupy the distance between my body and feigned punches, jolting hand
gestures, and cries of, <<Hey faggot!>> These pressure
pockets seem to be gathering at my door with increasing frequency.
Audible distortions force their way into my inner ear, to be painfully
transformed into a deafening hush, throwing me off balance with dizzying
nausea. I walk with the grace of an endless series of steps off of a
moving escalator... and my stumbling is not just because of my heels.
\\As usual, my desire to provide details regarding particular sample
sources is compromised by legalities and finances. Unlike written texts
which may contain <<sampled>> passages from other texts
simply by referencing them with a footnote, the clarity of
<<quotations>> in sonic discourse are obscured by the legal
necessity to alter and conceal samples through post-processing. \\NOTE
4\\  Once again, I must find ways to distract listeners from the
foundation upon which my project is built, reluctantly turning to the
unreliable vagueness of sonic poetics, paraphrase, or the wording and
language of a title. My use of systolic composition and other processes
not only informs the content of my work, but simultaneously lays waste
to many of the specifics I set out to discuss by rendering the source
materials less recognizable. I am caught between processes, between
intentions lost and meanings found, between eroded integrity and tedious
justifications for changes in plan, between compromise and shame. I find
myself operating with a sense of self-consciousness similar to that I
feel when aspiring to appear as a woman, yet ever so aware of looking
like a cross dresser - the knowledge that wherever °There was a
girl/there was a boy.
\\Declarations of content and intention become declarations of
appearance, as misleading as they are revealing. An image emerges
between black and white, between the left channel and the right, taking
over until we are unaware of anything but interstitial greys. While I
actively seek to define myself in terms of shades of grey, I am also
aware that the desire to escape dominant binaries can pose the danger of
creating new essentialisms. Once tones are taken to heart, they relieve
us of the burden of multiplicity. In the realm of identity politics,
deeply embraced appearances of gender, sexuality, race and physical
ability can quickly lose their capacity for cultural permutation.
Declarations turn to declamations, superfluous and rhetorical. Most
people ultimately contend that their identities emerge naturally,
mysteriously evolving backwards until with enough age and wisdom they
can see the core of the essence from whence they came. People turn
°Homeward, with all of a home's implications of FAMILIarity that
liberate us from decision by confining us to familiar relations in
familiar rooms.
\\The appearances we so often take for granted, even for scientific
fact, often come at the price of physically altering and concealing the
appearance of others through social ostracism, cosmetic alteration, or
even a doctor's blade. Arguments of biological difference are easily
transformed into biological determinism, conforming concepts of nature
to the images of those they serve. In order to preserve the integrity of
a world outlook, it is easy to lose sight of cultural practice in favor
of human essence, and to confuse a construction of image for a
restoration of the body. For example, processes of vaginoplasty and
other genital construction techniques employed as a <<correction
of nature>> by the doctors and parents of intersexed children, as
well as post-op transsexuals, are more often seen by intersexed persons
as processes of mutilation through which they are subjugated to other
peoples' concepts of <<natural gender.>> Similarly, the same
double mastectomy undertaken by countless female-to-male (FTM)
transsexuals is performed on countless other women for various health
reasons such as breast cancer, yet the psychological counseling both
parties may undergo before and after surgery point to totally different
resolutions of gender - the FTM's procedure is framed as a move away
from a feminine state, whereas non-transsexuals are reassured of their
femininity. It is for this reason that I always advocate discussing
differences - even seemingly immutable biological differences - in
relation to the cultural processes through which we interpret them so as
to account for the fact that one person's nature is another person's
Frankenstein. The cultural sphere of audio production, which loves to
portray music as a universal expression of human essence, is
inextricably linked to this process of physical transformation through
the ultimate post-Modern Frankenstein, Michael Jackson (...and to a
lesser extent through Madonna's over-hyped transformations via hair
\\In my sterile operating room a body of sound lies on the editing
floor, severed from the sutured figures I have produced in my own image.
With the completion of the last soundfile, I enter a °Phase of POST
MUSIC \\NOTE 5\\  marking the death of interstitial process. I must
concede that my persistence in the conventionally formalist and
a-political electroacoustic marketplace, as well as my use of a language
of the body in this project's text and images, may easily betray my
non-essentialist critique of them. But there are professionals ready to
help me with my confusion in this time of loss - the comforting embrace
of colleagues and the counselling of the press. I wait for Mille
Plateaux to administer my fee with mournful anticipation like a widow
awaiting closure to her late husband's estate. With a mascara tear to my
'kerchief, I know it is now time to float this reconstituted corpse upon
the waters of the marketplace, where it will soon be lost in an ocean of
sound.\\END ANAL\\
\\NOTE 1\\ Digital audio waveforms are comprised of a series of
step-like sample frames (as a crude example, the curve of a digital sine
wave is to a <<true>> sine wave like the edge of a round
table-saw blade is to the edge of a dinner plate). The jaggedness or
smoothness of the resulting curve is determined by a soundfile's sample
rate (the number of frames that make up 1 second of audio, expressed in
Hz) and bit depth (also called sample size, the number of bits used to
represent a frame's dynamic range). A higher sample rate means more and
shorter individual audio frames, and a higher bit depth means greater
spectral detail within each frame, resulting in a smoother and more
detailed wave pattern closer to that of an original acoustic sound
\\NOTE 2\\ A discussion of the interrelationship between digital
synthesis and non-essentialist transgenderism can be found in °COUTURE
COSMETIQUE° (Japan: Daisyworld Discs, and US: Caipirinha Productions,
1997). Discussions of digital synthesis and Queer identity can be found
in °LOVE FOR SALE° (Germany: Mille Plateaux, 1999), as well as
Ultra-red's °ODE TO JOHNNY RIO° (US: Comatonse Recordings, 1998) and
°SECOND NATURE° (Germany: Mille Plateaux, 1999). Issues of
transgenderism and Queer identity are combined in °DIE ROBOTER RUBATO°
(Germany: Mille Plateaux, 1997) and °REPLICAS RUBATO° (Germany: Mille
Plateaux, 1999). All of these texts are online in the Listening Material
Archive: http://www.comatonse.com/writings/index.html
\\NOTE 3\\ <<Hélas! Entre l'action et le deuil.>> - Fr.,
trans.: <<Alas, between action and mourning.>>
\\NOTE 4\\ The clearance of audio samples involves two distinct
bureaucratic processes - publishing rights and mechanical rights.
Publishing refers to the notes or musical score of a composition.
Publishing rights are often not controlled by the composer herself, but
by an agency which has contractually assumed the rights to her
composition for a given period of time. Mechanical refers to the actual
performance and recording of a composition, the rights to which are also
typically assumed by a record label or other company. For example, if
both Puff Daddy and Scanner wished to obtain clearance of a sample from
Taco's 1982 techno-pop version of °Puttin' On The Ritz, they would have
to obtain permission from both RCA Records for using sounds from Taco's
recording, and the publishing agency which controls the original song
score written by Irving Berlin. This is further complicated by the fact
that publishing and mechanical rights may be held by different companies
in different selling territories throughout the world (limiting where
Puff Daddy and Scanner may release their cleared sample works), or
rights may be assigned to an entirely different company - or no company
- within a territory after the initial contract term has expired. And of
course, each company operates at their own bureaucratic pace which is
directly affected by their perception of the financial gain to result
from the sale of Puff Daddy and Scanner's compositions. To make matters
worse, the controlling companies seek to protect their investments by
denying clearance for anything that might be considered a
<<misrepresentation>> of the original work, including
over-abstraction. So in this case, Puff Daddy (with a little help from
his label's legal team) will quickly receive sample clearance for his
latest elegy, °Cashin' On The Hitz, while Scanner is left wondering why
nobody has returned his follow-up calls regarding clearance for his
abstract treatise, °Publishin's The Shitz. If Scanner releases his
project without clearance (which you know I think you should, Robin!),
and if the holders of either the publishing or mechanical rights catch
ear of it (typically through printed mentions in the press, not actually
hearing it themselves), they will assess the economic viability of his
release and then decide whether to offer him a post-manufacture
clearance deal, or sue him for fines and/or the destruction of remaining
\\NOTE 5\\ The title °Phase of POST MUSIC is taken from a symposium and
performance series associated with the exhibition °SOUND ART - SOUND AS
MEDIA°, curated by Minoru Hatanaka at the NTT InterCommunication Center,
Tokyo, Jan.28-Mar.12 2000. Among others, participants included Ryoji
Ikeda, Ikue Mori, Carsten Nicolai and David Toop. While the exact
definition of the term °POST MUSIC remains somewhat vague (rather
conveniently so), it is associated with the presentation and reception
of digital audio installations and other non-performative music which
does not conform to established conventions of instrumentation or
staging. As the majority of participants seemed to be invested in a
rather utopian pursuit of the <<advancement of sound,>> there gradually
arose ambiguity as to how their embrace of the gallery space might
complicate or counter their objectives of eluding artistic conventions.
At the same time, some media responses portrayed the °Phase of POST
MUSIC series as a failed attempt to breath new life into performativity,
an association I would attribute to Modernist expectations of the
gallery space's ability to reign in and make sense of abstract gestures.
For myself, it was this unspoken panic over how to gauge satisfaction as
producers and listeners that seemed the common link between the phases
of °POST MUSIC presented.
\\Voice in °Phase of POST MUSIC: <<So da... sore ga kimi no oto da...
kimi no kokoro da.>> - Jap., trans.: <<So... that is your sound... your
heart.>>\\END NOTE\\