The Festival Experimentelle Musik is a music festival in Munich, organized by Stephan Wunderlich and Edith Rom, that has been held annually in December since 1983. One of the festival’s unique characteristics is the way the performances are organized: Each is limited to 20 to 25 minutes and all take place in direct succession without pauses, on previously set-up small stages.
In 2017, Seiji Morimoto and Yan Jun performed after each other. Seiji’s piece was called “ring + balance”, he used small speakers, microphones and amplifiers on a table to create feedback rings that were eventually distorted by alarm clocks. Yan performed “solo with background” in which he sat on a chair making vocal and body gestures and had two audience members announce the elapsed time every 3 or 5 minutes, respectively, according to their own inner clocks.
As a spectator, I felt that the two performances had something in common. Their very quiet and experimental nature – in the sense that it was impossible to anticipate what would happen and when, if at all – made the audience listen not only to the sounds but also to the situation that had been evoked. When I met Seiji a few weeks later in Berlin, it turned out that he had a similar feeling. We asked Yan and the idea was born to make a split LP of both recordings.
Edition of 300. The performances were recorded by Albert Dambeck and carefully mastered for vinyl by Werner Dafeldecker. Audience noises are an intended part of the recordings.
Seiji Morimoto (b. 1971) is a Japanese sound artist and performer living in Berlin. He is interested in uncertain acoustic appearances between usual objects.
Yan Jun (b. 1973) is a Chinese musician and poet based in Beijing. He works with field recordings, electronics, voice, body movement etc.: sometimes funny – always simple.