Staccato Death/Life.

Nuhn, Ralf (2003) Staccato Death/Life. [Artefact]


This project transposes ideas and experiences from Nuhn's previous composition and performance practice – which revolved around collaborative improvisation projects and the use of everyday objects as sound sources as well as sculptural objects – into a computer-automated sound sculpture which can ultimately perform itself. By eliminating the necessity of a human performer Nuhn aimed to create a situation in which the sounds produced can be solely appreciated according to their sonic characteristics rather than being ‘diluted' by the presence and (musical) interpretations of a performer. The collaborative aspect of his previous practice has been translated into an online call for (musical) algorithms which has been responded to by composers from all over the world. The different algorithms are selected randomly by the computer and determine the sonic pattern of the sculpture.

This project has become particularly important to Nuhn in hindsight, because the extremely palpable relationship between the computer and the sculptural/sonic part of the artefact has strongly inspired his subsequent research.

A video documentation of Staccato Death/Life is available at:

Staccato Death/Life was awarded a First Prize (category 5: work for installation or environment) at the 29th International Competition of Electroacoustic Music and Sonic Art, Bourges (F) in 2002. A video documentation of the work was published in 2006 by IMEB/UNESCO/CIME on a DVD compilation, featuring the 2001-2005 competition winners (LDC 278 079/1).

Staccato Death/Life has been exhibited internationally at three venues:
• Syntèse - International Festival of Electroacoustic Music and Sonic Art, Gallery La Box, Bourges/France (06/06/2003 – 15/06/2003).
• MAXIS II - International Festival/Symposium of Sound and Experimental Music, ICSRiM, University of Leeds/UK (10/04/2003 - 13/04/2003). See:
• 54 Degree North - International art exhibition, 54oN warehouse, Hull/UK (01/03/2003 – 31/03/2003). See:

Item Type: Artefact
Additional Information: Installation at the V & A National Museum of Childhood, 2003.
Research Areas: A. > School of Art and Design
Item ID: 487
Depositing User: Repository team
Date Deposited: 14 Nov 2008 16:59
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2016 14:11

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