Mark Fell: Multistability Q&A

Thu, 04/03/2014 - 5:15pm - 6:00pm
CCRMA Classroom
Event Type: 
Guest Lecture
Please join us for this Question and Answer session with Modulations 2014 visiting artist Mark Fell, moderated by Luke Dahl.  Mark will be performing on Saturday April 5 at CCRMA drawing from his recent complex rhythmic project called Multistability.

About Multistability: The latest project from Sheffield based artist and electronic musician Mark Fell, Multistability is primarily an exploration of erratic and non-regular rhythmic patterns. Drawing equally from his work with snd and his many solo projects Fell’s most recent work promotes a minimal complexity; combining meticulous synthetic chordal layering with convoluted, chaotic yet fundamentally engaging temporal structures.
In the field of Gestalt psychology the term ‘multistability’ refers to the effect where one is unable to perceive a single stable object within complex or ambiguous patterns. A famous example is the Necker cube – a wire frame with no depth cues that oscillates between front back orientations. The term is also found in systems theory where it describes a condition that is neither stable nor instable, where a system switches between different states. Fell takes these as a starting point for his project, developing compositional structures and strategies that transform and transcend the familiar; structures that refuse to accept parental advice.
Split into two halves the album contains two versions of itself. Using what Fell describes as ‘extremely basic’ pattern generating systems, passages reappear throughout... yet these are applied and manoeuvred into parallel versions of themselves – often different sounds and parameters are explored producing no singular or resolved arrangement.
In his recent works Fell’s process has been influenced by his collaborative encounters with friend and fellow musician Yasunao Tone - particularly Tone’s approach to ideas concerning intentionality and time within the context of musical practices. In Fell’s work, deliberate actions are layered, and distorted; manipulated to produce unforeseen and often extraordinary aesthetic outcomes... documented here in the form of 17 related pieces.

Listen to excerpts from Multistability: released on Rastor-Noton.

Artist Bio:  Fell was born in Rotherham in 1966. After leaving school in 1983 he studied Graphic Design and Philosophy at Rotherham College of Art and Technology before going on to Sheffield City Polytechnic where he studied Combined Media on the Fine Art degree programme. Since graduating Fell has developed his practice as a multi-disciplinary artist, working with synthetic sound, light and experimental technologies; bringing together interests in computational technologies, non-musical sound synthesis, oppositional aesthetics, and irregular encounters with time and space.
With a series of different projects ranging from minimal electronic music, to sound installations and audio-visual works, Fell was quickly placed at the forefront of a rapidly expanding area of extreme and independent computer music. His contribution to this field owed much to earlier interests in, and exposure to, structuralist/materialist film; contemporary philosophers - most notably Heidegger and Wittgenstein; as well as his then developing interests in issues surrounding cognition and creativity in the context of computer science, and human computer interaction.  Much of Fell’s work is credited with combining academic, research-based, processes with more popular cultural forms.  more

Also see this recent article from The Wire.

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