remote live stream at dawn

This morning I noticed that about one hour before the sunrise the stars are already starting to fade and there is light appearing at the east. It comes as a slight dissapointment, today. Looking into this feeling I realize I’m drawn to the idea of that particular time of darkest night and the moment of very first appearance of light, and then further more the whole process, the whole phase, up until the first rays of the sun hit the surface of your face. Only once in my life I have experienced that kind of strike, when sun was rising up from behind a mountain in New Zealand – I was cycling around south island with nothing but a tent – and I just climbed out into the fresh morning and was looking and anticipating the appearance of the sun, and there it was, it shot its first ray into my eye, suddenly, like a switch. This stands in opposition to a slow blur of the dark night, slow fade of the stars, a much less sudden transition from the darkest night to something only slightly brighter that is starting to flicker at the east.

Of course, there is an obvious metaphor lingering in the background of all this. It’s simple, I guess. It’s a yin/yang type of thing. You know it: there’s darkness, and there’s light on this world, and they coexist and depend on each other in their definition. And on the surface it seems just like a general idea, abstracted from everything. Perhaps this generalization makes the transition between the two so interesting. The transition actually lasts for almost two hours, more or less, and twice per day. What if this transition is that ‘true’ metaphor which points more accurately at the meaning of a life? What if an idea of a perpetual, though dynamic and always changing, struggle at the in-between day and night is a much more potent concept through which to comprehend and make sense of our fragile lives on this planet?

Despite the fast approaching and already visible light I drove into the night. The sky was clear, the road was wet from the rain that must have stopped only few hours ago. I was on route I have taken already twice before, discovering, researching, rehearsing. This, the third time, was the premiere. With such a project – that requires getting up at 3AM in the morning – regular routines are disrupted. But I feel, and perhaps it’s a personal thing, this happens in a good way. It might be so because it’s closely connected to certain cycles of natural world that we are forgeting about. This connection to the movement of celestial body such as the earth, to light and sound events that happen only within certain timeframe, are causing a disruption that is welcome. A disruption you didn’t know you actually needed.

I was right on time with everything. About five minutes before the start of the performance I had everything in place, running: The ZOOM H2n recorder on the roof of my car, functioning as a USB sound input device, software running: jackd, SuperCollider, DarkIce streaming client, WiFi over phone mobile data connection, chat open, headphones, coffee. Not many moments before official start and I had to concentrate. I left the original sound of birds waking up for a while, then livecoded the sampling this live sound into the buffers which was then granulated and slowly brought up into the background. I played around with code without making abrupt changes. But slowly the soundscape morphed into an uneasy and eerie dark background drone.

complete recording

The day was getting born. There were clouds but also sun. Very dramatic. After 45 minutes I stoped the performance, logged out, stoped the stream, closed my laptop, and stretched my legs. I was sitting in the car the whole time with laptop in my lap, tucked between me and the steering wheel. It was a weird feeling. I knew there were listeners, but they were all remote. And I was remote too. Here was grass, sounds of the mineral, plant and animal worlds. And the remote world, the interconnected but untouchable meat-space of each and everyone, someplace somewhere, logged-on, plugged-in. Connected. But how connected? Real or unreal? That’s probably irrelevant question.