His first vinyl LP entitled „Bio, Industrial Acoustica (green)“ reveals compositions from his bio-acoustics and urban noise opus.
Boštjan Perovšek, musician, composer and soundscape artist, composes experimental, electro acoustic music. He specialises in creating bio-acoustic music based on the sounds of animals, especially insects. He plays on his own or with the band SAETA, which performs experimental music. He also creates music for film, theatre, performances and multimedia installations, as well as soundscapes for museums and galleries. He has published a number of CD’s, some as a solo artist, some with the band SAETA. His first vinyl LP entitled „Bio, Industrial Acoustica (green)“ reveals compositions from his bio-acoustics and urban noise opus.
1. Bugs, a walrus and a door start dancing (10:25)
In this bio-acoustic composition Boštjan Perovšek recorded the melodies created by insects, or to be more specific bugs belonging to Sehirus luctuosus, Tritomegas bicolor, Legnotus limbosus, Macroscytus brunneus and Phymata crassipes. He combined the sounds of the bugs with the underwater sounds of walrus (Odobenus rosmarus) Olaf from the New York zoo, which resembles the sounds made by cymbals, the squeaking of the old door at Vodnikova domačija and his own electronic music.
The cooperation between the biologist and researcher of animal sounds Matija Gogala and the composer Boštjan Perovšek started sometime in the first half of the 1980s and continues even today. Bugs, a walrus and a door start dancing was first performed live at Cankarjev dom in 1986 within the frame of Florjan Gorjan's November testimony, and later on it was also published on Boštjan‘s first CD (Touchings).
2. Touchings (9:37)
The second bio-acoustic composition entitled Touchings resulted from the cooperation between the artist and biologists/bio-acoustics experts from the Slovenian Museum of Natural History (Matija Gogala and Tomi Trilar). In this bio-acoustic composition the composer used recordings of the following insects: European mole cricket (Gryllotalpa gryllotalpa), Italian tree cricket (Oecanthus pellucens), Field cricket (Gryllus campestris), Bordeaux cricket (Tartarogryllus burdigalensis), Sickle-bearing Bush Cricket (Phaneroptera falcata), Great Green Bush-Cricket (Tettigonia viridissima) and Solitary bee (Anthophora acervorum). He also included the sounds of Grey Cicada (Cicada orni), Common Cicada (Lyristes plebejus), Pharaoh cicada (Magicicada septendecim) and the vibrating sounds of the American bedbug Euschistus euschistoides, and the Rambur's Pied Shieldbug (Tritomegas sexmaculatus). On top of this he added the buzzing of the mosquito (Culex sp.), the singing of the nightingale (Luscinia megarrhynchos), the sounds of a European tree frog (Hyla arborea) and a choir of other insects and birds. The soul of the composition was contributed by the master with a piano accordion and the synthetic sounds of a Roland D-50 synthesiser. This piece of music was first published in 1992 by the Slovenian Museum of Natural History.
1. Mine (3:20)
2. Drops, clocks and numbers (1:18)
3. Carving and doors (2:47)
4. Radiation (7:36)
5. Underworld maps (4:02)
Listen to LP - FREE OF CHARGE
The bio-acoustic works of Boštjan Perovšek
The attempts to overcome the gap between science and art have lately turned into a popular conversation topic. Both fields of human creativity are a result of our mind, however logical thought dominates scientific work while emotions prevail in art. Neither of these two great mind activities would be possible without original ideas, inspiration and a great deal of knowledge. A work of art has to stir certain emotions or raise the feeling of beauty and harmony within an individual. It is also a fact that scientific discoveries are beautiful in their own way, they have to be in concordance with the previous knowledge and are thus not far from the understanding of artworks. We can usually discover that a lot of effort, work and study into how to achieve the goal can be found behind any great achievement in either field.
Boštjan Perovšek is an unusual Slovenian artist, who is constantly trying to overcome the gap between science and art, and he chose the music field in which to do this. I guess we are all aware that sounds from nature can stir strong emotions in us, as I am sure you remember the bird song in spring, the sad cricket song in the autumn or the persistent cicada song in the summer, somewhere at the seaside. Of course this is often linked to our associations with pleasant or at least strong experiences from the bygone days. Thus it is not surprising that numerous artists have used the sounds from nature as a sort of soundscape, which should create a certain feeling within the listener and possibly cover up the unpleasant sounds of modern civilisation that surround us. In some cases such sound recordings became true “bestsellers”, for instance the recordings of humpback whales, which could also be bought in Slovenia. In most cases the creators of these sound recordings merely selected the original recordings, maybe cleared them of the unnecessary noise and placed them in a certain order which had the appropriate effect on the listener. Sometimes they also used electronic tools that moved these sounds into higher or lower frequencies, modulated their timing or changed them in some other way.
Boštjan Perovšek went one step further, for he composes sequences of natural, mainly animal sounds into a “bio-acoustic composition ”, in which individual recordings have the role of instruments and performers in a complex polyphony. The composer often adds other sounds from the everyday life or electronic synthetic sounds to this basic sound structure. He ends up with extremely interesting works (for instance Touchings, Touchings II), which were used as soundscapes in various natural science exhibitions. In my opinion these compositions work best when they are accompanied by live performances by musicians, an experience that can be witnessed at various SAETA concerts or that could be witnessed at the concert next to the Tivoli pond a few years ago, at which even the frogs joined in when they heard the bio-acoustic sounds enriched by the playing of the soloists.
Between music and sound
This especially written text carries a title that immediately, but still in a very general way, marks the contents of the majority of Perovšek's works. However, already in the very next step I will focus on [b] side of his current album, which represents a selection of his music - which could according to its origin, content and intent be defined as film music - and this will significantly narrow down our discussion, its basic intent and meaning. Only with such premeditated limitation will I dare to expand upon my initial thoughts. As a film practitioner I need to remain concrete, almost on an elementary level. I need to know how to draw a clear division between the basic film elements, which present a necessary and sufficient condition for making and experiencing a film, i.e. for it to become established as well as for its entire and summarising effect.
Basically, we are dealing with moving pictures and sound. However, in contrast to picture we do not need to add the adjective moving to sound, for movement is one of its main characteristics which per definitionem places it into true duration, while the picture is a priori still and not conditioned by time. Pictures become moving and time-defined only when they are set into a visual series and reproduced in a typical film paradigm.
There are no intermediate forms between sound and picture that would hypothetically or practically lead to a point at which we should conclude that we are watching and listening to simultaneous sound and picture. In opposition to what is impossible to achieve in the sound-picture relation, i.e. an intermediate form or even concurrence – this simultaneous is taken for granted in the sound-music relation. Music in itself is sound, and some have reduced and simplified its definition to the point at which they state that music is in fact merely organised noise. Regardless of the fact whether we have something to add to this or not, I should state that the aesthetics of the 20th century music invention often more or less conceptually consistently moves within the area of this broad definition. I have to immediately add that film enables a certain concurrence of sound and picture. This is a necessary concurrence in the reliving of the experience. It is only when sound and picture skilfully merge that we become aware that we also heard music in the film sound layer. However, while reliving the experience - which is a result of the fusion between the visual and sound effects – the music has surpassed itself and shut itself down for the sake of a more general feeling and in support of the overall narrative flow. Due to the original proximity to the original sounds Perovšek's film music makes this even more possible.