GOD 10 Winfried Ritsch – ‘Woodscratcher’ picture LP
imageThe woodscratcher is a composition and sound generating machine, which cuts a 2-5 cm thick disk of a wooden trunk in a circular line along the growth rings of the wood. The disc is recorded with 4 pickup-microphones on 4 sides. The movement of the cutting tool,like an over-sized record player needle made of tool steel, is an allusion the production of records as well as playing them.The woodscratcher pretends to extract and play the information which resides in the piece of woodcutting it in an excessive performance. The cutting in the wood is heard as acoustic material with inhomogeneities annual rings by superimposing a loops of the cutting process.With the progression of the cutting process the sounds evolves of the pieces in more and more rubbing and squeezing sounds. The audio signal filter functions of the wood is heard like repeatedly changing formants as a kind of mantra, almost imaging voices in the noise. The composition: With this performances not only the machine as performer is broached as an issue, also the exploration of unknown material is an artistic statement and is also defining the structure and timing of the piece. The aesthetics lies in the excessive performance beyond feasible by a human actor or musician. There are also many possible associations and associative links to the world of music performance: One of them is the sound, the usage of “noise” of experimental music pieces since the 70s. Another link points to the ideas of Herbert Bruen’s computer music project “sawdust”, where the rejection of oscillators as a tone generator for free definition of single small events, repeating with little advances, as a liberation of note-oriented Music generation. With the transition of algorithmic composition to the composition of process as an instrument, this live composition is expanded to the construction of a mechanical machine and an wooden slice,which are a kind the live composer. The cutting process executes the composing and the machine is composed for executing the process of extracting the piece out of the disc of wood while destroying it and defining the audible result of the piece. So composer shifts to a mechanical engineer and inventor of machines and as musician the operator as machinist.


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