Martina Buzzi, working under the name Harmony, is interested in the concept of Harmony as the combination of elements to establish connections. She explores these connections by combining various media and processes, translating social dynamics into musical systems integrated into installations and performances. Her work reflects and examines the connections and gaps between singular elements and systemic functions in personal, cultural, and literary contexts.2022-2024
Martina Buzzi also uses therapeutic techniques such as systemic constellations and somatic experiences in her work, influenced by her background as a healing arts practitioner. She's interested in holistic approaches, balanced with contemporary deconstructive and fragmentary approaches
Kompositionen: When is fiction okay
Is a series of standalone compositions that collectively form a compositional landscape. These compositions intermingle social and cultural events and phenomena with elements from Harmony's daily life. They are interconnected, influencing one another's progression. Harmony often employs samples as sonic material, incorporating their diverse qualities. These processed samples are integrated with other elements to construct an abstract musical framework with functions, rules, and mechanisms. Through deliberate disruptions in the production process, Harmony seeks resonance, enabling the delicate construct to be perceived as a system. Thematically, each piece centers around the concept of fragmentation and its relationship to a broader context, offering personal speculations about relationships within this compositional landscape.
“I scream, I laugh, altered speed, screams shift, I scream, I laugh metal sheets and silver rings.”
Kunsthalle Bern, CH
In the performance “I scream, I laugh, altered speed, screams shift, I scream, I laugh metal sheets and silver rings.” at Kunsthalle Bern, Harmony employs various elements, such as metal rods, glass containers, and other resonators, to make the sounds of laughter and screaming audible through two bass membranes at different speeds. The composition's structure, as outlined in its score, is determined by the unique acoustic properties of the materials used. The specific arrangement of these materials over time defines the chronological progression of the musical events that are performed.
The resulting sonic experience fluctuates between percussive sounds and expressive auditory phenomena, allowing for the perception of both laughter and screaming. This real-time musical composition is captured by microphones and played back through four speakers in the space of Kunsthalle Bern.
Wind of Change
(collaboration with Nikki Buzzi)
Common Ground, Weiertal Biennale, Weiertal, CH
Nicolas Buzzi and Harmony have devised an instrument for the Weiertal exhibition “Common Ground”, that is set in motion by the wind, the instrument places a strong emphasis on the blend of form and function. The stand itself is constructed from standardized components typically used in stage productions, which, in this context, take on a different purpose.
In a collaborative performance at Weiertal, Nikki Buzzi creates abstract sound fragments on the Buchla. Harmony plays the instrument and plays along recordings she made improvising on it the other day, while Climate Change sings and dances in the same landscape.
The song Schwerkraft und Gnade emerged from the personal need to break free from an inherited structural and biographical constraint. Its title is drawn from Simone Weil's book of the same name, where central concepts like force, energy, mechanics, balance, opposition, contradiction, and gravity are reimagined in a particular way of thinking which informed the structure and form of the song. The core musical material of Schwerkraft und Gnade is a sample from Richard Wagner's opera "Die Walküre. " Because in that context Schwerkraft may ultimately symbolizes the physical pull of traditional music with its often unchanging, heavy themes and established forms, while Gnade conveys the transformation of textures from
noise and chaos.
Objects in a systemic constellation during the compositional process.
Loud melancholy is someone else's fantasy
Krach und Klang, Kaskadenhalle, ZHdK
Formally, Loud melancholy is someone else's fantasy, is a collage of an electric guitar solo and two electro-acoustically generated sound parts. The acoustic part of the electric guitar playing forms the entrance to the concert, w
Loud melancholy is someone else's fantasy, is a meditation on grunge, counterculture and transformations. A personal portrait with which Harmony wants to follow a strangely familiar feeling of living in the midst of a world that is slowly falling apart.
Kugelmensch Killing: A Love Story
At the Helmhaus Zurich, in the context of the Werkstipendienausstellung (2022), Harmony showed the installation Kugelmensch Killing: A Love Story, which centers around an electro-acoustic instrument. This consists of four loudspeakers and three stands with cymbals and thunderbolts, which can be controlled by a self-programmed software. In this instrument, it is the overtone spectra of the metal instruments as well as the inherent possibilities of the generated sound spectrum through an electronically designed feedback system and multiple spectral oscillators that create the environment of a recursively organized musical system. The installation further consists of three objects clothed in textiles. These objects are musically activated by Harmony through two performances for twenty minutes each. Dramaturgically, the topos of the spherical man myth is mixed with a shifting sonic spectrum. The millennia-old myth of the "spherical man" from Plato's Symposion, who searches for his matching half in love, still serves as the basis for theories and counter-theories on the idea of love as fusion. In Kugelmensch Killing: A Love Story, the fictional character of the cymbal player, embodied by Harmony, falls in love with the character of the thunderbolt and its overtone spectrum. The two instruments, the cymbal and thunder sheet, complement each other spectrally perfectly. The three characters and their sound materials blend continuously. The initially only conceptually related sound sources and figures transform in the course of the performances into a field of sound and content interdependencies and through continuously growing interdependencies, it becomes more and more difficult for Harmony to control the recursively functioning part of the instrument, namely the feedback element. The balancing of the sonic relationships within the musical layout of the performance series therefore also formulates the musical-dramaturgical course of the two performances.
Some past works
The collection of songs A poem can be understood as the outcome of a series of transformations applied to the proposition "I love you', was created as a reaction to the feeling of living in the last breaths of a world. The collection of songs tries to follow the aesthetics of the loss of close persons. Subjective experiences such as disassociation or depersonalization are terms that describe the dislocation and horror in relation to loss, that is, a transformation of the world that can happen when it comes apart at the seams. It is an exploration of loss as a condition and reality. These three songs are musical-personal formulations of three different ends of a temporal narrative. In the realization of the song collection, the examination of particular temporality, that is, that different people, objects, relationships and their associations in the form of societies have different temporalities and different rhythms in their narratives, was a fundamental formative element.
Listen to (my Sondcloud)
Sirens song of Unity
with Monika Stalder, Jiajia Zhang, Miao Shuyue and Val Minnig as performer
Lange Nacht Interpretationen zeitgenössischer Musik, ZHdK, CH
In Sirens Song of Unity four performers interact through their movements with a computer generated musical composition. The structural and poetic aspects of the performance are inspired by the mythological figures of the Sirens, the personalities of the performers*, and the characteristics and semantics of the staircase as the place where the performance took place. In the creation of Siren Song of Unity, mythological procedures, synthesizing technical methods with semantic meanings, are used to create sounds, costumes, gestures and collective movements. The choreography is inspired by mathematical relationships through which the algorithm was generated. In addition, the spatial dimensions of the staircase influenced and determined the musical and choreographic choices. The frequencies played by the sine oscillators form a scale whose frequencies are generated by a simple mathematical syntax. The generated frequencies are then arranged on an ascending scale. As the sirens run down the scale, they play an ascending frequency. The musical composition is based on a software-generated Max Msp patch consisting of two sound synthesis units, more specifically eight pairs of sinusoidal oscillators with FM synthesis, where the modulators consist of a 16-part additive unit, where these 16 partials can be in either a harmonic or subharmonic relationship. This sound generating device is designed to not only serve the function of synthesizing sound within the performance, but also to allow the patch to serve a structural function through its predetermined design, and to allow the performers* to articulate possibilities of musical variance already contained within the patch through their movements with the sensors. The final musical outcome is in the hands of the performers and depends on their playing and listening.
Costumes and rehearsal for Sirens Song of Unity, 2021
Nikki Buzzi and Harmony (collaboration)
Log Log, 2021, Nida Art Colony of the Vilnius Academy of Arts, Lithuania
In Log Log (click for link), a piece of log and Log Log also stands for log file, an automatically created file that contains a record of certain events. The performance features four performers* using motion sensors to play with an instrument called a paper organ, or, for the sake of technical clarity, four performers* interacting with their movements with computer-controlled activation mechanisms of certain modes of a column of air through a recursive system consisting of a paper tube, speaker, and microphone. The paper organ is a system of microphone, amplifier and loudspeaker that is used as a drive to make certain partial tone mixtures and single modes of the tubes sound in desired duration, volume as well as oscillation and decay. In addition, the system allows variation of the partial tone tuning. A special computer program is used to control the tonal parameters. By using multiband filters and controlling the phase and amplitude of the individual partials, it is possible to vary the tonal responses of this relatively simple system. Although not a component, the underlying element of the paper organ is the feedback between the speaker and the microphone. When a microphone converts sound into a signal, and that signal is in turn converted into sound by a loudspeaker that is sonically connected to the microphone, the system can be made to self-excite. An excitement brought about by physical means such as vibrations, enticing the listener with the experience of being part of a precarious equilibrium system whose articulated relationships are precisely the poetics of the system's movement.
Nikki Buzzi and Harmony (collaboration)
with Li Tavor, Franziska Koch, Miao Zhao and Monika Stalder as performer
In Suspended Gestures, four performers interact with each other through gestures that control synthesized sounds. Their bodies are instruments for orientation in space, augmented by movement sensors that trigger changes and transformations of sound parameters in a special synthesizer engine specialized in generating and playing with acoustic phenomena. The score of the movements, the choreography, is determined by the means of the sounds with which the performers communicate with each other.
Is a group or ensemble that incorporates the vague, the intuitive and also the acoustic research in its practice. Pain is Martina Buzzi, Nikki Buzzi and Li Tavor. Pain was started during Pandemic as a real-time streaming format to play electronic music in variable, artificial spaces resolved through binaural listening with headphones. In Pain, interaction with the instruments is crucial. Through them we compose, listen and play. We interact with spaces and places, theories, temporal structures and an audience, through listening and technologies, through forms of composition and improvisation.
Listen to PAIN
Pain is part of the book Slow Spatial Reader, by editor Carolyn F. Strauss.
Slow Spatial Reader ,looks at "space" through the expanded lens of Slow research. The spaces we are born into, and the ones we move through. The spaces we build, and the ones we imagine. The spaces we make possible, that we hold for each other and with each other. Spaces that inspire and nurture, but also spaces that are contested, disruptive, or uncomfortable.
Summer 2021, Valiz in collaboration with Slow Research Lab | supported by Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds and Creative Industries Fund NL | Pb | 352 pp. | 21 x 16 cm (h x w) | English | ISBN 978-94-92095-97
Pain, series of sweaters, pants and shirts with self-designed typo for Reaktor 21, 2021