J.G. Biberkopf is an alter-ego of Gediminas Žygus, whose past works and collaborations were exhibited and performed in Berghain (Berlin), Pompidou (Paris), Barbican (London), Paradiso (Amsterdam), The Kitchen (NYC), CAC, Rupert (Vilnius) among others. He was part of the co-ordinating team of Newman Festival 2015, and is part of the coordinating team of Unthinkable Nomos. During October and November 2016, Biberkopf worked on a series of new pieces during a residency at the Spatial Sound Institute in Budapest.
'I started with adapting my previous pieces into a spatial form and it was surprising that my music really worked well without much extra work.' says Biberkopf. 'In fact, a lot of the references that I would struggle to make work in stereo were actually becoming more tangible on the 4D system. They become so much more literal and physical, and therefore more readable by the audience.'
Biberkopf works within the paradoxical relationship between club music and art music. His work is typified by assembling collages spanning a range of influences from dark ecology, sound studies, architecture, media theory, existentialist movements, post-dramatic theatre, grime, musique concrète and more.
'I really appreciated the realistic effect of the system so I tried out different ecological sounds. As an example I’m using a sound of a door in one of the pieces and I’ve located it where the actual door is in the studio space, creating a strange sensation among the listeners. In another scene I could actually believe there are birds above me, but theres no physical body there, so it leaves you with this interesting abstract feeling in the end. There were some moments when I tried to challenge the possibilities. For example, at one point I used sonic 'pictures' from different spaces, around 20-30 of them, and I rebuild them in 4DSOUND as a fast sequence of spaces, letting the audience go through them acoustically.’
His approach to working with sound spatially reflects more broadly Biberkopf’s overall musical practice, namely the urge to compose self-sufficient sound ecologies that cannot be traced back to him as a creator, but that rather seems to originate from the actual environment. In this vein, he works intensively with aural signifiers, taking sounds that are eminent in public sphere, and noises that work as signs or memes, to explore the semiotics of sound.
'I think the 4D system has a potential for extremely amazing club experiences but I think this is something that should be used more for installations because it just offers so many possibilities to create art out of the normal frames, in an unexplored manner that no other sound system could achieve.’
Photo credits: Fanni Fazakas