Objects of interest is a collaboration between multi media artist Tina Douglas and composer performer Magda Mayas. The project explores materiality and gesture between the visual and the sonic represented through a variety of artistic outputs.
Between 2019 - 2020, Tina Douglas made 4 tactile visual scores, which have been translated into a recording and live performance by Magda Mayas on various keyboard instruments.
The release on Room40 is accompanied by a book with reflections and dialogues on the work process and excerpts from the scores.
This exposition enables the audience to play with excerpts of each of score - Point, Sediment, No thing and Intersect - through clicking on different parts of the image, triggering sonic elements embedded in them, which can be combined and remixed time and time again.
Funded by Musikfonds e.V. by means of the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media
I often enjoy making my own tools and I love using non-traditional materials whether it be via creating stencils, using my hands and fingernails or found objects. I want to invent my own relationship and language with these materials and not have the burden of fine art, because then I have no preconceived idea of what I might do or should do and find it easier to get excited about the possibilities.
With some of the scores I made for you, I made actual stencils based on some of your tools that I then burnished the paper into. I love forming a relationship with tools that is personal, like a first event with the tool, because I am building a relationship with the material and then I am building a relationship with you.
The translation of the visual into the acoustic is a powerfully esoteric practice. For Magda Mayas and Tina Douglas, this nexus of sensory curiosity has provided a perfect point from which they have maintained a decade long conversation around light, vibration and the score as a provocation toward unlocking new approaches and methodologies to seemingly known instruments. On Objects Of Interest, Mayas takes her cues from Douglas’s scores in an exchange of materiality and a dialogue of interpretive acoustics. Together they unlock a dy- namic, but refined interrogation of the piano, clavinet and rhodes expanding these familiar musical objects into points of unfamiliar resonance and unexpected beauty.
Lawrence English, Room40
Tina and I met around 10 years ago in Melbourne through mutual musician friends.
Tina has heard me perform in various context and I have visited her studio and seen her perform on multiple occasions. There was an immediate personal and aesthetic connection and conversations over the years revealed shared ways of working - a collaboration seemed natural and exciting.
We are both drawn to improvisational and intuitive processes and we both use individualized objects or tools to create and develop close relationships with these. For me, it’s a symbiotic process: the objects generate ideas, they afford and limit what I do and structure a piece in a fundamental way. Tina’s scores are very sculptural and tactile - the piano and my objects and preparations in them likewise feel sculptural, tactile, embodied -objects, materials and relationships crossing over.
When I started recording music to respond to Tina’s scores, I had a wish to slowing things down, to expose a certain fragility or imperfection and to let one melody or one chord or one little noise be enough. With the piano you can have such an orchestral approach, and I often do that, but with this collaboration I didn’t feel like I wanted this kind of complexity.
There is a certain fragility that I like about the project and the scores: the fact that they are thin paper scores and I transported them from Australia to Berlin, the cut-outs… it’s all very fragile and beautiful and I kind of felt that I wanted to allow the music to be like that too.
Is a multi-disciplinary artist with an emphasis on painting. Explorations have included DIY conductive painting, constructed works, 3D printing errors and refuse, improvised sound via interactive conductive paintings and felt works, sound reactive video.
Magda Mayas is a performer/composer living in Berlin. Over the past 20 years she developed a vocabulary utilizing both the inside as well as the exterior parts of the piano, using amplification, preparations and objects that become extensions of the instrument itself. Alongside the piano, Mayas performs on different keyboard instruments; Rhodes and a Clavinet/Pianet, an electric piano from the 60s with strings and metal chimes, where she engages with noise and more visceral sound material, equally extending the instrumental sound palette using extended techniques and devices.
Magda: You asked for an intuitive response to most of the scores. How do you work with intuition yourself, in regards to these scores and in general?
Tina: I work predominantly with intuition, but sometimes impose a structure or grid systems to work against improvised intuitive reactions and marks within what I make.
I relate this to the many of the ways we operate in this world, whether it be the structure of architecture, rules, customs, written language, music…