Ahead of their upcoming October and November tour dates, Sheffield’s 65daysofstatic have shared results from their recent exploration into new ways of harnessing algorithmic music techniques in the form new track ‘Z1’. The band state:
“We’ve been busy trying to write music that isn’t also a song at the time. So – here is some brand new music from us. It is a live take of some machines we made to make music like we make, except in ways we might not have thought of ourselves.
At this point there is probably hours of 65 audio that these machines have churned out. We’ve alienated ourselves from our own creative production. Full automation, a Fordist’s dream. And you all thought 65days weren’t commercially viable! Well, you were dead wrong. We’ve solved music now, so are currently looking into franchising options. Hit us up if you’d like to run your own 65daysofstatic branch locally. Also give us a shout if you’re a venture capitalist billionaire who still thinks technology will save us from Full Spectrum Doom, we will take your money and buy lots of drum machines.
Look here instead. It’s a video of a new 65 song manifesting itself. Is it a true representation of the algorithmic process or a reverse-engineered illusion of the algorithmic process? Is the fact that we wonder about this difference a sign of the importance we attach to oblique creative processes as a valuable defence against the endless demand for content, or is it actually evidence of how capitalism has ruined our imagination to the extent that we can only perceive music in fixed commodifiable forms instead of endless streams of potential? Or is it the reason we don’t get invited to many parties any more?
Just kidding we never really got invited to any parties.”
Decomposition Theory Live
12.10 AMFest, BARCELONA | TICKETS
14.10 Paradiso, AMSTERDAM | TICKETS
27.10 Funkhaus Kultursaal, BERLIN | TICKETS
19.11 The Contemporary, NOTTINGHAM | TICKETS (support from Johanna Bramli)
20.11 Village Underground, LONDON | TICKETS (support from Johanna Bramli)
21.11 Band Studios, BRISTOL | TICKETS (support from Johanna Bramli)
22.11 CCA, GLASGOW | TICKETS (support from Johanna Bramli)
23.11 Howard Assembly Room, LEEDS | TICKETS (support from Johanna Bramli)
24.11 Sage 2, GATESHEAD | TICKETS (support from Johanna Bramli)
“We’re really excited to announce a run of special A/V shows around the UK as part of our ongoing Decomposition Theory project. Each show will be a unique, live collaborative performance with generative music algorithms we made. When we started this project, it was a way to try and imagine better futures from the mire of the outmoded music industry… Automation as emancipation, not alienation!
Didn’t turn out that way though. We don’t trust the thoughts we’ve coded into our machines. They don’t trust us either.”
19-Nov Nottingham, The Contemporary
20-Nov London, Village Underground
21-Nov Bristol, Band Studios
22-Nov Glasgow, Centre for Contemporary Arts
23-Nov Leeds, Howard Assembly Room
24-Nov Gateshead, Sage 2
DECOMPOSITION THEORY: LIVE ALGORITHMIC A/V PERFORMANCE
Fresh from their critically acclaimed, infinitely-long and decidedly non-linear soundtrack to the universe-sized No Man’s Sky video game, and as active contributors to the burgeoning live-coding and ‘algorave’ scenes, with Decomposition Theory, 65daysofstatic are once again refusing to be easily categorised.
Inspired by the ‘show us your screens’ attitude of live coders, their Decomposition Theory A/V show uses generative visuals to reveal the inner workings of 65’s musical algorithms. The code flashes by, logging every musical event as the band curate and sculpt the generative output in realtime. The musical process, not the band, is placed front and centre.
Decomposition Theory is 65’s effort to imagine a space where music no longer has to take the shapes it is so often coerced into taking. In their own words:
‘Why are we doing this? No doubt, 65 are a long way from the frontline in any kind of struggle against capitalism and the abyss of a future it’s driving us toward. But perhaps there’s a minor supporting role in trying to imagine better futures. We are not railing against recorded music or albums or regular live shows, or what it can mean to be a band. However, these are all commodified forms. Almost all the ways anyone can relate to music these days are mediated through capital. Because we exist in relation to capital. We’re all drowning in it. It’s almost impossible to think outside of it. And so Decomposition Theory is some small effort to imagine a space where music is no longer shaped in commodity forms, and a live show doesn’t emphasise the ritual of performance. We are un-songing our songs and un-performing on stage.’
This is ambitious, utopian thinking from a band at the top of its game.
- Sheffield’s 65daysofstatic show no signs of slowing down. They have spent fifteen years establishing themselves globally as a relentless touring band. They have made seven studio albums, soundtracked contemporary dance, scored films and created site-specific A/V installations. In 2016 they released the critically acclaimed soundtrack to the video game ‘No Man’s Sky’: an ‘infinitely long’, dynamic, generative score that responded to the player’s actions. Then they toured a live version of it around the world.Decomposition Theory or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Demand the Future is a major new work from 65daysofstatic that will premiere at Algomech Festival in Sheffield. There will be three performances 9th – 10th November 2017, each one different.Decomposition Theory sees 65daysofstatic exploring new ways of harnessing algorithmic music techniques in the context of a live band performance. It focuses on custom-made procedural audio processes, generative music programs, and live-coded noise. By composing processes rather than finished songs, 65 can ‘decompose’ them again onstage. Processes can be combined, rewritten, manipulated or ignored. Each performance will be a unique curation of algorithms, coded by 65daysofstatic to generate live music for them.Decomposition Theory is a live collaboration between the humans and their code-based counterparts. It is 65daysofstatic becoming cyborg, demanding a future where we control the algorithms, not the other way round.