The multinational Sensorband ventures where few projects dare, engaging the arena of interactive music making. Group members Edwin van der Heide, Zbigniew Karkowsi, and Atau Tanaka take the stage outfitted with rope-rigged harnesses and custom devices that translate gestures and movements into data for real-time digital interpretation as synthesized sound.
Tanaka's BioMuse provides input in the form of neural readings; Van der Heide's MIDIconductor transmits ultrasound signals that relate the position of his hands; Karkowski "plays" by gesticulating with his arms, disrupting an unfixed infrared field that surrounds his body. Sensorband's acts of bodily music manipulation are ideally experienced live, but AREA/PULS proves the unique project no less captivating on record. The triplicate pulse-wave fluctuations of "Digital.1" and "Digital.3" invite comparison with Ryoji Ikeda's modulated sine streamings or with the coarse electronic expressions of Pan Sonic's garage-built tone generators. "Analogue" charts extremely gradual developments as a half-hour stretch of electroacoustic sound is broken down into its constituent pulses and waves. Sensorband renders the exceedingly patient transformation with riveting results, recalling the work of such academic minimalists as Alvin Lucier. The highlight, however, is "Digital.2," wherein the warble of oscilloscopic birdsong strikes an oddly affecting note of electronic impressionism.