The Wire


Listen to Tobias Freund and Valentina Berthelon's new project Recent Arts

March 2016

Stream the self-titled release from Tobias Freund and Valentina Berthelon working as Recent Arts

Recent Arts are a duo formed by Chilean visual artist Valentina Berthelon and German musician Tobias Freund. Using a Max/MSP based application Freund helped create and develop with Max Loderbauer and Tom Thiel, Recent Arts operate as an audio visual project, manipulating sound and image in real time during their stage shows.

“It is a ‘Loop Based Computer Controlled Engine' that repeats and processes sounds in a free and natural way,” explains the label. “[It] feels like listening to the flowing water of a creek, or to the sound of the wind. Repetitions are constantly being modulated, no patterns are the same. In addition, the musical structure is combined with a full range of analogue synthesis to achieve a wide spectrum of frequencies.”

The first track “The History Of Darkness” is also the title of a concept created by the duo. It claims to take the listener on a trip “from the past to the future of perception, using sounds and images of the universe", as Recent Arts explain. “Often, science research provides data that display strong aesthetic aspects: images of microbiology, astrophysics, geology or mathematics for example. In our project we capture diagrams, drawings and photos from historical astronomy books (most of them in black and white) to create vibrant animations. Many of these original images are technical diagrams explaining physical processes. They describe for example the motion of planets and their satellites and the effect these movements have on our own planet.

“The photo The Blue Marble, taken on 7 December 1972 by the Apollo 17 crew, is an emblematic image of astrophysics that had a strong impact on people," they continue. "This image was the first complete view of the Earth from space. For the first time people could have an outside view of the Earth without any connotation of political or territory divisions – divisions that seem so important for many.

“The goal of this project," they conclude, "is to highlight the beauty and simplicity of low fidelity material.”

All tracks written and produced by Tobias Freund, with artwork by Valentina Berthelon. Recent Arts is released by Non Standard Productions on 30 March.

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