For #otherbeats, Marcel Zaes prompted participants all over the world during the pandemic to send him self-made recordings of rhythms, beats and “alternative metronomes.” The collected archive of “social” rhythm along with visual ephemera by the participants and with the addition of few synthetic sounds and images constitute the material from which the piece is made. These materials, in #otherbeats, exist in a hyper mediated form. They are organized, (re-)mixed, made navigable for the user and are filtered in real-time directly on the web, in the user’s browser, with the use of HTML and the Web Audio API. With #otherbeats, Marcel Zaes balances the ethics of archival-participatory work with the presence of an artistic-aesthetic agenda. He creates a space in which multiple approaches to rhythm-making coexist. The rhythms collected are mostly human made, yet they often hold ambiguous positions between regular and deviant; between time grid and rhythmic shape; and also, between rhythmic foreground and surrounding background ambience. For NIME 2021, Zaes decided to present #otherbeats in the form of a concert performance in which he takes the audience on a guided tour through the piece. Feel free to explore the piece on your own at https://otherbeats.net.
This piece is made in, and made for, the pandemic. It functions fully online, as a standalone website that is compatible, to date, with new versions of Chrome and Firefox, but by no means with Safari. The artist will present the web-based sound piece in a concert performance where he takes the audience on a tour through the piece and will subsequently invite the audience to check the piece out on their own at https://otherbeats.net. Potential durations for the concert are quite flexible, they range from a minimum duration of 10 minutes to ideally 20-25 minutes up to a 45-minute “extended” version.
The accompanying media clip is an excerpt from a performance that I did recently.
Thanks to all #otherbeats participants who have volunteered and contributed audio recordings, photo and video, all of which constitute the material from which #otherbeats is made. Their names are listed at https://otherbeats.net/about.