In Conversation With bangaloREsidency Artist Felix Deufel
Image courtesy of Felix Deufel
Felix Deufel doesn’t look at music the way most of us do.
The German artist produces noise and ambient music working with a lot of flute recordings and synthesiser sounds which he combines within improvisation sessions and performances.
Through his art, Deufel aka Laszlo explores the idea of spatial hearing which has, in turn, been the main focus of his work over the last few years. Producing and creating audio-visual installations and workshops, the way Felix perceives art is a means to educate rather than to just display.
Image courtesy of Wisp Kollektiv
“I’m building a 3D sound laboratory for Bangalore” Deufel said over the phone. “We’re setting up a speaker system, 30 speakers in total, which will be installed here.” The laboratory itself is an “open lab for artists and musicians to use this technology for their work.” It will allow users of the lab to produce a new form of audio, allowing you to look and hear sound from several directions within a space. “It’s a new way [of] looking at composing music” he explained. “This is the new impact for the art composition. The visual thing, it’s quite common with 3D glasses and the VR stuff is very much advanced.” With the technology for video already implemented in India, Deufel found that there is a gap in the audio aspect of it but he wants to ensure that “it [is] accessible for artists and the workshops they use.”
The 3D Sound Workshop took place in Bangalore between the 23-28 October and was founded by Felix Deufel, Yashas Shetty and Umashankar Manthravadi with support from the The Indian Sonic Research Organisation, Srishti Institute for Art, Design and Technology and Goethe-Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan Bangalore. It was one of the first laboratories for spatial sound in India.
During his stay in Bangalore as part of Goethe-Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan Bangalore’s bangaloREsidency, Deufel has been capturing the city’s chaos of sounds, leading a 3D audio workshop and presenting audiovisual performances with local artists. He came to Bangalore with the intention of setting up the laboratory, following his application, he discovered one of his potential collaborators would be Yashas Shetty, an artist he had met during a residency a few years ago in Indonesia. Deufel reached out to Yashas upon his arrival in Bangalore and they collaborated on a project at REProduce Listening Room in Bangalore, “It was very nice. It was very relaxing and [a] nice atmosphere to play there. It was a lot of fun, it was also the first time that I’ve played together with Yashas.”
Field recordings, a daily part of his life, have been ever-present since his days studying Digital Media Sound at the University of Applied Sciences Darmstadt. Following it up with an MA, Deufel then joined WISP-Kollektiv with his creative partner Paul Schengber. Their first work was ClinK – a project “where interactive behaviours of spectators in respect of 3D audio and 3D visual surroundings were explored and tested.”
Felix, the ever-restless creative, then founded an atelierhouse collective, Kontor 80, in his hometown Leipzig where also the WIsp Studio was opened. He explained: “we needed a place to work, a studio, and I found this whole industrial building and rented it all to people.”
After 2 weeks, he found that he had 30 artists in the building and the entire place was full. With 10 different studios filled with artists across multiple disciplines (musicians, ceramics, painters), it became a hotbed of creativity in Leipzig. They use the main hall for exhibitions, concerts, events and as a workspace, ensuring that there’s not a moment missed where creativity can’t flourish. Since then, he has brought together 60 international artists to collaborate on projects in the digital arts in Leipzig.
Felix has brought this relentless energy to Bangalore, which despite the hardships in getting hardware into the country, he has pursued his goal of setting up the laboratory with a boundless passion; the kind rarely seen.
After he leaves Bangalore, Felix is working on a 3D audiovisual workshop at the end of the year with artists from the collective. But he isn’t yet done with the city, having enjoyed his time in India thoroughly with visits to the beaches and delving into a community that he’s found very welcoming. For Deufel, he hopes that “further collaborations will happen with the opening of the laboratory.”
written by Dhruva Balram