Work

Blip Pop

Mikro Orchestra Project, Performance, Plymouth Guildhall, 23 March 2007, commissioned as part of Social Hacking.

Date:
2007

Press START

Level 1 > Score 0

Our generation has been dealing with computers since childhood. We have witnessed an evolution of 8 bit computers into 32 bit ones. Computer technology has grown with us. We would play computer games in our free time.

Level 2 > Score 67

One of the factors in the creation of the Mikro Orchestra Project was irony aimed at the contemporary electronic scene, where musicians compete with technological progress — better and better hardware, more and more complex software. We decided to make a radical step and impose restrictions to create sound with use of the GameBoy console.

Level 3 > Score 174

From the very beginning of working on the Mikro Orchestra Project we have been trying to generate our own sound. Of course we deal with pastiche and appropriation, such as samples from games, but this is not our main aim. On the contrary, our aim is to create living sound, improvisation and game-play. Nostalgia connected with old games only gave us initial direction, and indicated the choice of medium for sound creation. Of course we are not orthodox. We are also active in other music projects exploring different fields of electronic music.

Level 4 > Score 251

We use elements from archives and current pop culture, that in relation to the peculiar choreography of our concerts in which we do not move much at all, creates a kind of anti-performance that makes comment on quasi avant-garde attempts to place electronic music on the stage in contrast to the spectacular concerts of pop stars. We are also inspired by the aesthetic of 8 bit computers and old school games. The kitsch setting of our performances is purposeful, however it would be a mistake to perceive it in terms of any ideology.

Level 5 > Score 287

From a musician’s point of view the GameBoy device is a simple analogue synthesiser, with a raw and at the same time interesting retro sound. While connected with suitable software it can be used as a drum machine or groovebox. The console’s interface is rather limited with only a few buttons, so the sound structures must be simple too. This is also the reason

for having 6 players — the more players make the sound environment more complex. In the context of music, the untypical interface of the GameBoy console helps us achieve intriguing results.

Level 6 > Your score 367

The Mikro Orchestra Project is an experimental audio-visual project, based on the use of GameBoy console as a music instrument. The main assumption of the project’s authors is to create a new sound space based on the tones generated live from the console during the performance. Since 2005 we have been using our own vj-ing software SQJ (http://www.sqjvj.com/). The group has been active since 2001. Their first performance took place at WRO 01 International Media Art Biennale in Wroclaw, Poland, on 5th May, 2001.

GAME OVER

The Mikro Orchestra Project has been inspired by an experimental use of the GameBoy console as a musical instrument. The console, an 8-bit handheld computer with particularly low level technical parameters, provides a creative challenge for generating a new type of sound and visual space in real time, using software specifically developed for this purpose (Nanoloop). The Mikro Orchestra Project does not work as an orthodox group and utilises the latest technologies along with retrograde ones used by musicians associated with the MICROMUSIC society whose slogan is ‘lowtech music for hightech people’.

http://www.mikroorchestra.com/