Hearing • Overhearing

auditory remembering and the importance of context
past · present · future


the importance of context -
consider the power of "remembering" the place, time, and cultural circumstances surrounding any historical event...
  • consider the historical setting and the original "context" of the sounds i weave into these modern pieces. if you listen closely each recorded snippet betrays something about the era in which it was captured - era-specific clues, the likes of which date back to the earlier part of the last century. some of the most striking artifacts reveal themselves in the use of pedestrian language. patterns of speech (even colloquialisms) betray something about the collective ethos of the time of the recording. allow yourself to experience their illuminating imperfection. unadorned imperfection can be far more interesting than the perfect. reimagined imperfection can inform a reassessment of what is perfect; what is interesting.
  • hear differently. when listening to something anew it's very much like remembering historical events with fresh recollection.
  • these remembrances are especially vivid if the past event occurred within ones lifetime. even if the 'heard event' occurred outside the limits of ones natural life, the confrontation can still confer meaning.
auditory remembering -
consider how sound has the power to create vivid imagery that you cannot see with your eyes; mental pictures that capture impressions of spaces and places that can only be revealed again through auditory "remembering." this is what i call "contextual playback" - a process of listening that enables reimagining and revisioning that transcends time through the use of found sound and vintage recordings...
  • listen differently. these pieces exagerate loosely connected themes through the examination of vintage recordings, found sound, unidentified voices, sonic appropriation, time misalignment, happenstance, and curious accidents. in this sense exploitation aids exploration. exploration leads to discovery/rediscovery.

Hearing • Overhearing

new releases · past · present · future

One hundred and fifty feet
above the ground

track released 2020. vintage recording. watch Bandcamp for more information: steveholec.bandcamp.com/releases.

I worked
nights

vintage recording 1940 / contemporary composition 2020. watch Bandcamp for more information: steveholec.bandcamp.com/releases.

Ich Weiss Nicht
Was Soll Es Bedeuten

heinrich heine wrote the poem "die loreley" in 1823, and composer friedrich silcher put the words to music in 1838. this is a 1940's found sound vintage recording alongside contemporary ambient electronic soundscape. watch Bandcamp for more information: steveholec.bandcamp.com/releases.

Trying to make it
a man's world

1950's found sound vintage recordings embedded in a new musical composition. watch Bandcamp for more information: steveholec.bandcamp.com/releases.

Psycho
Xylophone

original recording from an upcoming release incorporates vintage found sound. watch Bandcamp for more information: steveholec.bandcamp.com/releases.

Rhythm
Machinery

original recording from an upcoming release incorporates vintage found sound. watch Bandcamp for more information: steveholec.bandcamp.com/releases.

Red

track released 2020. vintage 1950's red scare commentary. watch Bandcamp for more information: steveholec.bandcamp.com/releases.

Letters From Vietnam

includes vintage recording from 1967 with contemporary composition 2020. watch Bandcamp for more information: steveholec.bandcamp.com/releases.

Hey Gordy

found sound vintage telephone answering machine recordings alongside contemporary ambient electronic soundscape. watch Bandcamp for more information: steveholec.bandcamp.com/releases.

Build that Wall

found sound cb radio recordings embedded in a new musical composition. watch Bandcamp for more information: steveholec.bandcamp.com/releases.

White Christmas 1964

a glimpse into the world of white america - christmas 1964. watch Bandcamp for more information: steveholec.bandcamp.com/releases.

Crying

original recording from an upcoming release incorporates vintage found sound. watch Bandcamp for more information: steveholec.bandcamp.com/releases.

He's Touched Ya

incorporates vintage recording of 1950's faith healer. watch Bandcamp for more information: steveholec.bandcamp.com/releases.

Home Visits

includes vintage recording from 1960's with contemporary composition from 2020. watch Bandcamp for more information: steveholec.bandcamp.com/releases.

It Should But It Doesn't

found sound vintage recordings alongside contemporary ambient electronic soundscape. watch Bandcamp for more information: steveholec.bandcamp.com/releases.

Swedish

found sound vintage recordings from unknown scandinavian country embedded in a new musical composition. watch Bandcamp for more information: steveholec.bandcamp.com/releases.

Missing The Big Picture

vintage found sound glimpse into the world of 1950's american war ideology. watch Bandcamp for more information: steveholec.bandcamp.com/releases.

On The Beach

original recording from an upcoming release incorporates vintage found sound from the 1940's. watch Bandcamp for more information: steveholec.bandcamp.com/releases.

Small Sounds

amplifying the unnoticed · studies in hearing differently
live performance · audience collaboration


amplifying the unnoticed -
explore the big world of 'small sounds' - the mundane, the ordinary, the nearly inaudible...
  • small sounds - amplifying the unnoticed focuses attention on sounds that would ordinarily be inaudible or so commonplace that they are easily overlooked.
  • hearing sounds that might ordinarily escape your attention is quite like looking into a powerful microscope and observing something infinitely small in great detail.
  • what do the fluttering wings of a butterfly sound like?
  • can you hear the sound of a baby sleeping?
  • if you listen closely enough can you hear the sound of marching ants?
  • does an ordinary kitchen appliance have a sonic personality all its own?
studies in hearing differently -
learn to 'listen closely and hear differently'...
  • experience a live performance that showcases the big world of small sounds!
  • attendees are encouraged to contribute recorded materials that will be used in the event live performance.

Healing Creativity

bringing the arts to healing · bringing healing to the arts
performance · workshop · seminar


bringing the arts to healing -
explore the many ways the arts play a role in healing...
  • music therapy, art therapy, dance and physical rehabilitation, creative writing and journaling, operatic performance and vocal rehabilitation.
bringing healing to the arts -
investigate the potential avenues for bringing the arts and artistic expression to a place of greater wholeness...
  • studies in group dynamics and its usefulness in mending relationships in performance settings.
  • dialogue groups dedicated to nurturing creative pursuits and professional career development.
  • support organizations whose mission is to educate, advocate, and champion the arts.

Future Programs

performances · workshops · seminars · events · guest appearances

Break a Leg!

a modern day soap opera, or how seduction, romance, intrigue and betrayal are at work in the lives of everyone!

Vincent, Pablo, & Georgia

vincent van gogh, pable picasso and georgia o'keeffe...the striving against conformism in the creative personality.

Fathering the Unthinkable

masculinity, technology and the race for moral superiority. waging war against "feminine" values, women and "female" nature.

New World Man

the future belongs to · new world man · new world woman · cultivating creativity in the modern world.

Hold Your Fire

art holds the power of passion · passion holds the power of art · exploring the zoetic life of the creative.

Group Dynamics

perceptions shape outcomes · the simple (and not-so-simple) psychology of working together...effectively!

Art · Invention

works in progress · creative curiosities

The Drone

eight foot long 24 string drone instrument


during the early 1960's the late Jon Lazell conceived and fabricated an original stringed instrument he called 'The Drone.' the first iteration was a gargantuan length of "L" angle iron scavenged from metal scrap upon which Lazell affixed a series of tensioned wires tuned monotonally. Lazell 'played' The Drone much like an immense lap steel guitar; dragging pieces of cast-off metal bar along the length of the strings producing an otherworldly sound. eventually Lazell would redesign The Drone; fashioning it from a length of metal box beam taken from the structural frame of an 18-wheel trailer. the redesigned version was amplified through the use of custom hand-wound electromagnetic pickups conceived and designed by Geoff Cook who would later go on to greater and greater feats of invention; ultimately establishing a relationship with Jerry Garcia of The Grateful Dead. my redesign of The Drone relies on a custom tuning system I developed in order to stabilize string tension and facilitate ease of setup. additionally, my instrument sports a combination of old-school electromagnetic pickups, modern piezo-electric pickup technology, and a gigantic electroacoustic sustainer which excites the strings and keeps them in an infinite state of vibration.

the drone - audio preview coming soon!

Intonarumori

revisioning an italian futurists 100 year old design


Intonarumori are the invention of the Italian futurist Luigi Russolo. between 1910 and 1930 Russolo produced 27 varieties of Intonarumori; each a different size and identified by unique names. Russolo built these instruments in order to perform his groundbreaking musical compositions outlined in the Art of Noises manifesto. the instruments were entirely acoustic, lacking any electronic means of amplification. the boxes employed various types of internal construction expressly intended to produce different types of noise. most common to his design approach was an internally rotating wheel driven by a hand-operated crank which touched a string attached to a drum. the wheel rattled or bowed the string while the drum functioned as an acoustic resonator. many of the instruments featured a movable lever on top of the box which was used to vary the string tension. pulling the handle raised or lowered the tone, and the horn attached to the exterior of the box amplified the resulting sound much like a megaphone. Intonarumori ('noise makers' in Italian) made noise, but not at great volume since they were all simple wooden acoustic devices. my reinterpretation of Russolo's Intonarumori is fabricated from aluminum, sports several electronic gadgets, makes use of an additional assortment of kinetic noise-making apparatus, is amplified with a variety of modern contact microphones, and is still operated in the spirit of the great Italian inventor: by turning a hand crank.

intonarumori - audio preview

The Weltschmerz Machine

disquieting sounds from inside a vintage suitcase


translated from the German, weltschmerz denotes a general sense of anxiety; an all-pervasive atmosphere of dread and cold-blooded angst. the Germans certainly have a way with words. the dictionary says it this way: weltschmerz [velt-shmerts]. noun, German. 1. sorrow that one feels and accepts as one's necessary portion in life; sentimental pessimism. 2. sadness or melancholy at the evils of the world; world-weariness. 3. "pessimism about life," 1875, from German weltschmerz, coined 1810 by Jean Paul Richter, from welt "world" + schmerz "pain". popularized in German by Heine. origin of weltschmerz: literally, world-pain. the weltschmerz machine was conceived as the ultimate 'disquiet box' - purpose-built to send a shiver up your spine. residing inside a vintage swiss suitcase, the weltschmerz machine is used in recordings and live settings.

the weltschmerz machine - audio preview coming soon!

Back From Tomorrow

reimagining frippertronics


when I began to compose and perform music during the early 1970's I did so with an interest in bringing a sense of "experience" to the occasion. that led me to endless experimentation with all manner of musical instruments and obscure gadgetry. for me, it was all about theater and a sense of the dramatic; music wasn't simply something you performed or listen to. music was an immersive moment in time. although I enjoyed musical training very early in life, everything changed when I was about nine years old...I discovered the tape recorder. it wasn't very long until I began to produce long delay effects by utilizing two open reel tape decks. years later I was introduced to the music of Robert Fripp and his work with two open reel tape decks; something he called "Frippertronics."

Music

new releases · past work

Mariner

track released 2020. experimental ambient recording. watch Bandcamp for more information: steveholec.bandcamp.com/releases.

Viking

track released 2020. experimental ambient recording. watch Bandcamp for more information: steveholec.bandcamp.com/releases.

Deep Space Wanderer

track released 2020. experimental ambient recording. watch Bandcamp for more information: steveholec.bandcamp.com/releases.

Conveyor

track released 2020. experimental ambient recording. watch Bandcamp for more information: steveholec.bandcamp.com/releases.

Voyager

track released 2020. experimental ambient recording. watch Bandcamp for more information: steveholec.bandcamp.com/releases.

Arecibo

track released 2020. experimental ambient recording. watch Bandcamp for more information: steveholec.bandcamp.com/releases.

Reach

track released 2020. experimental ambient recording. watch Bandcamp for more information: steveholec.bandcamp.com/releases.

Fathering The Unthinkable

track released 2020. experimental ambient recording. watch Bandcamp for more information: steveholec.bandcamp.com/releases.

Bunker

track released 2020. experimental ambient recording. watch Bandcamp for more information: steveholec.bandcamp.com/releases.

Cold War

track released 2020. experimental ambient recording. watch Bandcamp for more information: steveholec.bandcamp.com/releases.

Biological Warfare

track released 2020. experimental ambient recording. watch Bandcamp for more information: steveholec.bandcamp.com/releases.

Radioactive Chatter

track released 2020. experimental ambient recording. watch Bandcamp for more information: steveholec.bandcamp.com/releases.

Big Detector

track released 2020. experimental ambient recording. watch Bandcamp for more information: steveholec.bandcamp.com/releases.

Chernobyl

track released 2020. experimental ambient recording. watch Bandcamp for more information: steveholec.bandcamp.com/releases.

Antennae Send Antennae Receive

track released 2020. experimental ambient recording. watch Bandcamp for more information: steveholec.bandcamp.com/releases.

Drift

track released 2020. experimental ambient recording. watch Bandcamp for more information: steveholec.bandcamp.com/releases.

F

track released 2020. experimental ambient recording. watch Bandcamp for more information: steveholec.bandcamp.com/releases.

Flyby

track released 2020. experimental ambient recording. watch Bandcamp for more information: steveholec.bandcamp.com/releases.

Gone Voyager

track released 2020. experimental ambient recording. watch Bandcamp for more information: steveholec.bandcamp.com/releases.

M389

track released 2020. experimental ambient recording. watch Bandcamp for more information: steveholec.bandcamp.com/releases.

Pioneer

track released 2020. experimental ambient recording. watch Bandcamp for more information: steveholec.bandcamp.com/releases.

Stardust

track released 2020. experimental ambient recording. watch Bandcamp for more information: steveholec.bandcamp.com/releases.

Strolling On The Moon

track released 2020. experimental ambient recording. watch Bandcamp for more information: steveholec.bandcamp.com/releases.

Missing The Big Picture

track released 2020. experimental ambient recording. watch Bandcamp for more information: steveholec.bandcamp.com/releases.

One Hundred And Fifty Feet Above The Ground

track released 2020. experimental ambient recording. watch Bandcamp for more information: steveholec.bandcamp.com/releases.

It Should But It Doesn't

track released 2020. experimental ambient recording. watch Bandcamp for more information: steveholec.bandcamp.com/releases.

On The Beach

track released 2020. experimental ambient recording. watch Bandcamp for more information: steveholec.bandcamp.com/releases.

Swedish

track released 2020. experimental ambient recording. watch Bandcamp for more information: steveholec.bandcamp.com/releases.

Red

track released 2020. experimental ambient recording. watch Bandcamp for more information: steveholec.bandcamp.com/releases.

Psycho Xylophone

track released 2020. experimental ambient recording. watch Bandcamp for more information: steveholec.bandcamp.com/releases.

Rhythm Machinery

track released 2020. experimental ambient recording. watch Bandcamp for more information: steveholec.bandcamp.com/releases.

Crying

track released 2020. experimental ambient recording. watch Bandcamp for more information: steveholec.bandcamp.com/releases.

Magdalena

track released 2016. ambient recording. watch Bandcamp for more information: steveholec.bandcamp.com/releases.

Roam, Buffalo. Roam.

recorded live, 2017. stay tuned for youtube video. watch Bandcamp for more information: steveholec.bandcamp.com/releases.

Pole To Pole

title track. Pole To Pole released 2016. watch Bandcamp for more information: steveholec.bandcamp.com/releases.

Portrait Of Anton Ehrenzweig (Unreleased)

original composition from an upcoming release. watch Bandcamp for more information: steveholec.bandcamp.com/releases.

Live
Unreleased

original live recording from an upcoming release. watch Bandcamp for more information: steveholec.bandcamp.com/releases.

Coming Soon!
Stay Tuned!

stay tuned for more new music. watch Bandcamp for more information: steveholec.bandcamp.com/releases.

Steve Holec

musician · artist · inventor
performances · workshops · seminars · events · guest appearances

The Tape Suite Collection

max for live devices · ableton live
custom tape emulation plugins for use with ableton live


the tape suite collection -
a collection of reel to reel tape machine objects developed in max for live that emulate old-school tape machine operation and mechanical tape transport artifacts...
  • tape deck
  • emulates a two channel reel to reel tape deck which provides the ability to vary the tape playback speed on the individual channels - on the fly! the user can select and set standard tape speeds (1.87, 3.75, 7.5, 15.0, and 30.0 inches per second) or manipulate the tape speed on the individual channels by using the interface controls. this module makes it possible to adjust glide, warp depth and amount, wow and flutter, tape direction, and enables the user to load their own audio files as the source for manipulation. additionally, this module provides the means to set and retrieve user presets. this module integrates fully with the randomizer module. all of the interface controls are MIDI mapping compliant

  • saturation
  • this module provides the ability to simulate tape saturation and signal dropout by using user-controllable radial knobs. this module integrates fully with the randomizer module. all of the interface controls are MIDI mapping compliant.

  • stutter
  • provides controls over effects that emulate stutter (and stutter speed), and stutter division. this module integrates fully with the randomizer module. all of the interface controls are MIDI mapping compliant.

  • noise
  • provides the user with radial knob controls that facilitate control over a variety of tonal parameters to include emulation of tape hiss volume, tape hiss color, and hiss stutter. these parameters control the level and variability of random static and noise distortion. this module integrates fully with the randomizer module. all of the interface controls are MIDI mapping compliant.

  • randomizer
  • provides the means by which the user can enable, disable, and fully manipulate mapping of random events over the various parameters of each of the tape suite collection modules from within the randomizer module. additionally, the randomizer is equipped with a variety of user-selectable custom impulse response files that facilitate changes in the tonal character of the audio output. additional custom ir files are available through this website. all of the interface controls are MIDI mapping compliant.

developer credits -
the tape suite collection was developed in partnership with worcester polytechnic institute, worcester MA...
principal developers -
  • v.j. manzo, associate professor of music technology & cognition, worcester polytechnic institute
  • matthew pietrucha, adjunct professor of music, worcester polytechnic institute, IMGD graduate student