concert, 2021

We are not musicians, but operators. Four “sound operators” during the concert will play or create live, on archaic game consoles, minimalist musical forms. The event will take the form of a jam session – the musical forms will be mixed live by the main “mixer operator”. The whole will be accompanied by original visualization, generated and operated live on three consoles and three projectors by the “image operator”. In the middle of the concert we plan to perform a piece called “Playing with power”, slowly accelerating, with even meter. We will be accompanied by two simultaneous vocalists in two different locations – one with us, on stage, the other – via telematic bridge – in another art center. Internet transmission of the event will be a reference to our first performance (then as Gameboyzz Orchestra Project), which took place twenty years ago during the 9th Media Art Biennale WRO 01 Screens. The concert was broadcast live, using the now forgotten RealVideo technology.

Mikro Orchestra

“Imagine combining Donkey Kong with Fatboy Slim… or Tetris with Kraftwerk.” (BBC News)
Mikro Orchestra is a musical ensemble that plays intelligent electronic music using pocket-sized game consoles (such as the GameBoy). The band stylistically refers to the tradition of computers from the 80’s (8-bit computer scene: Commodore 64, Atari, ZX Spectrum, etc.). Apart from playing music, the band creates and develops their own software for VJ-ing (SQJ) and sound (e.g. Bifurcation Synthesizer), intended for game consoles (GameBoy Advance). Each concert is different due to the fact that the artists often improvise on the jam-session principle and experiment. This kind of music is perfect for underground clubs as well as for big artistic events. The authors also experiment by choosing surprising and unusual places for their concerts, such as a construction market. The band from Kłodzko debuted (in a lineup of six) in 2001 with a performance during IX International Media Art Biennale WRO 01. One-time experiment became a music project willingly invited to the biggest European festivals of electronic art such as: Ars Electronica (Linz, Austria), Transmediale and Club transmediale (Berlin, Germany), Read_Me (Moscow, Russia), Piemonte Share Festival (Turin, Italy), FESTA ELETTRONICA (Rome, Italy), experimentaclub (Madrid, Spain), Festival Emergences (Paris, France), ENTERmultimediale (Prague, Czech Republic), STEIM (Amsterdam, Netherlands), Microscopesession (Dresden, Germany), Social Hacking (Plymouth, England), Trondheim Matchmaking (Trondheim, Norway), MenschMeerMedien (Delmenhorst, Germany), Lange Nacht der Kontrastorchester (Berlin, Germany), HIGH_SCORE (Paris, France), The parallel World Robots (Lille, France), Moeblierte Kindheit (Duesseldorf, Germany), EXIT festival (Paris, France), Warsaw Electronic Festival and many others. Mikro Orchestra has also been featured in radio and TV broadcasts (BBC News, Copernicus, RAI, ARD, Viva Polska, TVP1, RTL2, ARTE) and articles in national and international press (Gazeta Wyborcza, Liberation, El Pais, Italian edition of VOGUE and Glamour, German Max, Wired Magazine, Japanese Art Yard, Polish Przekrój, Fluid). The band represented Poland during the Polish Year in Austria and the Polish Year in France. They also took part in an American documentary “8 BIT – a documentary about art and video games”, devoted to the 8-bit music scene in the world, as well as in a number of publications related to contemporary art (e.g. Economising Culture: On ‘The (Digital) Culture Industry’ published by Autonomedia 2004). In 2006, due to independent reasons, the band was forced to change its name from “gameboyzz orchestra project” to Mikro Orchestra and currently performs in different configurations and changing line-up (current line-up: Jarosław Kujda, Mariusz Jura, Paweł Janicki, Małgorzata Kujda, Tomasz Procków). In 2007, the team was invited to prepare a workshop on creating sound and image with game consoles for students at Plymouth University (UK). The project was born out of the need to explore different sources of sound and energy in music. In 2008 the musicians invited to cooperation a vocalist from Berlin – Lidia VisconP, who with her extraordinary voice (mezzo-soprano) perfectly enriched the raw electronic sounds during the concert in Jazz Rura club in Wroclaw and during Grassomania 2010 festival in Gdansk. In 2011, in celebration of its 10th birthday, the band performed during the pre-release show of the latest 3DS game console organized by the Polish branch of Nintendo in Warsaw. In March 2011, the band was invited by the producers to participate in the 4th edition of the show MAM TALENT, where their performance caused a lot of controversy and comments. In December 2011 the band was awarded by the most important Polish creator of electronic music Marek Biliński for the remix of the cult 80’s song “Escape from the tropics”. During the WRO Media Art Biennale 2019, the project was part of the “Reincarnation of Media Art” exhibition.

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