Music from Sudoku Solutions

aka Har$
20 min readOct 31, 2021

October 31, 2021
The Art of K7~ Sudokaising
[ii] Time-Folds

In Sudoku Solutions, a recently published series of digital albums on Bandcamp, I use the numbers sequences obtained from solutions of sudoku number puzzles as instructions (that, of course, means as scores) to perform intertwined pseudo-looping double cut-ups of a certain stretch of cassette tape (with recordings on both ‘sides’). The double cut-ups hence are generated in a formal, procedural way, that brings echoes of ( wink-wink) 20th century serialism to 21st century free dictaphonic improvisation.

Sudokism transcends the very personal and subjective twitches of surprise, pain, indignation, joy, disgust, whatever, that the sounds on your tape might-and often do-evoke.
It is proper to free dictaphonic improvisation that sounds ‘appearing’ in the course of a performance often will be ‘previously unknown’ as much to the performer as they are to the hearer. Many of the tapes used moreover are filled with recordings covering episodes from a cassetteur’s life, dating back way into his or her past. It is hard indeed not to think of Edison’s ‘ghost machine’: such sounds over the years gain evermore in ‘phantom-like quality’… And suddenly he’s back again! Your long dead father’s speaking! Or there you go, tumbling one more time into that hole in the floor of a spooky Parisian underground car park… Sudokism avoids that as a performer you get caught in a web of private semantics, where you start (re-)acting (according) to a recording’s ‘subjective meaning’ rather than to its ‘objective soundness’.

All this again in sort of a tongue-in-cheek-ish manner, mind you. It is the play that here we play. But it actually was a thing that profoundly haunted Pierre Schaeffer in his quest for a musique concrete. To him this felt as a major obstacle: that a (field) recording’s ‘semantics’ messes up ‘sonic pureness’; that what you get/hear when ‘musicking’ with ‘real life sounds’ (doing musique concrète), often ends up being more like a ‘literature’ than a music.

Ha ha, you can say: “ OK, great. Tant pis… If you think it’s literature, literature it be. What do I care how you call it, it’s only rock’n’roll, and I like it… “

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aka Har$

is Harold Schellinx, a writer, artist, scientist living, working & roaming Amsterdam & elsewhere (harsmedia.com).