Formed by Giuliano Obici and Alexandre Fenerich in 2007, the duo N Minus One (n-1) explores several processes of sound. N-1 came from sound experimentation, from "gambioluthiery" - the creation of craft instruments, adaptations and appropriation of sound materials from everyday life - and improvisation.
Navigating the terrain of real-time image manipulation, the duo performs sonorous experimentations and experiences without losing a speculative character. For more information, see: www.n-1.art.br.
Surfing on Turntables is an audio-visual piece for 4 phonographs, 4 video cameras, and 4 four discs prepared from Mahler's First Symphony and scenes from Alfred Hitchcock's film The Man Who Knew too Much (1956).
Each disc was prepared with small objects (tapes, buttons, screws, rings, rings) fixed at different positions of vinyl's surface, causing interference in the recorded material. The musical piece emphasizes the sound’s peculiarities (texture, rotation, needle friction, noise, grain)—characteristics of the different models of portable recorder.
In the live version, the musicians' gestures as they manipulate the vinyl records are captured by cameras positioned on each turntable. Along with the live images are inserted scenes extracted from the Hitchcock film, in particular the scene of a murder covered by the orchestral tutti. The piece follows a score that plays with three distinct apices: 1) the climax of Hitchcock's film with the shot that would kill the ambassador, 2) the climax in the Mahler symphony with the orchestral tutti of the first movement coinciding with the symphonic tonal tension and density, and 3) the climax given by the musicians in performance. The piece ends when the three apices merge, then dissolve into a static repeated scene.
Jardim das Gambiarras Chinesas (The Garden of the Chinese Gizmos) spreads itself through the stage revealing a paraphernalia of quasi sound instruments: shards of musical instruments, dismembered domestic appliances (broken record players, distorted radios, home-made synths or cheap electronic musical keyboards ‘prepared’ by circuit bending, computers, type writing machines, selected vinyl records, relay machines, short-circuited cables, sound distortions, tin cans, music boxes, and static sounds) that are played in a loop.
Micro-cameras unveil the dance of the objects and the gestures of the musicians. Lilliputian characters of disproportionate sizes appear through the digital zoom: dolls of different orders (plastic animals, playmobiles, toy soldiers, aliens, and gigantic gallinacea) are incorporated to the set so as to create their own performance.