In his work the German filmmaker Jürgen Reble focuses on exploring the film material through bacterial processes, weathering and chemical treatment during and after development. His works are hand-developed films about creation, evolution and destruction, about nature and natural science. "The basic idea is that it is impossible to fix film. Film is something which is always in a state of flux...The images, 'real' in the beginning, gradually disintegrate and the gelatine layer, where the chemicals are embedded, dissolves. All that's left in the end is the 'raging of the elements" (Jürgen Reble)
The film work of Jürgen Reble was introduced to a musical audience because of his close collaboration with the sound artist Thomas Köner, who composed the soundtracks to his latest films 'Das Goldene Tor' and 'Instabile Materie'. Thomas Köner creates his music with acoustic sound sources. With the use of contact microphones, samplers and electronic effect devices he builds his own musical world out of original material. While composing and developing a piece, his passion for inaudible sounds is a guiding principle. He chooses and builds his music from elements which cannot be perceived by the normal ear. Perhaps that these sounds that are so closely related to silence transport some of their origins into the music, like a memory.
Thomas Köner and Jürgen Reble regularly perform their film and sound projection Alchemy, in which Jürgen Reble develops and decomposes his film loops 'live', using chemicals, acids and silver replacing agents while Thomas Köner uses the sounds of the projector and the hissing of the chemicals burning into the film material as the source for his isolationist sound sculptures. Sound segments and fragments of melody combined with rhythmical pulsating, droning and hissing of natural events create a dramatic tension between image, sound and chemistry.
'Das Galaktische Zentrum'' a film and sound installation by Jürgen Reble and Thomas Köner can be considered a continuation of their quest for the alchemical interaction between image and sound. 'Das Galaktische Zentrum' consists of 3 modified film projectors operating from floor level. Each of these machines has a film loop of about 20 metres. The images are projected on the ceiling in the form of a circle and include simulated cosmic events, documentary footage of space shuttles and abstract events. Over a period of time, chemicals are slowly dispensed through a surgical drip onto the film itself, gradually altering the images.
The music for 'Das Galaktische Zentrum' is created from the harmonic spectrum produced by the three projectors. The physical sound of the projectors themselves is also amplified, expanded and reshaped by manipulation of the core of the sound itself. 6 loudspeakers are positioned in the space (horizontal/vertical) and reproduce the various layers of the composition. These layers are arranged utilising techniques which incorporate coincidence thus ensuring that repetition is absent from this sonic environment. The slow and constant shifting of each layer of sound continually creates new music' both harmonically and spatially.
THE GENESIS OF SOUND IN SILENCE THEIR PLACE IN SPACE THEIR DECAY BACK INTO SILENCE
Movement in the area creates new spatial and musical coordinates. The developments in timbre are comparable to a slowly changing mood which is easily related to the blending visual images. The sounds are condensed and distilled into small particles which fall like drops on the ground
Catalogue Impakt Festival Utrecht, NL, May 1996