Relay Race: the Ars Acustica project

Relay Race: the Ars Acustica project

What is it?

A collective project for the Ars Acustica group decided upon at the meeting of Ars Acustica at the GRM in Paris December 2000.

What is the Concept?

In the spirit of a athletic relay race , where a baton is passed by one team member to the next who continues the race, a piece of sound will be passed from one member of the Ars Acustica group to the next in order to create a piece of truly collaborative sound art. Within a given time period (One year?) the piece will travel around the world, back and forth untill the list of willing participants is exhausted, or time runs out.

An example.

A popular, if not necessarily true story told in England, has it that during the First World War an attempt to pass orders down the lines of infantry in the trenches, by word of mouth, from one ear to the next was made. The idea was to prevent the danger of messengers being intercepted by the enemy. The result of this idea however was that the original order ’SEND REINFORCEMENTS WE’RE GOING TO ADVANCE!!!’ had changed into ’SEND THREE AND FOUR PENCE WE’RE GOING TO A DANCE!!!’,by the time it had reached headquarters. Hopefully something a bit more rewarding than this will take place during the process of this sonic relay race. There are some rules, intended to keep the process moving, but the spirit of the exercise is one of expressive freedom and hopefully the chance to take part in an amusing and productive process.

How does it work?

Each member of the group will receive a CD containing the work ’so far’from the group member above them in the running order. He/she is free to rework this piece in any way they see fit, within the simple rules set out below. The work is then sent on to the next person on the list, and a copy is sent back to the moderator (Peter Kristiansen et. al. in Denmark) who will monitor the progress of the work around the planet, and archive it’s development.

Where do we start, and where do we go and where do we end up!

The first stage will be created in Denmark. It will be roughly five minutes long . After a running order has been established for the list, it will be sent onwards. This means that the second person on the list can add to, subtract from and generally manipulate the piece however it suits them, and then send the work on. The project will continue for a period of ONE YEAR, ending therefore in January 2002. We should ask only that when working on this piece the artist should make some attempt to create a work that will respect what went before and inspire what might come after.


1. You MAY rework, remake, alter or shorten the piece in any way you see fit according entirely to your own taste.

2. You may ONLY extend the total length of the piece you receive by a MAXIMUM of THREE MINUTES.

3. The TOTAL length MAY NOT exceed 60 Minutes at any time.

4. You have a maximum of 14 DAYS in which to do this.

5. You MAY NOT use any audio which is protected by third party rights, or copyright of any kind over which you do not have complete ownership.

6. You must AGREE to waive all artistic rights over your contribution to this work to the control of the Ars Acustica group.*

7. You must ensure that whoever you pass the work on to is FULLY aware of all the rules.

8.You MAY pass the work on to whoever you please within the time limit.(Of course you can always ask for an extention, and hopefully the piece will have a chance to make an appearance at some festivals and events on it’s journey round the world)

9. You MUST send ONE copy of your work (pref. a CD) to the moderator, at the same time as you send the work further. All CDs must be clearly marked with your name, the name of the artist from which you received the work AND the name of the artist you are sending the work on to.

10. The work is completed, when the last stage arrives back in Danish Radio in Jan/Feb 2002.

*All contributors will of course be duly credited in the event of broadcast or the production of CD.

The organizers hope that the members/artist who contribute understand the need for this rule and the spirit of collaboration in which this work should be carried out.
released 01 January 2002
Lengths of the different parts of the Relay Race:

1) Peter Kristiansen & Tim Hinman Denmark – total length 5.00
2) Goetz Naleppa Germany 7.10
3) Frieder Butzman Germany 8.55
4) Heiner Grenzland Germany 11.45
5) José Iges Spain 11.40
6) Modisti : Pedro López & Belma Martin Spain 12.30
7) Armeno Alberts Holland 10.45
8 ) Pekka & Agnieszka Siren Finland 11.55
9) Matthew Leonard New Zeeland 11.50
10) Andrew McLennan Australia 11.45
11) Arsenije Jovanovic Serbia 26.05
12) Ward Weis Belgium (final leg). 60.00


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