Release date: Nov 17, 2017 -- [expected to ship by the last week of October]
This split LP is packaged in a letterpress printed jacket in an edition of 500 copies. This record is being released at the same time as a new full length from Eleh titled Home Age.
Christina Kubisch contemplates Nicolai Tesla and his concept of electrical remoteness as it applies to the modern world. In this piece Kubisch considers whether this is the future Tesla envisioned, and what remoteness means in an age where remoteness hardly exists at all. Tesla's Dream includes electromagnetic field recordings from tramways, analog machines, light systems, power stations, airports, banks, security systems, advertising and the sounds of discharges and activities of Tesla's own devices - recorded all over the world.
Eleh's composition Ohmage/Resistor utilizes a new kind of spaciousness and was composed for piano & Serge STS modular synthesizers. Though Tesla was not a consideration when the piece was recorded it takes on a new meaning and is well paired with Kubisch's.
From Christina Kubisch:
"The figure of Nikola Tesla has fascinated me since a long time. He was the person who imagined wireless communication in an era when there was hardly electricity. He was the one who invented radio controlled devices and other new technologies beyond the generally known limits of technology. Tesla had been picking up radio signals in New York since 1895 receiving them as far as thirty miles away. He was not only an inventor whose work was the basis for the development of many electrical inventions and communication techniques of today but was as well a very special person, a visionary who was unable to realize many of his ideas because of money problems and as well his 'difficult' character.
"I discovered his work during my studies of electronics in Milan at the end of the 70s. In that period I started to use the system of electromagnetic induction for my sound installations. Tesla had invented and patented the first telephone amplifier in 1882 in Budapest and, without knowing about its origin I used a simple telephone amplifier with incorporated small coils to listen to the sounds in my installations. Later on my work with electromagnetic induction had developed into the series 'Electrical Walks,' city walks with special headphones which make audible the usually hidden electromagnetic fields around us. In 2012, I visited the small museum of science in the city of Kosice in Slovakia. The museum had many Tesla devices in their showroom and I got special permission to test them. I listened with my special induction headphones to the Tesla machines and was fascinated: a thunderstorm of electromagnetic noise. It was the moment when I got inspired to make a piece about electrical remoteness.
"Tesla grew up in a remote small village in Austria (now Croatia) where electricity, radio, cars, telephones, movies etc. were unknown. As a boy he loved nature more than everything else. But already at the age of thirty-six, in 1893, his inventions made it possible that the world expo in the city of Chicago was illuminated by100,000 electrical lamps.
"The new technologies concerning light, radio, radar etc. were developing with such an incredible speed then, like the components of the digital world today.
"I always asked myself what Tesla would have thought about the internet, google, twitter, facebook, apps etc.? Was this the vision he had in mind when he invented his system of wireless transmission of electrical signals? His working places were full of big heavy coils, oscillators, metal towers etc. by which he tried to transfer energy without wires. Today we almost forget that digital communication and storage is not based only on invisible remote waves in the ether but that it needs server rooms which are much bigger and heavier than Tesla's equipment."
"Teslas Dream" opens with the magnetic fields recorded in an old Austrian train station followed by the electrical melodies of old Tatra tramways in Bratislava (now almost disappeared). The sounds of discharges and activities of Tesla's devices gradually come in. During the piece the electromagnetic signals change gradually from the sounds of analog machines to the more actual fields of light systems, security systems, power lines, banks, subways, airports, power stations etc. Various electrical signals of digital communication slowly merge in and change again the sound structure. The composition ends with the sounds of a luminous advertising, recorded recently in a shopping centre in Las Vegas, accompanied by the faint vibrations of other signals from the ether.
Tesla wanted to reach the most remote places of the earth with electrical energy. Nothing today is remote anymore.
The glass armonica (an original instrument from the 19th century) was recorded at the Musikinstrumentenmuseum in Berlin. All other recordings were made with electromagnetic headphones and other custom made devices developed by Christina Kubisch. The original electrical field recordings were made in Austria, Germany, Slovakia, Britain, Czech republic, New York, Las Vegas and the Hoover Dam.