Simon Bahr


Well-Planned Theft

fixed audio

fixed sound

The piece Well-Planned Theft for stolen and synthesised sounds deals with productive piracy and looks for aesthetic potentials in the notation – in this case in itself not necessary – of electronic music. It is a stereo composition consisting mainly of sounds taken from various pop songs. These more or less short sound particles are all chosen in such a way that they do not allow any conclusion to be drawn about a specific song in terms of sound. Instead, they stand for certain sound topoi. The theft is artificial in that it is only revealed in the score – as an assertion, so to speak – but cannot be heard from the sound itself.

The initial sounds were initially described relatively precisely in a production score in the style of a bibliography. Reproducing the piece with some interpretive fuzziness would thus be possible. The temporal organisation of the sounds is then established by means of a traditional rhythm notation. The stolen sounds are augmented by some synthesis sounds.

Well-planned Theft proposes a way of notating complex electronic sounds very accurately and yet very easily by considering the entire corpus of published music as a repository of musical material that can be referenced by means of citation. Here, notation is understood less as a medium of communication and more as a compositional tool.

Well-Planned Theft was premiered at KONTAKTE Festival, Akademy of Arts Berlin, 24.09.2022.