Composer, DJ and electronic musician Dan Samsa – alias Warsnare – is the first this year’s Associate Composers to curate a nonclassical night. Presented in the round at the Albany in Deptford, Dan presents an evening that combines 360-degree audio with the powerful sound system of UK bass culture.
We recently chatted to Dan about his upcoming night on 10 July, which features works from himself, Berlin-based artist Kamikaze Space Programme and Luke David Harris & Henrik Oppermann.
What do you have planned for 10 July?
I’ll be surrounding the audience with a 3D ambisonic surround sound system (8 x Genelec 8050’s) combined with 8 large sub scoops of South East London’s Unit 137 dub sound system, to bring a physical and aural bombardment of the senses. Taking place at The Albany theatre in Deptford, one of South East London’s finest live music venues, its large circular performance space offers an ideal location for this unique immersive spatial onslaught.
I have known both of the other two artists for sometime now and although each of us are very different in our approach, we all share similar interests and experience of the electronic dance music and contemporary experimental music scenes.
I’ll personally be treating the sound systems as two different musical instruments, presenting some of the experiments I have been developing using 360-degree microphones and editing techniques on the 3D sound system combined with moog/drum machine improvisations sent to the dub sound system sub scoops.
What attracted you to use these sound systems and how have you and the other artists explored it?
I have been deep into 360-degree/3D sound since releasing my album Warchestra where we performed it live on a 29 channel 360-degree sound system. Being part of the electronic dance music scene I wanted to develop this a step further by combining the state of the art spatial 3D sound system technology with the sub scoops of a dub sound system, which have long been developed to maximise the potential of the sub bass frequencies.
Bass energy subjects a high load on sound systems, so splitting the two systems so that you have the high energy, low end information being sent to the dub bass scoops allows each system to work co-dependently to produce their individual optimum sound. For me this also opens up new and exciting creative opportunities to explore the sound systems as two separate instruments.
Tell us a bit more about the artists involved.
I used to organise a fortnightly online electronic music TV style show called The Trailer TV, which coincided with discovering Chris’s (Kamikaze Space Programme) incredible and prolific musical accomplishments. We invited him down and soon discovered that he was also the legendary Drum and Bass producer Raiden so we were able to get him on the show a few times without looking stupid. He is just as adept at DJing/performing in Fabric (Raiden) or Berghain (KSP) as he is at creating experimental music concrete sonic masterpieces as one half of Dot Product. His performance on the night will consist of improvised construction parts of previous and forthcoming material, live synthesis and bespoke electromagnetic microphones which is all blended using live dub mixing techniques on an analog mixer.
I studied with Luke and he later launched Shades Recordings, a South London based record label specialising in electronic dance music, which I was fortunate enough to have my first release on. Since then Luke and I have worked on many projects together and he has helped me massively with the 360-degree work I’ve been producing. As well as launching Shades Recordings, Djing and producing a host of incredible releases under the pseudonym Duct, he is also a very talented sound designer and recordist specialising in 3D sound. His set will utilise a limited selection of sounds creatively exploring movement and spatialisation – “a study in soundfield sound systems.”
The three of us will also be presenting a collaborative 360-degree field-recording piece of the local area combined with locally and ethically sourced sub bass material. This will be played on loop before and between the live sets.
You've performed at The Albany before using a 360 sound system. What do you think is special about the space?
The Albany contains the astonishing circular theatre space where we’ll be presenting this unique sound system experience. I am also extremely lucky to have been supported by the Albany over the last couple of years in various ways. A lifeblood of creativity in Deptford, It is no ordinary gig venue. They do an outstanding job at placing the arts at the centre of the community and have a team of staff and technicians who go all out to help realise an awesome array of gigs, events, festivals and workshops taking place pretty much everyday in the theatre and local schools and area. It is one of the many reasons that Deptford is such a cool place.
You can see Dan perform at our next nonclassical night at The Albany on 10 July. You can book tickets on the event page.