…recognising the last time i wrote something here is a year ago does not feel right- so: here we go.

december 2020 i reached out to paul jackson (http://www.origami-artist.com) to have a chat with him about his work and former musical endeavours with his project „paper music“ from 2004/5 (http://www.papersonics.com).

as i mentioned already, he has been a huge inspiration for me and i was delighted to hear, that he was willing to take time to listen to our music.

here some lines from our conversation:

matthias:

dear paul, 

thanks a lot for getting in touch! i was not aware of papersonics, what a great idea! in my case its a bit different, more naive…i took a folding of my daughter and used it to advertise my trio called „koi trio“ first (hence my japanese middle name and my personal taste for japanese aesthetics http://www.koi-trio.de) then I got into the structure/geometry of the folding and figured I want to „translate“ it to actual notes, and play it with guest musicians: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gAh9Fy4UR9M currently i am planning to release a cd and looking for the artwork. what I am thinking, is an reverse project, a music inspired folding, maybe from the time of paper sonics, that you would be willing to share? i feel that the journey has not endet here, I am very keen to go on researching „foldability in jazz and improvised music“.

you have such a brilliant view on the art of folding and I would love to „pick your brains“ about it. and well, hopefully you like the music a bit…i am looking forward to your reply, your opinion and possibly ideas!“

paul:

hi matthias,

„the music on YT sounds great!  congratulations to everyone. there are many ways in which origami, or some element of it, can be made audible. the way I chose was simply to showcase the acoustic properties of folded paper, so the link is very obvious.

http://www.papersonics.com/downloads.htm

„on the extreme other hand, listening to your music, I wouldn’t know its origin was in origami …but I know that doesn’t matter! i’m not sure i have anything useful to say that would be of help to you, but i will be very happy to discuss various ideas and approaches that have occurred to me in the past. despite my fine art background, i am a trained musician and in my 20’s participated in many performances that may variously be described as music, sound performance and performance art. i have worked with john cage, christian wolff, performed with evan parker, derek bailey and other improvising musicians, as well as done a lot of my own stuff, of which the paper music performances are perhaps the best remembered.  i am telling you this to let you know that I’ve dabbled in a lot of unorthodox musics, so i am very open to new and unusual ideas.“

since paul agreed to improvise a origami folding for us, as a form of „reverse engeneering“ translating music into an origami I would love to share his work:

paul explains:

i`ve listened several times more to your music, trying to evolve some kind of folded image in my mind that represents it. after quite a lot of experimentation, I came up with something that to me at least, evokes what you wrote.

i made 2 versions of it.  one is clean and tidy with gentle colours, the other is a little rough (on purpose) and more vibrant.  i can’t decide which I like more, so I’m sending them both. of course, they’re not typical ‚origami models‘, but then, your music isn’t typical, either. 😊

the square grid represents the tightness of the music and origami. the 2 colour/white pieces across the middle are measured negative/positive equivalents, which to me represents the interplay between the musicians.

the yellow paper is a fixed 12 x 12 grid (we actually manufacture it ourselves!), so if your designer wants 13 x 13, that would be a problem.  the coloured/white papers can be changed as regards how they are folded, so if you have a particular reason to have – say – 4’s and 3’s everywhere, I could probably make something. i chose that particular set of numbers because they looked right

if you think it’s a pile of garbage, I’m completely OK with that.  If you don’t want to use it, I’m not at all offended.  I know it’s highly unusual, but that’s the both of us, I think.“

matthias:

„…looking at both foldings I tend to use the „cleaner“ one as a cover, but its a tough choice to make- 

the grid of twelve is great, representing our available notes,as well as the groups of 2,3,4,5, mirrored, tweaked and layered. its really nice!  If I read into the roughed up version, it underlines our individual performances through your improvised foldings…“

last but not least:

we are close to finish the process of producing a new cd called koi septet, „how does origami sound?“ and i will share in the coming days more about that!