In analog video technology, a “black burst” is a reference signal for synchronizing video sources: an imageless video pulse in the nanosecond range, during which the video image remains dark. Darkness also reigns in the sound world of Black Burst Sound Generator, a project by Brigitta Bödenauer and Susanna Gartmayer, whose initials add up to BBSG. It is a darkness that stretches out around us as the brittle electronic sound impulses by Brigitta Bödenauer resound and fade, while brightly illuminated abstract sound figures of the contralto-clarinet of Susanna Gartmayer push in and out of the center again and again.
Cool and precise rhythmic structures from Brigitta Bödenauer’s laptop counteract the organically pulsating outbursts of Susanna Gartmayer’s clarinet. Bödenauer’s electronics are straightforward and dry, one could say harsh, at the same time intense and driving. The sounds she creates remain unvoiced for long stretches and consist mostly of creaking, pulsating and popping and noise. The organic playing by Susanna Gartmayer, on the other hand, is more harmonious and full, imparts a charged liveliness to the coolness of the scene, but also remains rudimentary and eruptive. In the course of the album the two components evolve side by side. From their complementary interaction extensive and energetic polyrhythmic structures are born, resulting in an organic whole that is difficult to escape.
Brigitta Bödenauer and Susanna Gartmayer started their collaboration in 2012 and have since delighted their audience with the precise interplay of clarinet and computer music. Over the past eight years, the two have developed a unique program that plays musically with elements of electro, IDM, field recordings, industrial, drone, dark ambient and the special sound possibilities of the contralto clarinet. The present album is a testimony to this collaboration. Reduced beats, abstract sounds and slowly developing drones come together to form a complex dramaturgy. Black Burst Sound Generator is a multi-layered work that reveals further zones of its immense and vast dark sound space with each repeated listening.