Text by CLOT magazine
Our next mixtape comes from Luka Aron, a German musician and composer of electroacoustic and minimalist music, with a selection of tunes with unusual harmonics.
Based between Berlin and Stockholm, Aron’s practice is largely focused on the spectral fusion of synthesised sound and acoustic instruments, combining the raw energy of power electronics with the fragility of the human touch. Besides, the framework of Aron’s compositions is often based on the observation of psychoacoustic phenomena and how they relate to just intonation.
A careful selection of partials is presented, stimulating additional tones in the perception of the listener. Through this, a secondary structure is gradually unveiled: like light rays meeting the surface of the water, partially reflecting back to air, and refracting at once as they pass from one medium to another.
As such, Aron employs methods of reverse-engineering auditory processes with the aim of invoking alternative listening modes. Therefore, by putting the act of tuning at the centre, many beating patterns are exposed, and the spectrum is flooded with overtones and feedback.
Aron is a Musikakademie Basel (CH) graduate and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Electroacoustic Composition at The Royal College of Music in Stockholm (SE). His most recent release, Tinctures (Ediciones Capablanca, 2022), consists of pure and magnified recordings of a chord-zither, laying bare the instrument’s inherent resonances and quivering sustain – with an immediate physical and emotional affect.
Thus, close miking makes the instrument appear bigger-than-life, at once cavernous and bone-dry. Through this, the listener becomes witness to microscopically observed sound phenomena as the decay of the string in stasis while unveiling many pulsating patterns capable of inducing austere and solemn alternate states of mind.
On the other hand, as the pieces unfurl, the zither is joined by a neglected and untuned pipe organ found in a 13th-century chapel in the rural North of Germany. Its tones were later electronically matched to fit the harmonic space, adding another layer of the subtle interaction between pitch and timbre.
The mixtape Aron has prepared for us aims to explore these unusual tonalities and harmonics in delightful eeriness for the listener’s ears.