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Alva Noto speaks a universal language

Alva Noto speaks a universal language

11-04-2012 | 15.22

Alva Noto is also known under his real name, Carsten Nicolai. Nicolai was born in Germany and the infamous story goes that his interest in sound already started at a young age as he was totally convinced that he could communicate with bats. We assume he probably thinks different nowadays, but Nicolai is still interested in the communication of animals and that outside the range of the human hearing. Like he says in an interview; “From a very early stage, image and sound, were very close together for me. Yet I’m not the kind of person who immediately visualizes sound, I’m rather a person who is more interested to find ways how sound can be visualized. I mean you have to imagine human hearing has a span, let’s say a common idea of 20 hz to 20,000 hz, but other animals are hearing different frequencies, ranges. But sound doesn’t stop on these frequencies. The definition of sound is much wider than what we hear.”

Alva Noto lovers all around are still regularly playing the brilliant album ‘Insen’ that Nicolai released in 2005 on his label Raster-Norton that he and Olaf Bender (Byetone) found in 1996. 'Insen' is one of the many albums that Nicolai made together with Ryuichi Sakamoto. But also his newer work we can truly recommend. His latest album ‘Univrs’, which was released in late 2011, is perhaps his best so far.

‘Univrs’ is the second album from the Uni series that began with the album ‘Unitxt’ in 2008. The idea for the Uni series came from the same interest in a universal language as mentioned before. A language that does not directly fall within the 20Hz range. If you compare ‘Univrs’ to its predecessor it is striking that the album is much more energetic and dynamic. This can partly be caused by the fact that this album is much more inspired by the club scene. The album was created in the time that Alva Noto did many live performances for ‘Unitxt’ in clubs three years ago. Therefore, the tracks are not really developed in a studio context, but more in a club setting and you can feel the energy.

On April 19 Alva Noto will perform his album Univrs live at Trouw. Along with the amazing visuals, which he is famous for, it will definitely be a very special evening.