Swedish sound artists Herman Müntzing and Qarin Wikström have been performing live as a duo for several years, focusing on complete devotion to the moment; music that is not shy away from extreme dynamics and emotional span. During the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions, and while global political and climate crises shook the world, Wikström and Müntzing created an audio-visual experience that bears witness to the darkness and despair, but in the midst of disillusion also offers some hope and otherworldly Dadaistic everyday energy.
«Ping Pong Punktum» is an audio cassette (or USB) and a read-along storybook, created with visual artist Jan Oksbøl Callesen, who did the cover art for several of Wikström’s previous releases. Wikström, Müntzing and Oksbøl Callesen established a kind of ping-pong, looping process of exchanging ideas and interpretations of artistic statements, mainly on the processes of interpreting and translating sounds into visual content and optical input into an auditory one. The story was recorded on a cassette and a specific sound guides the listener when to turn the page in the book, with its pictures and text. «Ping Pong Punktum» is not a children’s book, but an audio-book for an unspecified but curious age group, especially towards sounds and images of an open and abstract character.
The titles of the 12 pieces serve as inspirational introductions and initial access points to the sonic material, intentionally asking the listener’s imagination to take over and explore new connections between sight and sounds, seen and heard, observed and absorbed. The music is based on free-improvised, manipulated and layered electronic sounds (Müntzing on the right channel, Wikström on the left one, adding wordless vocals), shifts between elusive moods and ranges from immersive dreamscapes, through Dadaist and abstract textures to vintage computer-games-like, relentless beats and squeaks, but never settle on a clear narrative. Müntzing and Wikström created few enigmatic and poetic soundscapes like «The Red That Froze To Death», «Map Over Desert» and «I Greet You, I Consume You».
Just follow Wikström, Müntzing and Oksbøl Callesen wise advice: look, listen and leap.
Qarin Wikström (elec, keys, v), Herman Müntzing (elec, machines, keys), Jan Oksbøl Callesen (visuals)