Haus Schminke
Löbau, Germany
Fridman Gallery
Beacon, NY
The Grand Buffet - Room Tone Excerpt 01
The Grand Buffet - Room Tone Excerpt 03
A room tone alteration

In conversation with the new paintings by Alina Grasmann, Neumann has composed a series of tones for a 3.1 channel sound system that is invisibly installed in Grasmann’s exhibition The Grand Buffet. The tones are made with a software synthesizer, developed by Neumann himself called Room Tone Generator (RTG) and an analog modular synth. Selected ambient recordings are added as "subtle echos" of what might occur inside the portrayed spaces.

The room tones have the function of altering the background sound of the actual gallery space and infusing it with artificial tonalities – to create a denser atmosphere. In a sense, the tones create a layer of acoustic space that mediates between the flattened representation of spaces from Haus Schminke and the gallery space. The “subtle echos” work similar to how Grasmann is inserting traces of human activity in her paintings, the sounds used hint at human activities, yet never state or articulate them too clearly [no language, no immediate sounds of clear actions].

​Neumann created all the sounds on site in the days before the opening as an improvisation with the exhibition which is then frozen in time. He views it as a motion picture soundtrack for which the motion is performed by the gallery visitors who move from painting to painting through the sound field.

The Grand Buffet, which was shown at Fridman Gallery Beacon (June 11 - July 24 2022) is an homage to, and a celebration of, Haus Schminke, an iconic example of organic architecture in Saxony, Germany designed by Hans Scharoun. A prime example of classical modernism, Haus Schminke has become another site of play and inspiration for Grasmann. As before, she works with the interiors and exteriors of real spaces, adding layers of mythologies, riddles, and personal touches.

A second showing brought the paintings back to their origin: Haus Schminke. Here is the release in connection to the catalog.