HLER combines the initials of Heikki Lindgren and Esa Ruoho. It also describes the improvisational creative process of this ambient drone duo from Finland.
A couple of years ago, Heikki came across a second-hand Peruvian synthesiser. The machine quickly revealed its potential for endless sonic creativity, mainly because Heikki found it almost impossible to recreate the exact same sound twice. He soon introduced the machine to Esa, and together they decided to explore the machine’s inherent sonic instability in a live setting.
Each performance follows the same creative process, but with wildly different results every time. Digging in to the Mochika XL’s front panel, Heikki begins mining for sound. Esa then processes Heikki’s discoveries through his laptop, revealing hitherto undiscovered facets to Heikki’s freshly unearthed sonic gems. Then, with the twist of a dial, Heikki introduces something new to Esa, and the whole process continues onwards and upwards.
“We are always surprised by the spaces we find ourselves in, and the directions the sounds take during a performance. We cannot repeat anything in exactly the same way, even if we wanted to! Just turning the Mochika XL synthesiser off and back on, keeping all of the knobs untouched in exactly the same position, leads to a changed sound.”
“It has been incredibly rewarding to work as a duo, as the unpredictability of the creative process is so refreshing. Thanks to the unstable nature of the Mochika XL synthesiser and the intuitiveness of Esa’s live processing, each performance is unique. The whole live situation is based on improvisation and the sonic discoveries extracted during the encounter.”
File under: organised improvised noise, clicks, hums, drone, “Hey, this sounds kind of like space music from the ’70s!”, a captured submarine humming in the hangar of a space station, “Are you sure you guys are alright and that the cables work?”