Mirror Shards is a solo music project directed and based on the creative efforts of composer/percussionist Joe Formanek. Varied and multidisciplinary throughout its musical conception, the essence of the music is most keen to certain conceptual and technical approaches.
The birth of Mirror Shards was the result of a developed concept, auto-history, which can be understood as a methodology to improvisation, composition and live performances that keeps constant sonic contact with the artist’s former self via a database of recordings bound by homogeneous recordings sessions. Thus the spontaneous creation of sounds is not only a composition of a single moment but of several moments throughout the artist’s life, ranging from recording sessions for these compositions, to improvisations with friends, and to field recordings on holiday trips, conclusively allowing new ways to reflective insight into the time-based evolution of the artist’s personal development.
Technically, Joe employs an electroacoustic apparatus which is at once a laptop-drumset using digital signal processing and the necessary database for auto-history. In live performances, with a collection of recorded improvisations and compositions organized onto this database, the most distinctive characteristic of Mirror Shards is the quality of improvising with the history of one’s self.
After many years of honing conventional and especially unconventional skills as a drummer and as an electronic musician, Mirror Shards is a demonstration on the exercise of concepts, such as the interplay of time and non-time based styles, blurring the lines between composition and improvisation, traditional and extended instrumental techniques, field recordings, micro sampling, and software resampling.
This is a highly collaborative project and has been involved with Francisco Lopez (composer), Chris Formanek (composer), François Ducat (film director), Hervé Perez (sax, composer), Camille-Alban Spreng, (pianist, composer), Akito van Troyer (sound artist, composer), Elm Records Collective, and Mangoest Records.