LIFE AND CAREER
Kollektiv Modus are a loosely organised group of classically trained composers exploring the boundaries of contemporary music. The number of participants has varied throughout the years, although the core of the collective are undoubtedly the Finns Aabo G. Juhola and Otteljana Leskinen, and the Russian Leonid Nestor Askenchuk. These three met in the late 1970s at the Brabants Conservatorium in Tilburg, the Netherlands. They quickly became disillusioned with the classical music scene and the traditional work of their professors at the conservatoire.
In response, Juhola created the KM manifesto in 1975, which set rules for the musicians in an attempt to purify their relationship to the music and to narrow down the creative output of an intellectual core concept through experimentation. In their respective careers, the members of Kollektiv Modus have produced avant-garde sound experiments which have placed them well ahead of the current zeitgeist and far beyond musical custom and habit.
Throughout the 1990s, Kollektiv Modus became increasingly interested in scientific research on the hearing apparatus and in creating tones aimed at activating distinct brain regions. They began their long-lasting working relationship with Prof. Dr. Miep van Beeck from the Department of Neurology of the Wageningen University and Research Center of Gelderlands, who was completing her pioneering work with Magnetic Resonance Imaging and brain mapping.
In their inspiring encounters, KM and Prof. Dr. Miep van Beeck became engrossed in Heinrich Wilhelm Dove’s essays on binaural beats. In a series of self-experiments, the group discovered that binaural beats induced relaxation, meditation, creativity and other desirable mental states. Hoping to synchronise their brain activities while recording and performing music, they incorporated binaural beats into their next concept album KM43dc*.
THE Upsala Sessions
Photographer Julia Solér spent several days with Kollektiv Modus in 1984 in their studio in Upsala, Sweden. This session documents the group’s unique methods of conceptualisation, composition and recording.
To visualise the challenging experimental sounds of Kollektiv Modus, Studio Spektral handcrafted a revolutionary device named The Rotator – a turning table for drip painting whose speed is synchronised with KM’s musical scores.
An intern lies under the table and turns a crank handle in the exact tempo of the piece of music. Meanwhile, Studio Spektral apply paints, thereby inducing disturbances of equilibrium, circulatory disorder and mirroring the trance-like wave lengths of the musical piece.