Mean Time Between Failure

post-glitch electronica, field recordings, improvised soundscapes, interactive corpus-based synthesis.

Go to to listen.


Radio play on the framework show

The fantastic field-recording oriented radio show framework on radio Resonance 104.4fm in London presented by Patrick Mcginley aired an MTBF soundscape as introduction on 13.12.2009.

framework – phonography / field recording; contextual and decontextualized sound activity
presented by patrick mcginley Read the rest of this entry »


Live Performance at Sound and Music Computing Conference, Passos Manuel, curated by Evan Parker, Porto

SMC Concert 2, Curated by Evan Parker


* “Porto_xx0709_Radio_Remixed”, Hannes Raffaseder – live electronics

* “BrainWash”, Yasuhiro Otani – live electronics

* “Corpus-Based Improvisation”, Diemo Schwarz – acoustic instrument & live electronics

* “Hands On Stage – Untitled 1″, Chi-Hsia Lai – Custom-built electronic interface

* “LiveImprovS~”, Koray Tahiroğlu – live electronics & solar panel musical instruments

* “Superimpose I”, Alexander Schubert – piano, double bass, saxophone, percussion & electronics

Venue: Sound and Music Computing Conference, Passos Manuel, curated by Evan Parker , Rua Passos Manuel 137 , Porto, Porto 4000 385 , PT


Rooftop Concert, Paris

IMG_1455_preview800 Oldine invites to his 10th floor…with 12 more above…
Venue: ROOFTOP CONCERT , Telegraphe , Paris, Ile-de-France 75019 , FR

DVD documentation is available.

Photo by Marie-Eve Bouillon


Exciting sound art festival, Montreuil

The first deambulatory sound art event “FESTIVAL D’EXPÉRIMENTATIONS SONORES” takes place in Montreuil, France, with performances in unusual places such as a whig workshop, a van, a hairdresser’s saloon, an elevator. MTBF will team up with guitar magician Cyril Touzé for a musical exploration of the earth’s stratigraphy.


Live Performance at le CUBE – Sublime Sonus 2 (with theconcatenator) Après le succès du premier rendez-vous de Sublime Sonus : à la découverte de la musique électroacoustique, proposé par Roland Cahen en mars 2008 au Cube, prolongez l’exploration passionnante de ce genre musical en découvrant quatres grands noms de la musique électroacoustique qui interprèteront quelques unes de leurs œuvres. theconcatenator présenteront un live audio-visuel improvisé, Christian Zanési jouera sur différents dispositifs une version live de 2006, l’aube rouge. Xavier Garcia, aux claviers, présentera Solo, performance improvisée selon le lieu, la circonstance, la pression de l’air et la température ambiante. Enfin, Marco Marini jouera une nouvelle pièce sur Piège à Rêve, l’instrument textile de Maurin Donneau
Venue: le CUBE – Sublime Sonus 2 (with theconcatenator) , 20, Cours Saint Vincent, 92130 Issy-les-moulineaux , Paris, Ile-de-France 92130 , FR


Silver Sounds Exhibition with MTBF soundscape wins award

The Silver Sounds exhibition has won the Times Higher Education Award for Excellence and Innovation in the Arts. At a ceremony in London last night the University’s Naughton Gallery’s Silver Sounds Exhibition took the top award in the category, beating off competition from universities all over the UK.
See the exhibition’s site at

The exhibition is unique because visitors can ‘hear’ as well as see the University’s silver collection, through using handheld computers to highlight objects and listen to the artists’ interpretations. Ten internationally renowned sound artists created sound pieces to accompany 22 of the silver objects, exploring their origins and the reasons for their creation and use. Read the rest of this entry »


Trowel and Seal Silver Sounds exhibition soundscape, Naughton Gallery, QUB, Belfast

This composition was commissioned by Queens University, Belfast, for the QUB Silver Collection soundscapes project, a permanent exhibition at QUB’s Naughton Gallery that presents the universities rich silver collection in a setting where each piece is accompanied by a soundscape, commissioned from one of ten internationally renowned sound artists. These soundscapes respond to the provenance of a particular piece of silverware and explore the reasons for its creation, donation and use and combine with the silver objects to create a new immersive artwork.

The exhibition won the 2008 Times Higher Education Award for Excellence and Innovation in the Arts.

The soundscape for the two exhibition objects Presentation Seal and Trowel (1896) is based on the re-contextualisation of sounds stemming from the life cycle and environment of the exposed objects: their creation, their materiality, their usage, and the concepts and entities they refer to.  These sounds are re-contextualised into a soundscape according to their sonic characteristics by corpus-based synthesis, creating a reminiscence of the objects’ presence in its multiple facets, a sort of sonic cubism.

Read the rest of this entry »


Live Performance at Agence XP

seeée l’agence XP ::: 12:00 (CEST) .Mean Time Between Failure. – .improvisation + decontextualisation. – .mtbf solo with drones, bidules et field recordings. .12:30 (CEST) .ring sax modulator. – .Etienne Brunet. – .longue traine roll & catenary samba. .13:00 (CEST) .Diemo Schwarz + Etienne Brunet. – .improvisation + recontextualisation. – - .MTBF invite Etienne Brunet pour un Bass corpus clarinet concatenative free drone, ou l’inverse.
Venue: Agence XP , 15 rue de l’aude , Paris 14e, , FR


Live Performance at placard 10, la generale en manufacture


Live Performance at Placard 2007

le placard headphone festival
Venue: 6 grande rue , Sevres, Hauts-de-Seine, Ile-de-France , FR


Rien du tout Performance at Live Algorithms for Music Conference, London

Concert 2: New Computer Music by LAM Network members

Performance “Rien du tout” with Diemo Schwarz and Sam Britton using real time concatenative synthesis:

Drawing on compositional models proposed by John Cage and Luc Ferrari, we assert that it is possible, through a process of re-composition to record environmental sounds and interpret and contextualise them into a musical framework. We propose to demonstrate the possibilities of such an approach by using the CataRT corpus based concatenative synthesis engine as a tool for real-time analysis and catagorisation of recorded sound whilst simultaneously affecting a process of re-synthesis using specific compositional strategies and techniques. We will present various derivatives of this approach in a performance scenario where the emphasis will be based on capturing sound events in real-time using microphones and processing these recordings using CataRT. During the duration of the performance we hope to be able to start with nothing at all (Rien de tout) and by recording and re-composing environmental sound, evolve a musical structure by tracing a non-linear path through the increasing corpus of recorded sound and thereby orchestrating a counter-point to our own linear perception of time. Our aim is to construct a compositional framework from any given source material that may be interpreted as being musical by virtue of the fact that it’s parts have been intelligently re-arranged according to specific sonic and temporal criteria.

2 – 4 pm  Venue: <i>Great Hall</i>, Goldsmith’s University , New Cross, London , UK


Live Performance with George Lewis and Evan Parker, London

Performance with George Lewis and Evan Parker at the LAM Conference for Live Algorithms for Music:

Concert 1: George Lewis, Evan Parker and friends with Voyager and other live algorithms

The concert will feature the Voyager system and experiments with computer systems developed by LAM network members.
7.30 pm Venue: Great Hall, Goldsmiths College £10(£6) , New Cross, London , UK


placard #9 headphone festival, Paris

noise ambient drone field recordings mechanical toys contact mike surface scrape electronics patch corpus-based concatenative exploration mean time between failures.

MTBF + guest live at the placard #9 festival, La Générale, Paris. Some audience noises picked up by the contact mic on the autoharp.

Diemo Schwarz (as MTBF): autoharp, wind-up toys, e- and a-bow, Max/MSP, cataRT;
Guillaume Boutard (guest): drone guitar


Live at Sonic Arts Research Centre (SARC), Belfast

Live at Sonic Arts Research Centre (SARC), Belfast, with Belfast electronic improvisers


Off-ICMC concert, Barcelona

MTBF live at the Off-ICMC festival alongside the International Computer Music Conference, Metropol, Barcelona

Diemo Schwarz: contact mic, wind-up toys, various field recordings, Max/MSP, cataRT


placard #8 headphone festival, Paris

MTBF solo live at the placard #8 headphone and streaming festival, gallery Glassbox, Paris.

Diemo Schwarz: inverse stylophone, wind-up toys, Nutella surprise egg shaker, various field recordings, jMax, all clicks and bugs intentional: MTBF = 0.42 seconds.


Live concert for the launch of the Creative Commons License in France, Maison des Métallos, Paris

Live concert for the launch of the Creative Commons License in France at Ars Longa in the Maison des Métallos, Paris


Live concert at Fête de la Musique Libre, Paris

Live concert at the Fête de la Musique Libre, Paris, a free and open source software event organised by the April association.


Live concert at the Linux Sound Night, ZKM, Karlsruhe

Live concert at the Linux Sound Night on the 2nd International Linux Audio Conference in the ZKM, Karlsruhe

Electro-Mechanical Ambience is a live set of 30-45 minutes. It was performed two times before, first in 2001 at the Buro Placard #4 72h non-stop headphone festival, streamed between Paris and Vienna, and second in 2003 at the Reseaunances streaming concerts, an alternative (viral) event to Ircam’s host festival Resonances in Paris. Read the rest of this entry »


Live concert at the Réseaunances off festival, Ircam, Paris

Live concert at the Réseaunances streaming off festival to Resonances 2003 at Ircam, Paris

Roland analog vocoder, jMax, Boss Digital Delay, inversed Stylophone