Tax Refund

Here’s your tax refund from The Field Guide: two new recordings from my recent Albany Sonic Arts Collective performance at the Upstate Artists Guild. See photos from the show here.

The first piece features an in-progress version of my Fender Telecaster morphing into an electric 6-string banjo. I replaced the lowest string on the Tele with another high string to serve as a drone. Soon to come are railroad spikes so I can change the pitch of the drone string more easily and my usual allotment of sensors added to the instrument. This piece is played in a traditional thumb lead two-finger style using a modified mountain-minor tuning (dG’DGcd) run through a loopy MSP patch.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Spring Dissent (Bubbling)

The second piece is a modified version of a work for banjo and electronics with the banjo replaced by my Base On, a circuit-bent walkie-talkie. Not much of the circuit-bent sound is heard, though, since it drives an elaborate resynthesis process in MSP that simultaneously retunes the pitches to just-intonation and smears the transitions with glissandi. A touch of feedback in the process opens up slightly unstable areas where the algorithm fights with itself to settle on a consistent pitch.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Wichita Mind Control – Estate Capital

ASAC Presents Corridors, Delicate Sen, Benny Nelson, Jay Sullivan

asac april 25 flyer
Albany Sonic Arts Presents Corridors, Delicate Sen, Benny Nelson and Jay Sullivan.

Saturday April 25th at 8pm
at the Upstate Artists Guild
247 Lark St.
Albany, NY

Corridors [Brooklyn]
sound + video by byron westbrook

Delicate Sen
Anne Guthrie / Billy Gomberg / Richard Kammerman [Troy and Brooklyn]
French Horn and electronics

delicate sen

Benny Nelson [Boston]
Jay Sullivan [Boston]
Analog synth, turntable and harmonium

New Music Co-op: Immersive and in the dark

Austin American-Statesman Arts Critic Jeanne Claire van Ryzin reviews the latest New Music Co-op concert, Sound in Time, featuring guest cellisst Charles Curtis performing music by Alvin Lucier. This article is another entry in the “Austin’s Other Live Music Scene” series remarked on here

Handmade Electronic Music – Updated

Nic Collins’s wonderful book, Handmade Electronic Music – The Art of Hardware Hacking is getting an update. Routledge is publishing a new edition with, according to Nic, “lots of new circuits and illustrations, more examples of artists’ designs, and a DVD with 87 1-minute video clips by hackers from all over the globe, as well as a series of step-by-step video tutorials.” I can’t wait to see it. After the jump are a number of events surrounding the release.

Continue reading

ASAC Presents Area C, Mudboy, Holland Hopson

I’ll be playing in a show presented by the Albany Sonic Arts Collective featuring Area C and Mudboy from Providence RI.

Thursday April 16 @ 8pm
at the Upstate Artists Guild
247 Lark St.
Albany, NY

Area C + Mudboy + Holland Hopson Poster

More info after the jump… Continue reading

Austin’s other live music scene

The Austin American-Statesman is running a month-long series on Austin’s other live music scene: classical music. The first installment mentions the usual establishment players (who, I should point out, do a better-than-usual job with adventurous programming than their national counterparts…).  Also mentioned are some of my much-missed colleagues who are busy

“pushing the boundaries of what classical music can be and how it can be presented in the 21st century. Austin has a tribe of adventurous musicians – composer-performers like Graham Reynolds, Peter Stopschinski, P. Kellach Waddle and Travis Weller; ensemble leaders such as Michelle Schumann and Aurélien Petillot and groups such as the Tosca String Quartet, Audio Inversions and the Invincible Czars – that lead the charge, taking their newly composed classical music to nightclubs, collaborating with filmmakers, dancers and theater companies and otherwise finding ways to challenge the status quo of classical music performance.”

I look forward to reading the rest of the series.

Sommeil: A Concert for Sleep

Tanner Menard, Antenna Gallery and Experimedia Records present Sommeil: A Concert for Sleep in New Orleans on 4/11-4/12. Get details here.

Tanner sent out an open call for sound to be used during the concert. My work will appear alongside approx. 70 artists who submitted work. I’ll be interested to hear how this event comes off, especially having recently participated in the River of Drone.

These Days

These days I’ve been helping sound artist Micah Silver with his upcoming installation, The End of Safari, at MassMoCA. It’s part of an exhibit called These Days that opens on Saturday 4/4.

Micah asked me to build a way to aim a Holosonics Audio Spotlight speaker on a pan/tilt head using MIDI messages. I worked with a MidiTron he already owned, a handful of relays and the usual baling wire, duct tape and chewing gum. The setup provides an uncanny sense of localization–much more ghostly than panning a sound around an array of speakers.

Here’s a shot of the altogether messy electronics.

MidiTron pan/tilt controller