The DIY orchestra of the future – hemi speakers

In this TED Talk Ge Wang of Stanford geeks out about computer music (hooray!). He talks briefly about the hemispherical speakers used by the Stanford Laptop Orchestra. Their design (using an IKEA salad bowl) informed my hemi speaker experiments here.

I recently bought a 6-channel amplifier to upgrade the 3 2-channel amps I originally installed in the speaker. I’ll post about the new amp as soon as I drop it in.

51 3rd Recordings – Everyone Looks to a Sumatran, Virginian Curlew

Here are live recordings of my set from November’s show at 51 3rd Street that also included performances by Keir Neuringer and Rambutan (Eric Hardiman). It’s an eclectic set beginning with a slightly dysfunctional performance of

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Everyone Looks to the Sky

No one but me would know that the computer is responding to my playing differently than anticipated. Such is the fun of interactive computer music: you just have to work with it, ride with it, fight it, respond to the moment, change your plans. In this case, the conception of the piece is already so circumscribed that the content of the work is hardly changed, though the form is clearly different–and maybe more dramatic as a result.

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Batak Batak

A recent binge of Indonesian music led me to dust off this piece. I never felt I had worked out the sax part enough when the piece was new, which might account for why I shelved it. Revisiting the piece, I discovered very few indications of what I had intended for the sax part–little more than a scribbled microtonal scale. There’s clearly still work to do here, but I’m less bothered than I might have been in the past by the elliptical playing.

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East Virginia

This has become one of my go-to banjo pieces; a surefire way to find my place on the instrument.

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Curlew

A brand-new piece getting its first public airing. I learn so much by performing new material and can’t wait to revise this tune as a result. Yet another song with bird imagery (YASWBI).

Weeping Willow Street Improvisations

Last November I spent a memorable, rainy afternoon at Travis Weller’s place performing a house concert as part of his Willow Street Concert Series. Nick Hennies wowed us with music for solo percussion including an entrancing performance of Alvin Lucier’s Silver Streetcar. I played music for fretless banjo, bent electronics and computer. Then Travis and I improvised two pieces with Travis playing his Owl, a custom-built piano wire lyre with electronics. Nick joined in for the last piece of the afternoon. The rain kept us company all along.

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091108 Willow Street Improvisation 1.mp3

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091108 Willow Street Improvisation 2.mp3

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091108 Willow Street Improvisation 3.mp3

Tele-Morphosis

I’ll be playing soprano sax in another telematic performance on Thursday August 28 @ 2:00pm. This one is part of the International Computer Music Conference (ICMC) in Belfast, Northern Ireland. It’s an improvisation called Tele-Morphosis directed by Pauline Oliveros that features performers from Stanford, CA; Troy, NY; and Belfast, Northern Ireland all connected together in real-time. I haven’t seen any info re: streaming of the performance, but if I do I’ll certainly post a link.