Thanks to Eric Hardiman for shooting and posting videos from Saturday’s Albany Sonic Arts Collective show.
This is the premiere of a soon-to-be-titled work built around the idea of treating a fader box as a set of pump organ pedals, rather than simple position sensors. Using Cycling ’74’s Max I can control the organ sounds with a variety of gestures: “pumping” the faders makes the sounds louder, rhythmic motion creates harmonics, sudden and abrupt changes add distortion and bite. The samples that appear at 5:30 are from a 2010 recording session with choreographer Jill Sigman (previous story here).
(Start at 1:32 to skip the embarrassing banter and the hopeless yet obligatory banjo tuning…)
“No Mule” is another brand-new tune. The rhythmic chopping effect is a kind of slow-motion walk through a live sample of the banjo. I add a few more live samples beginning at about 4:00 and get into full-on Steve Reich mode by 6:00.
I made these 4 short pieces to celebrate the new folding chairs ASAC has provided for the UAG. One folding chair, two contact mics, a superball mallet, a cheap cello bow and Max–the pieces practically made themselves.
Cycling ’74 has posted a new video from the Science Fair they hosted as part of the recent Expo ’74 event in Brooklyn. I show off my extended banjo instrument (along with my unashamedly geeky enthusiasm). My segment runs from 2:16-3:13, but watch the whole thing and marvel at the wonderful, strange things people do with Max (and their own geeky enthusiasms). Other videos in the series can be found here.
And a big shout out to Eric Prust who built the fine fretless banjo (minus the electronics) in the video.
Notes on Fencepost
- The cFCFAb tuning is one I came to after trying a more standard minor (fCFAbC) or sawmill (cFCFG) tuning. I use a Pythagorean temperament based on F which doesn’t change the tuning of the C’s and F’s very much, but makes the Ab significantly flatter than an equal-tempered Ab.
- The whooshing, windy sound throughout (heard prominently during the intro) is generated by walking on a pair of foot pedals, almost the way you would pump an old pump organ. (You can see this motion in the video.)
- While recording, I kept missing the foot pedals and accidentally stepping on a mic stand instead. I decided to embrace the resulting bass drum thumps and include them in the piece.
- Yet another song with bird imagery (YASWBI).
Jason Cosco was kind enough to post a video of me performing Wichita Mind Control for bent electronics with MaxMSP at the Upstate Artist’s Guild Gallery last April. This was the premiere performance of the piece. Though my pieces often changes incrementally (or sometimes substantially) as I continue to perform them, this first shot at WMC still feels definitive to me.
Here’s audio of the same performance (previously posted here)
I’m finally putting some videos online from the Faust/Century Plants/Holland Hopson show at Proctors. A few can currently be found at YouTube and Vimeo, with another clip or two to arrive soon. These are definitely “performance documentation” videos. If you want to bring your 3-camera HD setup and skills to my next show, feel free to drop me a line!