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.
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.
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
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.
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.”
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 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.