Archive for the culture Category

BEAM at Brunel 2012

Posted in conferences, creative practice, culture, DIY, eurorack, gear, links, music, research, video with tags , , , , on 25/06/2012 by sync24

BEAM 2012
Friday.

I went to the BEAM festival at Brunel again this weekend, same kind of deal as last year, but curated by Atau Tanaka.
A Symposium started things off on the Friday afternoon with a number of interesting presentations by some of the participants.
Lewis Sykes showed his PHD research in to Cymatics (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cymatics) and framed the whole thing extremely well from a research POV (http://phd.lewissykes.info/). He showed various historical examples by Hans Jenny (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hans_Jenny_%28cymatics%29) and mentioned the use of “global knowledge” (the internet) – he showed these amazing 3D cymatic things too: http://cymatica.net/, and this interesting website: http://www.cymaticmusic.co.uk/. He also mentioned John Whitney and this amazing looking book called Digital Harmony (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Digital-Harmony-Complementarity-Music-Visual/dp/007070015X). One more for the list… (http://thesis.lambertsblog.co.uk/?page_id=117)
I have an old speaker that i’ve been meaning to try this stuff out with since i saw it demo’ed at Flash On The Beach… another thing on the list.
I had some good conversations with Lewis over the two days about his work, practice phds and stuff – definitely a very good start to the festival.

Other people of note in the Symposium:
Mike Cook showed his Arduino stuff again, very engaging presentation of his current work.
http://www.thebox.myzen.co.uk/Site/Welcome.html

Bruno Zamborlin showed his Mogees project with gestural audio capture through the use of piezo microphones (http://www.brunozamborlin.com/mogees/) he was performing later in the evening with Ed Handley from Plaid.

Anyway, there were other talks – some not as interesting as others. The other highlight, after Lewis, was Sergi Jorda talking about what led up to his development of the ReacTable. He talked about some of his older work – a feedback loop thing sounded interesting to try out, throwing a pitch tracker into the mix along with some variable effects – like an adapted Alvin Lucier sitting in a room affair. He went on to talk at length about the reacTable and how it was developed, his main thing with it was about how so many music controllers had been unsuccessful, probably because they were old fashioned and shouldn’t be trying to emulate traditional instruments. Fair enough.
He showed a bunch of statements at the end of his talk, one really stood out:
“Not knowing the history of your field and not listening to others tends to guarantee failure.”

The evening had some interesting performances, but the real highlight was Michael Page and his crazy home made sequencers. Here he is at he music hack space: musichackspace.org/michael-page-hardware-step-sequencer-and-machines/ and here’s his blog: http://mpanimation.blogspot.co.uk/

Saturday.
Needed to be out of my accommodation by 10am and had a free-ish morning so i went for a swim and then visited the London Motorcycle Museum (which was amazing).
Got back to BEAM for the afternoon performances and was blown away by Simon Katan who’d done something equally amazing last year.


http://simonkatan.co.uk

I got to have a closer look at Michael Pages sequencers too.
I also had a chat with a chap who was in the workshops with me last year and together we talked with Sam Underwood & David Morton. Mr Underwood told me about the kits he makes so i will be getting in touch with him.
here he is: http://www.mrunderwood.co.uk/

in the evening there were more performances:
Sally Golding did some fantastic stuff with 16mm film projections (http://www.sallygolding.com/)
Benoît and the Mandelbrots demystified live coding for me… (www.the-mandelbrots.de) actually, Alex McClean did that the previous evening using emacs…
John Bowers planned set didn’t go to plan (pure data crashed) so he blasted the place with his Eurorack (QMMG, z3000, NoiseRing and a MATHS) plus some other home made gear. http://www.jmbowers.net/
i was hoping for space noises from Thomas Lehn and his EMS Synthi, but got blasted by analog tone instead.
the last performance was Carles López playing the Reactable. it was good, but quite straight, until he knocked the table, some objects fell on the floor and those remaining started interacting in strange ways – much more interesting!

that was it for me, no sleep over and no sunday business.

next year (fingers crossed it’ll run for it’s third year) i really would like to get my act together and get something submitted for the open call. there was plenty of food for thought, and with my current Eurorack exploration i think i could do something along those lines…

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We Can Elude Control

Posted in conferences, culture, eurorack, gear, music, video with tags , , , , on 09/06/2012 by sync24

http://www.dlwp.com/event/we-can-elude-control

here’s my vid of Russell:

Andrew Whelan

Posted in culture, DIY, Dr8 work, links, reading, research with tags , , , , on 05/05/2012 by sync24

I’d had Whelan, Andrew Breakcore : identity and interaction on peer-to-peer out from the library for too long and someone had put in a request for it…

So after a quick read through, it wasn’t quite the book i was thinking it was.
It was still great to read research into such a niche field of music, but there were a few chapters which i feel had little to do with my own niche.
which is fine.

Whelan’s article in Cybersounds (Whelan, Andrew. 2006. “Do U Produce?: Subcultural Capital and Amateur Musicianship in Peer-to-Peer Networks.” Pp. 57-81 in Cybersounds: Essays on Virtual Music Culture, edited by Michael Ayers. New York: Peter Lang.) remains key for me.

Anyway, i found the Breakcore book online, here: http://julianabraham.files.wordpress.com/2010/05/breakcore.pdf
http://breakcorelabs.wordpress.com/2010/05/09/brekore_book/
i’m not going to upload my notes & quotes as there’s loads…

Here’s Andrew Whelan:
http://www.uow.edu.au/arts/ssmac/staff/UOW059282.html
http://zombieacademy.wordpress.com/
http://uow.academia.edu/AndrewWhelan
http://231074.blogspot.co.uk/

one last article as it looks interesting:
Whelan, Andrew. 2010. “Free music and trash culture: the reconfiguration of musical value online.” What’s It Worth?: ‘Value’ and Popular Music, edited by Kirsten Zemke and Shelley Brunt. a google search should bring it up.

some new tracks…

Posted in creative practice, culture, gear, links, midi, music with tags , , , on 23/04/2012 by sync24

i’ve managed to make two more tracks to send to E&R.
They’re close but not deep enough, i’ve been using the ESX with the Roland gear too, so it’s a bit of a learning process – integrating the two control formats, but i need to do some reorganising of the studio set-up to get things comfortable to use.

These tracks have also been added to a number of Soundcloud groups with the hope gaining additional exposure…
http://soundcloud.com/groups/dub-minimal-techno
http://soundcloud.com/groups/roland-synthesizers
http://soundcloud.com/groups/101-202-303-808-909
http://soundcloud.com/groups/pure-roland-tr-808-and-tb-303-hardware-productions

the main thing i need to do, along with making stuff to upload, is to spend time listening to tracks and contributing comments. TiME is my enemy (or is that work…?)

use of one of my tracks…. :)

Posted in culture, music with tags , , , , on 16/04/2012 by sync24

I have been asked by a Soundcloud user, willow, if he can use my binaural storm recording from 26.06 in one of his tracks. It’s a good atmospheric piece with my rain storm in the background.
here it is:
http://soundcloud.com/wilkw/wilk-s-ae

edit: it’s now the first track on BLOCK E By Wilk Kick here:
http://wilk.bandcamp.com/
and here he is on Soundcloud:
http://soundcloud.com/wilkw

here’s my original recording:

getting more MIDI….

Posted in creative practice, culture, gear, midi, music with tags , , , on 16/01/2012 by sync24

what’s wrong with me…? I won another MIDI thing yesterday on ebay and am serious about getting something else!

Here’s my latest aquisition:

A Yamaha DX200 groovebox style synth module.
It’s what I’ve been wanting for ages but not really investigated, probably because of the MIDI thing.
Anyway, I’ve been looking online at sites discussing these things and it’s clearly a decent little unit – loads of FM synthesis, DX7 style.
Here’s some links:
http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/jul01/articles/yamahadx200.asp
http://www.vintagesynth.com/yamaha/dx200.php

The other thing I’ve been looking at is the Korg Electribe ESX-1 SD. Another groovebox style thing, for playing around with samples. There appears to be little communities around these units, so, as with other things i have worked with (The Roland stuff, the Shruthi-1 and the Dronelab) it’d be interesting to make some music and contribute to these groups via Soundcloud and maybe some forums…

Here’s a pic of the Electribe thing:

and some links…
http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/mar04/articles/korgesx1.htm
http://www.vintagesynth.com/korg/esx1.php

M4_u Leicester – Day one

Posted in conferences, creative practice, culture, music, research, software with tags , , , on 15/01/2012 by sync24

M4_u Leicester:

I went to the first UK based MAX conference in Leicester (of all places…) with PM this weekend. It wasn’t the same experience as Expo74, but the conference itself was only slightly smaller scale-wise.

The conference started with David Zicarelli delivering a supposed keynote talk titled ‘How to be better at Max’, this was a good start to the conference, as David discussed his recent reading around happiness and how people learn & improve. He then showed some patching strategies, and his Keynote presentation seemed to disappear. He wasn’t as shy as in Brooklyn, which was great as he talked for a full hour.
http://maxuk.wordpress.com/schedule/performances/speakers/david-zicarelli/

Next up was Richard Garrett and his ‘nwdlbots’, generative devices for Ableton Live. I’m not really much of a Live user, so it was good to see how the software works, I did struggle to maintain my attention as I the ‘generative’ element wasn’t really to my taste.
http://maxuk.wordpress.com/schedule/performances/speakers/richard-garrett/

The third talk of the morning was from Luke Woodbury about ‘Max and special needs’. This was great, Luke was employed to build devises and facilitate a special needs dept in a school and looks like he’s done an amazing job of it! He showed various techniques he’s used for developing methods of interaction, getting the students attention and helping the teachers. He confirmed my thoughts about the Wiimote (unreliable bluetooth with Macs) and reinforced thoughts about i-devices using TouchOSC etc.
http://maxuk.wordpress.com/schedule/performances/installations/luke-woodbury-multi-sensory-environments/
http://lukewoodbury.co.uk/

By the time the third talk ended, it appeared there was ano overlap with the Workshops and I needed a break, so skipped ‘Binaural Spatialisation’ with Lorenzo Picinali
http://maxuk.wordpress.com/schedule/performances/workshops/lorenzo-picinali/

After lunch Bret Battey talked about his work and ‘Compressed Feedback Synthesis’. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but once he got going and played some examples I was sold. Bret reminded me of NC, and seemed to keep catching himself lost in the moment when describing how sounds morphed and changed, surely great to have as a teacher!
The compressed feedback synthesis was great, systems which grabbed audio feedback and compressed it, stretching it out for long periods. It reminded me of some sounds I had explored in the 90s with my Zoom effects unit and four track tape machine, oh, and the visuals he does are amazing too.
http://maxuk.wordpress.com/schedule/performances/speakers/375-2/
http://www.mti.dmu.ac.uk/~bbattey/Gallery/sinus.html


(and here’s one of my tracks)
http://soundcloud.com/sync24/beewart

Brett was followed by Tarik Barri who gave a quick potted history, and talked about the development of his brilliant ‘Versum’ 3D world. Tarik also provides VJ visuals for people. I commented to PM that through Tariks talk, he seemed to make a sudden jump from playing about with Max, to writing stuff in Java and SuperCollider… he didn’t really talk about this much, so he must have taken it in his stride!
Versum is fantastic and was exhibited in a side room where the user could fly through the audio/visual space using the 3D mouse.
http://maxuk.wordpress.com/schedule/performances/speakers/tarik-barri/