Instant Composer: Mad-libbed Music

On June 13, 2015 I collaborated with a team of nine students and nine musicians on a project I directed for Northern Spark, an annual, all-night, art festival In Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota. We titled the project, Instant Composer: Mad-libbed Music and the intent was to engage the audience into instantly writing musical compositions for an ensemble of improvising musicians.
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Vocalise Sintetica at Echofluxx 14, Prague

On May 7, 2014 I performed Vocalise Sintetica at the Echofluxx Festival in Prague. The piece is made up of four movements: I. Machines (00:00), II. Liquid (18:43), III. Vocalise (28:55), and, IV. Sintetica (38:41). Each movement is a playlist of five audiovisual objects that are instantly available to be projected and amplified while being granulated in real-time by a performer using a multitouch interface. The performer may loop their gestures applied to the audiovisual objects in order to bring in additional synthesized sound layers that contrast or mimic the audiovisual objects. My performance at Echofluxx was made possible by a grant from the American Composers Forum with funds provided by the Jerome Foundation.
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New Spectral Tablature Collaborations Exhibited in Tokyo

I am pleased to be participating in an exhibition of work by Jasio Stefanski at Print Gallery in Tokyo, Japan. Jasio is showing a variety of his work including two pieces that we collaborated on together fron the series Spectral Tablature. The first piece is Synthetic Skyline previously exhibited for the Audible Edge sound art exhibition at the Katherine Nash Gallery in Minneapolis. The second piece is a new work in the series titled Synthetic Transitions.

Synthetic Transitions

To create the work I started by composing a simple sequence of notes that speed up and then slow down. Jasio requested that we included diagonal lines in the piece so I used linear portamento on the Moog Sub 37 to create the “transitions” he was interested in seeing. The video shows the plotter rendering Jasio’s Reprise of the work shown/heard in the image/audio below.

Synthetic Transitions Reprise

Jasio’s Reprise is based on form and color values as opposed to acoustic accuracy. The visuals were composed to place emphasis on the “transitions” or portamento. The output visually reinterprets the angles informed by the gliding notes without connecting them in the composition. When sonified the plotted design singles out the portamento, isolating it from the context of the sustained frequencies.

Duets with the Singing Ringing Tree

In May, 2014 I performed Duets with the Singing Ringing Tree (SRT) in Northern England. The SRT is a permanent, wind-activated sculpture by London-based architects, Tonkin Liu. For five days I documented dozens of analogue synthesizer improvisations with the SRT using a binaural-head microphone. After returning to Minneapolis I produced and published a series of six of these pieces as video documentation on YouTube. These works, in the words of Peter Kirn from CreateDigitalMusic.com, evoke an “eerie resonance.” The synthesizer accompaniment alternates between contrasting and mimicking the haunting tones of the cold, metal structure. Read on for a series of photos from the project.

NOTE: These are binaural recordings combined with synthesizer accompaniment. Although it sounds great through speakers, circumaural headphones must be used to experience the binaural effect.
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examples of work in sound and electronic imagery