Presenting at Moogfest 2014

I am very excited to announce that I will be presenting at Moogfest on April 24, 2014. I will stand along side Yuri Suzuki, Felix Faire, Yoon Chung Han, and Scott Snibbe participating in “an afternoon exploring alternative interfaces for sound generation and manipulation, and the future of visual music” programmed by Eyeo Festival organizers including industry visionary Dave Schroeder. Please visit the Moogfest site for more details.

Particle Playground

Particle Playground

Particle Playground is an interactive HTML5 canvas, JavaScript, and Processing JS experiment. The web application includes a collapsible GUI (dat.gui) providing a variety of controls. These parameters allow the user to manipulate the behavior of a particle system.

This project was created as a demonstration for a class that I teach titled Interactive Motion Scripting. In the class students start by learning how to script simple animations and progress to developing complex object oriented interactions. Visit Particle Playground.

Music with Context: Audiovisual Scores for Improvising Musicians

Thesis Venn Diagram 2.0 - New Page

A good stretch of my time working on my MFA in New Media at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD) was spent working on my master’s thesis. Here’s the abstract:

This paper explores the idea of mutable, audiovisual scores for improvised musical performances through the description of personal perspectives, practical examples, proposed projects, and research. The author postulates that an audiovisual score can be a useful tool to connect improvising musicians to each other and their audience through the insertion of a mediating audiovisual layer within the work. These systems are used as a primary influential agent for an ensemble of improvisers, providing them with a context for a musical conversation. In contrast to traditional notation and graphic scores, audiovisual scores embrace the chaotic ambiguities of environmental influences giving the music the context of unpredictable everyday events. Presenting an unpredictable audiovisual score parallels the indeterminate improvisation of the ensemble. It activates the last vestige of what remains immutable within traditional forms of notation driven performance inserting it into a mutable layer within the work.

In my thesis you will find detailed, conceptual explanations for many of the projects that I have shared here over the last few years. There are also references to work by many other artists who have provided inspiration to me. If you’re interested please click the link below to view or download the document.

Music with Context: Audiovisual Scores for Improvising Musicians by John Keston

Machine Machine Touchscreen Instrument

Machine Machine (2013) is a 32″ touchscreen installation that functions as an electronic instrument. Granular synthesis is used to loop “grains” of sound and video at variable lengths and frequencies. These parameters are based on the y-axis of the touch point on the monitor. The x-axis determines the position of the grain within the timeline. The piece was exhibited last month at the Northrup King Building in Minneapolis during Art-a-Whirl and for Visual Storage; the MCAD MFA thesis exhibition.
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Spectral Tablature (2013)

<em>Spectral Tablature</em> (2013)

Spectral Tablature is a series of collaborative installations that explore sound generated through visual processes. Sound is recorded or synthesized using common techniques then converted into images called spectral analysis. These forms are re-interpreted as a visual artifact then converted back into sound. For each pair, or “duet,” the similarities and differences in tone and texture can be heard as well as seen in the work. This series, along with two more of my installations, is currently on display for my thesis exhibition at the Northrup King Building in Minneapolis. Please read on for images and descriptions of each pair of prints along with the audio.
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examples of work in sound and electronic imagery