All posts by John Keston

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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Synthetic Skyline

<em>Synthetic Skyline</em>

From May 27 to July 26, 2014 I participated in The Audible Edge, a group exhibition that “explores intersections of architecture and sound, inside and outside the gallery space.”

The Audible Edge includes With Hidden Noise, a traveling exhibition of sound art projects, including works by Taylor Deupree, Jennie C. Jones, Pauline Oliveros, Andrea Parkins, Steve Peters, Steve Roden, Michael J. Schumacher, and Stephen Vitiello. With Hidden Noise is part of ICI’s Exhibitions in a Box series. Produced by Independent Curators International (ICI), New York, this exhibition is curated by Stephen Vitiello. The Audible Edge includes artists invited by the organizing team to participate in the exhibition, including J. Anthony Allen, Philip Blackburn, Mary Ellen Childs, Douglas Ewart, Douglas Geers, Beatrix*JAR, John Keston, Abinadi Meza, Ryan Wurst and Patrick Beseda.

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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.