Tag Archives: Experimentation

Duet for Synthesizer and Spin Cycle

Here’s a recent addition to my series of duets for synthesizers and environments. Once again I have used the cleaners as a setting, but this time focusing on the spin cycle and using the binaural head with a fixed camera. The accelerating oscillations of the spin cycle are really fun to mimic with the Korg Monotribe. The dual speed setting on the LFO goes a long way. Pushing the speed up into the audio range one can create cross mod or FM like textures. This piece will be shown, along with similar work, at my MFA thesis exhibition next month.

NOTE: This is a binaural recording mixed with a monophonic, analog, synthesizer performance. Please use circumaural headphones to experience the binaural effect.

DKO at FRANK Part 2: Everyday Music (2012)

This is an excerpt from a performance by DKO from the MCAD MFA open studio night on December 7, 2012 as discussed in the post Live Binaural Recording of DKO with Oliver Grudem. The document features Oliver Grudem (not shown) who produced the audiovisual score in real-time. The video and sound coming from the LED display and loud speaker below it was broadcast into the performance space as Oliver walked around the Minneapolis Uptown area during a snow storm. The visuals and sound from his walk provided a “score” for us to respond to as we improvised. Oliver was also able to hear our musical reactions to the audiovisual score as he was broadcasting and respond accordingly.

The piece was recorded with my custom built binaural head microphone to capture the sound localization of the performance space. NOTE: It is necessary to wear high quality headphones to experience the binaural effect. The spatial properties of studio monitors are also acceptable but will not produce the same localization of the sound sources. Thanks goes out to Eric Dowell for shooting video of the one hour long performance. I am working on editing a shorter version to briefly summarize the essence of the piece. This 13 minute video is a more in depth snapshot of what the performance entailed.

Chromatic Currents II

This second part to “Chromatic Currents” was produced with the GMS by using a string of lights placed into a large glass vase. I moved the camera around the vase to direct the flow of musical phrases with one hand while I adjusted transposition and note duration settings in the sequencer with my right.

You might notice that the video stimulus does not resemble lights in a vase. This is because I applied a negative filter to the video after capturing the performance. I used a pentatonic scale interspersed with rare dissonant notes and probability distributions in the note durations to give it an eerie awkwardness.

GMS: Chromatic Currents Part II from Unearthed Music on Vimeo.

Chromatic Currents I

Chromatic Currents Part I is a generative music piece driven by particles floating in a liquid. No intervention in particle behavior occurred while the piece was being performed using the GMS. The scale was strongly C minor pentatonic, weighted with a Dorian mode by adding less-likely probabilities for D and A. However, every note that was not part of the scale still had a small possibility of occurring. This led to occasional blue or dissonant pitches in the sequence. The possibility of occurrences for any note within a twelve tone chromatic scale led me to the title.

GMS: Chromatic Currents Part I from Unearthed Music on Vimeo.