111:08 minutes (101.93 MB)
Much Respect to electronic Max
various art/culture/tech topics & happenings by Psymbolic audio/visual inter/multi-media artists
Much Respect to electronic Max
artificial life preserver's debut album automata is now available at the various online music services linked below.
Stay Tuned as this post will be updated as the album gets added to more online shops worldwide.
After only 3 years, I've finally ripped, re-encoded and uploaded some choice sets from 2006 to my merkabaVJ YouTube page.
It was after 2 years of the Abstract Science residency at Sonotheque, and we all were really steady in the groove. Chris Widman and Dave Siska were bringing great artists every month: I really enjoyed the set with Atomly especially. The thing with Future Music is, it can be 3 years later, and the stuff still sounds fresh, even if it is more familiar now to more people.
This visual mix to the music by Dave Siska was all done with Grid from Vidvox, 2 DVD players, mediated by a V4 from Edirol. No realtime effects at this time, all basically edits, cuts, with a fair bit of luma-key overlays.
Hearing this stuff massive on Sonotheque's Funktion 1 system is incredible: the bass can vibrate the clothes on your body, the high end is incredibly crisp and present, yet you can converse without yelling.
The visual material is more accessible than the older drum-n-bass stuff I have up on my YouTube page - but Merkaba visuals is all about covering an extremely wide range of styles - there are some more wild d-n-b sets from that time that are on the way . . . in a month or three.
On the merkabaVJ YouTube page for review are a few VJ faux pas in there, but live sets are rarely flawless, and the little gremlins served as reminders not to do some of that stuff anymore.
[ahem - V4 quad-symmetry]
Last night I experienced a sound installation at the Wexner Center by Ray Lee called Siren (Thanks to Bobby Silver for the tickets). We were brought into a theater and told not to speak during the performance, to turn off our phones and were encouraged to walk around the space during its length. After that we were ushered through an industrial hallway to this back room behind the stage.
Inside this big room were a bunch of tripods with horizontal metal arms on them. Some of these were tall and others were low to the ground. There were two guys in identical grey coats that began to arm the voltage chips in the center of these tripods with little metal tools. They would begin to make a single tone for each end of the arms on the tripods of which they would tune with their little tools by increasing or decreasing the voltage. They went around the room like this for a while creating in effect a large chord of different tuned tones. After a while they switched on these motors that made the metal arms rotate. This caused the tones to modulate and shimmer. The two men seemed to be able to control the speed of the rotations as well.
Slowly a cacophony of shimmering tonal combinations filled the space. As you moved about different melodic figures would emerge, all modulating and pulsating in different rhythms. I got mesmerized by a couple particular areas. Eventually they turned the lights off leaving you alone with the twinkling red fire fly-like blinking L.E.D. lights on the end of the arms. The humming sound filled the room. It wasn't all that loud but very dense and multi layered. You could get lost in it. You would pick up on a specific note and it would follow you around the room. It was like being in a tent in the dark and listening to the hum of a thousand different mosquitoes.
It was really soothing and meditative. I could fall asleep in there. It left me in a state of wonderment. Despite being an art work based in simple machinery, it made me wish I lived a hundred and fifty years or so ago when electricity was just emerging and things like magic still seemed real. Maybe art work like this is the only real magic we have left.
Motion Graphics Festival 2009
Cambridge Mass :: March 5-8
In its 6th year, MGFest stands as the premier US event showcasing creative motion picture design. The festival presents a year-long, regionally focused program of events focusing on motion design, sound design, and interactivity by hosting: art showcases, workshops, classes, panel discussions, studio tours, theater screenings and industry mixers.
The Cambridge Motion Graphics Festival begins March 5th, 2009 in Harvard Square with 4 days of Workshops & Art Showcases by internationally recognized artists, including: Shepard Fairey, Nine Inch Nails, Addictive TV (Slumdog Millionaire), The Mill, Digital Kitchen, Dvein, Trollback & Co, Robert Rich, Passion Pictures, Animal Logic, David Lobser (Harvard), Peter Kirn (Create Digital Music), Eric Gunther (sosolimited), Halfadeer, superDraw, Bob Trahpek (Zia-Trance), Tremble, WiiWhorld and more.
This 4-day festival in the fast moving field of design technology has opened it's Art & Entertainment events for only $7. Rather than charging the typical $500-$1500 conference fee, the Cambridge Motion Graphics Festival encourages participants to spend their money on new books, DVDs and software, offered at a discount rate during the events.
Festival Sponsors include: Create Digital Motion, Oat Creative, Maxon, Lumen Eclipse, Future Media Concepts, GenArts, Stash DVD Magazine, DigiEffects, VidVox, Boris FX, Livid Instruments, Toolfarm, The Chicago Convergence, All City Technology, Sterling Ledet, Resolume, GarageCUBE, Lift Motion Design, Cambridge Arts Council, Massachusetts College of Art and Design, The Brattle Theater, Axiom Gallery, SXSW Interactive, Ableton, wondertouch & Clif Bar.
Silent Auction for over $18000 in software, DVDs and prizes.
.: MGFest Schedule + Registration :: www.MGFest.com
I ask you: what is the foundation for rhythmic electronic music? I suggest that the humble step-sequencer is the backbone of many of today’s musical genres and memetic evolutions. To have electronic rhythm, you need to start with a clock and go from there, dividing it into fractions and multiples. Then start assigning sounds to those divisions and you’re pretty much there- techno is happening.
I’ve been working on prototyping a sequencer-synth and in doing research, I’ve come across numerous projects that tackle this idea with great enthusiasm. Because a sequencer can drive any type of electronics, projects tend to fall into two categories: audio, or visual. Additionally, I’m seeing two main drivers for the sequence itself: the nimble arduino, and the CMOS 4017 Decade counter IC. I’ll survey here some of the finished projects to give an idea of what’s possible. Come with me, won’t you, on an exploration of the world of DIY sequencers.
First up, a few excellent audio sequencers:
This “basic arduino sequencer” by Nikolaosh is undeniably fun. Looks like four potentiometers controlling software synth parameters, with the Arduino doing the sequencing as well. Basic, but effective nonetheless. You can see more details and grab the code here.
This “Beatsequencer” by Kamil Garbacz also uses Arduino to drive a matrix of LEDs. Looks like the top row indicates the position of the step, while the bottom 3 rows indicate on/off status for the beep assigned to that row. A matrix of switches turns each step on and off, 808-style. It’s a very compact design with a minimal interface, but it seems to work.
This “Cigarduino Punk Console” from frogstar has a lot of great elements- nice pulsewave synthesis from the Arduino and a fun cigar-box case. It’s a little light on the LEDs though- don’t we all like our sequencers to have big banks of LEDs pusling through their paces?
In the 4017 category, we’ve got this nice little box from Note!. It nicely marries the Atari Punk console to the 4017 running as a 4-step sequencer. Good glitchy tones get put through their paces.
This sequencer from 9volts really opens up the possibilities here- he’s using the 4017 synched to a drum sampler, triggering circuit-bent devices and controlling gating and filtering. That’s what I’m talkin’ about right there.
This experiment from h.cosas uses the 4017 to drive an LCD display with interesting results. Dig those color bars!
This LED pattern sequencer by WootsPC is very nice to look at- this should give you an idea of what can be done with a basic sequencer, some LEDs, and an eye for animation.
What I take away from all of these projects is the idea that a sequencer can drive pretty much anything, and the most fun and interesting projects lie not in the sequencer itself, but in what is driven by the sequencer.
I’d really like to see someone who combines these LED animations with a good sounding, nicely-interfaced sequenced synth that’s syncable to MIDI clock input, but I think I might have to build that one myself- I’m working on my own like-minded project, and I’ve realized I’ve got a ways to go before I’ll be satisfied with the results. In case you’re curious, here’s my little project Sequence It as of two weeks ago. I’ve made some modifications since then, but you get the basic idea.
Is anyone else working on a sequencer project? Please post it in the comments and tell us how it’s coming along.
Zymogene (Italy) & 12rec (Germany) have teemed up to create a worldwide label "error-broadcast". They just released their first FREE compilation featuring artists from all over the sphere... crunch click boom
Thanks to Psymbolic: The Great Mundane's album "When Falls Arrive" is now available on iTunes along with a growing list of international shops where this and future albums can be reached!
Stay Tuned! I'll be updating this post as the album gets added to more and more and more shops.
Please welcome Pixylight, the world touring visual artist and hexagonalistic creator of immersive visual environments.
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