See my recent article Spread the Word – Denver Noise Fest VII 2016 is On!!! December 21-22 Globe Hall.
The Carbon Dioxide Ensemble is a collaboration with myself, Thomas Lundy, and Victoria Lundy, and . In this ensemble we focus on live improvisational performance of Musique concrète. In this unique act I use the Elektron Octatrack dynamic performance sampler to live sample Thomas Lundy as he manipulates a Copper Heart and other objects which with dry ice. Victoria Lundy accompanies on Theremin and Reaktor.
Octatrack Is Essential for Live Sampling and Improvisational Real-Time Sound Design
The Octatrack is aptly named as a “Dynamic Performance Sampler” and is perfect for this sort of gig. The Copper Heart has a contact mic on the bottom. When Tom articulates the heart with dry ice, the metal start shearing at a microscopic level causing the heart to resonate. He can also bang and scrape the ice on the heart. I capture this in real-time and then build instruments on the fly to compliment what both he and victoria are playing. I have some percussion samples in the wings and some other fun oddities that I can quickly can pull into the equation if the improv demands it.
I find it more fun, challenging, and interesting to perform without a safety net in this regard and forego a cue mix and just program the Octatrack “tracks” live in the PA – mostly performing in real-time in chromatic or slots mode. I use scene morphing to do things like pull the harmonic content of the heart into bass territory so I can “light up” the sub-woofers in the room. One fun “move” is to use the crossfader mapped to sample playback rate to tune the sub-harmonics to achieve sympathetic vibration with the room. It’s pretty epic to hear in person :^)
It’s all pretty unusual and fun. Below is a video of a past performance. Audio is from GoPro mic so doesn’t really do the audio justice – but will give you a sense of the act.
Oh, and if you working with dry ice, don’t forget to wear your safety goggles.