Happy New Year! I’ll be doing visuals for Shibui #9 at Mutiny Information Cafe in Denver on January 26th. Here is the official Facebook event.
This is the 9th edition of Shibui Denver, the last Sunday of the month showcase of underground music curated and hosted by local music historian/commentator Tom Murphy. This show will be one of the few with three acts including Pop Grunge band The Vanilla Milkshakes, experimental indie rock group Lazarus Horse and ambient psychedelic project Pythian Whispers. Synth composer and digital artist Mark Mosher of the Rocky Mountain Synth Meet-up will provide the visuals. Donations appreciated for the bands. 7 p.m. start.
I’m happy to announce a special event at Little Horse Books, Vintage & Vinyl in downtown Louisville. I’ve arranged with the owner to do a record store takeover with the Synth Patrol. It’s a perfect chance to do some holiday shopping and listen to some experimental music.
On this mission, the Synth Patrol squad will be meetup members The Aefonic (aka Brian Horsfield), Cold Future (aka Victor John), monoscene (aka Christoph Scholtes) and Newecho (aka me). We will be live sampling random needle drops on random or shopper-selected vinyl to improvise a live soundscape. I’ll accompany all this with psychedelic visuals. Here are some sample visuals.
This is an improvisational session and we’ll be performing from 1-3 continuously so feel free to come late or wander in and out.
There is free parking downtown on the streets and at the Library. Within a two block radius you can grab lunch or drinks at one of many restaurants, shop for vinyl and vintage at Little Horse, listen to the performance, grab a beer at 12 Degree Brewing (which is in the same building), stroll about and buy local, wander over to Tilt Arcade, and/or finish off your afternoon at the amazing ice cream at Sweet Cow.
Artists are asked to write a score for their favorite science fiction book using synthesis. A brief explanation of the book and the score to follow after each performance. Book reports have never sounded so good.
I Am Legend
I selected the amazing 1954 novel “I am Legend” by Richard Matheson for my performance.
The paperback is 159 pages and Audible edition which is very good is around has a running time of 5h20m. This book was an inspiration to Stephen King, George Romero, and the creator of the video game Fallout to name a few.
While the book was adapted into films, the films diverge quite a bit from the essence of the book – and of course the book is much better as is often the case.
One very strong theme in the book while I’ll be incorporating into my score is loneliness.
“… despite having vampires in it, [the novel] is not a novel on vampires, nor even a horror nor sci-fi novel at all, in the deepest sense. Instead, it is perhaps the greatest novel written on human loneliness. It far surpasses Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe in that regard.”
– Dan Schneider from International Writers Magazine: Book Review wrote in 2005.
Some fun artists in the books in this first event of the series so I hope to see you at the show.
A post to spread the word. After a brief hiatus, the Beat Cypher returns on June 27th at a new location. Here is Justin’s note on this from the official Facebook Group.
“Hey everyone! Beat Cypher update: Madelife has officially moved to a new location. I will be holding the next cypher here on Thursday June 27th. We are now located at The Studio Boulder 3550 Frontier Ave Suite A. Its a bit of a different vibe but I think you all will dig it! Same time, new place. 7:30pm-10pm. I’ve had a busy month and some fun travels and I’m excited to get the crew back together for a sesh! Let’s rock.”
All styles welcomed and invited. The purpose of this event is to gather music producers/performers in the Boulder/Denver area and build community. Each performer gets a 10 minute time slot. Sign up is FIRST COME FIRST SERVE so get here on time to get a spot. “
I’ll be performing and extended remixed version of my sing “It Doesn’t Have to Hate You to Use Your Molecules” on Octatrack MKII and Norse Lead 4. This song is available name your price on bandcamp, and you can stream it on Spotify, Apple Music or just about any other music service 😀.
In early May 2019 I flew out to attend and perform an original electronic music set at the Mountain Skies festival near Asheville, NC. It was a really fun weekend and I had a great time performing one track from 2014 album Fear Cannot Save Us, plus 4 brand new songs. Checkout a video of the entire set below plus a brand new live album from this same show.
Live Performance Video
My full performance is available on YouTube. It’s a 1080p video with live album audio mixed with live room audio so if you have a chance play it on a big screen with headphones or a home theater system :^)
You can jump to individual songs within this video using links below.
00:00– “Gonna Rise Up” (Octatrack MKII, Analog Four for leads)
3:13– “The Strange Case of the Dancing Automatons” (Intro is field recordings in Octatrack MKII, rest of the song is ALL Digitone)
09:11– “Disconnected” (Octatrack MKII, Analog Four MKI)
I’ve also released live audio recordings of the songs from this set as a “name your price” album on Bandcamp. These songs are presented as I performed them to 2-track during the show with no edits other than trimming and fading to break the continuous set up into this 5 song album with minimal gaps.
The music was performed using only Elektron Analog Four MKI, Octatrack MKII, and Digitone with no external gear other than a CME Xkey Air 25 MIDI controller which I used with the Analog Four. Original field recordings made on location in Boulder; Denver; Bath & London England. I vocoded my voice in the studio using Ableton Live and Tone2 Electra2.
Visuals provided by Michael O’Bannon.
Photos from Event
A big thanks to Tony Gerber and Mike Metlay for organizing the event. Also a big thanks to all the volunteers at the festival, Radio Spiral, the venue White Horse at Black Mountain, and all the other artists for making it such a fantastic weekend. Also thanks to Geary Yelton and Paul A Vnuk Jr for sharing pics. Lastly thanks to Michael O’Bannon for providing my visuals.
I’ll be performing a short set along with all the other Beat Cypher’s at Madelife. It will be the first flight for my new custom Ableton template with Push 2 and AudioCubes. I’ll be playing an extended version of my new song “Disconnected“.
For those not familiar with Beat Cypher. “All styles welcomed and
invited. The purpose of this event is to gather music
producers/performers in the Boulder/Denver area and build community.
Each performer gets a 10 minute time slot. Sign up is FIRST COME FIRST
SERVE so get here on time to get a spot. ”
The event is always a lot of fun with some super interesting sets – so come on down.
I’ll be performing an improv electronic music set without a net (no prepared sequences) using only the Elektron Digitakt sampling drum machine tonight at BeatCypher at Madelife in Boulder.
For those not familiar with Beat Cypher. “All styles welcomed and invited. The purpose of this event is to gather music producers/performers in the Boulder/Denver area and build community. Each performer gets a 10 minute time slot. Sign up is FIRST COME FIRST SERVE so get here on time to get a spot. ”
The event is always a lot of fun with some super interesting sets – so come on down.
I’ll be performing a set tonight (Thursday, May 24th) at the Beat Cypher event in Boulder. As the format is rapid-fire 10 minute sets and I’ll be improvising using only an Elektron Digitakt and using small a set of custom beat sketches as a starting point. My set is inspired by the Star Trek: The Original Series episode #21 “The Return of the Archons” – ha!
Here is a recording of the song I performed. I forgot to hit record during that live session – so this is a recording I made during a session in the studio earlier that day. The song was inspired by the ST:TOS episode “Return of the Archons”. It was performed live on an Elektron Digitakt and recorded straight to 2-track without edits.
More About Beat Cypher
Madelife, a creative accelerator in Boulder and frequent host venue for the Rocky Mountain Synthesizer Meetup, started hosting a very cool electronic music concert series late in 2017 called Beat Cypher. Each performer gets a 10-minute slot and signs up first come first serve. It’s Rapid-fire fun for performers and listeners!
Video from My Last Performance Using Only Elektron Analog Four
I challenged myself to do my set with just an Elektron Analog Four. The Analog Four has 4 analog synths, is only 4 note polyphonic in total and has chorus, delay and reverb on the master chain.
The performance is a combination of original presets, tweaked factory presets, live playing using the onboard chromatic keyboard, real-time sound design, use of some pre-defined original sequences with live arrangement and live sequencing. I’m using 4 kits” throughout (which you can switch to with no load-time or hickups). So all synthesis, no samples, no audio playback.
00:00 Real-time synthesis with original preset
00:34 Live arrangement with grooves, live-sound design, live play on chromatic keyboard
4:00 Back to real-time synthesis using chromatic keyboard
05:00 Things get pretty Logan’s Run bleepy and modular-like
I’ll be performing as part of the Denver Synth_Drone Collective for the Sunday November 26th Textures Ambient Showcase at Mutiny Cafe in Denver – a perfect way to wrap up your Thanksgiving weekend :^). We’ll be the only act and will perform from 7-10pm. Below are my rig notes for this event for which I’ll be playing music plus performing visuals for the entire night. Here is the event link.
Modelling the Rig
For this show I’m doing visuals which means I’ll be using a Windows 10 laptop with a touchscreen. To keep the rig lean, I’ll use the laptop for my audio rig as well. For visuals I’ll be using live camera input and video field recordings from my travels.
Here is my sketch of the overall rig.
Here is the rig in reality.
Windows 10 Laptop with a Touch Screen
Audio Portion of Rig
Ableton Push 2
Xbox One Bluetooth Joystick Controller (for Granulator II)
Ableton Live 10 (beta) for real-time sound design using
Ableton Wavetable (beta)
Max for Live
Multimapper XBox 360
Sustain If On
Focusrite Scarlet 2i4
Here are some pics of the main synths. First up the wonderful new Ableton Wavetable which is now in beta.
Next up Tone2 Nemesis FM synth.
Visual Synthesis Portion of Rig
MIDI Fighter Twister
Logitech C920 HD Webcam
Original video field recordings
More on Denver Synth_Drone Collective
The Denver Synth_Drone collective is made up of artists bios+a+ic, Kuxaan Sum, Mark Mosher, Chris Sessions, Sean Patrick Faling, and Chris Frain.
The collective does improv limited by the following rules. Each member plays:
One synth at a time
Only a single note at a time
Of course once a note is triggered members can change the timber and pitch any way they like. It makes for super interesting drones, chords, textures, and movement.
This is a live music and film event at local Denver art space PlatteForum to raise funds to “preserve, promote and harness the expressive potential of photochemical image making.”
Live Music by:
The Kevin Costner Suicide Pact
The Carbon Dioxide Ensemble
The musical acts will be performing 20-30 minute sets. All the musical artists will be paired with a film maker so each set will be a combined music and film experience.
CO2E + Taylor Dunne
Taylor Dunne – Film
Thomas Lundy – Copper Heart w/ Dry Ice
Victoria Lundy – Theremin and Reaktor
Concrète Mixer Denver with Carbon Dioxide Ensemble
We’ll be paired with Taylor Dunne (http://taylordunne.com) who received her Media Studies Certificate at University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands; received her B.A. in Media Studies at Eugene Lang: The school, NYC; and got her M.F.A in Film/Film Studies at University of Colorado Boulder.
More Rehearsal’s Fund Raising Objectives
During its first fundraising cycle, Process Reversal (PR) aims to develop the resources needed to achieve four major goals. These objectives are integral to PR’s mission to preserve, promote and harness the expressive potential of photochemical image making.
Process Reversal’s education initiatives have two major tracks
Photochemical Image-Making – Process Reversal is committed to facilitating and demystifying technical processes of these practices. This is and will continue to be achieved primarily through extensive workshop programming. In concert with these workshop sessions, PR develops innovative new tools designed for small-scale production. These devices are used in workshop environments to advance a new technological paradigm in image making that is well suited to this post-industrial age. These activities serve a primary aim of our mission: to promote the continued use of photochemical processes by filmmakers, artists, hobbyists, and the public at large by providing the training, the exposure, and the opportunity required.
Media Literacy – In an increasingly image-driven era, Process Reversal is committed to promoting media literacy in all age groups. To be literate is to be able to read and write, so it follows that media literacy includes the ability to make as well as to interpret. Photochemical processes are the antecedents to contemporary image making, and to be exposed to these techniques is also to better understand other technologies, including digital tools. Rather than offer image making experiences that are defined by the content needs of media industries, Process Reversal provides a critical and historical context that fosters agency and understanding across the entire gamut of image making. To this end, PR seeks to launch a K-adult outreach program dedicated to filling the photochemical media literacy gap. Continue reading and donate here
I’ll be performing in a very interesting experimental music concert later this month. Instead of playing my composed electronica songs, I’ll doing some very unique collaborative pieces where I capture, shape, and perform with audio from other artists performing live. This includes a performance with a copper heart played with dry ice (see video below).
I’ll also be performing a solo piece using some field recordings I’ve made. I’ll be providing interactive visuals from live camera input from stage for most of the evening. Read on for more info and scroll to the bottom for videos which will give you a taste of what to expect.