My cover of “Derezzed” (Mile High Edit) was really an illustration of the show concept I designed and performed from 2010-2015. While that show was performed with all original music I also thought it would be fun to do a cover with the same show design – because – well I love Daft Punk. So let’s start with that…
Video “Derezzed” Cover (Mile High Edit)
I re-sequenced the song from scratch (no samples for the original were used). I performed the music and visuals live in a single take with no edits.
My rig at the time was Ableton Live, Percussa AudioCubes, Moog Etherwave Theremin Plus, and Tenori-On sending MIDI notes to an Ableton Rack with VSTs. I used the Machine to control the arrangement in Ableton on-the-fly and to live sequencing the parts I wasn’t playing live as well trigger clips in Live to automate changes in Resolume. The AudioCubes were used to trigger and control effects through gestures, as well as add 4 more dimensions of gestural control for effects for the Theremin. I used the Tenori-on to improvise a lead :^) More on all this below…
Background & Show Design
I created the show concept in support of my original alien invasion sci-fi theme concept albums Reboot, I Hear Your Signals, and – at the time – the forthcoming Fear Cannot Save Us.
Note: These albums are available on Spotify, Apple Music and most other outlets. The albums are free “name your price” on Bandcamp.
My design goal was to have the audience more easily relate to what I was doing with a complex and abstract rig by incorporating controllers that offered real-time visual feedback. This would allow them to correlate what I was doing with what they were hearing from the speakers. As the show evolved I amplified this further with projected visuals with real-time FX using only live camera input.
Visually the show design was a inspired in part by Tron, and John Carpenter’s “They Live”. I also used additional lighting to create shadows inspired by German expressionism films like “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari“.
Here is an example of a live performance. More videos from shows at the bottom of the post.
Ableton has posted video highlights from Loop 2017 their three-day event at Funkhaus in Berlin.Videos included Features, Talks, and Performances. You can watch the new videos from the 2017 event as well as videos from older events at the link below.
The videos offer an overview of Live 10, Setup, Interface, Instruments & Effects, and Workflows.
In a related note, I’ve been running 10 in beta since September and the beta was so solid I gigged with it. I installed the final version today without issue and am up and running making music and sounds with Push 2.
I’ll leave you with a little video I made with the beta using the new Wavetable synth.
Thanks for reading,
Synthesist, Electronic Musician, Producer
Boulder, CO ModulateThis.com
Thomas Dolby received Roland’s 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award at NAMM 2018. Thanks to Kraft Music for great up-close video footage of the event. I watched the footage, took some notes, and inserted video footage links below.
Part 1 Video
Thomas Dolby accepting the award
Thomas doing some great story telling offering an entertaining overview of the beginning of career as well as a behind-the-scenes story on the making of “She Blinded with me with Science”.
Performance of “She Blinded Me with Science” using vintage a Roland Jupiter-4 and Jupiter-8 – which Roland delivered to his hotel the night before so he could program them for his set.
In the first video, Thomas Dolby shows some clips from “one of his earlier shows”. I did some digging and I believe the clips are from the “Live Wireless Tour”. I found a video of the full concert with a running time of 58 minutes. If you don’t have time to watch this now, bookmark this post for later as it’s a cool show and ahead of it’s time :^)
Radiohead’s “Bloom,” remixed for the ocean. If you listen closely enough to Radiohead and Hans Zimmer’s rework of “Bloom” for Blue Planet II, you can hear a really fascinating orchestral trick at work. They call it the “tidal orchestra” — it’s a musical effect created by instructing each player to play their notes only if the person next to them isn’t playing. The result is a randomly swelling and fading musical bed for the entire series that captures the feeling of ocean waves. It’s a captivating way to score a soundtrack for the ocean — but it also fits in with a long history of capturing randomness in music composition.
This is a 5 minute video highlight from the 2+ hour Denver Synth_Drone Collective performance at Mutiny Information Cafe in Denver for the Textures Ambient Showcase.We setup in semi-circle in the back of the cafe surround by the stacks of books. Most of the footage was shot over-my- shoulder with my GoPro Hero 5 Session as I improvised live visuals with Resolume 6with both live camera input and heavily synthesized video field recordings.
The Denver Synth_Drone Collective (from left-to-right around the semi-circle in this video):
Kuxaan Sum (Modular, Arturia Microbrute, Various Outboard FX)
Biostatic (Moog Sub Phatty)
Sean Patrick Faling (MFB Dominion1, Various Outboard FX)
Chris Sessions (Access Virus TI2, Ableton Live & Push 2)
Chris Frain (Moog Animoog)
Mark Mosher (Resolume, MIDI Fighter Twister | Ableton Live 10, Ableton Wavetable, Tone2 Nemesis, Ableton Push 2)
We plan to release an album of the entire performance in the future. For now check out albums from previous performances:
“Tonalities from Orbit #3” is a video recording of a live interactive soundscape and visual improvisation performed at the Rocky Mountain Synthesizer Meetup October 12th, 2016 at Globe Hall in Denver. It’s performed using only a Nord Lead 4 with custom patches from INIT and Resolume using live camera input with no pre-recorded sequences.
The theme of this meetup was “The Sound of 50’s SciFi: Theremins and Circuits” where Victoria Lundy did a lecture on Thereminist Sam Hoffman who’s work is synonymous with the iconic SciFi sound. I did a talk on the work of Louis and Bebe Barron to create electronic tonalities for the groundbreaking film “Forbidden Planet”.
After the lectures, Victoria and I each did a performance illustrating some ideas from the talk. In this video I’m using the Nord Lead 4 to to channel the Krell.
As I mentioned in a recent post, the focus of our ensemble is on live improvisational performance of musique concrète. Thomas Lundy uses blocks for dry ice to cause the copper heart to vibrate (through rapid cooling, strikes, drags…). I then use the Elektron Octatrack dynamic performance sampler to live-sample the Tom’s performance via a contact mic on the copper heart. I then simultaneously performs and does real-time sound design with the captured audio. Victoria Lundy accompanies on Theremin and Reaktor.
As you’ll see in the video, this patch is made up of a fairly large number of modules laid out in all 4 lanes of the main grid. The patch makes extensive of use of of all 4 X/Y performance pads including use of the pad to modulate effects parameters as well as the crossfading between lanes 1,2,3 and lane 4.
Leave a comment if you dig this. Many more videos to come so subscribe to my YouTube channel if you want to see more. Also let me know if you’d be up for a patch library.
My explorations with the free trial of the Roland System-100 Plug-out continue. I made this evolving machine-like patch from scratch on the System-100 then routed it through Absynth FX using Aetherizer with params modulate by LFOs.
If you would like to geek out and see how I used a single slot and single original preset on the Nord Lead 4 to record the score in a single pass check out the "making of" the soundtrack film watch this.