On Tuesday, May 19 DKO is releasing Absinthe Referent, available on cassette (limited edition of 100) and digital download. Although Jon Davis, Graham O’Brien, and I have been performing as DKO since 2011 this is our debut album. We recorded it at Bellows Studio during a live, in-studio concert with an intimate audience of friends and family members.
Graham and I edited the album down to six tracks that we handed off to Adam Krinsky for mixing. Finally we had it mastered by Huntley Miller. Please listen to a preview track from the album titled S33LUgRUN. We will be performing to celebrate the release on May 20 at the Turf Club in St. Paul, Minnesota with Dosh and A Love Electric.
I am pleased to be participating in an exhibition of work by Jasio Stefanski at Print Gallery in Tokyo, Japan. Jasio is showing a variety of his work including two pieces that we collaborated on together fron the series Spectral Tablature. The first piece is Synthetic Skyline previously exhibited for the Audible Edge sound art exhibition at the Katherine Nash Gallery in Minneapolis. The second piece is a new work in the series titled Synthetic Transitions.
To create the work I started by composing a simple sequence of notes that speed up and then slow down. Jasio requested that we included diagonal lines in the piece so I used linear portamento on the Moog Sub 37 to create the “transitions” he was interested in seeing. The video shows the plotter rendering Jasio’s Reprise of the work shown/heard in the image/audio below.
Jasio’s Reprise is based on form and color values as opposed to acoustic accuracy. The visuals were composed to place emphasis on the “transitions” or portamento. The output visually reinterprets the angles informed by the gliding notes without connecting them in the composition. When sonified the plotted design singles out the portamento, isolating it from the context of the sustained frequencies.
A couple of months ago I spent about 18 hours over two days recording synthesizers for the upcoming Camp Dark album Nightmare in a Day. It was a blast and the music is gorgeous. I wrote in more detail about the project here. The latest video, edited by Adam Svec, is for the song Are You Hiding. This one ends with a long passage of Moog Sub 37 running through the Minifooger Delay as I twisted the Time and Feedback knobs.
Are You Hiding” is the second video in a series to promote the release of Camp Dark’s new album, Nightmare In A Day (Icehouse MPLS on Friday 5/15). The story was inspired by holiday trips back to South Dakota. The song navigates the trajectory of playing roles of earlier versions of you. This veneer eventually falls apart when the years become visible. A person can only hide in plain sight for so long before they are spotted. It’s an anthem of empathy for those who experience this distance between former and current selves. “Are You Hiding” features performances by Graham O’Brien, Adam Svec, Dan Choma, Matt Leavitt, Matt Friesen, and John Keston.
Part music, part visual art, and part sound design, the collaborative series Spectral Tablature is something I’ve been doing in various forms since 2013. Recently I have been working on a new piece in collaboration with Jasio Stefanski for an upcoming exhibition of his work. I’ll share more information about the exhibit in a future post. For now I’d like to present some of the content that I generated in the process of working on the project.
The image above is spectral analysis of a piece of music that I composed deliberately to produce interesting sonic and visual forms. The piece includes three layers of sequences that slowly speed up and vary in pitch and then slow down again. The speed of the sequence was based on an LFO with a variable rate rather than BPM. This process, along with other techniques, resulted in a form that starts simple, approaches entropy, and then returns to its original simplicity.
The final piece will be reprocessed visually through a set of design criteria determined by Jasio. Once the new design has been printed I will digitize the image and reprocess it as sound. The new audio will retain the original frequencies and temporal information but the textural and timbral qualities will be completely transformed.
My duet project Ostracon will be performing this Thursday, February 19, 2015 for the first time since August. This time around I have prepared eight new compositions using the Elektron Analog Four and the Moog Sub 37. This track is an excerpt from a recording that I made during preparations for the show which will be held at the historic Lee’s Liquor Lounge music venue in Downtown Minneapolis. For more details please visit the Facebook event page.