Video: Are You Hiding by Camp Dark

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.

Erik Thompson included the video in his “Top 10 Must-See Minnesota Music Videos This Week” series at the City Pages. Oh yeah, and we’ll be performing at the Icehouse in Minneapolis on May 15, 2015 to celebrate the release.

New Spectral Tablature Collaboration

Spectral Tablature 2015

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.

Example with Portamento

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.

Rare Ostracon Performance February 19, 2015

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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.

Video: Charlie by Camp Dark

About six weeks ago I had a couple of sessions at Bellows Studio in St. Paul, Minnesota recording synthesizers for an upcoming record by Camp Dark. The project is headed up by producer Graham O’Brien and singer-songwriter Adam Svec. Graham and I have worked together on a variety of projects since 2007. One of those projects is Coloring Time, of which Adam is also a member.

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It was a pleasure working on the record. Graham and Adam’s ideas are modern, distinct, and organic without ever being forced or unnatural. Their approach gave me the opportunity to use some of my favorites instruments, like the Moog Sub 37, alongside a few gems that rarely leave my studio. These included the Roland MKS-80, Yamaha FS1r, and (as featured on Charlie) the Roland Juno-106. Here’s a few words from the video’s description:

Charlie was written as an epilogue to a ‘Christmas Card From a Hooker in Minneapolis’ by Tom Waits. It’s a continuation of a story about the wanderlust of youth leading to dangerous things, and the associated regrets, coupled with an overwhelming homesickness for what’s been left behind … Video edited by local filmmaker / editor John Burgess. Footage used c/o Prelinger Archives: “Radiotherapy: High Dosage Treatment” & “Is This Love?” Written by Adam Svec & Graham O’Brien. Lyrics by Adam Svec. Produced by Graham O’Brien. Samplers & Drums by Graham O’Brien, Synths by John Keston, Bass Guitar by Casey O’Brien, Guitar by Matt Leavitt, Omnichord and Guitar Solo by Chris Salter.

Charlie is the first single from the Camp Dark album, Nightmare In A Day, which will be released on May 12, 2015 and is available for pre-order immediately at campdark.bandcamp.com. I’ll be joining Adam, Graham, and a few other musicians to perform renditions of tracks from the album at the Icehouse, in Minneapolis on May 15, 2015. For more credits, information, and details about the release show, please visit campdark.bandcamp.com.

The Taming of The CPU Excerpt

The Taming of the CPU

I recorded this track while rehearsing for an upcoming solo performance. It’ll give you an idea of what to expect at the show. Everything was recorded in one take with no overdubs. The instruments include the DSI Tempest, Elektron Analog Four, and Moog Sub 37. I plugged it all into a Mackie 1202 including patching the sends to the external inputs on the Analog Four. I configured the left external input to route to the Analog Four internal reverb and the right to go to the delay. This gives me a knob on the mixer for delay and reverb on each channel. It’s ideal for live performance because I can instantly or momentarily add the Analog Four effects to any instrument without any menu diving.

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