Duet No.3 for Synthesizer and The Singing Ringing Tree

This video is the third document from my five day recording session and performance series at the Singing Ringing Tree (SRT) in Burnley, UK. The SRT is a wind activated musical panopticon in Northern England. The sculpture was designed by architects Tonkin Liu and completed in December 2006. I performed accompaniment for the SRT binaural recordings simultaneously using a Novation Bass Station II connected to a USB battery. I also ran the Bass Station II through a Moog Minifooger Delay.

NOTE: This is a binaural recording combined with a monophonic synthesizer track. Although it sounds great through speakers, circumaural headphones must be used to experience the binaural effect. Continue reading

Duet No.1 for Synthesizer and The Singing Ringing Tree

This is the first in a series of videos that document my five day recording session and performance series at the Singing Ringing Tree (SRT) in Burnley, UK. The SRT is a wind activated musical panopticon in Northern England. The sculpture was designed by architects Tonkin Liu and completed in December 2006. I performed accompaniment for the SRT binaural recordings simultaneously using a Novation Bass Station II connected to a USB battery. I also ran the Bass Station II through a Moog Minifooger Delay.

NOTE: This is a binaural recording combined with a monophonic synthesizer track. Although it sounds great through speakers, circumaural headphones must be used to experience the binaural effect. Continue reading

Duet No. 2 With The Singing Ringing Tree

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This was the second take on day one of my Duets recording project with the Singing Ringing Tree (SRT), a wind activated musical panopticon in Northern England. The sculpture was designed by architects Tonkin Liu and completed in December 2006. I performed accompaniment for the SRT binaural recording simultaneously using a Novation Bass Station II connected to a USB battery. I also ran the Bass Station II through a Moog Minifooger Delay. Eventually I will be producing videos of these compositions. For now I wanted to try a quick mix to get an idea of how things will sound.

NOTE: This is a binaural recording combined with a monophonic synthesizer track. Although it sounds great through speakers, circumaural headphones must be used to experience the binaural effect.

Music with Context: Audiovisual Scores for Improvising Musicians

Thesis Venn Diagram 2.0 - New Page

Last May I completed my MFA in New Media at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. A good stretch of my time at the college was spent working on my master’s thesis. Here’s the abstract:

This paper explores the idea of mutable, audiovisual scores for improvised musical performances through the description of personal perspectives, practical examples, proposed projects, and research. The author postulates that an audiovisual score can be a useful tool to connect improvising musicians to each other and their audience through the insertion of a mediating audiovisual layer within the work. These systems are used as a primary influential agent for an ensemble of improvisers, providing them with a context for a musical conversation. In contrast to traditional notation and graphic scores, audiovisual scores embrace the chaotic ambiguities of environmental influences giving the music the context of unpredictable everyday events. Presenting an unpredictable audiovisual score parallels the indeterminate improvisation of the ensemble. It activates the last vestige of what remains immutable within traditional forms of notation driven performance inserting it into a mutable layer within the work.

Recently it occurred to me that many AudioCookbook readers will find the subject matter in my thesis interesting. There are detailed, conceptual explanations for many of the projects that I have shared here over the last few years. There are also references to work by many other artists who have provided inspiration to me. If you’re interested please click the link below to view or download the document.

Music with Context: Audiovisual Scores for Improvising Musicians by John Keston

Duet Under Bridge

This piece was shot under a railroad bridge that I ride under during my commute. While trains are going over the bridge a nice rumbling, screechy ambience envelopes the space. On this occasion, a few weeks ago, melting icicles were dripping onto the sidewalk adding a chaotic rhythm to the soundscape. Rather than producing a drone to mimic the ambience I used noise, LFO pitch sweeps, and sample-and-hold on the Monotribe to contrast the reverberated railroad rumbling, and screeching.

NOTE: This is a binaural recording mixed with a monophonic, analog, synthesizer performance. Please use circumaural headphones to experience the binaural effect.