I recorded this arpeggio recently that I created using the Roland MKS-80 and the Bitstream 3X MIDI controller. Every once in a while it’s nice to leave the computer out of the equation and this was one of those times. As I have outlined before, the arpeggiator on the BS3X has a distinct collection of features that allow for an interesting mix of possibilities. For this example I put it into the keyboard mode, disabling the built in melodies in favor of using a keyboard to choose the notes.
Midnight Playground is an interactive, kinetic, installation by Peng Wu, Jack Pavlik, John Keston, and Analaura Juarez. Peng initiated and directed the idea, Jack built the jump rope robot, and Annalaura helped refine the concept and promote the piece. My role was to produce the music and track it to the still images that Peng had selected. I ended up making a one hour video with thirty minutes of the image from the moon followed by a four second transition into another thirty minutes with an image of Mars. To produce the sound I gave Peng a list of audio excerpts that had all been previously posted on AudioCookbook in One Synthesizer Sound Every Day. He picked the two that he thought would work the best and I went back to my original recordings and processed them specifically for the piece by adding some reverb and delay to enhance the spacial properties of the music. The piece will be on display in Gallery 148 at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design through January 29, 2012.
I’ve had the week off from work so I’ve been able to spend some late nights in the studio. This piece was recorded and produced in only two sessions – long ones. I put aside my usual spastic bass playing and used a different left hand muting technique making for a more earthy or woody tone. I wish I could say I was even close to having a vintage synth collection such as John Keston does but I’m not even close. In this track I’m mainly using Analog Factory. All of the drum sounds were sampled and then programed with the exception of my skillfully played shaker! Barrio Drop is just a working title for now.
Tonight (Friday, January 6, 2012) DKO is performing our first concert of the year. We’ll play two sets at Acadia, 329 Cedar Ave S., Minneapolis, MN 55454. This little gem of a venue has one of the best beer selections in the city. There’s no cover and all ages are welcome. Here’s another segment from our December 16, 2011 performance at the Kitty Cat Klub. This one starts out with some Pro-One arpeggios then moves into Rhodes playing with a solo at 4:43 and then a Pro-One solo at about 9:25.
This improvised piece from my trio DKO was recorded live at the Kitty Cat Klub on December 16, 2011 (live mix by Ryan Olcott and post mix by John Keston) and features Jon Davis on bass, John Keston on keyboards (that’s me), and Graham O’Brien on drums. For more music, information about DKO, and booking please visit dkomusic.tumblr.com. My rig on this track included two of my favorite standbys; the Rhodes electric piano and my newly calibrated Pro-One. I also had my Electro-Harmonix Memory Man Delay on a send and used the Korg Monotron for some atonal synthesizer textures.