Early Ostracon Performance

Here’s an early live recording from Ostracon way back in September, 2009 that I thought would be interesting to share. We have come along way since then, but this documentation has a fragile, exploratory charm to it including hefty amounts of buzz and crackle from a bad cord.

The way I produced the recording was by putting my Sony PCM-50 near the drums, and then recording the Live set during the show. Afterward I put the drum track into the Live set and matched it up. The recorder started a little late, so it’s missing the first three minutes of drums, but there’s 34 more minutes with Graham’s spectacular drumming all over it. Enjoy!

Ostracon Live Recording, September 28, 2009 by Ostraka

Ostracon Debut Excerpt: Photon Coercion

Here’s an excerpt of the second track from the upcoming Ostracon debut album, Unauthorized Modifications. This track is titled Photon Coercion. The album consists of drumming by Graham O’Brien and electronic sound that I produced using GMS, or Gestural Music Sequencer. GMS is Open Source software I developed that converts video signals into musical phrases. A video signal is analysed in real-time and then MIDI notes are produced based on brightness tracking and adjustable probability distribution algorithms.

This excerpt, in addition to looped phrases from GMS, includes a lead melodic voice that I played on the touch based synthesizer, Bebot. I fell in love with the expressive way you can bend notes independently on up to five voices (an impossibility on most conventional keyboards – unless you have one of these) using Bebot.

Photon Coercion (excerpt)

Excerpt from Solo Set at MAW Party

beat_box_insidesRecently I was invited to perform during a rare indoors Minneapolis Art on Wheels event at the West Bank Social Club, a new media artist space above the Nomad in Minneapolis. The space contained a newer (1970s) Hammond organ, sans tone wheels and drawbars, with an after market analog beat box including buttons for “Rock 1”, “Rock 2”, “Rumba”, and more. The idea was to do a bit of improvising on the organ while various projections went on inside and outside the space.

I brought my laptop with Ableton and started by sampling all the patterns on the analog beat box. I also brought along my iPod Touch running Bebot to make some live loops to go along with the beats. Here’s an excerpt from the set. The only sound sources used were Bebot and and the Hammond analog beat box.

MAW Party Ostraka Set Excerpt