Sound / Simulacra: Leah Ottman (LOTT) with Keston and McKinney

On March 22nd, 2017 Sound / Simulacra featured Leah Ottman aka LOTT. These recordings were captured by Dave Kunath during the second set and add John C.S. Keston on Rhodes / electronics and Cody McKinney on bass / electronics.

The core inspiration for LOTT’s compositions is the Romantic Period of classical music. The chordal structures, intervals, and melodies heard throughout her songs are reminiscent of those used by Antonin Dvorak, Alexander Borodin, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, French Impressionist composer, Maurice Ravel, and then condensed into pop songs. She explores the range on her violin by utilizing a looping pedal and similar techniques employed by looping violinist pioneers, Andrew Bird, Kishi Bashi, and Owen Pallet.

LOTT has been likened to a modern day torch singer of indie music – both in her lyrical themes and vocal styling. She has been greatly influenced by Patsy Cline’s catalogue of songs about unrequited love and heartbreak.

LOTT was awarded “Best Vocalist” in 2016 and “Best Acoustic Performer” in City Pages Best Of the Twin Cities 2015.
“…With a looping pedal hooked up to her instrument, Ottman layers intricate melodies that combine classical beauty with an adventurous ear for contemporary experimentation not unlike Andrew Bird. Her voice, loaded with attitude and a penchant for flowing leaps, sweetens the deal…”

Sound / Simulacra: Sophia Deutsch with John Keston and Cody McKinney

This improvised performance from cellist Sophia Deutsch, myself, and Cody McKinney was recorded by Dave Kunath on Wednesday October 25th, 2017 at Jazz Central Studios during Sound / Simulacra.

Sophia Deutsch is a multi-faceted artist involved in many musical and visual art projects around the Twin Cities. As an artist, Sophia believes in an organic creation of music and art, using improvisation and emotion to drive the sounds. As a musician, her interests lie in the dichotomy of organic sound generation with cello being the genesis and the perversion of this via live distortion and/or electronic manipulation.

The series explores musical improvisation as a “faithful and intentionally distorted” representational process bringing together some of the Twin Cities most unique voices to “recreate, distort, and create the hyperreal”. Please enjoy listening!

Sound / Simulacra: Nichols/Healey/McKinney Part 1

This improvised performance from Bryan Nichols, Cory Healey, and Cody McKinney was recorded by Dave Kunath on Wednesday April 26th, 2017 at Jazz Central Studios during Sound / Simulacra.

Bryan Nichols is a pianist, composer, and educator based in Minneapolis. Often found playing jazz and improvised music, but at home in a variety of musical worlds, he leads and composes for his own trio, quintet, and nonet in addition to performing, recording, and touring with forward-thinking artists like Nicole Mitchell, Ron Miles, and Olga Bell, and groups like the Gang Font, Dead Man Winter, and Halloween, Alaska. He has taught jazz piano at MacPhail Center for Music, University of Minnesota – Morris, and University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire, while presenting clinics and masterclasses at a variety of colleges and high schools around the midwest.

Cory Healey’s unique drumming has led to collaborations with artists from many different genres. He has toured North America and Europe and had the privilege of performing with Kenny Wheeler, Dr Lonnie Smith, John Abercrombie, and David Berkman. While living in Chicago, he performed and recorded with Algernon, Fareed Haque’s Flat EarthEnsemble, W.W. Lowman, Ike Riley, and Scott Hesse. In 2013, Healey moved to the Minneapolis, where he’s worked with some of the Twin Cities’ most prominent artists including Dead Man Winter, Dosh, Marijuana Deathsquads, and Anthony Cox.

The series explores musical improvisation as a “faithful and intentionally distorted” representational process bringing together some of the Twin Cities most unique voices to “recreate, distort, and create the hyperreal”. Please enjoy listening!

The Taming of the CPU 4.0

This Friday, April 21, 2017 will mark the 4th event we’ve affectionately titled, The Taming of the CPU. This time we have the privilege of being hosted by the Icehouse Minneapolis. Tickets are on sale now and available at the doors (opening at 10:30pm). The performers include myself, Mike Hodnick (Kindohm), Lucas Melchior (MKR), and Chris Leblanc with Michael Lund doing their famous modular-analog-video-liquid-light show. Expect to hear a broad range of electronic music from Kindohm’s virtuosic live coding to MKR’s Ableton prowess. I’ll be towing an all hardware rig including Rhodes electric piano, Moog Sub 37, a Pyramid Sequencer, and several other bits and pieces. Here’s the official spiel:

Taming of the CPU 4.0 brings together three award winning electronic musicians with two like minded visual artist to create a futuristic, immersive multi-media experience. Huge sounding hardware synthesis is combined with intricate live coding, and lush laptop arrangements while modular video synthesis and liquid light shows are displayed and synchronized to the music.

Read on for more information about the artists including bios and video examples: Continue reading

Interview: Graham’s O’Brien’s Drum Controller Video Series

Drum Controller - Graham O'Brien

Graham O’Brien is an exceptional and inventive drummer, composer, and producer. It has been my privilege to play with him at dozens shows and on at least five separate projects over the last eight years. His latest solo endeavor is a series of five videos titled Drum Controller. Graham had discussed his goals for the project with me, but when I saw/heard the videos I was immediately impressed. I wanted to know more about how he was able to trigger these beautiful and complex electro-acoustic arrangements without touching anything other than his minimal kit of kick, two snares, high hats, and a ride.

Note: Graham will be performing music with his Drum Controller setup and Thomas Nordlund on guitar at Honey in Minneapolis this Sunday, June 5, 2017. Read on for the interrview and a look at his video series. Continue reading