In Out Festival Track Donation: Entropy Procedure by Ostracon

I’m pleased to share with ACB readers the track donation that we made for the In / Out Festival Kickstarter project. The track is titled Entropy Procedure by Ostracon and features myself on the GMS interfaced with Ableton Live, and Graham O’Brien on drums. It was delightfully engineered and mixed by Adam Krinsky, and mastered by the amazing Tom Garneau who, if you read his discography you will find, recorded and mixed Too Legit to Quit by MC Hammer (an unrelated but awesome bit of data for you).

We will be performing similar work to this at the In / Out Festival this weekend on Saturday, September 18, 2010 at 9:30pm at the Tank Theater in Manhattan. Please checkout the entire festival starting on Friday afternoon with free workshops and finishing with the Saturday evening performances. The evening performances are only $15 per night, or $25 for both nights with a total of nine performances. This is unlike any music I have produced in the past, so comments are encouraged.

Entropy Procedure by Ostracon

Control the GMS Via Ableton Live

Currently I am busy preparing for the Ostracon show at the In / Out Festival of Digital Performance that is coming up on September 17 and 18 in New York (we are playing on the Saturday the 18th at 9:30pm). Part of my preparation involves minimizing my setup for ease of transport. For one thing, I am not bringing my Korg MS2000 as a controller for the GMS, as I have done for other performances. However, because I’m projecting the live video source, I cannot use the on-screen controls in the GMS.

My first idea to solve this problem was to share a single Korg nanoKONTROL between Ableton Live and the GMS. Unfortunately this approach was not practical because it would require some major reconfigurations as well as recompiling the GMS with a set of new external MIDI controls. My next idea was to route the MIDI control and program changes to the GMS via MIDI clips in Ableton’s session view. This worked immediately and I knew I was on the right track. The only problem was that there seemed to be a MIDI signal feedback loop when using the same bus for output and external control in the GMS. I solved this problem by creating a second IAC bus for the external control and using the first bus for the MIDI output. Finally I configured a combination of keyboard controls and Korg Nano buttons to trigger the clips in Ableton that, in turn, trigger the specific functions in the GMS. Voilà!

The flexibility of Ableton never ceases to amaze me. I had never used session clips to send MIDI program and control change messages to an external device, let alone, independent software running simultaneously. Nor had I ever needed to do this in the past. Yet the thought occurred to me, I wonder if Ableton can do this? It turns out that it can. Thanks to Ableton this solution has saved me many hours of redundant and tedious programming, and well as making my setup more streamlined and efficient for upcoming performances. How have Ableton’s capabilities surprised you?

Ostracon at In Out Festival, September 2010

Ostracon Video from Unearthed Music on Vimeo.

My project Ostracon (John Keston and Graham O’Brien) has been selected to perform at the In/Out Digital Performance Festival in New York this September, 2010. The schedule hasn’t been finalized yet, but we’ll be playing either on the 17th or 18th of the month at the Tank Theater, 354 West 45th Street, New York, NY 10036. Last year’s lineup included Monome creator, tehn (Brian Crabtree), and Peter Kirn of Creative Digital Music. From the In/Out Festival website.

In/Out is an annual festival that features leading performers, developers, artists, and tinkerers of the digital design community in hopes bridging the gap between the forum based world and the stage. The festival seeks to bring digitally driven performances into the limelight with two full days of workshops and performances.

This video is a live studio piece shot by Ai student Josh Clos, and recorded at Ai Minnesota by John Keston and Graham O’Brien. It’s representative of the music that we are generating during our live performances. For more checkout the Ostracon tag here on ACB, or visit our bio on Unearthed Music.

GMS on has posted an article about the GMS. If you’re not familar, (CAN) is a blog founded by Filip Visnjic. From the CAN about page:

Aim of CreativeApplications.Net is to bring together applications that challenge the ways how we share and engage with information. By scouting the web, CAN brings you best in creative app development and thinking. CreativeApplications.Net is platform independent. We look at OSX, Windows, Linux, iPhone, Web Apps, Flash, Physical Interfaces, Max MSP development, Processing and many others.

Filip was a speaker at Flashbelt 2010. During his presentation he showed a variety of fascinating work by his students and more featured on CAN. I was lucky enough to introduce him at the conference and experience his session. Checkout for more.

Exquisite Robot Opening with Ostraka

This Saturday, June 19, 2010 from 7-10pm I’ll be performing at the opening night reception for Exquisite Robot, artwork by members of Rogue Citizen.

I’ll be performing solo material under my Ostraka moniker. Unicorn Dream Attack is also making music at the event. This event is free, and open to the public.

“Exquisite corpse” was originally developed as a game played by prominent Surrealists in France. The artists of Rogue Citizen have embraced this format to explore their own 21st century paranoid visions.

They capture the terror and excitement of new possibilities with their shared passions for drawing, experimental imagery and abstraction, playing an old game for a new world. All work in the exhibition will be available for purchase.

Stevens Square Center for the Arts
1905 Third Avenue South
Minneapolis, Minnesota