Eyeo: Using Digital Imagery to Generate Sound

The first ever Eyeo Festival was last June and the second iteration looks to be just as amazing as the last. Here’s a video of a presentation that I gave at Eyeo last year on using digital imagery to generate sound. I also have the HTML5 slideshow available (use the left and right arrow keys to navigate). A big thanks goes out to Dave Schroeder for creating Eyeo and sharing these videos.

The Battle of Everyouth Rehearsal Segment Part 1

On Saturday, June 4, 2011 from 9pm until midnight I will be performing with DKO (Davis, Keston, O’Brien) and DJ Luke Anderson at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (MIA) for the Northern Spark Festival. Our experimental music will be live accompaniment for an amazing piece called the Battle of Everyouth (Jenny Schmid and Ali Momeni). Here’s a more detailed description of the piece.

The Battle of Everyouth is a projection-based performance which blends live cinema, participatory theater, music and live animation. A miniature set, the Circarama serves as a tiny stage for projections and stop motion animations, while wireless devices offer ways to engage with live theater and contribute to the resulting projection panorama on the facade of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.

DJ Luke Anderson joins the amazing trio, DKO, which features Jon Davis (Bass, Bass Clarinet), Graham O’Brien (percussion) and John Keston (Rhodes, Pro-One, electronics) for live experimental music on the steps of the MIA.

Students from Washburn High School are audience guides. This group has been studying youth and violence in their Art, Geography and Literature classes during the Spring, 2011 term. Their studies have included a mock United Nations focusing on child soldiers, the reading of graphic novels Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi and Maus by Art Spiegelman as well as discussions about artists that address controversies about borders, faith and security.

Artists Jenny Schmid and Ali Momeni are stationed at a “mixing station” which combines live video feeds from these numerous dispersed performance contexts. Jenny layers drawings and words over the input imagery, while Ali animates and manipulates the many visual elements of this project.

In preparation we have begun rehearsals to formulate musical strategies and create a vocabulary of ideas. Here’s a short segment from one of these rehearsals featuring Luke Anderson on electronics, Graham O’Brien on drums, and myself on GrainMachine with some Rhodes toward the end.

Battle of Everyouth Rehearsal Segment (Part 1)

Water Dripping Sample in GrainMachine

This evening I have been working on the user interface for GrainMachine, a Max for Live instrument I developed for personal use in October of 2009. In the process of tonight’s testing I came up with this sound. I started with a sample of water dripping, loaded it into GrainMachine and then chose a very narrow grain at a fairly low frequency. Finally I swept slowly through the position of the sample creating the result heard below.

Water Dripping Sample in GrainMachine

GrainMachine Release and Example Sample

Recently I have been working hard on getting my Max for Live instrument, GrainMachine, ready for release. It’s just about ready to go. I can’t name a date just yet, but I can tell you that it will be available as a free download. Here’s an example sound that I created with the instrument to go along with an example Live set I’ll be including with the release.

GrainMachine Example Sample

Hand Made Music Minneapolis #6

Tonight I am demoing my Grain Machine Max for Live instrument at Handmade Music Minneapolis #6 (click for details). Lots of other people are showing off their goodies including Kris Peck of Xenharmonic Instruments, Adam Loper showing his DIY MIDI controller, MCTC students sound synthesis projects, and more. Here’s a few seconds of typical Grain Machine output to wet your appetite.

Grain Machine Demo