ISSTA 2019 Call for Proposals

October 31st and November 1st, 2019 the Irish Sound, Science and Technology Association annual conference and festival will be held in Cork, Ireland at CIT Cork School of Music. Keynotes include a performance and lecture from Robert Henke (Ableton Live, Monolake) and a performance and workshop from Ellen King (ELLLL / Gash Collective).

I starting going to ISSTA in 2017 and have had incredible experiences while attending and performing. It’s usually a fairly small gathering of like-minded artists, educators, performers, and scientists all of whom are experimenting with sound in fascinating ways. I’ve participated in many events, festivals and conferences, but nothing aligns better with my interests and practice than ISSTA does. If you appreciate the music and sound experiments I share here on ACB, then please review the call below for details about this wonderful gathering. Continue reading

Video: REV2 Patch Degrader Demo & Sounds

This video describes and demonstrates the device I designed to create most of the patches in the REV2 Experimental Sound Set available here on

I am hoping to make it available sometime in the next few months if I can gage enough interest for a release. To hear five minutes of just the patches (no talking) please skip to 9:56. Also a complete playlist of all 128 patches is available on SoundCloud:

Video: Parking Ramp Project

Aniccha Arts premieres a performance installation inside a seven-level parking garage. The project asks questions about transience, migration, and stability in a space that temporarily stores cars and is home to nothing. Performers pervade the parking structure with their bodies, working against the visible slant of the ramp to find their individual verticality. Questions we asked in creating the work: How do we find softness in a landscape of concrete? What anchors us on these alternating planes? How do we connect across such a complex landscape? video by: Cully Gallagher

This video by Cully Gallagher is 3 minutes and 30 seconds of fragments from the approximately 44 minute long Parking Ramp Project. Composing music for this performance installation showed me how far it is still possible to explore improvised music through experimental processes. Considering the acoustics of the parking ramp was a critical consideration within the musical scope. One approach to this was rests coded into the algorithms that allowed for the music to decay during long pauses while the ambient sound of the space inserted itself as an unintentional “performer”.

I am humbled by the willingness of the Pramila Vasudevan and other collaborators to humor my absurd scheme to compose the work using Javascript. This language allowed me to quickly produce animated, generative, graphic scores. It was also a privilege to perform the music with Peter Hennig (drums) and Cody McKinney (bass/electronics) who effortlessly interpreted the graphic scores. You can read and hear more about the project or continue for a gallery of screen grabs from the animated graphic scores. Continue reading

ISSTA 2018 and Ableton 10 NRPN Morphing

Soon I’ll be on my way to Ireland for my second appearance at the Irish Sound, Science and Technology Association (ISSTA) annual conference. This year ISSTA will be held at Ulster University’s Magee campus in Derry, Northern Ireland, November 9th and 10th, 2018. Tickets are still available.

This time around my work is entirely rooted in FM synthesis. Particularly around my explorations of the amazing PreenFM2. I have designed a Max for Live patch that allows me to degrade, morph, and/or scramble sets of parameters on the synth. This is similar to a device I designed for the Yamaha TX81Z. This process creates an algorithmic approach to the sound design.

I have titled this series MODULATOR and recently made an album (unreleased) of material based on the technique. There is a lot to mine here, so I am finding that while I prepare for ISSTA a whole new range of material has emerged. These new compositions developed through a sequence of stochastic, deliberate, and arbitrary processes. Through algorithmic and improvised methodologies textures evolve beyond aesthetic considerations allowing peculiar, harsh, and even grotesque sounds to emerge. Have a listen to this series of clips I recorded while practicing for the upcoming performance:

Continue reading

VIDEO: Full Sets from Studio Z Nada Showcase

I performed this version of Vocalise Sintetica at on Friday, June 8, 2018 at Studio Z for the Nada showcase. The recording was captured by Mike Hodnick. In addition to the improvised elements, what makes this different from previous versions of the piece is that Studio Z is close to home, so I was able to bring my favorite instrument, the Moog Sub 37 for lead lines, melodies, drones, and arps. All the sound heard in this piece was generated by the AVGM (Audiovisual Grain Machine) controlled by an iPad, a Novation Circuit with custom samples and patches, a Minifooger Delay, and the Moog Sub 37.

This was an amazing evening of performances. The sets from Michael Flora, Mike Hodnick (Kindohm), and Spednar were all excellent. Mike also shared video of his own set of “tightly coupled audio and visuals” that he premiered at the event, which is definitely worth checking out:

Read on for the the official press release:

Continue reading