Friday, July 31, 2020

Two Jazz Standards made Klezmerical and Latinate

Cootes Paradise, a watershed

I made this video for the launch of Sweet Water: Poems for the Watersheds in Hamilton. My poems in the anthology explored the revitalization of Cootes Paradise. Because we'd subsequently learned that 24 billion gallons of sewage was accidently released into Cootes and that the city council knew about it and did nothing for many months—and kept it secret even from the Royal Botanical Gardens who oversee the marsh—John Terpstra invited me to write a new poem for the launch addressing that. So I made this video featuring a drone's eye view of Cootes Paradise and adjacent highway.

ReverBENT BANTER: a poetry & music performance

I made this recording of live performances/made performances for the International Institute of Critical Studies in Improvisation Improv festival coming up later this month. 

ReverBENT BANTER is a poetry and music performance reflecting on the idea of reverberation. Because this is a time of isolation perhaps we are especially sensitive to the communicative echo of relationship and communication. We shout or whisper or breathe into the world and hope for an answer, if only to hear our own voice, our own body. Most of the pieces in ReverBENT BANTER are improvisations using voice, computer (using vocal and typewriter samples) or the Armenian duduk and were creating using reverberation and delay. The processing and the visuals were also created through improvisation.

Monday, July 27, 2020

Four recent videos: Kaddish rabbit poetry book

The following four videos were all made using some implementation of the Max/MSP programming environment for both audio and video. For example, the audio for the Rabbit video was made through a routine that I wrote which modifies a MIDI recording of the original Bach by substitution or erasure of the original pitches and by mapping some of the pitches onto percussion sounds. The result was ported to Ableton Live where I further modified it (the intonation) and choice of timbres. The visuals were made by superimposing a found animation of a rabbit onto visuals generated in Max from the rhythms of the audio. You can see what a Max program looks like in the third video because I recorded the screen as it ran. 

 Kaddish (from a Portuguese cantor singing the Jewish prayer for the dead.)

 Rabbit (a transrabbitgrification of Bach'a Aria from the Goldberg Variations and the first Invention.)


 Poetry Makes Nothing Happen (after Auden)(for Carl Wilson) The screen is the Max/MSP running the program that generated the sound.


 The Book (for derek beaulieu_

Friday, July 17, 2020

Mind Blow Open by Algorithms: Some videos and music mades with Max/MSP

I recently took a class in composing with the Max/MSP programming environment. I studied this before—25 years ago, in fact—but remembered very little. So when the opportunity to take a class with Swiss composer and educator Tobias Reber came up, I happily signed up. I thought I'd share a few recordings that I made in the class.

The first few examples include videos that I made to the music. The last few are audio and I've included the Max patch that I adapted from one of Tobias's examples.

Here are the recordings based on the expanded version of the illustration that Tobias showed in class. I've linked to the patch also.

1. Max patch based on Tobias's probability lesson. Finite Probability Drive

2. Soundtrack for artist video. The piano part was generated using the probability patch -- with 5 different iterations of five different possible notes and five different combinations of those iterations. Golem

3. Solo piano piece using the same procedure as the above except with 7 and a different set of notes/probability. Probability of Overturning

4. "Gamelan" Synth sounds. The same as #1 (five iterations) but with different notes and different sounds, though with the same probability set.