From Synthesis

Exploratorium Resonance!

Exploratorium Resonance!

I am very honored to have a track featured on the Exploratorium’s Resonance project blog! The banjo body resonance SuperCollider composition I produced last Fall is among a handful of other incredible pieces of sound art chosen to be featured as part of a collection of new and strange sound and music.

For more sounds, check out my soundcloud. I currently perform under the name Makahiya (which is a plant that closes up when touched).

Live Synthesis Performance

Hey team! Here’s a nice little recording of a performance I did in class a couple weeks ago. I used a little two grain synthesizer I build with arduino that is SUPER simple, and if you want one, you can build one too, the project is called Auduino. I changed the code a little bit just to change the pitch mapping a little. I also used my Elenco Electronics Playground, and built a little light controlled oscillator and flashed a light through prisms and crystals to control the CDS cell. I also used a Casio VL-Tone with a nearly dead battery, and a dynamic microphone. All of this was routed through a little mixer into my audio interface into my computer, where it was processed through the live granular sampler I have been working on in SuperCollider. I recorded most of this, and there is an explanation and some questions at the end:

Tape Delay Instrument System

Through my work and study during the Fall of 2013 in David Bernstein’s course entitled 20th Century Literature and Theory (focusing on the work of Pauline Oliveros), I spent a great deal of time analyzing, utilizing, and modifying instrument systems utilizing analog magnetic tape machines. I wrote extensively on this subject as well as presenting on this and related systems in seminar. If you would like to access the full text and citations, it can be found HERE. The signal flow of the particular system I constructed (based on Oliveros’ instrument developed at the San Francisco Tape Music Center and University of Toronto in 1965 and 1966 respectively) is illustrated below:

IMAG2032

I utilized this instrument for both improvisation and performance, as well as preconceived composition. Its implementation presented a few technical challenges, which I documented and made suggestions of potential mechanical and circuit modifications. I found the system quite musically intuitive, once properly adjusted, and had a wonderful time playing with pure sine waves both above and below the range of human hearing to produce different tones and LF modulation.

As I discuss in the academic research paper I wrote on this system, the range of the interface makes the utilization of standard notation particularly elusive. In my practice with the system, I calculated the frequency to pitch relationships of a range of octaves in both equal temperament and just intonation, in order to approach composing for the system more traditionally and to achieve my musical intent.

Freq:Pitch (Extended Octave)

Just Intonation Freq:Pitch

Despite thorough documentation of these rather ingenious tape delay instruments and effects, Oliveros is generally excluded in discussions of instrument systems utilizing magnetic tape and related reproduction technologies.

Here is the composition I produced utilizing this particular system (I did not write standard notation for this composition, as my main goal in its execution was to exhibit the sonic capabilities of the system). :

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The improvisational work I did with the system has also been documented, though I have not had access to it.