My new Breathing Voltages CD is done and will be released on May 6th. All new electronic music from the past couple years. The release party will be happening here at my place on the 6th and will include a live performance.
Working on a new electronic piece with this interesting assemblage of modular synthesizer components. I decided to spend Inauguration Day recording a bunch of material that I am now using to construct a finished piece of music in my computer. (See compositional process.) Had a lot of fun with the Future Retro pressure plate keyboard. Got some really nice gestures out of it. I recorded some of the material direct from the little mixer you can see to the right, and some other stuff through my fabulous 31H Leslie speaker, which is the giant wooden thing on the left.
My current as yet untitled electronic music project is being stimulated by my discovery of this old early '60s vintage equipment rack. I cleaned it up and clear coated it to preserve the patina and honest wear it has "earned" over the decades. I then filled it up with a bunch of modular synthesizer gear and I must say, I absolutely love how it looks. It looks as if it came right off the set of an early sci-fi movie.
I see this fantastical object as an instrument, even though it is comprised of many separate components. My plan is to compose some music to perform live on it. I'm still tweaking the configuration of this beast, and once it's all set I plan to work with in for a period of months. It includes a new touch plate keyboard as it's primary performance interface that I'm looking forward to exploring.
The rack also has components installed on the back side. This may seem rather impractical, but it makes for a very cool looking three dimensional musical object.
The backstory: This old 19-inch equipment rack enclosure was most likely manufactured in the early 1960s by the Emcore company, though the design looks like something from about a decade earlier. I found it on Craig's List and only paid $40 for it. It had been stored for many years in a shed and was quite dirty with a lot of bird droppings on it. I could see that it had no dents in it and not even any major scratches. What it did have was this wonderful wear pattern, particularly around the front where people would have been in contact with it over a period of many years.
When I got it home, I gave it a thorough cleaning, sanded off some surface rust, buffed it out and gave it two coats of clear-coat. I also replaced the wretched old casters with much nicer ones and installed a plywood floor in it. It really came out nice. I did a lot of online research into preserving the patina. This is a popular thing to do with old cars right now, though there is a lot a debate about the practice among vintage car enthusiasts and no firm agreement as to the best way to do it. I also went to a couple of local auto body shops to seek their advice. In the end I took all of the information I'd gathered and just gave it my best shot. It came out looking great, and seeing as it won't be exposed to the elements like a car would, I think it's going to hold up just fine.
Here are some pictures of the rack:
Here it is in my truck when I picked it up from the guy who sold it to me on Craig's List.
Here it is in my basement shop where I worked on it.
Here it is with some of it's components installed, though not in their final configuration.
Here's the back side in pretty much it's final configuration.
Here's it is with the custom light panel I made for it installed.
My most recently completed project is entitled Rotational Asymmetries. It involves the first use of my recently acquired vintage model 31H Leslie speaker. I recorded various elements that were used in the construction of the finished piece, using my fragment-based compositional process. I also generated some repeating and evolving short patterns using a Dot Com Q960 sequencer driving my Moog Model 12 modular synthesizer.
Murmurations of the Krell is a recent solo live performance electronic music piece. It was performed live at Studio Z on June 15th 2016, and a recording was made of the performance. I used a Tim Kaiser Quad Oscillator, a Moogerfooger ring modulator, a Big Muff V3 distortion, two TC Electronic Ditto loopers, a Vox wah pedal and some old-school delays and reverb.
This new project was released on LP as well as CD in late July of 2015. It included six previously unreleased recordings and featured guest artists Zeitgeist, Dave King, Heather Barringer, Tom Kehoe, Mary Danna and a group of current and former Rose Ensemble singers. These six works all feature my unique fragment-based compositional technique and run the gamut from a cappella choral music to my latest analogue modular synthesizer work. This eclectic mélange of music is both beautiful and esoteric, reflecting shades of Brian Eno, Ligeti, Zappa and early Kraftwerk, with some minimalist pattern music influences thrown in for good measure.