Secret Killer Of Names

a blog about sound, image, text and thought

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That’s it… no more!

My last solo performance and by extension the last Makrotulpa performance.  Pure Nord Modular put through Loopy / AUFX DUB and AUFX Space on the iPad.  Sure I may be encouraged to step out for collaborations occasionally but after last night I genuinely doubt my enthusiasm for even that.

Thanks to:

Steven the owner of Vision Gallery who is a good sort with a universe of patience.

Andy Lonsdale for giving me the time and space to bow out.

The two or three audience members who genuinely turned up for the show.

Yvan for a good chat on global standards of living and some awesome head-cleaning tones.

The synthesist from Wonderfuls who sacrificed an article of her clothing to mop up beer spilt right next to my Nord by the guitarist (see below).

The Twilight Markets for surprising me via their existence.

These little surprises make me happy to be out and sharing my music with others.  Thank you all!

No Thanks to:

The rest of the audience who turned up to talk loudly through everything.

The drunk guy who decided he was more entertaining than Browning Mummery with his yelling, microphone stealing and threatening behaviour.

The synthesist from Wonderfuls who encouraged him by slavishly filming his antics as if he was some kind of genius performance artist.

The guitarist from Wonderfuls who spilled his beer right next to my Nord (don’t worry Andy it’s all working fine) and then later got all threatening and in my face because I asked Andy, in a quiet private conversation whether the drunk guy (mr Wonderful’s friend) bothered him.  I’d like to think if I was intoxicated and acting crazy in public my friends would take me away and calm me down not clap and film it.  You are an asshole!

The bad really outweighs the good from my perspective.  The prevalence for this kinda dramatic bullshit is why I’m dubious I will ever perform live again… solo or even with collabs.  I know it was always an issue but lately i’ve seen an increasing lack of respect among people in general that is extended also towards the performing musician.  Why even go out when you don’t want to listen?  Why not be like the majority of people who don’t even bother turning up… at least in their apathy they are directly affecting no-one.  On the other hand should I expect people to care about my less than perfect performances?

For me music making was a social art – a sharing of sounds with a room full of bodies slowly tuning to your wavelength. We jammed together in private , we argued in pubs and on forums equally, and there was a sense of communal achievement.  How far we have come.  How lost we are now.

So where to now?  Well I’m going hermit to produce some stuff without the pressure of it ever needing to be performed.  Thinking about never playing live again is making me feel better already.


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A Study in… Failure!!!

Permission to fail

So the gig I just played last night is a near text book example of vision and process crowding out reality.

I started playing and the NanoKontrol immediately stopped communication with Numerology.  I stopped the performance, apologised, restarted Numerology and then went for it – realising after 5mins that it had happened again.  On my Macbook i’ve got a number of MIDISERVER crash messages that mention the Korg drivers and i’ve read that it may well be an issue with them not being truly 64bit compatible.

I forgot the rules – always have a safety net and never trust a computer with the final output.  The NanoKontrol was crucial for mixing the CUE and Output channels as well as recording, manipulating and clearing the loops.

It really was the worst gig i’ve had since the terrible This Is Not Art / Electrofringe gig in the park where a 5min setup was not adequate time to plug my loop-station correctly.  At least this time I only embarrassed myself in front of my co-workers and students :/   

On the way home from the gig I was listening to some good music I made in the past to make me feel a little better.  It reminded me why I like jamming to create tracks but lately i’ve been wondering if sharing this process with an audience is the best way to go.  At the gig Matt Hitchcock entranced us with some lovely surround work that reminded me I could be fulfilling my musical ambitions making tracks rather than stressful live appearances to dwindling crowds.

One more gig on the horizon (April 4 – Vision Gallery West End) and for safety sake i’m taking a different approach – using a mixer for starters!  Then I shall revert to shut-in mode in order to multitrack my opus…maybe coming out for collabs.  

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Soon Outings and New Softings

Yvan Volochine gig More gigs are on the horizon.  For both I will be performing a new work entitled “A Study In Time Lag” for which I have composed this blurb:

The solo synthesist often straddles a gulf between the relative comfort of prepared clip triggering and improvised anxiety of unstable electronic systems.  While the urge to be in the moment is strong there are only so many appendages a musician can rely on to generate intricate musical depth in real time.  The radio or club DJ rarely has this worry.  They know they have 3 minutes to expertly cue the next track and have all this time to prepare the perfect transition and check their fashionable chin in the nearest mirror. This work is an experiment in applying this approach to live synthesiser improvisation.  Using a Nord Modular, a custom iPad/Lemur interface, a number of loop recorders/players and a pair of headphones the performer builds and mixes complex loop based material staying 3 minutes ahead of audience expectation.

The first performance is on a bill with Matt Hitchcock – Friday May March 21st at Griffith Conservatorium from 6pm.   Matt will be performing “Sonic Tectonics” with surround sound spatialisation.  Should be yummy!  Will cost $5

The other performance is at the awesome Vision Gallery with Yvan Volochine, Browning Mummery and Wonderfuls.  Friday April 4 from 8pm.  Not sure how much it will be – guessing around $10.  It’s a really nice venue in West End’s Absoe Building.

After the jump – review and commentary on some recent software acquisitions…

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Please Stand By… CDP rising

Radio Silence Immanent

Radio Silence Immanent

I have a sizeable academic workload this semester – three of the subjects are about experimental and electronic music though which is great!  I fear that due to the resultant work radio silence may descend on this blog for the next couple of months.

It is possible there will be a performance sometime in March and i’ll blog about that when it is confirmed.  For now I wanted to mention something old that is new again… after the jump…
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