Buchla – Electronic Music as Performance Art (2019) Under the Big Tree. A near hour long lecture on the history of the Buchla (Bemi) design company. The talk isn’t analytical, it does not excavate what it meant for Buchla to interface with a synthesizer or what motivated Buchlas dissentient and anti-government attitudes. But it offers some interesting historical details and explains the heterogeneity of his layouts (Save a click: Users don’t need to see a module to recognize it, they can identify it by feeling the knobs!).
Designing the Make Noise Erbe-Verb (2019) Tom Erbe/Soundhack (a video by mylar melodies). A very detailed history of reverbs and a thorough look on Erbes design process. He shares his insights openly and offers concrete tools for reverb design.
Heading to Buchla and Serge territory myself. Swapped my Monotribe for a Variable Slope VCF by Random*Source. I’ll have to build an inverter to help it resonate. Also got a Sense module from Bastl, to develop my mineral water audio analysis toolkit.
Visited Mental Alaska back2baSICs PARTY in Kannelmäki yesterday. Heard Viktor Toikkanen, who played a live programming gig using Tidal. This was the first time I’ve seen live programming (other then our Masku Movement sessions in ~2008) and it was great. I could identify some terms in the score (it was projected on the wall) and anticipate changes, which made the performance feel analytical. Bought a cassette from him too. Actually… There weren’t that many live coding moments. Toikkanen mainly triggered events he had programmed for the record. Some triggers pushed his computer to the limits and we could hear soundcard buffer overload crashes and glitches. I think this digi-materiality was an important part of the presentation. Glitches felt like real grains pushing trough the code. It echoed hardcore rock moments when artists push their amps to max.
The Internet’s Mid-Life Crisis (2019) The Agenda. Cory Doctorow argues that the internet is not broken, everything bad we see happening to it, such as facebook etc., corporate control of the infra and espionage of citizen, is a result or symptom of capitalism. After some weighing all guests seem to agree that some kind of legislation of the internet is needed to move forward (I think this would make the internet a part of the democratic domain).
Our exhibition opening at Oksasenkatu 11 was nice. A lot more people then I expected and mainly new faces. I’ll be on site to meet visitors for some glögi, sound lounging and fun. Dates: 18.-20.12 (12-18:00), 27.12 (12-18:00). Crossroads launch & seminar at SOLU went well too. Had the pleasure to meet Leena Valkeapää, she felt like a wild thinker. There were around 20 people at the event, which was just enough the make the space to feel crowded (at times). I got a lot of nice compliments on my talk on Earth Art Conservation.
Visited Monstera by Essi Kausalainen at Mad House. I liked the performance and particularly enjoyed a minimalistic stepping dance the performers executed towards the end of the show. It felt like a simplified version of cicapo or some other court dance. Perhaps something enjoyed by Carl Linnaeus in the ballrooms of his era. Linnaeus’ work in starting the modern system of naming organisms had inspired the performance and he was heavily present in a séance-like segment before the dance. In a talk before the show Kausalainen pondered if the act of naming a thing could be read as an attempt to show affection towards it. The step-dance also reminded me of compulsory or involuntary movements people perform when idling (while waiting for a bus etc). The dance informed me of a vegetative movement or motion, which is possibly intrinsic to all living things. The practice of the performers felt like an amplification of this auto-movement and when performed collectively by the group, it felt like a method of building solidarity trough the lowest common nominator (which for me is idling).
Etched and build a Bastl Skis Expander 1u and assembled a Lite2Sound PX unit by Rare Waves. I want to send audio across space using leds and laser beams. Tested it yesterday sending audio form my Disting Mk4 using a bipolar led thing I build and it works well. I’m looking for a red laser which I can use to draw on material surfaces, so that the Lite2Sound converts the shapes of the surface to sound (much like a vinyl needle). I want to hear textures. I used a fee from a wedding gig (manufactured mineral waters, read poetry and served as a bartender) to acquire a spring tank (Accutronics 9EB2C1B) and
I’m making made a 1u expanded for the Spring Reverb mkII.
What does sending audio in a laser beam trough parkling water, spatialized by a spring reverb (which feedback agitates the water) sound like? What will the surface of a slab of wood sound like when played like a vinyl? Do grooves of bark sound what they feel like?
Coping with post Trans-Siberian railway blues. It’s been a week now and I’ve yet to unpack. I just pulled everything on my table, keep my stuff in a pile and shuffle it when I need things. Our return trip from Vladivostok to Helsinki took 180 hours. We only had a few daily breaks and a 10 h train change wait in Moscow. I managed to (almost) complete a review of the Ural Industrial Biennial during the ride, made some train ambient recordings and fixed a sock. Despite the discomfort, working on the train felt rewarding. Everything we saw and did fitted into a context. The travel and our group forged a dense social framework which I experienced to be supportive. Back here in Helsinki, I feel vague and I don’t know what to do next. I’m dreaming of new travels and looking for odd-jobs (barista for Starbucks, office cleaning -> edit: got invited to a job interview but the 3h/5d a week gig only pays 550 a month, which is impossible).
I have small gig in a week and I’m preparing for some teaching next month (post-structuralism for kids continues). Swapped my KP3 for a Leploop Multicassa v2. It’s superb and compliments my rack. I’ll miss the KP3 thou.. I had it for 3 years. It seems I’m into electro-acoustics, ploppy filter resonances and organic mutant drum patterns. I’ll try to build a dark techno setup using Multicassa with my softPop.
I think they come from the same universe (edit: they really do). Build my first 1u module TRS breakout 1u. The closet I use for work is a mess.
Made my first batch of Faux San Pelligriano. 1,5l water is added with ~2g of salts and minerals (10l has 0,92g Table salt, 5,7g Epsom-salt, 4,8g Plaster of Paris, 1,5g Chalk). Digesting Plaster of Paris aka. Burned Gypsum feels weird but I’m confident because Gypsum is also used in the production of tofu. Epsom salt aka. Magnesium sulfate is a spooky material too but it is used also as a laxative and it’s health benefits are well documented. Chalk and salt feel more safe to use.
Spotted Too Many Zoos online. The baritone saxophonist is called Leo Pelligriano. I want to drink Faux San Pelligriano while playing techno as Faux Leo Pelligriano.
Build an acoustic piezo preamp using a tl071. Used the toner transfer method to etch a pcb following this design (some traces came off a bit weak). The same circuit can also be found as a vero board design. Works well, sounds very clean and even amplifies the signal enough to trigger Bastl Skis. I’ll possibly make a lm386 audio amp as it’s companion, so that I can boost the signal further. I’m also planning to run the lm386 independently so that I can use it to trigger the second Skis channel. Drum triggers in the works! I designed how the two circuits would be linked while attending the Frame Epistemic Hospitality event.
Meritocracy is a myth invented by the rich (2019) Nathan Robinson.
It’s no secret that wealthy people will do nearly anything to get their kids into good schools. But this scandal only begins to reveal the lies that sustain the American idea of meritocracy.
[…] equal opportunity would require a radical re-engineering of society from top to bottom. As long as there are large wealth inequalities, there will be colossal differences in the opportunities that children have. No matter what admissions criteria are set, wealthy children will have the advantage.
Build my first module: “Tip/Ring Thing (Breakout)”. Its a 4hp unit which divides a 3.5mm TRS socket to two separate mono sockets. I can now transmit CVs (and audio) from-and-to my softPop with the module. It’s essentially a passive two channel splitter and/or mixer. It also works with my QuNexus, which sends CV trough a TRS connection. (Building the module costed me less then 5€ but four hours of time, because I wanted the panel from wood).
I’ve now compiled all of the modules I have planned. Feeling content but I want to deepen my understanding of sounds. I need some kind of
drum-sound generator (re-discovered Kastle 1.5), a looping envelope, more VCAs (I’ll possibly build them using vactrol), a second LFO (for slow movements), a second attenuverter (for the second lfo) and a spring echo. Today I used the Turing Machine as an oscillator (by clocking using softPops square wave output), I patched the same clock signal to my clock divider (which serves as a square oscillator, when clock very fast). I then routed the sound of the Turing Machine to the softPops filter and used the QuNexus to trigger the Skis envelope/VCA to control the sound (of the filtered sound and the clock-div sub-osc). I wonder.. Would psychotherapy be more affordable?
My review titled Kun kirjasto lukee meitä (When the library reads us) on the The Library’s Other Intelligences art project is available on Mustekala.info.
Listening and studying Toshimaru Nakamura NO-INPUT MIXING BOARD (2000).