20190209

Successfully built a Music Thing Modular Turing Machine Mkii and its Volts expander (which indicates faults in the assembly). Only four steps of the expander produce changes is the voltages which indicates bad solder joints, a problem with the 4015 chips, an issue with the clock input (using Ginko Synthese LFOv2), the pcb or something else. Checked all of the solder joints but they look good. I’ll have to get new chips, reheat all the joints and try again. The issue seems common and similar behavior is described on a Muffwiggler thread. Forgot a 10k resistor from Volts, soldered it down and everything works no!

20190128

SOW Blacksmith ed.1 spotted in the wild as a part of a Novation Circuit Sample Set! Some new entries in the Freesound.org comment page on the collection too. Feels really good to see the pack in use!

Ordered parts for a second Lorre-Mill uTone building session (more on that later – Planning to attach the unit to a 42hp blank eurorack panel). Also got parts for a PMFoundations Clock Divider (Eurorack PCB set). I now have an elementary set of modulation tools in the works. I’ll start compiling the units next month. The uTone will likely be build at Oodi. Odered parts from Digi-Key on Friday and they are already in Helsinki!

Saw dance works at Zodiak. Mira Kautto: Station to Station to Station was a faux-one-person-techno-party, framed as a reminiscence of the traces that past performances had left in the dancers body. Laura Jantunen: Talvi  was a monotonous, repetitive and pattern orientated piece. It placed human bodies and abstract electronic patterns on the same plane. I liked the experience of looking at human movement as a pattern but disliked the academic/neutral-tone of the work. For me the performance felt like a display of the concepts of repetition and patterns, rather then an exploration of them. Kimmo liked work a lot and their text on the piece is a good read THE CIRCUIT I NEED: TALVI, A CHOREOGRAPHY BY LAURA JANTUNEN  (2019) Kimmo Modig.

Also saw Their Limbs Their Lungs Their Legs at TeaK. I enjoyed the views and read the piece as a post-humanism for kids sort of show. The outer forms of the dancer bodies where changed with various disguises. Some parts were very humorous but it didn’t offer new insight to dance.

 

20181030

Build a special “3,5mm TRS jack” to “dual banana jack” adapter (with additional female pin headers for grounding the connection). The TRS jack has two pairs of wires coming from it. Both pairs transport a signal (Tip or Ring) and the ground (the sleeve of the 3,5mm jack). The signals (Tip/Ring) go directly to the banana jacks and the ground (Sleeve) is connected to a set of female pin headers, which I glued on the outer plastic shells of the banana jacks.

I added 3 pin female headers to my Lorre-Mill uTone “prototyping area” which connect to the ground (the negative terminal of the DC power connector -> to the negative terminal of the battery). When using the adapter the ground connection can be made using a jumper wire. I’ve used the adapter to connect the uTone with a Bastl Kastl unit. Kastl can send out control voltages via a TRS female connector on the back of the device. It can send out an LFO, random sequencer voltages, gate pulses, etc. Signals can be routed from the top of the device to the left (Tip) and right (Ring) channels (Should there be resistors inside the adaptor?).

I can now sequence the pitch of the uTone and send other kinds of voltages to it’s other input. Sending a gate signal to the input in the middle of the board introduces pretty rhythmic distortions. The only weird behaviour I can identify is that the uTone produces lower tones when powered from an adaptor and more high pitch sound when a battery is used. This might be due to the Kastl, the voltage might drop when it’s grounded. I imagine the connector will work the same with a softPop.

Works well and looks cute.

20181029

Visited Lau Nau: Wild/Captive at Blank Forms last weekend. Modular synth beats from multiple directions, blended with field recordings from the woods and organ-toned melodies. Many of the nature-sound-trips I’ve heard in the city (Bánh Mì Verlag/Control gigs) have been based on field recording too. They have underlined the differences of technological and natural soundscapes, moving from nature-like-sound towards machine-like-sounds (the narrative contrasts them and makes technological sounds feel disrupting). In Naukkarises’ piece the organ-toned melodies (from an accordion?) blended into nature sounds seamlessly. It was a tad romantic, but welcome. It felt hopeful.

Visited Storm King Art Center last Monday with the ISCP-crew. There were also people from other residents such as Eye Beam at the trip but unfortunately we didn’t have time to mingle (it was so cold outside). The endless display of gigantic rusty metal sculptures was depressing but there were some pretty vistas, fresh air and decent artworks on display too.

Mary Mattingly’s Along the Lines of Displacement: A Tropical Food Forest (2018) is a series of tropical trees planted to the cold New York terrain. The palm trees were intentionally displaced, as an absurd and uplifting response to global warming. They are destined to die during the winter, which makes the piece into a memento mori plant-life arrangement. Being non-native to New York I didn’t understand that the trees were unsuited to the climate (palm trees in New York pass my radar).

There was  a really nice video Wolf Nation (2018) by Alan Michelson on display inside the exhibition center. Michelson had found a remarkable stretch of footage from a disregarded wildlife film, which showed a pack of wolves observing their territory on top of a small hill for 10 minutes. They choreographed different kinds of collective arrangements, reacting to other inhabitants of the site and moved in an out the frame periodically. The wildlife film was found footage and Michelson had connected it with a soundtrack. The work referred to the New York Lenape people (Wolf Tribe).

Visited Remy Jungerman’s Based In exhibition at robert henry contemporary on Friday. I had no prior knowledge of his work and decoding its visual language took a while. Luckily Jungerman gave visitors short introduction to the works. As I understood the pieces were tools for identifying blind-spots that modern art and modernistic thinking has in relation to spirituality and otherness. The sculptures in the gallery felt like miniature models of modern cities or container ships. Each had a few iron-nails hammered into it. At first I thought that this was reference to the absence of materiality (in modern design) but the nails were possibly referring to religious practices in which nails are hammered into figurative sculptures as a sacrifice.

Participated in a Lorre-Mill uTone build workshop at Control yesterday. The uTone “uses CMOS logic, a resistor ladder, and a few other simple pieces to create audio forms. The scale inherent in this instrument is the undertone series, giving divisions of the main clock frequency”. Here is more about the design. We build our uTone units in four hours, hooked them together for a jam and chatted briefly about the topography of the circuit. I learned how to read resistor values from color codes a little better. Unfortunately the workshop was too short, we didn’t learn more about Will Schorre’s views on design and sounds (here is an interesting post on his website on prototyping). I would have also liked to learn more what the uTone is capable of. It has two inputs. I’m in the process of adding an 3,5mm TS Jack -> Banana Jack port/adapter to the device to integrate it with other gear.

We drafted a proposal with Ilari to have a publication on land- and environmental art conservation (Working title: Notes on Land and Environmental Art Conservation – Critical Approaches to Denes, Holt and Smithson) co-published by the Finnish Cultural Institute in New Yorks and the Fine Art Academy of Helsinki.

Synths and eurorack modules we proposed through the Oodi-modular initiative are currently being acquired by the library staff! We are on our way to a people’s-public-modular of Helsinki.