20191101

Added some old texts online. I really like “Fade in, Fade out”! I have no idea how it was received by the public back in the day but I hope someone will enjoy it now:

Continued with my Simple EQ* build and added it on modulargrid (the Tilt EQ channel is still giving me trouble). Also build a 12v to 9v transducer which has the same dimensions as a 9v battery and a 10pin ribbon cable connector so that I can power it from my eurorack. The first unit is a proof of concept and I’ll build a new one with a big heat sink. I’ll use it to mount 9v circuits to my rack.

A nice short documentary The Delian Mode (2009) by Kara Blake. It gives a good overview of Delia Derbyshires work at the BBC and her influence on electronic music. She remembers the sound of hoofs on cobbles, she heard as a child as an influence on her appetite for polyrhythmics and recalls that the noise of air raid sirens sparked her curiosity in electronic sounds. There is an archive of her work online, with entries like: The Delian Mode (1963).

20191025

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?

20190829

I’m preparing for a month lon trip to Russia. The Alkovi “In Various Stages of Ruins” -group includes (2018-19): Elina Vainio, Matti Kunttu, Iona Rosin and Katja Kalinainen. The project is organized by Arttu Merimaa & Miina Hujala. Other artists from Finland will also join in on different segments of the trip and their works will be presented in screenings / exhibitions on the way. The train from Helsinki leaves 2.9. I’ll give a presentation on mineral waters at Fabrika (Moscow) on 4.9 and later in Vladivostok. During the trip we’ll visit Ekaterinburg for the Ural Industrial Biennial of Contemporary Art and Novosibirsk. I won’t have access to the internet on the train but I plan to write posts, which I’ll publish en masse once I get to a wifi.

The performances I’ll present illustrate how mineral waters are formed as rain passes through the soil and how different waters affect our bodies. The characteristics of different waters will be explored using electronic gadgets, anecdotes and by preparing a batch of mineral water for consumption. I’ve build a eurorack module for the occasion. It is a Simple EQ / Baxandall EQ module, which I’ve made as a trough hole unit and modified by adding switches and female pin headers, so that I can swap capacitors used in the original circuit.

I’ve build capacitors which use mineral water as the conductive material and plastic balloons as the non-conducting substance (dielectric). The capacitors have different architectures and shapes: A component which is made from a balloon (filled with 10ml water) inside a balloon (filled with 10ml water), shows as a ~3000pf capacitor. A component which is constructed from a balloon (filled with 10ml water and 10g copper) and a jar (with 20ml water), shows as a 12nf capacitor if its charged with a 9v battery for 10 sek. A component which has two spiraling compartments, shows as a 40pf cap. etc. Measurements vary and I guess the capacitance changes over time as the electrolytes in the salty water run out.

The EQ’s treble setting shows a notable difference when a capacitor is swapped. Unfortunately the change in the nature of audio passed trough the circuit is non-spectacular (my water capacitors behave as normal capacitors). But it is intriguing to use water as an electronic component! I’ve also build a nifty eurorack case for the trip (I’ll share the design later). The 84hp skiff has laser-engraved Byzantine ornaments and maps form our groups previous trips to Russia. The inside of the case lid shows module schematics (for debugging) and a manual for the Expert Sleepers Disting MK4 unit. The case also has pictures from different water based parasites a illustrations. I’ll laser cut the panels for the module tomorrow. The panels also have inserts for the 4,45mm jars I use for the water caps.

20190816

A thorough and nice no input mixing tutorial by Sarah Belle Reid (2019).

Build a perf-board unit of the a Simple EQ / Baxandall EQ module (the Tilt channel is still in the making). The build was an ordeal. I did how ever learn that the reverse polarity protection of the circuit works well (it even saved an IC I popped in the wrong way) and that my noisy DC 5-24v to Dual Power 12v -12v 5v -5v 3.3v supply is robust. I attempted to plan the build using various board design tools (Fritzing worked best for me) but ended up just soldering components down following the schematic.

I added two switches to my build, which can be used to bypass the capacitors controlling the bass response (27nf) and/or the treble (1nf). Changing the 27pf didn’t have much effect. I added female pin headers which can be used to insert different capacitors in their place. My first water capacitor (using faux s.pellegrino) shows a value of ~35pf and it has an effect on the sound. Next I’ll build more water capacitors, which hopefully will have higher values for more distinct effects. I’ll also have to design a front panel, which can used to mount the bulky capacitors (The one I have has ~20ml of water in it).

During my tests I’ve discovered that the electrical resistance of sparkling mineral water drops slowly (as the water loses its bubbles). I believe that this property could be used as vca of sorts. I plant to make a simple signal divider, which uses sparkling mineral water as a conductor. This signal multiplier would be useful for one-shot slowly amplifying ramps (for example adding volume). Water and electronics is a beautiful combination.