Enjoying the llllllll forum Orca thread. At first glance the chronological, borderline endless stretch of text appears wastefully organized. Developer notes, memes, old resolved bug reports, feature requests and snippets of code are shared in the same page along with notes on gig venues across the globe. The non-scripting related posts make the thread enjoyable and provide a low-key entrypoint to the Orca/llllllll scene. After reading for a while the thread starts to feel like a space and sets a mood for learning. I’m inadvertently introduced to the history of the program (different development phases), the person who programs it, people who use it and niches of their behavior. As I’m working trough the body of the text to gain elementary skills for working in the Orca environment, I’m simultaneously learning to identity the stylistic quirks of frequent contributors and exposed to the sounds they make.

For learning a new skill I’m relying on some kind of unresolved narrative: Relations I form with abstract usernames and the script fragments they paste to a thread. This being ultimately a textual experience, I notice that I’m involved in a world building process. I’m copying someones script to form an auditive creation only I hear. Working on Norns I use Orca to trigger samples, so the copied scripts produce different sounds to the examples contributors have posted. But the actual sounds are not important for learning. What I’m looking for is the emergence of the same script behavior and patterns of noises they produce. Our patches are similar, they obey the same rules and as I read the thread, and meticulously transcribe the coded text snippets to my screen, we —different users— play and build pattern-islands into the same universe. Below is an example of user neauoire’s condensing of an Allieway_Audio Linear Feedback Shift Register (LFSR) script.


The anecdotes authors share on the thread (videos on instagram) serve as anchor points for remembering features of the Orca operators. Some notes are autobiographical, such as documentations of live gigs. The patterns I draft on my screen remind me of the anecdotes and link my learning progress to theirs. This reminds me of the endless library Jorge Borges drafted. The abstract script snippets Orca users use for communicating a vibe, are nonsensical literary creations which require a complicated machine to transcribe (which operates on machine code). The feel of the endless library is well described in a recent video The Shape of Infinity (2020) by Jacob Geller.

It is particularly interesting that, in the process of copying fragments of Orca script, the sounds different creators produce from it are different but they appear in the same patterns. They share a structure but produce wildly different musical outcomes.

I don’t think this is the same conundrum as the relationship which musical notations have to the sounds musicians produce from their instruments. When I observe how a script plays a sound, I’m not hearing how a someone interprets notations or how their instrument reacts to the their movement. The complexity of the code can affect the sound source (in my case samples) to such an extent that the potential musicality of a pattern is more a result of the script then the timbres of the sound source. Also, our instruments are identical.

Its the same as with blackmidi stuff, where we are not listening to sounds or melodies, we are listening to complexity and forming opinions on the experience by comparing different performances of complexity. Eventually the complexity will cause glitches, which can make the inner conjures of the computer audible. I’ve heard them appear during a live coding performance by Viktor Toikkanen when his computer was pushed to memory overload territory. The machine cried glitches which felt like grains pushing trough the code.

Edit: In a recent thread on llllllll xmacex investigates peoples interest in sharing Norns parameter or PSET files

Sonically speaking norns PSETs are the specifics of an instrument and specify it’s tonal character. Philosophically speaking norns PSETs are artefacts and representations produced in the intimate interaction of the agential subjecthood of a norns user and the removed presence of the script designer and creator.


A selection of the Trans-Siberian Railway -Sound Archive is now available on Freesound. There are 35 clips (1.7gb) and I think the gps data mapping of the recordings alone tells a nice story. I’ve included Helsinki as a part of the Trans-Siberian railway network… As it was intended when the Tsar had our rails build. The archive would work great as background noise for a train-story/documentary or for train themed games. I think some clips might work as chopped samples too. The indexing of the files is a bit messy but there are real gems in the mix. My favorite clips are:

I’m listening to them while writing and I can feel the sounds vibrating my phone, which makes the clips feel material, like thin peals of the trip. Miinas note that the archive is linked with geology (or the process of harvesting geological samples for profit) feels acute. I like that the samples have interference sounds and occasionally my hands can be heard touching the mic. The interference makes the surrounding medias physical, it shows the limits of the recording technology and adds to the appeal. There is a clip were the microphone passes an x-ray machine for example. The material disturbances make me think of Viktor Toikkanen when he pushed his laptop to memory overload glitch territory when live-coding.

Our In Various Stages of Ruins exhibition series continues at Alkovi. The current exhibition titled Toxicity will be build gradually through the end of the summer towards the fall. Currently there are photos from the Town of Asbest on display, my humble C-Cassette recording we made with Jesse titled Two Men Coughing in the Woods (2020) and a set of DIY orthopedic supports I made for my feet (mentioned earlier).


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.


Saw Adinkras perform at the Helsinki Day Kontula Mall festival. The band was called “The Kontula Electronic band” by accident. The gig offered a modular vaporwave vibe. The drunken crowds cheered the bass sounds. Passed the Oodi modular synthesizers to Viktor.

Partisipated in Bändi by Johannes Vartola and Mikko Niemistö (for Urb festival). Had a fun experience playing samples together with people I didn’t know from before. The tempo, soundscapes and composition of the gig were similar to my the Wavelings performance (for NPTurku).


We are publishing Oodi modular video teasers in preparation of our Kontula Electronic presentation on Saturday. The first is out on Viktors youtube site and another will be hopefully published on Kontula Electronic FB-site. (I posted the video on /r/synthesizers too, people have responded to it well) My 0-coast & Arturia Beat Step Pro studies are progressing steadily. Updated the devices and build a batch using both sequencers. I’m having trouble configuring the different midi modes (arpeggiators, latching, legato etc.) on the 0-coast and Beat Step Pro is very complicated too. Fun but complicated. I haven’t hooked them up with my Drumbrute yet… But I tested the lfos of my Kastl on the 0-coast.

Wrote a proposal for a techno-gig-talk at the Exhibiting Sounds of Changes seminar in Tampere (in June). My proposal for a Sound of Work: Blacksmith presentation was accepted into the program, which is nice! But I feel cheated. They made their call with an obscure text: “Participation is without a fee; however travel, accommodation and daily living are at your expense.“. I had read “[…] at our expense” – Thinking that they would have covered travel expenses and offered a lunch for people presenting at the seminar.

I’m down for throwing a gig for the love of art, research, labor issues and sounds but paying for the travel is too much to ask. Their project is founded by the Creative Europe programme and the event is organized by Werstas the Finnish Labor Museum. I send them a message asking for a confirmation on how the expenses are handled and got a reply: Speakers are expected to pay for their own participation. No food, no promises of coffee… Nothing.

Their project is about archiving and presenting sounds of work. I offered them a worker making sounds (referring to labor struggles through techno and critical views to samplers and their relationship to appropriation). The Finnish Labor Museum as a culture factory (as defined by Steyerl) producers workers as dead echoes of the past. #☭