Godwaffle Noise Pancakes 1-26-14. Lotsa fun!!

There were 5 bands, playing about 20 minutes each. I put all the videos on my blog (click below). I really liked the variety – Together (from NYC), the first group, had 4-5 players with dancers/movement, electronics, spoken word, sax, other instruments. DemonSleeper (Andrea Buschman) played various electronic devices. Slusser played a wind instrument that looked like a clarinet and electronics. Ear Spray played fourth. Liver Cancer (reunited), the last group, is a popular harsh noise group that had an encore.

After almost a year of working on videos, Ear Spray finally performed with my live videos!! It was part of a series called Godwaffle Noise Pancakes, which is usually from noon to 2pm in San Francisco, typically at a art exhibit space called the Lab in the Mission district. We had performed several times at the Lab at Godwaffle and other series.

This time Godwaffle was at Life Changing Ministry in Oakland, in a former church. It had not been held in Oakland for about 3 years. I really liked the Oakland location as it is close to Alameda, where I live. Reportedly, it had not been a church for many years but still had a church-like entrance and had been rented to tenants as a house. Over the past few years, experimental musicans, especially of the noise variety, have been scheduling events there. There is lots of equipment, including a pull down screen, which worked great for my videos.

List of perfomers
Together! (NYC)
DemonSleeper
SLUSSER
Ear Spray
Liver Cancer

More info on the groups, with links, is below.

All the acts except Together were recorded by Kevin Hobbs, an excellent videographer.

Links to videos for 1-26-14

Together (1 minute) recorded by brutalsfx

Demon Sleeper

Slusser  –

Ear Spray

Liver Cancer

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Liver Cancer
Bobby Almon
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HfVYZ6ZensQ
& Geordan White
White also runs Audible Disease, a popular effects pedal company in which they build and design diabolical effects pedals and synthesizers tailored to noise and experimental artists.
http://thenothing2.bandcamp.com/
http://www.reverbnation.com/livercancer
Facebook: Livercancer Harshnoise

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DemonSleeper

Heavy sedated distorted pulses and hypnotic vocals based on nightmares and lucid dreamscapes.
https://soundcloud.com/demonsleeper
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SLUSSER

David Slusser’s work history ranges from collaborations with John Zorn to music editing for Francis Ford Coppola and George Lucas, and co-composing with David Lynch. Delight… demonstrates why — Slusser has a sense of cinematic composition and sound collage that is simply amazing. “Kubrick” is a wide-screen tone-poem that (like all of Slusser’s work) goes beyond any sense of “experimentalism” into something concrete and fully realized, while “Dragon” accompanies the sound of the Chinese language with cymbals, bells, and bowed metallic objects to create sounds that capture the entire image and sense of the dragon in eastern mythology. Other tracks assemble resonances and decays of piano tones into concrete compositions that are as beautiful as they are simply fascinating. An excellent collection that makes your average “experimentalist” seem completely misguided.

http://www.allmusic.com/album/delight-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel-mw0001009399
http://perkis.com/interviews/slusser-ivw.html
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Together! (NYC)

Two thirty-year-old schleps performing laughable 21st century clown music for and in response to a hypercritical post-human “white” western consciousness.
www.cdarecords.com
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Here’s the link to the facebook event page https://www.facebook.com/events/637085793016780/?ref_dashboard_filter=calendar

Videos from space station at our 10/20/13 gig!!

I saw Gravity this weekend, the new movie about astronauts in space. I’m a big science fiction fan. It was one  of the best movies I have ever seen. I have been working on video projections for the past 3 months for Ear Spray gigs. I will be using two videos with views of earth from the space station for my first time doing videos at our performance 10/20/13 at Berkeley Arts at 8pm. I didn’t know about Gravity when I first started using the space station videos. What a coincidence!!

In my college years I studied science and worked in labs for 7 years after graduating. I still really like science. Almost all the videos I am using are science-oriented – sea urchin eggs, cloud formations, water patterns, weather patterns, molecules, DNA, etc. With effects, of course ;>

I’m doing my first videos with Ear Spray on 10/20/13. Finally got set up with a projector and ipad software. I studied video production and did video documentaries back in the 80s, after doing still black and white photography for quite a while. The quality of the videos was way inferior to film and the equipment was very expensive to rent, so I quit after a few years. I really liked editing but it was way too slow and clunky. Fast forward to today. For the past three years I have been recording my performances (and a few other groups) on my iphone and posting to youtube. I use imovie for editing. Don’t need anything fancy for youtube!!

I have been practicing doing videos and vocals at the Tuesday evening free jazz/improv jam at Berkeley Arts for about 6 weeks. If I can do videos with the wide variety of instruments and playing styles on Tuesday nights, I can do them most anywhere. Fortunately, the vocals are very easy for me and I don’t have to think about them much.

I will be doing videos, percussion, and vocals at the same time. I hope my head does not explode ;>

If you’re on Facebook, here’s a link to more info.
https://www.facebook.com/events/614458851939175/

1975 vintage analog syth-Doug Lynner at Luggage Store Gallery 8-1-13

lsg 8-1-13 - 10Lynner’s Mystery Serge looked almost new, even though it was originally built in 1975. It had been renovated and upgraded. Even the patch cords looked new. The sounds were pristine and melodic and were simple and easy to follow, which I like.
Usually when I see an old analog synth, it looks pretty beat up.

He had another “box” with knobs but I did not write down the name of it.

He also played slide guitar and synth keyboard at the same time. Interesting and unusual.

Doug is definitely an “old timer” in the synth world!!

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Here’s the bio from Outsound event page on Facebook
Doug Lynner performs, composes and records using vintage and contemporary analog modular synthesizers, digital and virtual synthesizers and traditional instruments. Of special note is Doug’s Mystery Serge, an amazingly versatile analog modular synthesizer designed by West Coast synthesizer pioneer, Serge Tcherepnin.

Created in 1975, the Mystery Serge has been painstakingly conserved and upgraded and stands more than well in comparison to contemporary analog modular synthesizers. Its unique design gave rise to “patch programmability,” the ability to reconfigure a single module for many different uses by patching it differently.
Doug Lynner’s music is based upon the notion of “sound for sound’s sake”

He explores the intrinsic value of sound through mixtures of ambient, avant garde, rhythmic and soundscape genres.
In addition to his avant garde, experimental composition and music journalism, Doug is a pioneer in live rock performance with synthesizers and a founding member of the synth pop recording acts LEM, Mobius and Invisible Zoo.

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From his Web site:
Doug received a BFA in Music Composition from the California Institute of the Arts where his mentors were Morton Subotnick, Harold Budd, James Tenney, Leonid Hambro and Nicholas England. There he was deeply immersed in music technology and compositional processes as well as being instructed in world music genres such as south Indian flute, Gamelan Orchestra and Pigmy and Bushmen rhythmic singing and playing.

Link: http://neatnetnoise.com/
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/doug-4

He sometimes performs in the Santa Cruz area.
Disclaimer: I am not an electronic musician but love the sound of those vintage analog synths!! My band partner in Ear Spray, Carlos Jennings, plays one regularly.

Maxine-Maxareddu Musicbots at 12th Annual Outsound New Music Summit!!

One of my favorite parts of the Summit is the “meet the artists” intro. Composer Ritwik Banerji talked about his Max/MSP-based software musicbot, Maxine, referring to it as his “child” which he was teaching. I found the statement very intriguing. Rittwik has a background of teaching children and has a young child. The other performer, Joe Lasqo used his prior Artificial Intelligence work in expert systems and natural language/speech processing, which he applies to programming Maxareddu.

(Max/MSP is very flexible software that is used for composing electronic music, and other music and video uses.)

Ritwik Banerji and Joe Lasqo used their “Improvising Agents”, “artificial-intelligence software entities that listen to, interpret, and the produce their own music in response.”

Appropriately, the set opened with a chat between two animation people in a video projection. Their “conversation” was very funny. I thought someone wrote it, but it was completely “improvised” by the two characters. I don’t hear much humor in experimental music. Way too serious!!

Here’s a link to the chatbots on youtube (much shorter than the video at Outsound): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WnzlbyTZsQY

The two human musicians joined the conversation on their acoustic instruments(Banerji: sax, Lasqo: piano). Since I’m an acoustic musican (percussion) also I really liked this part.

Maxine “appeared in early 2009 as a being, deeply inspired by Banerji’s work with children in Chicago. Like one would hope of a child, this project focuses on the creation of a social agent, finding ways through sound to make its presence known, while respecting and enhancing the presence of others. Recently this project has more strongly engaged the issue of astromusicology, or the real-time musical diplomacy between human sound makers and the spectral bodies of Maxine.”

Musicbots Maxine and Maxareddu used a microphone to “listen” and then improvise to the sounds of the Banerji’s saxophone,  Lasqo’s acoustic piano, and ambient sounds in the room.

For more information Maxine Banerji, including Ritwik’s approach to teaching, go to a very interesting article by Banerji at: http://cec.sonus.ca/econtact/12_3/banerji_maxine.html

For more information on Joe Lasqo, go to http://www.joelasqo.com
For more info on Ritwik Banerji, go to http://cnmat.berkeley.edu/people/ritwik_banerji

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Warren Stringer – videos and software fiend/badass programmer

Warren Stringer very seldom performs, so it was a real treat to have him there doing video projections. Joe Lasqo, the curator, invited him. Per Joe, “I met Warren through the SF Electronic Music Meetup (SF EMM), which we both belong to. I gave him a ride to a show by the SLOrk (Stanford Laptop Orchestra) that various people from this group were attending, that got us talking and one thing led to another..”

“He didn’t develop the chatbots, those were from the Cornell University Artificial Intelligence Lab. However, the original video of the chatbots from the AI lab was only about 90 seconds, so all the video transformations of their images after that were due to Warren’s software.”

“… his custom visual synthesis software/system can listen to the music and change the visuals accordingly on its own, and it can also operate under his command (i.e., both it and he can improvise the visual track along with the musicians).”

Since I’m working on getting set up to play video projections behind my group, Ear Spray, I spent a little time before the performance, chatting with Warren. He was using a webcam, iphone and an ipad and a Macbook Pro, which is what I was planning on using. So I got the names of all his equipment so I could check it out later. He was also using touchpad controller of his own design with software that he wrote using C++

I assumed he was just a ‘regular’ video person. I was really wrong!! Fortunately, Joe Lasqo told me about him.

Link to his bio (warning – very technical!)
http://muse.com/ws/bio.htm

Click here see what electronic music guru, Amar Chaudhary, said on his blog
http://www.ptank.com/blog/2013/07/outsound-music-summit-vibration-hackers/

For more details on the Summit and the artists, go to
http://www.outsound.org/summit/13/schedule_details13.html

To read Joe Lasqo’s blog writings about the Vibration Hackers sessions On Thursday, July 26, 2013, click here

Disclosure: I am not an electronic musician, but I play with one in my group, Ear Spray. Many, many thanks to Joe Lasqo for explaining it to me!!

Obsessed with video!!

Back in the “stone age” of video in the 1980s I took classes and worked on documentary videos. I came from black and white still photography and did not like the relatively poor image quality, although I loved video production – recording, editing, etc. Also the equipment was very expensive to rent and the video tape stretched when played. Fortunately, editing is really, really easy now due to the software. I started taking videos of other musicians performing about two years ago, using my iphone camera. When I got an iphone 5 I recorded everything in HD. I also recorded almost all of Ear Spray’s gigs. It was ok, but not very creative.I put all the videos on youtube and used iMovie for the Mac, an very, very easy program to use. Since I was posting to youtube “quality” was not a big deal as the videos are compressed.

A few months ago I decided to use videos projected behind Ear Spray while we perform. Recording and editing is very easy. But, wow, the projectors have really changed!! My iphone records in HD, so, of course, I had to have an HD projector. I had not used a video projector for a long time, so  it took me awhile to figure out what I wanted, since I am very picky about quality of the projected images – must be HD. One of my first projects is to have live video of Carlos playing. Mark and I move around but Carlos is trapped to his table of electronics. I will have a video camera focused on his table to show what he is doing.See the foto below.

carlos 10-10 buttonsI studied science in high school and college and am working on videos using science-related footage. Hopefully by this fall I will have some video ready to go. Carlos and I attended a performance at Davis Hall in San Francisco of Phillip Glass’ live music accompanying the film Koyaanisqatsi. I got so many ideas!!

Good thing we have Mark to play percussion in Ear Spray while I am fiddling with the video stuff!!

Finally got this darn band web site up!!

Three years ago I set up a myspace page for Ear Spray, when we first started performing together. Of course, soon later myspace went kids thumbs updefunct for musicians :<  Last fall I started a business wordpress blog that is now almost 60 postings plus lots of comments. After months of working on my business wordpress blog, it didn’t take long to set this one up. It was hard going from html to learning wordpress, which is much less flexible (I had never used templates before), but it worked out well for a band page as it takes little time to manage. Of course, knowing some HTML really helps with WordPress.For setting up this blog, most of my time was spent deciding on a template.