Monday
Jul182016

Four New Reviews in Soundbytesmag.net

The current issue of Soundbytesmag.net is out, and I have not one, not two, not three, but four - count 'em - four - reviews in it of new software musical delights.  The Moog Modular 15 for iOS devices.  Jacky Ligon's Ivor2 for the PC - a wonderful analog-ish microtonal synthesizer.  Softube Modular - a Eurorack modular synth that fits onto your Mac or PC computeer screen.  And the Attack EP88 Tacked Electric Piano from UVI - an astounding electric piano instrument.  Here are the links to the articles.

 

Enjoy!

 

 

Tuesday
Jun072016

For Frank Osowski (1947-2016)

Frank Osowski, visual poet, artist bookmaker, mail artist, sculptor, writer and beloved partner of Leonie, and wonderful, warm friend to both Catherine and me, passed away on May 8, 2016.  He and Leonie operated as FnL Osowski, and produced many wonderful books/objects/treasures, of which we're lucky enough to have a small pile.  I especially remember their wonderful book/object "Almost Stalingrad" which had a number of brilliant photocopy collages in it, as well as a pressed-metal cover that was, in a word (or two), almost lethal.  When Catherine first returned to Australia, when we were married, we spent a lot of time with them, and other members of the AXLE group for visual poetry, including a couple of shows at the Footscray Community Art Gallery and Heide Gallery.  Always engaging in warm and witty conversation, Frank was a real treasure, and he will be deeply missed.  Our sympathies and condolences to Leonie, his partner of many many years.  

In memory of Frank, I've been working on a large scale (four movement) piece for iPad.  This is definitely a work in progress, but here is the most recent version - this is the second movement, recorded this afternoon, 7 June 2016.  I'm using the apps Lemur, Thumbjam, and AltiSpace to make this.

If you can't see the Flash Player above, download the piece HERE.

Here's a picture of FnL from 2008, taken from David Dellafiora's website:

And here's a link to David's website:

http://daviddellafiora.blogspot.com.au/2016/05/francis-osowski-1947-2016-rip.html

Rest in peace, Frank.  We miss you.

 

Sunday
May292016

Two neat new synthesizers: Reviews in Soundbytesmag.net

In the May issue of Soundbytesmag.net I review two very neat new synthesizers, one for the iPad and one for computers.  The iPad machine is Shoom, by Yuri Turov, and it's a very nice tri-timbral, multi-polyphonic, microtonally enabled synthesizer with a very nice performance interface.  The computer synth is called Virta, and it's by Randy Jones, of Madrona Labs in Seattle.  This is a synth that's designed to analyze sounds from the "real world" and extract control information from them and (microtonally) control a very nice collection of modules.  Both are inexpensive, both are well thought out, and both are brimming with compositional potential.  So check out the reviews here:

http://soundbytesmag.net/music-tablets-shoom-yuri-turov/

and here:

http://soundbytesmag.net/review-virta-voice-controlled-synthesis-madrona-labs/

Enjoy!

Tuesday
May032016

38 Years On, the 3CR New and Experimental Music Show Rides Again!

On April 15, 2016, at Gertrude Street Art Space, courtesy of Liquid Architecture and Community Radio 
3CR, we had a 38th anniversary reunion of the New and Experimental Music Show.  Started by John 
Campbell, he quickly recruited me to the show, and a while later, I got John Crawford involved as 
well.  (This was John Crawford's first encounter with radio, and he went on to a many years long 
career in both community radio and the ABC.)  This reunion was held in conjunction with a show at 
Gertrude St celebrating the 40th anniversary of Community Radio 3CR, Melbourne's uncompromising radio voice of diversity.  We did our show there from around 1977-1978 (or 79), and we played a lot of 
interesting music on air in that period.  For this show, we wanted to play music by composer friends 
past and present, paying tribute to some of our colleagues who are no longer with us, and celebrating 
some who are very much still here.  As well, we did live performances.  Three new pieces of mine were 
performed, two by the three of us, and an iPad solo.  The event was a wonderful success and was 
photographed, recorded, and videoed.  Here are some photos of the event, taken by Catherine Schieve:
1) Soundcheck in the afternoon - John Campbell, Warren Burt, John Crawford, left to right

2) Rehearsing "Symmetries for 21 Tuning Forks" by me.  John Campbell, Warren Burt, John Crawford. 

3) A moment of hilarity during the rehearsal for "Symmetries" - John Campbell, Warren Burt, John 
Crawford.

4) An audience shot, early in the evening.

5) Another audience shot, later in the evening, as a crowd began to congregate on the sidewalk 
outside the gallery, looking through the front window. (There were loudspeakers on the street outside 
the gallery.)

Here is a link to a whole gallery of photos of the event taken by Keelan O'Hehir:

And here is a link to the recording of the whole show, on the Liquid Architecture Soundcloud site:

And here is a link to a video recording of "Symmetries for 21 Tuning Forks" and "for 3 or 4 Readers":

Here are sound recordings of the 3 live pieces:

Symmetries for 21 Tuning Forks by Warren Burt, performed by John Campbell, Warren Burt and John Crawford.  And if you can't see the Flash player above, download the piece HERE.

Disharmonies of Putrefactive Counterpoint by Warren Burt, played by himself. And if you can't see the Flash player above, download the piece HERE.

for 3 to 4 Readers by Warren Burt, performed by John Campbell, Warren Burt and John Crawford.  And if you can't see the Flash player above, download the piece HERE.

And finally, here is the playlist of the music we played that night:
Bridging Music (not announced) Jeff Pressing "Butterfly's Dream"
Fatty Acid "Spanish patrol march" (excerpt)
Chris Wyatt "Bricollage 2"
"1986 3CR Football Show intro"
Jas H Duke "Hot dragon day" 1989.
Ron Nagorcka "Song of the central tree".
Warren Burt "Symmetries for 21 tuning forks" - live performance: John Campbell, Warren Burt, John 
Crawford
Jeltje and Unamonous Quorum "Birds"
Val Stephen  "Fireworks"
Bruce Clarke  "Of spiralling why" 
Percy Grainger   "First Gliding Chords" (1951)
Catherine Schieve   "Aviary (2003) for reconstructed Electric Eye Tone" 
Keith Humble  "Sonata  No.1" (1959) Michael Kieran Harvey, piano
Lawrence Whiffen  "Piano Sonata No. 3" (2011) first movement - Michael Kieran Harvey, piano
Felix Werder: "Dice" (2010) - Michael Kieran Harvey, piano
Herb Jercher and Ernie Althoff "The Sunshine shuffle" (excerpt)
Ria Soemardjo (voice, kechapi) and Anne Norman (shakuhachi) - "Adrift" 
Rewi Alley / John Britton / Warren Burt: "Divide and Rule" and "Worth Fighting For" 
Cindy John   "Hope" - Cindy John electronics; Astra Choir, voices
Warren Burt  "Disharmonies of Putrefactive Counterpoints" - Live iPad
David Chesworth  "Xpand Amor" 
Warren Burt  "For 3 to 4 readers . . ." - live voices, John Campbell, Warren Burt, John Crawford 
Helen Gifford: "Cantillation Fluente" (1966) Michael Kieran Harvey, piano

Thanks to all involved for a wonderful evening.  To Joel Stern and Danni Zuvela, Liquid Architecture for suggesting the event and seeing it through to completion.  To Mike Smith from 3CR for his wonderful engineering, to John Campbell and John Crawford for doing this, to Catherine Schieve and Keelan O'Hehir for their beautiful photographs, and to all the audience members, old and new friends, who made the evening so memorable.

 

Sunday
Apr032016

Performance Recording - April 2 - Punctum - Castlemaine, Vic.

On Saturday afternoon, April 2, 2016, as part of Jacques Soddell's "Undue Noise at Punctum" series, I performed at the ICU space of Punctum Arts in Castlemaine.  I was part of a very long (but fun) afternoon and evening of performances by many wonderful people.  More details HERE.

My piece was 43 minutes long, for Keyboard Sampler and Pre-recorded Soundtracks. In the first half of the piece, the prerecorded part was made with Kaleidoscope sonifying star maps from the SkyView app.  The live samples were made with the new UVI Falcon sampler, using a variety of favorite souds from the past, such as my homemade Balloon Gongs and Tuning Forks, Bird Calls, Wind Chords (from Samples III, 1987!), and new sources such as a Fractal Wavetable, and the squeaking gate on the south side of Victoria Park, Daylesford.  

In the second half of the piece, one prerecorded sequence consists of my sonifications of the Rorschach drawings from Benjamin Boretz's "If I Am a Musical Thinker," which I developed for Carmen Chan's realization of that text.  The other prerecorded sequence uses newly recorded sounds of a Cicada, a drainage tunnel at Rickett's Point, Vic; and some Port Phillip Bay waves, also from Rickett's point.  Also there are the sounds of sonified fractal drawings; an old Bill Evans CD, fragmented and stretched and blurred using the Composers' Desktop Project software; some stretches of the drainage tunnel sounds (also with CDP), and at the end, a 2 minute segment of algorithmically generated drum music, made with a new free drum sample set that my friend and Soundbytesmag.net colleague Sulieman Ali was involved with the making of. The live part consists of me playing keyboard which is controlling two instances of the Modartt Pianoteq piano, one in 19 tone equal temperament, the other in 13 tone equal temperament.   The order of the pitches in both scales has been scrambled.  That is, the notes of each scale are not ascending, but randomly reordered.  There are, in fact, two different random orderings of each scale, one in the first half of the section, the other in the second half.  In the middle of this section, I also add the granulation and fragmentations made possible by the GRM Tools Shuffling module.

I'm quite pleased with the sound of this piece.  There seems to be a very nice mix of sound types, and a nice progression of sounds.  I'm still learning to listen to what I've done here, and so far, I like what I hear, and I hope you do too.

 

And for those of you on machines without access to the Flash Player, you can download the piece HERE.