Thursday
Jul312014

Some pieces from Melbourne 60x60

Melbourne 60x60 (organized by myself and Susan Frykberg) manifested itself at the 2014 Australasian Computer Music Conference in early July.  Just today, a wonderful review of the Conference and 60x60 in particular by Peter Farnan appeared in Crikey's Daily Review.  http://dailyreview.crikey.com.au/set-the-sound-controls-for-the-heart-of-your-brain/  For the folks who read the review, and also for the rest of you, here are a few pieces from the 60x60 sets, two by me, two by Susan Frykberg, one by Catherine Schieve, and one by Y H Ippo.  Each piece a minute or less. The notes under the pieces are from the 60x60 program.  Enjoy!

 

 

Warren Burt: Audio Fingerpainting

Made entirely in the program High C, using a touch screen computer, all the sounds are drawn by hand onto the screen.  Fingerpainting of sound allows kinds of sounds not attainable by other means.  The hand is quicker than the ear.  

 

 

Warren Burt: 8 Tone Bop for J K Randall

Microtonal algorithmic hexachordal chord progression in 8 tone equal temperament made by drawing probability distributions by hand.  In memoriam J K Randall, composer and deep musical thinker.  

 

 

Susan Frykberg: SDF One

Composer from New Zealand who lived in Canada for many years, Susan is now based in Melbourne, and is one of the organizers of Melbourne 60x60.

 

 

Susan Frykberg: SDF Two

Composer from New Zealand who lived in Canada for many years, Susan is now based in Melbourne, and is one of the organizers of Melbourne 60x60.

 

 

Catherine Schieve: Laying on of Hands

Animal magnetism for human electrostatic energy and Anakie chicken orchestra. Quasi-voodoo experiences across media and species; the hand as medium; micro electrical storm; feathered expressivity.  Catherine Schieve, inter-media artist, lives and works in the Goldfields region of Central Victoria. This work is informed in some way by her time visiting Umbanda ceremonies in Brazil.

 

 

Y H Ippo: Isopathologus IX

Y. H. Ippo, originally from Woonona, NSW, now lives and works in the Goldfields region of central Victoria, where, using the latest technology, he continues to compose Complexist New Age music with childlike insouciance.  Isopathologus IX is one of a series of chamber works which explore juxtapositions of different emotional and structural nano-mini-worlds.

Sunday
Jul272014

Six Wilson Tunings - Performance at Make It Up Club - July 22

Here's a video of me performing a new piece "Six Wilson Tunings" which Catherine shot on her cell phone at the Make It Up Club, at the Bar Open in Fitzroy, last Tuesday, July 22.  It was one of those performances where everything came together nicely, and I'm really happy that the piece was able to be recorded. 

Here's what I said about the video on YouTube:

Warren Burt plays "6 Wilson Tunings" on iPad at The Make It Up Club on 22 July 2014, Bar Open, Fitzroy, Melbourne.  This is a live iPad performance using the still-in-beta-testing Wilsonic app, and Thumbjam, Jasuto, Musix Pro and Audiobus apps.  Wilsonic generated the scales, which were loaded into Thumbjam.  Both apps were played live, Wilsonic with its own internal keyboards, Thumbjam with the Musix Pro hexagonal MIDI keyboard.  Both went into Jasuto, which was patched to provide phase shifting and seven-second delays. There are six overlapping sections in the piece, each of which uses a different Wilson "Moment of Symmetry" scale, each successive one based on the 11th, 13th, 15th, 17th, 19th, and 21st harmonics.  Each section also uses a different organ, accordion, or flute-like timbre.  The video was shot on a Sony Xperia phone by Catherine Schieve. 

I hope you enjoy the performance!

Tuesday
Jul222014

Pierre Schaeffer book and XEN-FMTS2 - 2 new reviews out now

The July 2014 issue of Soundbytes Magazine (soundbytesmag.net) is now on-line.  It has two new reviews of mine.  One is of Pierre Schaeffer's "In Search of a Concrete Music" recently published in English translation by University of California Press.  The other is a review of Jacky Ligon's new FREE softsynth - XEN-FMTS2.  This synth is a treat for microtonalists and those who want to experiment with timbre and tuning.  Highly recommended.

URLS for the two articles:

http://soundbytesmag.net/xen_fmts2review/

 

URL for Jacky Ligon's Xen-Arts: http://xen-arts.net/

URL for UC Press "In Search of a Concrete Music":

 http://www.ucpress.edu/book.php?isbn=9780520265745

Enjoy!

 

Monday
Jul072014

IVOR DARREG FUNDRAISER - worth supporting!

I don't usually plug fundraisers, but this one is special.  Brian McLaren, of Corvallis, Oregon is attempting to raise funds to make the work of the late Ivor Darreg (1917-1994) available.  Ivor was a microtonal composer, theorist and instrument inventor who lived most of his life in Southern California, well out of the loop of just about any musical establishments of the time.  During his life, he was one of the chief investigators of the realms of different equal temperaments, the relation of tuning to timbre, and the inventor of several amazing acoustic instruments, including the awesome megalyras (megalyrae?), shown in this photo.  Their sound has accurately been described as "tuned thunder."  

Since Ivor's death, despite the best efforts of his friends and supporters, including Brian, Ivor's work has been disppearing from public view and even accessibility.  This fund raiser will hopefully make Ivor's pioneering (and controversial, the say the least!) work available.  As mentioned above, Ivor was pretty much out of the loop for most of his life, so this is a rare opportunity to help with the accessibility, and to acquire a good amount, of his almost impossible to find and extremely valuable work.  
 
Check out the fundraiser, which is happening during the month of July, at this url:
Wednesday
Jun182014

HEXANY FANTASY - a new piece, free for downloading or streaming

Here's a new piece!  Called, in polite mixed company, among friends,  "Hexany Fantasy: While reading "The Children's Grimoire," Bluebearry and Yellow Hippo stumble into the realm of the ever-evolving Hexanies, encountering the sonically embodied memories of those who envisioned whole other servings of tapioca."

For the past several months, I've been working with apps on the iPad, watching with delight as various apps get more and more powerful, allowing one to make experimental music in real time on a very small touch-screen based tablet computer.  Recently, I was asked by Marcus Hobbs to be a beta tester on his new app, Wilsonic, which, when completed (release date - sometime in northern Summer 2014), will allow one to play with some of Ervin Wilson's scale formations in real time.  Testing has continued, and over the past couple of weeks, I've been working with the Hexany screen of the app.  A Hexany is one of Wilson's formations.  It takes 4 factors - usually low-numbered harmonics, but not necessarily - and by taking every combination of two of those factors, makes a six-note scale.  If you do use low numbered harmonics, you'll notice that some of the scales are very consonant, while others are moderately dissonant.  In this piece, I made a progression of scales, and improvised with them, changing only the fourth factor, once a minute.  (The progression is shown below.)
(This is a screen grab of the Wilsonic app Hexany page.  Please note, since this is a very much pre-release beta version of the software, the appearance of this page and its capabilities are very much subject to change.)
 
Using Audiobus2, I connected Wilsonic to the Crystalline effects app, using a custom version of the Reverb 6 algorithm, and then routed that into Cubasis, the iPad version of Steinberg's Cubase.  Panning and mixing was done in Cubasis.  Following my harmonic progression, I improvised three tracks, each 19 minutes long.  I didn't listen to any of the other tracks while improvising each track, so the resulting mix was a surprise to me.  

 

Here's a screenshot of the Audiobus2 patch.

 

 

This is what the settings in Crystalline look like.  Notice the Audiobus2 control panel at the bottom.

 

 

And this is a screenshot of Cubasis.  The three tracks of the piece are shown at the top.

 

Although my performing has some rough spots - intentionally so, as I'm using a touch-screen keyboard for the first time - I was very happy with the results.  This was both technically, because this was the first piece made just within the iPad that I was totally happy with, and also aesthetically, because I found the sounds in the piece very beautiful.
So, here's the piece.  You can stream it below, or you can download it here. If you're on an iPad or similar device that doesn't support the flash player, just click HERE. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

 

And here's the "score" - the list of Hexanies used in the piece, and the times when you should change to a new one.

The progression

TIME - HEXANY

0:00      1-3-9-18

1:00      1-3-9-17

2:00      1-3-9-15

3:00      1-3-9-13

4:00      1-3-9-18

5:00      1-3-9-19

6:00      1-3-9-21

7:00      1-3-9-23

8:00      1-3-9-25

9:00      1-3-9-27

10:00     1-3-9-25

11:00     1-3-9-23

12:00     1-3-9-21

13:00     1-3-9-19

14:00     1-3-9-18

15:00     1-3-9-13

16:00     1-3-9-15

17:00     1-3-9-17

18:00     1-3-9-18

At the beginning of each minute, change the term D in the Hexany page in the Wilsonic app to get a different scale.