On June 9, the Third Rail, this time consisting of Gary Butler on Guitar and things, Warren Burt on iPad, Board and things, and Ernie Althoff on home-made Percussion and things, appeared on the Make It Up Club, at the Bar Open in Fitzroy, Melbourne, Australia. Gary, Ernie and I are particularly delighted with this one. We all feel that we're really WORKING here - cooperating in making a very nice composite sound, and really interacting with each other. Catherine Schieve did a really good job with the video (this is 18:40 of the full 29:15), and Stephen Richards did a dynamite job with the sound mix. Electronically, I'm using the iPad app Bird Stepper to modify Gary's sounds and the sounds from my small Electro-Acoustic Percussion Board. This app allows one to have a number of different sound modifications, which are all changing in real time, and you can change the mix of effects in real time as well. We all hope that you're as delighted with this improvisation as we are. Enjoy!
Tessa Elieff, at the National Film and Sound Archive in Canberra, has been curating a wonderful series on Australian sound artists and experimental composers on the NFSA Soundcloud site. It's called Lateral Listening, and it's up to Episode 13 now. Which features moi. There are five pieces from the past few years, with spoken introductions. The pieces are Berries (2011), 100xJohn: The View from Wombat Hill (2012), Samples IV for Orchestral Samples (2008-2013), Six Wilson Tunings (2014), and Kaleidoscope Mix Nr 1 (2015). This last is a work in progress, which seems to be growing and growing. Kaleidoscope Mix Nr 1 is the first 21 minutes.
And while you're at it, here are links to the first 12 episodes of Lateral Listening. A lovely collection of people it is, with lots of good sounds there.
The latest Soundbytes web magazine is out, and in it, I have two articles. "Music on Tablets: A Taste of Some iPad Apps" is the start of a bi-monthly column where I hope to write about one of my main areas of research over the past couple of years, the music making potential of touch-screen tablet computers. A greeting here to all the makers of the software I covered in the article, to the makers of Lemur, AudioBus, Analog Midi Sequencer, Bird Stepper, Thumbjam, Fairlight CMI Pro, Cubasis, Wilsonic, Sector, and Borderlands Granular - many thanks for your programming efforts! Read the article here:
The second article was a review of Echobode, a new sound processor from Sonic Charge, in Sweden. This is a very flexible frequency shifter/delay/phasing unit with lots of compositional potential, and reasonably priced, too. Here's a link to that review:
On April 29, Simon Edwards and I gave a Performance Seminar at Box Hill Institute, playing four new improvs for the students there, with question and answer periods between each improv. I had a Zoom recorder going in the front row,and of the four pieces, two of them came out well enough that we felt it would be fun to share them with people.
The first one is called "72 Tone Guitar and 71 Tone iPad." It's played by Simon on my "Small Blue Guitar," which is restrung to all "e" strings, each of which is tuned 1/6th of a semitone above the previous one, yielding a guitar with about an octave and a half range that is tuned in 72 tone equal temperament, and by me on my iPad, using Thumbjam with an "Acoustic Guitar" sample set, tuned to 71 tone equal temperament. Additionally, the Thumbjam patch is treated by a long delay, which I can turn on and off at will. The 72 tone guitar is in the centre of the mix, and sounds slightly less treble-y than the iPAd, which seems to exist in a wider stereo spread, and has more high harmonics. It's 7 minutes long, and we're quite pleased with it. Enjoy.
72 Tone Guitar and 71 Tone iPad, by Warren Burt and Simon Edwards
The second piece is called "Launchpad and Electric Guitar with Pedals." I'm playing the Novation Launchpad, which is controlling an iPad full of samples I made last September/October, mostly using graphic synthesis programs and the Bitwiz app. These mostly make long spectrally changing sound masses. Simon is playing his electric guitar which goes through a whole plethora of pedals, chief of which is the Electro-Harmonix Hog guitar synthesizer. Simon makes long chords and textures, which I respond to with clouds of sound, which he responds to with other textures, which I respond to, etc. We were very pleased with this version of this improv, and we hope you will be too. It's 13 minutes long. Enjoy.
Launchpad and Electric Guitar with Pedals by Warren Burt and Simon Edwards
The Third Rail played a very nice improv gig at Lebowski's, a lovely venue in Moreland, on Sunday night, April 26. The lineup for the evening was Warren Burt, iPad and iPhone, Gary Butler, guitar and things, Houston Dunleavy, clarinet, Margaret Dunleavy making a most impressive improv debut on vocals, Adam Simmons on winds (including English Horn!), and Ren Walters on guitar and things. A lovely time was had by all, and many thanks to the crew at Lebowski's for making it happen. Catherine Schieve filmed a section of the improv using my Sony Experia phone/camera, and the results came out very well. Here's 12:48 of the proceedings, which was about 1/4 of the gig. Enjoy!