Illawarra Video Installation Documentary Video Now on YouTube

It's almost a contradiction in terms that a work such as my video installation "Illawarra-The Lake In Winter", which relies on being in a large space with large projections for its impact, should be reduced to the lo-res video and lo-fi sound of YouTube.  However, for all those friends who can't make it to Wollongong for the show, which closes March 26 (and yes, I acknowledge that parking is IMPOSSIBLE on the UoW Campus - my best suggested times for visiting are late afternoons, especially late Friday - there are usually parking spots available then), you can at least get the flavor of the installation from this little documentary video.  And besides, maybe this video will serve to interest a curator somewhere to want to put the installation on in their gallery, and then the work can have another life in another place.

Warren Burt: Illawarra-The Lake In Winter (2007-2010) University of Wollongong Gallery until March 26, 2010


WARREN BURT VIDEO INSTALLATION ON NOW! - and why I haven't been around, too.

Hi Folks!

Apologies for not being around to develop this site further, but on Feb 10, both my computers crashed, and I was limping along on webmail for about a month.  Then, this installation began rearing it's lovely head, and I had to actually go out and buy a new computer in order to have the installation up and running on time.  I finished the DVDs for the installation on time, and it's now up and running.  Details below.  For those in the Illawarra or Sydney areas, it would be great to see you at the opening on Thursday, or sometime during the run of the show.  Meanwhile, now that I'm reassembling my digital life from the wreckage, you can expect to see more new material here really soon.





Here's a new essay of mine, in which I list some of the different ways of listening I can think of.  It's part of an ongoing exploration of how we listen, and the different ways in which our consciousness is focussed when we do listen.  Along the way, I make reference to a 1998 score by David Dunn "Purposeful Listening in Complex States of Time," which you can also download from the essay page.  As well, I also refer to my 1981 essay "Musical Perception and Exploratory Music," which is also downloadable from the essay page.

To download my essay in pdf format, just click here.

To read the essay on line, and get the links for the Dunn score and my earlier essay, just click here.

As always, comments are welcome through the "Contact Me" page.



Bass Drum, Vibraphone, Voice and Electronics - The Recording

Last year, I wrote a percussion and electronics piece for the young virtuoso Melbourne-based percussionist Matthias Schack-Arnott.  It was called "Bass Drum, Vibraphone, Voice and Electronics" and that pretty well describes the instrumentation.  What it doesn't describe is what the voice does - the percussionist is called to yell out, act out, declaim, and otherwise improvise with some of my favorite comic book and other pop lit quotes.  Matthias premiered the piece on 31 July 2009 at the Quiver concert at Richmond Uniting Church, Melbourne, and he just sent me an mp3 of the performance, recorded by the amazing Michael Hewes.  I think the recording is wonderful, and so, here it is.  If you want to download the mp3, you can do it here.  Many thanks to Matthias for his great performance, and to Michael for his great recording.

For those of you who want to listen to it in streaming audio, just click below.  And a special no-prize to anyone who can recognize all the sources for all the quotes.

Warren Burt: Bass Drum, Vibraphone, Voice and Electronics - performed by Matthias Schack-Arnott, recording by Michael Hewes.



Since writing the journal entries below, with their emphasis on time stretching sound, I've been informed (tip o' the Hatlo Hat to Brian McLaren) of another excellent time stretching program.  This one is optimized for extreme time stretching - that is, time stretching from, say 5 to 1 million times the length of the original.  It's FREE, it's for Windows and Linux, and it's by the young Romanian programming whiz Nasca Octavian Paul, author of the free, very deep and useful (and microtonality capable) ZynAddSubFX software synthesizer.

This program is called "Paul's Extreme Sound Stretch" and can be found at  I've tried the program out with a number of sounds, and the results are VERY nice.  There are a number of settings too, so tweakers will be very happy with this program.  Like Harry Partch said of one of his instruments, "It does only one thing, but that thing it does very well, indeed."  I especially like the readout on the "Stretch" parameter - it tells you how long your stretched time file will be.  I loaded a .46 second recording of some starlings recorded a few days ago in Texas by Catherine into it, and in the most extreme "Hyperstretch" mode, the readout said that the sound would last 1458 years 237 days.  Given my interest in impossibly long durations, you can understand how the idea of this tickles me. 

So if you're at all interested in sound design (or just plain having fun with sound), you should add this little puppy to you collection.  Highly recommended!

And by the way, for users of ZynAddSubFX, it's just had a major upgrade and revision, and it's been greatly improved.  Here's the link: Enjoy!