Launching Piece, composed and performed by Warren Burt - a new video

Here's a recently completed video of a new piece, "Launching Piece." (Any reference to a certain Yarra Valley town is purely coincidental and entirely intended.) Composed for the June 5 2013 launching of Linda Kouvaras' new book "Loading the Silence: Australian Sound Art in the Post-Digital Age" at the Grainger Museum, University of Melbourne.  The performance involves 5 "pad" devices - Mei-Ying and Samsung Android Tablets with the John Cage Prepared Piano app, Apple iPhone and iPad using Thumbjam, one (iPhone) with a Grand Piano sample set tuned in 36 tone equal temperament, the other (iPad) playing several samples from Percy Grainger's 1951-2 "Butterfly Piano" experiments, and an Asus Windows 8 Tablet using AudioMulch, which has on it 3 sine waves gliding about, in reference to Grainger and Cross' 1951-2 Kangaroo Pouch Machine (one of the first synthesizers).  At the Grainger Museum, the room I played in was just around the corner from the Butterfly Piano and the Kangaroo Pouch Machines.  The performance in this video took place at home in Daylesford, Vic. on the night of June 16, 2013.  This performance  uses all the historical and historically referenced sounds used in the original performance, and adds a little unity-gain mixer and battery powered loudspeaker by Logitech.  This is a kind of "shakedown cruise" for a new performance setup, which has the potential to be entirely battery powered and portable, while at the same time referencing both contemporary touch-screen performance devices and historical music-technology sound sources.  As well, I hope the piece itself is enjoyable. Many thanks to Catherine Schieve who videoed the piece, while standing in a most awkward position (it's not a very big living room).



New Music Up Late June 15 10:30pm music and interview featuring WB

The Saturday on ABC-Classic FM at 10:30 pm on New Music Up Late, Stephen Adams will interview me and present a selection of my pieces for the past 25 years.  We recorded the interview back in March, and it was a lot of fun to do. Here's a link to more info:

And the show will be available for streaming for a couple of weeks after the show.  


Upcoming Concert - Catherine Schieve and Warren Burt - June 1 & 2

Coming up this weekend, a performance of a large environmental work by Catherine Schieve, with me on electronics, and with Astra Choir and the Astra Improvising Choir, led by John McCaughey and Joan Pollock, respectively, at the Meat Market Arts Centre in North Melbourne.  The environment consists of paintings, sculptures, instruments, choir, sounds, etc.  The concert has 2 parts - in the first, "Earth and Lustre" the Improvising Choir responds to Catherine Schieve's "Nine Levels of Earth and Lustre" paintings along with electronics by me.  Interspersed with these improvisations are choral works by Dan Dediu, Robert Carl, Will Ogdon and Maurice Ravel.  In the second, "Experience of Marfa" the choir will begin with a new a capella work of mine, "Elegy" which will then transition into "Experience of Marfa" where paintings, electronic drones, Catherine playing her sruti box orchestra, gongs, the Astra Choir responding to an electronic tone-scape, and a recording of a windstorm will conjure up sonic and visual magic.  It should be a great show, and I hope those of you in the Melbourne metro-plex can make it.  More details at

5 pm Saturday 1 June & Sunday 2 June

Arts House at the Meat Market,
corner Blackwood and Courtney Streets, North Melbourne


Concert at Box Hill Institute May 9 2013

Last Thursday, as part of the Performance Seminar Series at Box Hill Institute, I performed 3 pieces, two solo and one duet with Craig Schneider.  I had the presence of mind to get them videoed, and enough spare memory cells to remember to bring the camera (!) so we got them recorded.  Here they are for you listening and viewing pleasure, complete with the notes to them I put on YouTube.



 A live performance for alphabet beads, iPhone and iPad, both with Jorg Piringer's abcedefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz app, voice, and small loudspeakers mounted on my belt. I draw random letters from the alphabeads, then load those into the iOS devices, and use that as a score for an improvisation with letter sounds to accompany the electronic (German) phonemes. I first performed this piece at La Mama Theatre in Carlton, Melbourne in March 2013. This performance was given as part of the Performance Seminar Series at Box Hill Institute on May 9, 2013.


 A live electronic performance. With my left hand, I'm performing an iPad with the app SoundSquares by Mark Verstraete. My right hand is performing an Alesis Air F/X, an effects unit with uses hand motion to change the settings of the selected effect. There are four sections to the piece. In each section I'm performing notes from 6 different 7-note scales derived from Ervin Wilson's "Mt. Meru" scales. (‎) With this piece, I'm trying to get beyond the notion of live electronic music performance happening behind a laptop or a keyboard, and make the performance more physical, and body-based. Looking at the video, it's clear that I probably need both a director, to make me stand up straighter, and some refresher Alexander Technique lessons, to get me moving with more ease. Losing 10 kilos wouldn't hurt either. Then again, this performance is a start in a direction I want to go further with. Performed as part of the Performance Seminar Series at Box Hill Institute on Thursday, May 9, 2013 by Warren Burt. Camera by Tim Opie, and many thanks to Tim for doing that. And if you're in Melbourne, do take a trip to Princes Pier in Port Melbourne - it's a very unique and really beautiful environment.



Warren Burt: computer programming and live electronics; Craig Schneider, piano. A performance where Craig responds to a score generated by a computer in real time, while Warren plays a computer program that delays and modifies the piano sound live. The score program, for the piano, is written with ArtWonk by John Dunn. It generates a series of jazz changes. The pianist sees instructions such as "Bb min9 13 seconds" or "C Lydian 5 seconds" and improvises with that harmony or scale for the given duration. What the next change will be is not predictable by the pianist, so while working with their improvisational skills, they also have to be truly spontaneous and respond to the unpredictable score on the spot. Meanwhile, the electronics player changes the effects the piano is processed through and changes the settings of the effect live. In this performance, Craig and I achieved a real sense of interplay, throwing aspects of the music back and forth at each other. This was unexpected, but a delight to us both. Given what might be seen as a dystopic situation - having to follow a score out of our control - we not only managed to create beauty with it, but actually have fun. The sound modification used an ASUS netbook computer running AudioMulch (by Ross Bencina) (and note - I'm also premiering my AudioMulch T-Shirt (!) during this performance), and the Glitch 2 plugin (by Kieran Foster). This is controlled by a Korg NanoKontrol processed by John Dunn's ArtWonk. The audio interface is a Roland UA4. This performance took place as part of the Performance Seminar Series at Box Hill Institute, Melbourne, on May 9, 2013. Video camera by Tim Opie - many thanks Tim!




Radio broadcast on 3MBS Melbourne Tuesday 14 May

This is rather late notice, but those of you near a radio or an internet stream on Tuesday night, May 14, 2013 at 8pm, can tune into radio station 3MBS-FM 103.5, or on the web at, where I'll be the guest of Tony Thomas on his Contemporary Visions radio program.  We'll be playing a variety of pieces for both acoustic and electronic instruments, older pieces (from the 1980s) and work from the past couple of years.  It should be a fun show, so tune in and enjoy!