For those interested, spreadsheets containing listings of the La Trobe University Music Department Archives (1975-1999)

Through a strange series of circumstances, Box Hill Institute Music Department has come into possession of a substantial portion of the archives of the La Trobe University Music Department.  The La Trobe Department, which existed from 1975-1999, was one of the most far-reaching and radical departments in Australia, and one of the leading music departments in the world.  Now, it turns out, La Trobe University finally has a proper archive, with proper storage and access facilities, and we are currently in negotiations to have these materials returned to them to become part of a larger La Trobe University Music Department collection.  For the moment though, the archive is still in storage at Box Hill Institute Music Department.  For those interested, here are 2 spreadsheets of the contents of the archive - one for recorded material, mostly reel to reel tapes, and one of print materials, which consists of a large portion of course outlines, correspondence, educational materials etc, spanning the complete history of the Department.  If this sort of thing floats your boat, we here make these spreadsheets available.  La Trobe University Music Department Archive Spreadsheets, download here.


Catherine Schieve's Repentistas (2003) updated

Way  back in 2003, Catherine wrote a piece called Repentistas, which was her homage to the troubadours of the Northeast of Brazil, of the same name.  The original piece was for our reconstruction of the Percy Grainger / Burnett Cross "Electric Eye Tone Tool," organ, toy piano, and any stringed instrument, in this case, violin.  A few months ago, I realized that with advances in technology, it might be possible to redo the electronics part so that it could be played on an iPad using the Virtual ANS app, which itself is a reconstruction of the Soviet ANS synthesizer, like the Electric Eye Tone Tool, another early light controlled synthesizer.  This proved to be possible, and Catherine proposed that I learn the stringed instrument part on viola (I only barely play viola), and we get a toy piano player to do that part.  Eventually, we also realized the idea of the original organ part as another Virtual ANS patch, this one on an iPhone.  So the final result was performed on July 24 2017, as the opening act on the Undue Noise 15th Anniversary Festival, held in the Old Fire Station venue that is part of the Bendigo Arts Complex.  The performance was organized by Jacques Soddell, Mr. Undue Noise, to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the series that he's been curating for all that time.  The performers were Catherine Schieve, iPhone and iPad, Ian Parsons, toy piano, and myself, Warren Burt, on viola.  Here are some documents from the day.

First, the original score for the Electric Eye Tone Tool - which is about 90 cm by about 1.2 meters:

And here is the score after I processed it so that it would work in the Virtual ANS app:

Herre is the score for the reconstituted organ part, now reconceived for iPhone:

And here I am, with my viola, performing the part for the stringed instrument, which is on the table in front of me (this photo is by Jacques Soddell - thanks Jacques!):

Catherine pointed out that the orignal piece had her moving with large sweeping gestures, moving the large score on the even larger Electric Eye Tone Tool back and forth in large sweeping gestures.  Now, she was constrained to the small surface of the iPad, performing with tiny gestures with the fingertips.  The sound is still pretty big, though, as you can hear.




Or, if that Flash Player doesn't work for you, you can download the mp3 of Catherine, Ian and me playing Repentistas (2017) here.  Enjoy!



Two Issues Worth of Soundbytes Articles!

I've been remiss in keeping this website up to date in the past couple of months, so here are some links to the articles I wrote for the last two issues of

First of all, from the May 2017 issue, I concluded my 2 part review of the Spitfire Symphony Orchestra sound set:

Also in the May 2017 issue, I reviewed the newly released Audiobus3, along with a number of interesting MIDI processors which were designed for AB3: 

In the July 2017 issue, I reviewed three things:  First, the marvelous Mitosynth app from the British firm Wooji Juice:

I also reviewed a number of interesting sample sets from Impact Soundworks: Bansuri, Pan Flutes, Koron: Instruments of Iran, Sonic Forest and Sonic Ocean:

And finally, I reviewed the version 6 update of the amazing granulator Crusher X:

I hope you enjoy these reviews and find some of the info in them useful!


Warren Burt performance at Box Hill Institute May 8 2017

This year, my main composing effort has been on a large scale project called “Mosaics and Transparencies.”  This project has involved making families of samples, which use different techniques in their making, and then assembling these samples into larger scale structures, some premeditated, some spontaneous.  This started off in January with making a series of musique concrete samples using Pauline Oliveros’s “Applebox” idea, and continued with a series of melodies using non-Western instrument samples controlled by Markov Chains and physical modelling processes.  The third phase has involved taking a series of several hundred drawings made since 2006, and converting them into sound.  I’ve recently been improvising with these, and this performance is one of these improvs.  In this performance, I not only mix and modify these samples, I also am performing various piano-sound processes, making pitch-oriented textures to contrast with the “noiseband”’ oriented sounds of the converted drawings.

This performance was done as part of the Departmental Forum series at Box Hill Institute, which I’ve been organizing.  I’m using my collection of small-scale digital devices here – six are used, and mixed in performance.  There are three tablet computers; an ASUS PC, an iPad and a Samsung Android tablet, and three cellphones, an iPhone 4, an iPhone 6s, and a Sony Experia Android phone.   The ASUS PC is performing an algorithmic process controlling a sampled piano tuned in a very odd microtonal scale (the 8th root of 2.1).  Additionally, I have a small keyboard connected to the ASUS tablet, so that I can also perform the piano sounds live in a more “traditional” manner.  The iOS devices all use either Audiobus 2 or 3, assembling chains of apps, which either play the samples, or various pitch-oriented “keyboard-sound” processes.  The Android devices either play the samples or the original drawings being converted into sound in real-time; or play simple “theremin-like” sequences as a further element being thrown into the mix.  I’ve been doing improvisations where I combine piano-like sequences and performing with more complex samplings for the past couple of years, and I wanted to continue exploring this.  I also wanted to put myself in a situation where I had an abundance of resources, and then improvise a “sound combine” using these, using my intuition to shape the larger continuity of sounds.  In this particular performance, I also got into repetition a bit, something I don’t normally do much, but the didactic situation of the performance – a Forum on Performance for all the undergraduate music students as Box Hill Institute – seemed to encourage this.  So some sounds are repeated immediately, some motives are repeated, and some larger sections come back, all of which were decided on the impulse of the moment.  A list of the software used in the piece follows.  This is not meant to be either impressive or alienating, but simply to give those who are experienced with the software some indications of what I did. 

Following the performance, a lively Q&A session ensued (a number of students expressed concern that I wasn’t performing in an easily identifiable genre, and a lively discussion of the concept and usefulness of that idea took place), and I continued to receive favourable comments on the piece from people for the next few days.  On looking at the video, I was delighted with the piece – I think I accomplished most of what I set out to do, and I really liked the “yearning, striving” (to make perhaps a reference to one of my inspirations, Dane Rudhyar) quality of the piano-sound textures, as well as the not-so-oblique references to Mr. Monk and his Criss-Crossing.  The “drawing to sound” textures provide a great timbral variety, from pure waves to noise-bands, and I was delighted with the number of ways I was able to shape those in real-time.  I hope you enjoy the piece – I did – both in the moment of performance, and then, happily, after the fact as well.

May 12, 2017 – WB



Software and hardware used in this performance:

ASUS VivoTab Win8: MusicWonk; AudioMulch; Garritan Piano Samples; Scala

iPad4: Audiobus3; Virtual ANS; Turnado; Enumero; Johnny; Fugue Machine; midiFILTr-PG; Yamaha: FM Essential; Launchpad; Muckraker; Nebulizer

iPhone6s: MF Motion; midiFILTr-PG; Yamaha: FM Essential; Crystalline; Musix Pro; Thumbjam; Altispace Reverb

iPhone4: Audiobus2; Launchpad; Muckraker; Nebulizer

Samsung Galaxy 7 Android tablet: Virtual ANS

SONY Experia Android Phone: Virtual ANS; Saucillator

Roland Octa-Capture Sound Card

Samples in Launchpad and Virtual ANS were made with Kaleidoscope and Audacity on a Windows PC.



Two upcoming events on the same night at different ends of the planet.

On Monday night, 24 April, I'm involved in two different events at the opposite ends of the planet.  

On Monday night, 24 April at 7:00 pm, as part of the Organic Art 2017 series, at the Lulea University of Technology, Pitea, Sweden, in the Acusticum hall, Gary Verkade will present a concert of music for organ and electronics, including "Fungi of the Wombat Forest" (2015) for organ and electronics, and "Justice, Equality and Beatings V" (1989) for organ and electronics, both by yours truly.  Also on the program will be David Dunn's "Ennoia I" for organ and electronics, and Robert Paredes' "Fleeting Ecologies in an Ontology of Halting."


Then, on the same night, in Melbourne, as part of the La Mama Musica series at La Mama Theatre, 205 Faraday St, Carlton, "Making Music Grate," a "time-scheduled improvisation event" devised by Gary Butler, will happen at 7:30 pm ($15/$10), which will feature a ten-tet of Gary Butler, Warren Burt, Rafa Kaczmarek, Robbie Avenaim, Adrian Sherriff, Vincent Giles, Nadia Knight, Ernie Althoff, Tim Hilton and Houston Dunleavy. So if you're in Melbourne, see you there!