Archive for July 2004
Not that I’m using MIDI much these days but anyway SysEx Librarian is a freeware utility for Mac OS X “which lets you communicate with MIDI devices using System Exclusive messages also known as SysEx. The most common use is to backup patch data from synthesizers although there are others (such as sending firmware updates)”.
The last two days has been spent mainly relaxing but also reading Microsound by Curtis Roads (BTW: the book is about to be released as a paperback) and making an OSX port of CloudGenerator. the implementation is done using Max and Jitter. I’m using Jitter float32 matrixes for audio buffers in order to be able to access and write asynchronously to the buffers. Most of the features of the original CloudGenerator are implemented and working but some ar still missing:
- Saving as text file.
- Using other wavetables than sine waves. The problem about this part is that I so far haven’t found a way to use lookup tables in Jitter for anything but char matrixes. I’m sure I’ll find a way around it though.
- Granulation of sound files. So far I’m only able to do synthetic granulation
- Some interface issues still have to be dealt with.
Once all of this is done it will be (easily) possible to extend it. Some of the extensions I’d like to do are:
- Working on pitch as Hz or MIDI pitches.
- Working on amplitude as percentages (linear) or decibel values.
- Implement additional time functions. Curtis Roads’ program offered linear development only.
- Implementing different statistical distributions. I’ll use Litter extensively for this.
- Possibilities for working on multi-channel systems.
- Grainlet implementation (frequency and amplitude can change dynamicly within one grain).
Some additional features are implemented already:
- No more 16 bit signed integer limit on the number of grains that can be generated.
- Different sampling rates.
- It’s possible to generate files lasting more than 47 sec.
- More flexible panning control.
- Files can be saved in different audio formats not only 16 bit AIFF.
The final result will be released as a collective or standalone and also as Max patches. This way it’s possible to do further extensions and alterings of it depending on one’s needs. I hope to have finished implementing all features of the original CloudGenerator application in the next two weeks or so.
I’m going to use this for generating material for an installation in collaboration with Asbjørn Flø for Ultima in October. I’m also planning to use it for a number of other projects.
C’74 a few days ago announced the release of Max/MSP 4.5.
Tim Place/ElectroTap has announced Teabox a new sensor interface. The press release is quoted below.
On a similar line C’74 is now exclusive distributor in the U.S. and Canada of Kroonde Gamma a wireless high-speed high-precision data-acquisition system dedicated to real-time applications produced by La Kitchen.
ELECTROTAP ANNOUNCES NEW HIGH-SPEED SENSOR INTERFACE
Kansas City MO – July 14 2004 – Electrotap L.L.C. announces the
Teabox a new high-speed sensor data acquisition device. The interface
offers the highest performance and ease of use available in a small
sensor interface for artists and musicians.
The Teabox works by digitizing up to 24 sensor inputs (8 continuous
inputs with 12-bit resolution and 16 digital on/off inputs) and
transmits them to a computer over a digital audio (S/PDIF) cable. The
sensor data is then decoded using an open-source software decoder
published by Electrotap. Transmitting the sensor data over an audio
line offers maximum speed extremely low latency and extraordinary
The Teabox also offers the most connectivity and compatibility
available in a sensor interface. The Teabox accepts sensors made by
Electrotap as well as sensors made for the I-Cube Toaster and other
systems. Sensors may be connected via XLR 1/4-TRS 3-pin terminal
header or RJ6 (telephone) jacks. The Teabox documentation and on***line***
tutorials provide extensive information on building your own custom
The Teabox excels at controlling audio video and artistic software
with new and unusual controllers. This includes applications in
interactive installations dance theater audio-visual composition and
performance music therapy music education and research. The Teabox
ships with both Macintosh and Windows decoder objects for Cycling ’ 74’s
Max/MSP environment as well as standalone bridge applications for
sending the data as MIDI or OpenSoundControl to other applications.
Priced competitively at US$350 the Teabox is expected to ship in the
Fall of 2004.000 As more information becomes available it will be posted
to Electrotap’s website at http://www.electrotap.com .
Electrotap L.L.C. is a software and hardware partnership based in
Kansas City Missouri that develops and distributes innovative music
and the tools to help create it. Other products include Tap.Tools a
popular set of extensions for Cycling’74’s Max and Jade an easy to
use interactive performance environment.
- tl.jit.soundwave: Utility for viewing mono audio buffers represented as 1-plane 1-dimensional float32 jitter matrixes. To be used as bpatcher GUI. To be released as part of future update to tl.objects.
Media Art Net is a web resource under development as a joint project of ZKM Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe and Goethe-Institut Munic. They are to publish extended resources on a variety of themes. So far an overview of media art is published.
I’m taking a few weeks vacation now so bloging might be sparse for the coming weeks. Today I’ve sent mails to Asbjørn and Lisbeth/Asle of Verdensteatret with some suggestions and ideas for upcoming projects.
My former mandolin violin and viola techer Anton Ekerhovd passed away last week. I first met him in 1988 when I joined the Bergen Mandolin Orchestra. At the same time he became the conductor of the orchestra. He was himself a professional musician playing viola in the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra and also a brilliant teacher and conductor.
Anton was crucial to my musical development. For several years he gave me weekly lessons for free and encouraged me to follow my dream of becoming a musician. Once a week I took the buss out of town to Krokeide for a lengthy music lesson. His wife Må lfrid served lunch. In the end I applied for and was accepted as a composition student at the Grieg Academy. Anton continued to be my teacher on mandolin and viola for another two years. I proberbly wouldn’t be able to become a professional artist without his support.
To Anton music wasn’t simply a profession rather a way of life. The most important thing I learned from him was always to be fully engaged in what I’m doing musically. In all of the years I knew him I never heared him playing with lack of inspiration. Every note meant something for him and was performed with dedication. Whether he was giving a recital or playing at a house for the elderly he always gave it his full attention and strived for the perfect.
A lot of people attended the funeral today to take a last goodbye and express their gratitude.
Ircam has announced EtherSense a “high-resolution high-speed robust cost-effective and versatile tool aimed at making sensor acquisition for gesture analysis easier and designed by IRCAM newly formed Gesture & Live Performance Research Department. Able to digitize simultaneously up to 32 16-bit channels at a rate of 500 Hz (1kHz if only16 used) it brings new opportunities for the integration of motion sensing technology in performance arts and interactive works.”
In 2002 NoTAM and PNEK hosted a three day conference on electronic arts in public spaces. In the aftermath of the conference a publication on the issue is about to be released edited by Janne Stang Dahl and Jøran Rudi. It also features articles by Jill Walker and Såle Stenslie and an extensive presentation of electronic art works in public spaces in Norway.
Some weeks ago I met Jeremy and Morten for supervision. We discussed a number of topics one of them being conceptual art. Jeremy’s recapitulation of the issue very much resembled the ArtLex article on the topic. Conceptual Art first emerged as part of the Fluxus movement but later was to take on a different meaning when used by Kosuth and the Art & Language group. As conceptual art gained a new interest in Norway in the nineties the emphasis was on the conceptual art in line with the Art & language group. To Jeremy that always seemed less interesting than the more open and process-oriented conceptual art works of the sixties.
I was reminded of this discussion as I read about conceptual sound in Noise Water Meat in particular the tape pieces by Yoko Ono:
TAPE PIECE I
Take the sound of the stone aging.
TAPE PIECE II
Take the sound of the room breathing.
1) at dawn
2) in the morning
3) in the afternoon
4) in the evening
5) before dawn
Bottle the smell of the room of that particular hour as well.
TAPE PIECE III
Take a tape of the sound of the snow falling.
This should be done in the evening.
Do not listen to the tape.
Cut it and use it as strings to tie gifts with.
Make a gift wrapper if you wish using the same process with a phonosheet.
TAPE PIECE IV
Take a tape of the sound of tha stars moving.
Do not listen to the tape.
Cut it and give it out to people on the street.
Or you may sell it for a moderate price.
TAPE PIECE V
Comb Piece (a)
Take a tape of your wife combing every day.
Bury it with her when she dies.
Comb Piece (b)
Take a tape of your husband combing every day.
Play it after he dies.
Comb Piece ©
Take a tape of your child combing.
Let her listen to it when she is sick in bed.
Yoko Ono 1963 autumn
At midcentury performance was imported into painting and dissolved the bounds of objecthood whereas recording threatened to render musical performance into an object.
Douglas Kahn Noise Water Meat. A History of Sound in the Arts p. 262
Having worked on the documentation of LMW version 1.500 at Teatergarasjen for most of the day I fell asleep at night dreaming of strong neon spray colors the pink yellow green orange and blue of marker pens. And a deep red color from one of the videos by Jeremy.
John Nowak is launching Ruccas.org on August 1st. It is to be a web site designed to “provide exposure exclusively to computer artists creating music via unconventional means. It aims to be an important site in the world of computer music.” John has just sent a call for submissions to a number of mailing-lists.
Verdensteatret is performing at the live art festival Nordic Excellence in Sweden the coming autumn.
Me and Asbjørn are planning a new (low-tech) installation together for the upcoming Ultima festival. I’ve received this mail kind of reminding me of the introduction to one of the songs by Röyksopp:
Et enkelt eksperiment som illustrerer dette og som du kan teste ut når du få r høytalerene er å sende to sinus toner inn i de. en på ca 40hz og en på ca 42 hz. dette vil lage en forvrengt beating. deretter kan du sende inn en sinus på ca 4hz som du kan variere i frekvens fra feks. 1-20 hz. dette vil da lage en rytme. deretter kan du sende inn 8000hz. dette vil da lage en høyfrekvent “percussiv” rytme. så kan du sende inn konkret lyd og høre dette bli modulert av sinusene. dette kan man igjen spille inn med en mikrofon og jobbe videre på. dette er bare et simpelt eksempel på hvordan man kan lage ganske interessante lyder bare med 4 sinustoner og en forvrengt høytaler.
The last week has been spent mainly making web documentation for the installation “Dialogue – Transition” in Kristiansand in March. They are still not entirely done but they are getting closer.
I’ve been experimenting a bit with how to do the documentation. Some of the techniques used are:
- Animated GIFs are used for the black and white stipes at the menu.
- The 30 pages of documentation from Kristiansand represents a virtual walk around the space much the same way that the audience would pass though it.
- Layers are used for a number of features. The most important is superimposing QuickTime movies on top of still images. This is saving bandwith compared to making the whole of the image as a video. The extraction of sections of the video was done using matrix mappings in Jitter.
- Sound is created using four looping mp3 files of different lengths. The audio files are loaded into cache so that they don’t have to be downloaded over and over again for each new page. The four files represents sounds from different sections of the room. Varying volumes are used to simulate change in relative levels in different parts of the gallery space.
It has taken a lot of time to do this. On the other hand I’ve spent quite some time with the material of Jeremy and Jon Arne this week. We will be doing a new installation in Trondheim in September so in a sense this has been a way of preparing myself for further development.
It’s interesting to see how Jon Arne is displaying the actual techniques involved in making the paintings the act of spray painting splashing paint using a spattle to smear the paint out etc. Me I’ve tried to hide the techniques used for making the sound for most of the projects I’ve been doing so far. While a lot of new media art tends to focus thematicly estethicly and/or conseptually on the techniques involved I’ve attempted to hide them. It has mainly been a mean to an end and I’ve been afraid that if the technique is emphasised to much in the presentation to the audience it might get in the way of what I really want to express the works ending up being some sort of a technological fetishism. With Jon Arne’s paintings the impression of exposing the technique is rather a communication of the sheer joy of painting.
A recent thread at the Max-MSP mailing list discussed the possibility of porting SuperCollider ugens to Max/MSP. As SC is released under the GNU General Public License it apparently can’t be done.
The implication of this is that my own Max objects currently released under GPL can’t be used without violating the license. Ergo: I better start looking for alternative licenses fulfilling two very basic requirements: (a) don’t sue me (b) feel free to do anything you want to with the code and objects as long as everybody else can do so too. The Mozilla Public License seems a good option.
The Municipality of Bergen recently revised their strategic plan on “rythmic music” a generic term used for a variety of musical genres including pop rock electronica and jazz. As part of the plan they are open to financially supporting the preplanning phase required to establish a formal education on electronic music or electronic arts in general in collaboration between BEK The Grieg Academy and possible also the Academy of Fine Arts at Kunsthøgskolen i Bergen:
Tiltak 3.800 Satsing på utdannelse innen elektronisk musikk
BEK (Bergen senter for elektronisk kunst) er et ressurs- og kompetansesenter for kunstnere som arbeider med ny teknologi. Virksomheten omfatter produksjon forskning og utvikling opplæringstiltak og formidling. Den primære målgruppen for BEKs virksomhet er det profesjonelle kulturmiljøet. BEK har virksomhet i forhold til en rekke ulike kunstuttrykk som billedkunst musikk scenekunst kortfilm og genreoverskridende prosjekter. Innenfor
musikkfeltet retter BEKs aktivitet seg mot samtidsmusikk og
eksperimentelle uttrykk innen pop rock støy og jazz.
BEK har tatt initiativ til dialog med Griegakademiet og Kunsthøgskolen i Bergen om opprettelse av studier innenfor elektronisk musikk. Den elektroniske musikken er utviklet i spenningsfeltet mellom musikken og lydteknikken og har helt andre opplæringsbehov enn annen musikk som er basert på instrumenter noter etc. Bergen kommune støtter dette
initiativet og ser gjerne at en linje for elektronisk musikk på høyskolenivå blir opprettet i Bergen.
Bergen kommune vil prioritere å finne midler innenfor de årlige budsjettrammer til forprosjekt/utredning av studier på høyskolenivå innenfor elektronisk musikk i Bergen.
Here’s a link for the previous plan and this is the recently approved addendum.
Andrew McKenzie has been doing a “series of reports and comments” so far spanning March-May this year "in order to forge some sort of external discipline for activities and therefore focus some inner processes.
According to Judy Nylon Eno’s idea on ambient music didn’t emerge accidently excactly the way Eno has claimed not that it really matters. More interesting I just discovered that Discreet Music was recorded at twice the speed used for playback.