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M4L for Dummies

June 19, 2010


Next week I’ll be doing an audio-visual performance at Guernsey with jeremy Welsh, a part of ISIC 6 6th International Conference on Small Island Cultures. The conference presentation format is a pretty weird point of departure for an artistic contribution, but hopefully it will work out well as an artistic diversion or intervention in between presentations of papers.

Most of the work I do is installations, where sound (and occasionally video) is being generated continuously using various generative strategies, sometimes with some kind of live input and interaction. I haven’t done live audio since 2006, when the Tracker collaboration with Frode Thorsen and Gitte bastiansen was touring the region of Oppland. Live performance need a different approach in terms of performance system to my installations, where the system is just left there to do its thing.

When doing projects, I also try using them as an opportunity to invest effort into long-term learning and investigations that might continue to pay off after the end of the project. This time I have decided to get into Ableton Live and Max 4 Live. This has been on the TODO-list for a long time now. Hopefully this will open up for a different approach (for me) to live laptop improvisation.

Running through the M4L tutorials, I am amazed at the strong aesthetic implication of the program: All tutorials results in a kind of non-personal, de-individualized, techno-light ambient music, designed for chill-out café atmospheres and perfect for early afternoons at Landmark.


Note to self: The name of the project is Ghost Architectures, not My Life in the Bush of Ghosts. Yo, man, get those loops out of sync NOW!