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Blog archive for May 2005

We are the robots

May 2, 2005


Last Sunday my two youngest kids Morten and Alexander came along with me to my office. They wanted to see what it looked like. While I prepared and packed the gear for the second leg of the Tracker tour they started decorating the office with a number of robots.


Martin concentrated on legless robots.


The artists Alexander and Martin.

SAS did it again

May 2, 2005


F**king SAS did it again. This time they managed to bend the North flight case one of the most robust flight cases available in Norway resulting in another damage to the MOTU 828 card (right hand ear this time). As usual they try to completely avoid taking any kind of responsibility and of course there’s no “We’re sorry” or inquiry into how this might have happened and what they might have done to avoid it in the future.

I’ve been tranporting this kind of equipment for 8 SAS flights now. 3 times they’ve manage to cause damages. According to the clerk at the airport this happens in average once every 5th flight. How come the statistics for my equipment being damaged is 37.5% at the moment?.

They also managed to damage the bag Frode was using for his baggage. He didn’t even bother about complaining.


Some images from the Tracker tour

May 2, 2005


For one section of the show some of the kids participated. Here Frode is instructing them on what to do.


Gitte ready to go.


Helge Øye producer joined in on some of the days to document the production.


Two years ago I figured out that I had to try what it’s like having long hair before it’s to late. That came in handy for this stage appearance slightly inspired by a certain Sims figure.

CoreBlog 1.2000

May 3, 2005

Gisle has updated CoreBlog to v.1.2.

Gestural Control of Music

May 4, 2005

Some URL’s from a few hours of surfing yesterday. Some of them have appeared here before:

Javascript determining OS and more

May 6, 2005

Javascript for determining what OS is used what version of Max etc. Save as jmod.js_systeminfo.js.


script for determining what OS is used
inlets = 1
outlets = 1
function bang()
outlet(0 “os” this.max.os)
outlet(0 “os_version” this.max.osversion)
outlet(0 “max_version” this.max.version)
outlet(0 “plugin” this.max.isplugin)
outlet(0 “runtime” this.max.isruntime)


May 7, 2005

For the past few days I’ve been working on the output module for Jamoma. That also means digging into limiters and saturation. D.W. Fearn in an article discuss audible differences between tubes and transistors.

MIDI controllers

May 7, 2005

Mawser has announced a modular MIDI controller. I’m not sure if the faders are automated or not or if resulution is better than standard 7 bit MID CC but it still looks interesting.

The various projects from uCApps can probably be even more customized but then you’re down to big time soldering.

DSP Guru

May 9, 2005

DSPGuru is exactly that a DSP guru.

Via Tim at the Jamoma list


May 13, 2005

This has been and still is a very busy week with little or no time for blogging. Monday evening Beta 2 took place including the “Kunsten å gå på vannet” interactive insttallation by Jana Winderen me and Jørgen Træen. Last weekend me and Jana took the oportunity to do some changes that we’ve been thinking of for a while.

Yesterday I was off to Oslo to work with Verdensteatret for 3 days. “Konsert for Grønland” is developing into an installation version as well.

Inbetween I finally finished off as first version of the output module for Jamoma. The input and output modules have been the most challenging ones to write (probably along with the first video modules but Tim did that one) and hard-nail test beds for the core implementation. We’re moving closer to the 0.200 release now.

More Jitter tutorials

May 19, 2005

Peter Elsea have written a couple more tutorials on Jitter lately.

Web page update

May 19, 2005

Updated the news section of my web page. There’s still some stuff missing.

Mail program collapsed

May 19, 2005

My mail program just collapsed. It’s a few years old and apparently have a problem if the database exceeds 2 Gb. I just received a 12 Mb attachment and that seemed to cross the magic limit that I didn’t know of. Bugger!

There’s a fix app (18$) but I’m not sure that it will solve the problem. If it could be a “no cure no pay” I would have considered it but the way it’s now I’m not sure.

One thing’s for sure. I’ll be moving to a different mail program ASAP most likely Thunderbird. The only problem is that there’s no way to import mails from my current program. Bye Bill.

Update: Managed to fix it.

I’ve now got 208 488 mails. I’ve received and sent 51 100 mails since the previous time the mail program broke down apporox a year ago. Almost all mailing lists are still in digest mode and I trash spam mails. What’s left average to 140 mails a day…

Regular customer

May 19, 2005

Søk ikke om prosjekttilskudd fra samme tilskuddsgiver i flere år på rad. Det gir bare organisasjonen et dårlig rykte å bli stamkunde. Fordi det som regel er flere søknader enn tilskuddsgiveren kan imøtekomme kommer søknaden med all sannsynlighet til å få avslag det tredje eller fjerde året.

(Don’t apply for project funding from the same funding partner for several years in a row. The organisation will get a bad reputation if it’s becoming a “regular customer”. As there are more applicants than grants the application will most likely be turned down the third or fourth year.)

Quote from guidelines on writing project applications by Nordisk kulturfond.

What kind of nonsense is this?

To me this is an excellent example of a attitude towards culture that is completely void of any kind of political and strategic long-term thinking. If an organisation have been able to build experience and knowledge by doing good work on projects for some years one should rather try to further build on that and encourage further development rather than thinking in terms of “fairness” and euqal distribution of grant money just for the sake of it. How is society expecting the art society to develop and mature if long term work is not encouraged?

The recent financial difficulties of Electrohype not being able to secure sufficient funding for future work illustrates the problem. Having develloped gradually into the organisation it is (or was) now collaborating in an excellent way with a major institution as Malmökonsthall being internationally recognized for the significance and importance of their work and reaching out to a big audience (the Electrohype 2004 biennale had 35.000 visitors) this could have become one of the major new media festivals of Europe in the next five years. Instead the municipality of Malmölet it slip into the sand.

The output module

May 21, 2005


Above is a screen shot of the help file for the Jamoma audio input and output modules. They have been much more work to develop than any other custom modules I’ve been making for my own projects. But they’ve also functioned as very useful test beds for the core Jamoma arcitecture.

In terms of adding new features the Jamoma project is moving slowly so far. We’ve spend a lot of time on improving the fundamental part of it. We’re very thorough on this. Once this work is finished I know it will pay of in terms of a rapidly growing bank of modules for audio video and control data processing.

The potential is extremely promissing. A few days ago Tim added some examples on how easy it is to turn Jamoma modules into Pluggos.

I was browsing through the tech category of my blog earlier today. Jade was first mentioned on the blog late January 2004.000 Work on this topic no doubt is a common denominator for my work all the way through the fellowship period. In fact it started much earlier when I invited Tim to Norway to participate at a workshop during Ultima 2003 and to visit Bergen/BEK. One of the topics of that workshop was how to deal with complex data in real-time based sound installations. While at BEK he did a presentaion of Jade. I was very interested in this as I realised that it could be able to adress some of the major technical problems we were struggling with in the Verdensteatret productions at the time.

Farteins hage

May 25, 2005

The composer Nils Henrik Asheim is doing a sound installation in Bergen at the moment.

Å pning av lydinstallasjonen “Farteins hage” av Nils Henrik Asheim

Sted: Drivhuset i Muséhagen
Installasjonen er åpen 25.000 mai til 5.000 juni (unntatt 28.-29. mai) kl. 10-19

- og den er co-produsert av BEK.

Installasjonen tar utgangspunkt i komponisten Fartein Valen (1887-1952).
Valen var selv i sin tid en flittig gjest i det som den gang het Botanisk
Hage og begrepet “hage” kan knyttes til Fartein Valen på flere måter: Han
var en lidenskapelig dyrker av både roser og kaktus han vokste opp i den
paradisiske hagen på Masinandraina på Madagaskar og eventyret – Historien
om en moder – av HC Andersen berørte ham sterkt. I dette eventyret holdes
menneskesjelene i forvaring som planter i et drivhus og voktes av
Vårherres gartner.

Inspirert av denne forestillingen skaper Nils Henrik Asheim en
lydinstallasjon hvor han forsøker å gi liv til ideen om en
menneskelig besjelet hage. Installasjonen består av mange små høyttalere
spredt rundt i rommet styrt fra en datamaskin på en slik måte at
lydkombinasjonene hele tiden fornyes.

Nils Henrik Asheim (født 1960) er utdannet organist og komponist ved
Norges Musikkhøgskole og ved Sweelinck-konservatoriet i Amsterdam. Han er
blant de mest etablerte og aktive samtidskomponistene i Norge i dag.
Produksjonen omfatter kammermusikk orkesterverk kirkemusikk
musikkteater og datamaskinbasert musikk.

Installasjonen er co-produsert av Muséhagen og BEK med støtte fra
Festspillene i Bergen.

Installasjonen er en del av “Prosjekt Fartein Valen” som foregår under
Festspillene. Produsent for Prosjekt Fartein Valen er Siri Aavitsland /
Sverre Waage.

5 loudspeakers

May 25, 2005

Coming Sunday the exhibition “The Idea of North” an exhibition of sound opens at Galleri F15 in Moss. Me and Jana Winderen is collaborating on an installation for it. For the installation we’ve decided to use 5 loudspeakers in one of the room all positioned near the floor and pointing upwards. The loudspeaker setup is kind of unconvetional:

The installation will be using the same floor sensor matte system that was used for Kunsten å gå på vannet but being an installation in a gallery for a different audience (“Vannet” was intended at school kids) and with all new material and ways of dealing with it we consider this a different work.

The reason we want to use 5 loudspeakers this way is that we would like to create an illuion of sound in and outside the room. Four loudspeakers at the corners can cause a “hole in the middle” between each pair of loudspeakers. Also if loudspeakers are surrounding the space it might more create the impression of sound coming from outside of the sphere defined by the loudspeakers and not happening within the sphere as well.

One of the questions this has raised is how to do the spatialisation. I first wanted to try ambisonics using the same MaxMSP ambipan~ external (btw this URL seems to have died lately) that I used for the Elektropoesia installation in malmölast fall. While investigating it it turned out that with a loudspeaker setup with one loudspeaker at the very center (Cartesian coordinates (0 0)) the center loudspeaker gain was always 0.000 Not very encouraging so I posed a question to the Sursound mailing list.

Angelo Farino gave a very clear answer:

Ambisoncs is a technicque for synthesizing plane waveforms arriving from outside a spherical (or circular) array of loudspeakers the standard equations go crazy for reproduction loudspeakers well inside the
reproduction space. You need something different.

Instead he recommended that I could try VBAP. I’ve used VBAP a lot before but I doubt that I could use it this time. VBAP assumes loudspeakers to be encircling you. With the loudspeaker setup at hand I would have to subdivide the gallery space into four subregions use VBAP for each of them and find a way of bridging from one region to the next as sound move. I’ve tried that before for the Living room project and abandoned it back than. The results were not convincing at all. The shifts from one region to the next were always clearly noticeable and the spatialisation felt artificial. VBAP is not really dealing with sound sorce position but rather from what direction it is arriving.

Instead I’m going to try a technique proposed at the MaxMSP list a while ago by Michael Zbyszynski. This approach treats each loudspeaker as if it’s a reflective surface for a virtual sound source. The amplitude for the reflected sound is inverse proportional to the distance from the source thus decaying 6 dB for each doubling of distance. In addition the reflection is delayed by a time interval equal to the time the sound would take to travel from the source to the surface (I’m using speed of sound equal to 340 m/s). I’m also incorporating the air~ filter from Spat describing how various frequencies are filtered when moving through air. We want to create a fairly dry acoustic soundscape so I will not be emulating room reverb.

I’ve not been able to test it myself yet. I’ve been working from home for the last days due to a flue but Jana tested it yesterday and felt that it worked well. The air~ filter is CPU intensive more than a regular biquad~ filter. Currently I’m using separate air~ filters for each source and each loudspeaker. I’m considering using only one air~ filter for each source to save some CPU cycles. The room isn’t that big and I doubt that the filtering of sound travelling through air for 7 m more or less makes that much of a difference.

In the meantime more useful hints and information pops up at the Sursound list. One suggestion is to treat the center loudspeaker as if it’s elevated compared to the rest. That would make the equations work again (though the proplem with sound souces positioned inside the sphere will probably still remain).

Jasch has offered me a pre-release of 2nd order ambisonic externals that he’s currently developing at The Institute for Computer Music and Sound Technology (ICST) at the Zurich School of Music Drama and Dance (Hochschule Musik und Theater HMT) in Zurich Switzerland. If these externals will be released under a GNU LGPL license the same way as he’ve done in the past they will be very interesting to include in Jamoma.

New Rhizome membership policy

May 25, 2005

Rhizome has announced a new membership policy:

Rhizome is pleased to announce the launch of our new membership policy. As of May 23rd anyone can subscribe to Rhizome email lists or browse site content from over the last year simply by signing up. All you have to do to sign up is register an email address and password—it’s completely free. Once you’re signed up you can participate in Rhizome’s core programs and services. You can browse new media art in the ArtBase take part in discussions on our lists “RAW” and “RARE” and receive Rhizome Digest our weekly summary of relevant events announcements and opportunities alongside an original piece of commissioned writing. If you become a Rhizome Member by making a contribution at an annual level of $25 you’ll have access to the Rhizome Archives—all ten years of our art and text—as well as special Member features. We believe these changes will make Rhizome more open dynamic and inclusive and that our expanded availability will benefit our current community and newcomers alike. Please spread the word! –

Quiet and Relaxed, but Alert (2005)

May 29, 2005

Interactive installation by Jana Winderen and Trond Lossius.

Music is continually going up and down, but no longer only on those stepping stones, five, seven, twelve in number, or the quarter tone.

John Cage

Quiet and relaxed but alert

May 30, 2005

The images from the installation Quiet and relaxed but alert by Jana Winderen and myself for the exhibition The Idea of North opening at Galleri F15 Moss yesterday.


The window is left slightly open to let in sound from outside.


The control panel.


Interface for interaction.

(All photos by Jana)

The Idea of North

Galleri F 15 will in the period from the 29th of May to the 7th of August exhibit soundworks by ten different artists: Steven Cuzner (SE/CAN) Jean-Pierre Gauthier (CAN) Jan Høvo (NO) Eleanor King &amp Stephen Kelly (CAN) Dana Samuel (CAN) Liv Strand (SE) Maia Urstad (NO) Jana Winderen &amp Trond Lossius (NO).

In addition SKA radio (Christian Bould and Ivan Galuzin) will present local broadcasts on radio in the gallery space. The broadcasts consist of interviews with the artists. The Sound-lounge is designed by Moen &amp Philström.

Curator’s statement:

What is the tone of a place? In December 1967 Glenn Gould addressed this question in his radio broadcast – The Idea of North – using a technique he called contrapuntal radio to manifest multiple voices simultaneously. In a poetic reference to Gould’s work this exhibition is entitled The Idea of North and is a meditation on the idea of – North – as a perception of place and locality rather than a geographic position.

The Idea of North is a three-part exhibition of contemporary sound art from Canada Iceland and Norway that addresses the concept of the locality of sound. The Idea of North is a curatorial collaboration between curators in Canada (Rhonda Corvese) Iceland (Hekla Dogg Jonsdottir and Solveig Alda Halldorsdottir) and Norway (Yngvild Faeroy and Søssa Jørgensen). This collaborative curatorial process brings together three diverse groups of sound artists in three distinct exhibitions in Canada Iceland and Norway.

The exhibition is supported by the Arts Council Norway Asono Atelier Nord Office for Contemporary Art Norway NRK Ulyd NOTAM the Canada Council for the Arts the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada le Conseil des arts et des lettres du Quebec The Glenn Gould Estate and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

The gallery is open every day exept Monday 11 am. – 7 pm.

The exhibition is open until August 7th 2005.