Machines in Music

NEW YORK'S MODULAR SYNTHESIZER EXHIBITION & EVENTS

OCTOBER 8/9 - 2016

KNOCKDOWN CENTER

DISCUSSIONS / PRESENTATIONS


SCHEDULE

// Saturday, October 8 //

12:00 - Magnetic Soundbath: An immersive listening experience
presented by MJ Caselden

1:30 - The Synthesizer: A Brief History in Sound
presented by Thom Holmes

3:00 - Livelier Live-Electronics: DavidTudor’s Pioneer Approach to Home-brew Instruments
presented by Michael Johnsen and Ronald Kuivila

4:30 - Electric Orchestra: Multitimbrality & how to build an entire track on a system in one take
presented by Colin Benders (Kyteman)
 
// Sunday, October 9 //

12:00 - Magnetic Soundbath: An immersive listening experience
presented by MJ Caselden

1:30 - An Electronic Art Pioneer: Ben F. Laposky’s Oscillons
presented by Skooby Laposky

3:00 - The Magic of the Buchla: Up Close to the Electric Music Box
presented by Mark Verbos, Reed Hays and Suzanne Ciani


Magnetic Soundbath: An immersive listening experience

MJ is a sound artist/technologist who creates sound-generating sculpture. He uses electromagnets to induce vibration in metal strings and wood, exploring different harmonics. Participants lay back as vibrating sculptures create an encompassing wash of sounds. The experience is often hailed as therapeutic, as it creates a mental space for relaxation, contemplation, and mental clarity among listeners. Each soundbath is unique. The sound moves around the area throughout the experience.


The Synthesizer: A Brief History in Sound

 Thom Holmes is a composer and music historian living in New York. He is the author of Electronic and Experimental Music, 5th ed. (Routledge, 2016), a widely used textbook on the history of electroacoustic music. He studied composition with Paul Epstein in Philadelphia, was the founder and publisher of the magazine Recordings of Experimental Music (1979–85), and worked with John Cage. He writes the blogs Noise and Notations and Moog: A History in Recordings, the latter for the Bob Moog Foundation, and edits books for Oxford University Press USA. His recent paper, The Sound of Moog: Using Vinyl Recordings to Reconstruct a History of the Moog Synthesizer was published in the journal Notes in December 2014.


Livelier Live-Electronics: David Tudor’s Pioneer Approach to Home-brew Instruments

 Now seen as a grandfather of the DIY approach, David Tudor built a homemade, idiosyncratic music out of thin air, vast imagination, and old-fashioned scrounging, at a time when perfect VCOs were just a dream. While stockhausen was hiring trained engineers, Tudor went to the library, the newsstand, and canal street and cobbled together a new orchestra - one which embraced chaos and focused on feedback as a productive method. New circuit-level research into his formidable instrumentarium of over 300 hand-built devices, shows delightful evidence of this profoundly original mind. Photos, diagrams, recordings, etc. will be presented, as well as actual instruments from the David Tudor Instrument Collection at Wesleyan University.


Electric Orchestra: Multitimbrality & how to build an entire track on a system in one take

 Colin Benders (Kyteman) has a long standing track record of working with live musicians of all trades. Over the last few years he's been highly active as composer and conductor for his group "The Kyteman Orchestra", shattering barriers between classical music and jazz, electro, drum n bass, hiphop and everything else it came across. Now, the orchestra has made way for electronics: Colin has found himself a modular synth and he's obsessed with it. His electronic work is characterized by the absorbing mix of atmospheric melodies and energetic beats, most of which is improvised on the spot. There hasn't been an official release yet but on his social channels you can find a lot of material taken from his near-daily live streams.


Skooby Laposky: Ben F. Laposky's Oscillons

 A presentation on the current research for the upcoming book on electronic art pioneer Ben F. Laposky by his great nephew, Skooby Laposky.  An extended collection of Laposky's oscillons (both black & white and color) will be shown for the first time ever beyond what has been published or exhibited around the world.  Laposky will also discuss the ideas and process behind the oscillons by presenting pages from his great uncle's notebooks and also written correspondence with leading thinkers of the time.


The Magic of the Buchla: Up Close to the Electric Box

In California in the 1960's, instrument builder Don Buchla dreamed up an original electronic instrument and he refined it through the early 1980's. Mark Verbos, writer of the BuchlaTech blog and expert in the instrument inside and out will bring his large vintage Buchla 200 and discuss what makes it so special. He will be joined by Reed Hays, a music professional who works with vintage Buchla instruments and Suzanne Ciani a composer and sound designer who started working with the instruments in the early 70's and even worked in the Buchla factory for part of that time. Attendees will get the chance to get up close with the instrument, ask specific questions and perhaps even touch the instrument themselves.


 2015 DISCUSSIONS


Reed Hays

“The Modular Music Professional” 

Noted TV and film composer discusses how modular synthesizers can be used in a professional environment. This will include how a modern writing studio can be configured as well as how he has integrated electronic instruments into his work-flow. 


Michael Johnsen

“Inside David Tudor’s Homebrew Electronics - Personal Tools For Very Live Electronics” 

A rare look inside the work of a pioneer in live electronic music. David Tudor was best known as the pianist who realized John Cage’s most difficult work. But, starting in the mid 60's he quit the piano to devote himself fully to his own unique work, which embraced chaos and focused on feedback as a productive method. New circuit-level research into his formidable instrumentarium of over 300 hand-built devices, shows delightful evidence of this profoundly original mind. Photos, diagrams, recordings, etc. will be presented. 


Patrick Detampel

“Berlin School : The Eurorack In Europe” 

Product Specialist from Alex4 (Europe’s biggest synth distributor) discusses how the Eurorack explosion started in Germany and its current state across Europe. 


Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe

“Universal Musics” 

An open conversation about sound as a limitless idea not bound by any particular tradition, theory or system that has been set before. The modular synthesizer as an instrument that is as open ended as they come. It is the most sensitive and varied instrument available. 


Check out Newsletter 6: Discussions HERE