Bridges of Königsberg on SoundCloud

Some months back, I was invited to join Christopher Burns and Peter J. Woods in an abstract/noise/ambient experimental trio.  We performed once at the Borg Ward on National Avenue in Milwaukee last year.  Having had a really enjoyable time making noise together, we decided to organize a recording session at Kenilworth Square East (KSE).  The session was fruitful, and provided further encouragement to make more noise together; this time under the banner of Bridges of Königsberg.

Christopher put some blood, sweat and tears into taking our recordings to the next level… or one might say he simply executed some basic editing and mastering, either or.  So now “the band” has four tracks that will be released on cassette (that’s correct) during Peter’s US tour, and a BandCamp release to follow.  For the time being, here’s a sample that Peter put on his SoundCloud account.

If our ambient-noise inspires you, stop down at the Borg Ward on Sunday, May 4th for the live-action version of… Bridges of Königsberg!

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A new semester of dance accompaniment

Last fall, I was excited to be chosen as one of the musicians to accompany modern dance classes for UW-Milwaukee’s Peck School of the Arts.  This is something that I’ve wanted to do for some time, but until last fall there were no openings.  I had previously attended a handful of classes on a voluntary basis, joining my friend Seth Warren-Crow on percussion and electronics, and thoroughly enjoyed the process of improvising for dancers.  After all, music for dance has been one of my primary artistic outlets over the last few years, and to have the opportunity to practice this craft on a weekly basis is most welcome.

I’m now into my second semester of accompaniment and am developing more methods and techniques to use in the class.  While I continue to bring my saxophones (alto/tenor) for a strong physical/acoustic presence, most of my development involves my laptop set up.  This is a somewhat obvious statement for me, as the laptop work provides the primary foundation, while the saxophone embellishes the laptops pitch-based material and aids sectional structure through phrase development.  Also, I’ve been playing the saxophone for  decades, and have become quite comfortable in a variety of improvisational settings; the laptop environment provides me with new challenges and opportunities.

From my experiences with Seth, I observed that the rhythmic/pulse needs of the class can suddenly change.  This requires a dynamic response on the accompanists behalf; moving from a strong pulse to ambient and back.  Some of my previous work with Max For Live patches was certainly going to be beneficial.  I spent the previous semester fine tuning how I use my primary rhythmic M4L patch, C8 Sequencer; adjusting instances used, chance to trigger a sound, polyrhythmic complexity, and how this all is impacted by tempo.  I learned a lot about controlling all of this in real time and will be making some changes to exactly how this is all controlled.  For the time though, I’ve put together a demonstration/example of what’s been done so far and posted it to my SoundCloud account.  I imagine there will be similar posts in the future.

G.L.I.O recordings from Woodland Pattern

Another short post just to share some of the audio that has been recently uploaded to SoundCloud.  The recordings are from the Great Lakes Improvising Orchestra performance at Woodland Pattern, that I wrote about in my last post.  The recordings turned out well and it’s fair to say that everyone really enjoyed performing together.  One of the really enjoyable aspects of this performance, is that not all individuals had previously  performed together, therefor providing an opportunity of finding new ways to integrate one’s voice within the orchestra.

Five pieces were played in total.  All were conducted by Hal Rammel.  Below, I have put links for two of the selections; the remaining can be found here.

MiLO at Sugar Maple: Samples

So once again, I’ve gone a couple months without a post.  Summer has a tendency to be full of so many going-ons that this site takes a back seat.  Oh well…

The performance at Sugar Maple was a great success and a good time was had by all.  Something a little newer for the group was to break up all the performers into a variety of trio subsets.  This is an evolution of some exercises we would play during rehearsals, where the entrance of a individual’s sound had to be accompanied by at least one other player, as he/she introduced something new to the overall sound.  Sometimes this would occur during the same subset’s exit from the group sound.  It became a way of organizing spontaneous coordination and adding a level of control to the overall density of our performances.  As everyone really enjoyed how it was influencing our rehearsals, we thought we’d take it a step further for the Sugar Maple performance.

Below is a video I captured before my iPhone ran out of storage space, and the remaining trios that we got audio for.  Unfortunately, we were unable to get anything else in it’s entirety.

Last item of note for that night, is a series of photographs taken by Paul M. Mitchell.  The photos can be seen here.

 

 

MiLO at Kenilworth Open Studios

UW-Milwaukee’s Peck School of the Arts hosts the Kenilworth Open Studios every spring, and it’s become a MiLO tradition to perform at the event.  My last post included some samples of our final rehearsal prior to the event, but being that MiLO was really on the ball, I have more material to share.  We managed to not only record the whole performance, we also have some video and a small photo shoot.  We’ve been playing together for about 6 years and amazingly, we don’t have any “band shots”, so this was kind of a big deal.  Crazy, I know.  With our grand sense of organization this time around, we had enough material for Christopher Burns, one of our founding members, to construct an internet home for our activities.  Thanks, Christopher!

In general, the event seemed a great success and we certainly enjoyed our part in it.  The new performance space on the sixth floor was absolutely wonderful, complete with stunning views of Lake Michigan.  We performed a number of improvisations, György Ligeti’s classic tape piece Artikulation and an improvisation conducted by Kevin Schlei’s Collision software.  Throughout the performance, many MiLO-ites used Kevin’s TC-11 Multi-Touch Synthesis iPad app.  If you haven’t seen it yet, I recommend checking it out here.

Here is the MiLO lineup for Kenilworth Open Studios:

Christopher Burns, electric guitar
David Collins, alto saxophone (with signal processing  via csGrain)
Nolan Dargiewicz, electric guitar and laptop
Adam Murphy, iPad
Elliot Patros, laptop
Kevin Schlei, iPad
Steve Schlei, iPad
Amanda Schoofs, voice and effects pedals

MiLO also has a new Soundcloud page with recordings for all the material from this performance.  Here’s one of the improvisations from later in the set.

I believe this might be a first (though I’m not entirely sure), but I have video footage to share.  I used my iPhone, which unfortunately ran out of storage space after about 20 minutes.  I ended up capturing the first improvisation in it’s entirety, but the camera cut out during the performance of Artikulation.  Here’s the Improvisation #1 I posted to my Vimeo page.

MaxMSP patch – PolyPatter

PolyPatter is designed as a performance patch, that was constructed in Max 5.  It’s based off of networked pitch data that is shared with all performers through either a wi-fi, or peer-to-peer network.  This shared pitch information is then routed to any software/hardware instrument that accepts midi.  My intension was to keep the interface very simply and with limited controls, so the performer can also give his/her attention to the sound palette they’re using.  I’ve been working on getting this patch to have the performance qualities that will enable performers to have accurate input of pitch data without the feedback loops I was getting in the networked information.  This was completed with the addition of separating performers send/receive data via individual “accounts”.

 

Here is a recording of a live performance with myself and Kevin Schlei.  The entire performance utilized the PolyPatter patch.  The event took place at a Milwaukee bar and art/performance space, Sugar Maple, during Bayview’s Gallery Night.