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.

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MiLo Rehearsal 04.14.12

MiLo (Milwaukee Laptop Orchestra) is something I’ve been involved with for a number of years.  In 2006, it was around 10-15 performers improvising together, but in more recent years we’re fortunate if we can get half a dozen of us together.  Some of the artists have moved away, and some new people have joined in.  It continues to evolve, but some of the original members are still actively involved.

As our open improvisations started to sound too similar, we began to provide some structure and direction for our performances by including compositions from other composers as well as ourselves.  With our upcoming performance at the Peck School of the Arts Open House, we’ve been rehearsing a couple of electronic pieces.

“Artikulation” is a 1958 electronic composition by György Ligeti.  Twelve years later, a graphical score was produced by Rainer Wehinger.  A projection of the graphical score is projected on the wall for all performers to follow along.  We divided up the different colors represented in the score between performers.  Here’s a sample of the graphic score and the recording from today’s rehearsal.

“Collision” is a piece I’ve played with Kevin before as a duet.  One of the great things about this piece is that it’s really a queueing system for improvisation.  There are three different types of queues (Hold, Pluck, Slide) and a min-max time for how often a queue will be initiated.  The time in-between is improvisational, but the queueing often influences that time.  Here’s a recording of “Collision”

Throughout rehearsal, I was playing my saxophone through csGrain on my iPad.