Interactive/Conceptual

Over the years I’ve done a number of projects that are interdisciplinary and creative, and that don’t really have genres. I don’t know if it’s the best term, but for ease of reference, I use the term “conceptual” to describe these projects. Ultimately, both of the conceptual projects below came about as ways to test ideas or possibilities.

Below that, this page contains info about some of my interactive computer music work.

CONCEPTUAL PROJECTS

Pink Thunder Portmanteaus (2012)

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When I made Pink Thunder, I knew that I wanted people to encounter it in unusual ways. I did not think that releasing a typical CD in the typical way was quite appropriate, and since the music is really unusual, I wanted people to be in an unusual state of mind when they first heard the songs. So I got a friend to design a music-playing circuit board, and I came up with the Pink Thunder Portmanteaus.

The portmanteaus are art-object / music players. Each one is loaded with one of the songs from Pink Thunder, and displays an object which is derived from the poem on which that particular song is based. If you look closely at the pictures, you’ll see that there are two buttons on the top of each portmanteau. The red button plays the music; the black button stops it. The gold cylinder on the front is a modified brass hose bib that houses a 1/8″ headphone/speaker jack, through which the music plays.

The portmanteaus have  shown in San Francisco (The Curiosity Shoppe), Washington DC (AWP Book Fair), and Chicago (Rational Park). They are available for purchase or for shows. Please use the contact page to get in touch.

People liked them a lot. It was fun to see people actually being curious about something having to do with recorded songs.

I wrote about the Pink Thunder portmanteaus for Impose Magazine. Here’s an excerpt:

A portmanteau waits for you. It’s really there. It exists to meet you and to reveal that meeting as it really is: unique, unrepeatable, hermetic. The exchange between you and the music, via the portmanteau, is your spark arcing back and forth. Portmanteaus are as quiet as a pine grove. They create meaning and context. They are musical.

Let’s build new songs. Let’s build new kinds of songs. Let’s build new kinds of encounters. Let’s build songs in the shape of poems or whatever else. Let’s build songs that freak us out. Let’s build songs that reveal the power of the new. Let’s build songs that reveal our power.

Let’s push the best buttons.

and the San Francisco Bay Guardian did a cover story on the gallery opening in November, 2012.

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Click on one of the images below to open a gallery where you can scroll through to see all twenty-two pieces.

52 Songs (1999)

In 1999 I wrote, recorded and posted online one song each week for a year. It’s out of print, but this link will take you to a google search where you can see who else has attempted a year-long song-cycle.

INTERACTIVE PROJECTS

Right Brain / Left Brain (2015) is a Max/MSPmusic generator that can be controlled with a Wiimote and with a phone using TouchOSC. It combined a MIDI music player in standard tuning with an oscillator player using three different non-standard tunings.

Cupcake Music (2014) is a little interactive piece I made using Pure Data,  Reactivision, and Melissa & Doug wooden cupcakes. Here’s a video.