Art + Music + Technology


Performing Arts





August 2015
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I first got to know Ben Griswold as an instructor at DU when I was there as a student. He led one of the most insightful classes I'd ever taken (it was about art and the senses, including smell and touch - ewwww!), and we ended up getting to know each other over time. I've always been blown away by his work (a show he helped develop - Blink! - is simply the best-presented new media show I've ever seen), and reached out to see if he'd be up for a podcast-chat.

Well he was, and here is the result. I think it is surprising to hear about the twists and turns involved in the process of showing an artist's work, and the different ordeals that come up during that process. Ben is incredibly thoughful about everything he works on, and it shows in the way he talks about the work. He shares a lot of detail with us, and I hope that you find it as interesting as I did.

You can find out more about Ben's work at

Direct download: podcast_089_BGriswold.mp3
Category:Performing Arts -- posted at: 1:39 PM

Most of my podcasts are with people that are established in a thing that isn't going to change - they are builders, musicians or coders that have chosen the tools and directions of their craft, and are sticking to 'em. Har is different - he's decided to step away from one milieu and into another. I didn't know much about this at the time that I reached out to him, but as he filled me in on his transitions, I realized that this was a great opportunity to see someone as they change tack.

My original goal with talking to Har was that he is an ambient musician that doesn't really use keyboards; rather, he uses guitars, basses, Chapman Stick and other stringed instruments. When I played with him at a planetarium gig, I watched with awe as he set up a rig with perhaps 50 guitar pedals in a ring around the stange - and proceeded to use 'em all! The sound was both beautiful and mighty and something that I'll remember for a long time as a completely unique experience.

Anyway, in this podcast, we talk about his instrumentation and his style, but we mostly talk about the process of change: leaving behind his internet radio show, embracing a new style, learning new skills and starting a new project with a here-it-all-is video.

You can learn more about Har's work here:


Direct download: podcast_088_Har.mp3
Category:Performing Arts -- posted at: 1:26 PM

It's cool when I get to talk to one of the artists that I consider my personal influences. Tony Gerber's style of contemplative but present instrumental work speaks to the way that I hear music, and it's clear that I'm not alone - he's a widely followed performer with a worldwide following.

What's interesting is that a lot of his performance is done in virtual space. His solo work is perhaps best known in Second Life, where he (as Cypress Rosewood) has performed over 1600 shows. He also experiments with video concerts (most recently on Concert Window) and has a lot of music available through various online outlets.

But one of the most interesting things about this chat is our discussion on how, after all these shows, he continues to be creative. Therein lies the heart of a true, in-the-moment artist. I was inspired by this talk, and hope you are as well.

Enjoy! And check out more of Tony's work at the Gerbtone site.

Direct download: podcast_087_TGerber.mp3
Category:Performing Arts -- posted at: 12:16 PM

I have to admit being mesmorized by motion control since I saw some early body-suit performances in London. But thank the gods, the technology has really advanced since those early days. With the advent of the Microsoft Kinect, artistic use of motion control for visuals and sound has blown up, and the Ethno Tekh team has been at the forefront of the work.

Chris Vik took time out of his schedule to chat about motion control, his use of the Kinect and some of his performing experiences - including one of the most harrowing tales I've heard about crap-yourself tech problems. Any time you are taking technology out of its natural home (and let's face it - the Kinect is meant for your living room, not the C-Bit stage...), it can get a little wooly. But Chris and his working partner Brad Hammond take it on, and we get to hear about some of the fallout.

You can check out Chris' work at his site: Enjoy!

Direct download: podcast_086_CVik.mp3
Category:Performing Arts -- posted at: 1:52 PM

I've always been a huge fan of Tiptop Audio's products: from their rock-solid Z3000 oscillator, to the center-of-my-universe Station 252 case, to the simple elegance of the Stackable cables, I've always found their products to be reliable, artful and best-of-class. I've also always wondered about the person behind this stuff, because it was clearly an interesting person.

Wow, what an understatement. Gur Milstein was super enthusiastic about being on the podcast, and we got a chance to run through his history as well as his design process. And, as part of the process, I came to further respect him - and be charmed by his friendliness. This interview is one of my favorites, because I started off not really knowing the person, and ending up developing a friendship with a person I really respect.

If you want to check out Gur's work, please jump over to and check it out!


Direct download: podcast_085_GMilstein.mp3
Category:Performing Arts -- posted at: 2:30 PM

After an introduction from Matthew Davidson, I needed to do a little research on this week's guest: Jean-Luc Cohen-Sinclair. Jean-Luc goes by several monikers on the web, and each of them seems to have a pretty significant background behind them. But one unifying theme kept coming up - Jean-Luc has some interesting perspectives on sound design for games, and he is also that pefect storm of a programming sound designer. Thus, as a result, he is into the idea of functional sound desigh, which I'll let him cover in the podcast.

Jean-Luc teachs sound design and sound programming topics at Breklee College of Music and NYU, so he definitely has the academic bones. But when you hear his history - and his perspective - on sound design, you'll realize that there is a lot more there than just academics.

If you want a glimps into the future of sound for games, you need to listen to this podcast!


Direct download: podcast_084_JLCohenSinclair.mp3
Category:Performing Arts -- posted at: 6:12 AM

Tim Thompson first came on my radar back in the day - he created a development system called KeyKit which allowed for interesting sequencer creation through focused coding. It was one of the first times I'd experienced a system that was clearly set up for "creative coding", and I was intrigued. In the intervening years, I've continued to run into him at various times, and he always seemed to be showing a new invention.

I ran into him again last year, and got a chance to experience his "Space Palette" - a system that he describes as "mousepads in space". It's an apt description, but doesn't imply the outright fun that it is to play with it - especially when paired with some of Tim's unique sound and video performance tools. Now, as you will hear, Tim is working with Roger Linn on software for the Linnstrument - the result seems equally fun and interesting.

You can check out more of Tim's work at these links:

His website:

His YouTube page: Tim Thompson's YouTube Page

Enjoy the interview, and check out his work!

Direct download: podcast_083_TThompson.mp3
Category:Performing Arts -- posted at: 11:20 AM

Jesse Sola, who goes by the name of Numina, is one of my favorite artists in the 'dark ambient' space. His work speaks to his comfort with electronic music, sound design and ambient structures. He's also an engaging character: he's willing to talk about music-making at the drop of a hat, and open to examining his own work process. And guess who came knocking at his door!

In this chat, we talk about his history with music (his dad's Minimoog!!!), influences (shoe-gazers???), favorite gear and ideas about releases. We also get to shed a little light on his sound design and loop library work as well as his work with different labels. All-in-all, a great insight into the mind of a fabulous musician.

Check him out here:


Direct download: podcast_082_JSola.mp3
Category:Performing Arts -- posted at: 4:19 PM

I recently returned from a Cycling '74 company retreat, and had a chance to spend some time with this week's guest: Rob Ramirez. Rob is an interesting character, fluent in both 3D graphics and conceptual art, and was willing to submit to the podcast. So I took him up on it!

One of the things we talk a lot about is a recent work he was involved in: An Evening With William Shatner Asterisk. You might want to see a bit of it; you can check these out:

The first episode, full experience:

A closeup of the video and captions:

In this discussion, we talk about the technical side of art, but we also talk about the 'soft' side: how the design of a work comes together, what it is like to be showing work in the hothouse of New York, and how attribution happens in a complex work. I think you'll find it quite interesting...


Direct download: podcast_081_RRamirez.mp3
Category:Performing Arts -- posted at: 3:21 PM

This week's chat is very different from most weeks'. In this episode, we talk to Marco Buongiorno Nardelli, a research scientist in the area of material science. Huh? Well, in addition to his role as a scientist, he is also a composer, and he is working on ways to mine the deep databases of science to create interesting compositions - and maybe find new ways of viewing materials as well.

As always, we dive into Marco's background to figure out how someone gets to be both a composer and a scientist. But I also take the time to talk about data-to-music mapping, and how this sort of system can work for both musicians and for non-musical scientists. Very interesting stuff!

Now, after listening to this - or maybe even before - you will want to review his site:

It's full of video, audio and image content that will illuminate the work that he is doing. I hope you enjoy this talk, and that it opens some doors for you in your search for more inspiration!

Direct download: podcast_080_MBNardelli.mp3
Category:Performing Arts -- posted at: 4:18 PM

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