Art + Music + Technology


Performing Arts





January 2015
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First off, thanks to my friend Ben Bracken for opening up a door to one of my favorite artists: Keith Fullerton Whitman. Label/distribution runner, live performer, recording artist and sound designer, Keith does it all - and talked about it all as well. This is one of the interviews I most looked forward to doing, and it was even better than I could have hoped.

You can check out Keith's work through the typical digital locations, on his Soundcloud page (which has a lot of live recordings) and through his work on Mimaroglu Music (here and here). He's also to be found on YouTube and other fun video-oriented places, and you should be able to track down some of his old Hvratski tunes. Take the time to dive into some KFW - even if you aren't a lover of the aggressive, you will find some deep work in Keith's catalog.

Thanks to Keith, to all the listeners, and to all the people I met at NAMM. I've got to go back to bed now - enjoy!

Direct download: podcast_064_KFWhitman.mp3
Category:Performing Arts -- posted at: 5:06 PM

There are a few people who represent "Great Producer" to me in the electronic music world. These people have great taste, work with great people, and have a vision for their work that seems laser-guided. I consider Dave Fulton to be one of these people. As a founder of the group Dweller At The Threshold, he was responsible for some of the albums that reignited my interest in classic electronic music, while his solo work took me to darker (and perhaps more interesting) places.

Dave is a long-time modular user, and we talk a bit about the influence (and practicalities) of modular synths, but we also dive into "playing in a band as a practice", the pecularities of Portland and even the politics of radio. It is a wide-ranging discussion that is one of my favorite chats ever.


Direct download: podcast_063_DFulton.mp3
Category:Performing Arts -- posted at: 3:09 PM

I'm a sucker for acoustic (double) bass. I'll admit it. Something about the low tones, deep resonance and the physicality required to play it keeps me entranced. It also helps that I can't play the sucker (a lack of frets sends me running!), so it remains mystical to me.

But mix the double bass with looping, audio processing and tons of sensing - and you've got my undivided attention. Robert Matheson ( does just that. He shared his latest recording, Day's End, with me, and I was completely down for a chat. But the more I found out about his playing rig and techniques, the more I needed to know. It was a fascinating chat, and opened my eyes about the kinds of sensing that works with an instrument as massive as the bass.

Enjoy, and if you get a chance check out Day's End on Bandcamp!

Direct download: podcast_062_RMatheson.mp3
Category:Performing Arts -- posted at: 4:48 PM

In the past I've interviewed some 'hyper-media' people - folks that seemed equally conversent (and comfortable) in video, music or network theory. But I don't think that I've yet chatted with anyone that is so clearly cross-media savvy as Henry Warwick. From his portable libraries to his music releases, from paintings to videos, he has both done the work and studied its history; the result is a tremendous depth as well as breadth of work that is rare for an artist/academic.

This discussion ranges all over the place, and there is probably something for every listener. But the more interesting this is that way that Henry is able to stitch it all together into a coherent whole. I had a blast talking to Henry, and I hope you enjoy listening in!

Direct download: podcast_061_HWarwick.mp3
Category:Performing Arts -- posted at: 5:20 PM

My friend and co-worker Wesley Smith joins the podcast today. I'm excited to talk to him for many reasons, but his work in heavy-duty graphics/OpenGL is the stuff of legend. It was interesting to hear about the trail that he's taken to get to his current position, where he sees himself going in the future, and what he's doing now to make our heads spin!

When you talk to Wesley, you are often surprised to find out how personable he is - and how willing he is to share. Talking to him about his approaches to graphics, math and collaboration gives us a unique opportunity to see how a complex character is able to combine dense theory, heavy tech and great artistry into a single - and compelling - outcome.


Direct download: podcast_060_WSmith.mp3
Category:Performing Arts -- posted at: 4:54 PM

There are many different loop library companies out there, but nobody seems to be doing it quite like The Loop Loft. These guys are combining impeccably recorded instruments with timeless (and ultra-clean) mixes to create some of the best loop sets around. Ryan Gruss, the founder and CEO of The Loop Loft, is our guest this week, and he opens the door to his past at Berklee, inside the loop at Atlantic Records, and the development of The Loop Loft from its beginnings as a blog to its current position as a killer loop-lib company.

In addition to the interview, I want to take the opportunity to point to a Kickstarter campaign that a friend is putting together. Linz Craig has been working in East African maker spaces spreading the word about Open Source software, hardware and the opportunity that comes from making things. Please visit the Kickstarter site for his documentary project, and help him spread the word about the power behind making things!

Have a happy holiday season, and drop me a line if you know someone that would like to be interviews - even if that someone is you!

Direct download: podcast_059_RGruss.mp3
Category:Performing Arts -- posted at: 5:43 PM

Sometimes you can't plan a good thing - you have to let it come to you. I wanted to talk to another 'maker' in the modular synth area, and reached out to Andrew Kilpatrick of Kilpatrick Audio; he was enthusiastic about it, and a call was scheduled.

A few days later I saw a posting on Synthtopia for a new Kilpatrick synthesizer - the Phenol. What luck! So our chat includes discussions about his Euro modular creations, the development of his own format (the Kilpatrick Modular format, a 4U variant), and the design decisions behind this new device: the Phenol patchable synth. While talking about this, we learn a lot about Andrew's background and his design process when creating new devices.

This was an awesome talk, and I hope you enjoy listening to it as much as I enjoyed doing it!

Direct download: podcast_058_AKilpatrick.mp3
Category:Performing Arts -- posted at: 7:42 PM

Otso Pakarinen is one of the finest composers that I personally know. He runs a company out of Helsinki that does jingles and soundtrack work, but he is probably most widely known for his work as the primary personality of Ozone Player. His compositions are a masterful mix of complexity and tunefulness, and he combines influences with a deft hand. Love his work, and I also really like the man. I'm really excited to share this discussion with you!

One of the things that I appreciate about Otso is the pragmatic approach he takes to composition. Especially important is the discussion about how he takes on new projects: he gives himself a lot of time to come up with ideas, then expands from there. So much the opposite of the way that I approach thing, but so sensible.

Thanks to everyone for putting up with my less-than-ideal sound quality while I was on vacation; but the content definately makes up for the crappy microphone!


Direct download: podcast_057_OPakarinen.mp3
Category:Performing Arts -- posted at: 6:38 PM

My friend Mark Mosher doesn't get adamant too often, but when he does, I have to listen. He was adamant about getting into his friend AfroDJMac, and the work that he's been doing on Ableton Live packs. I jumped into my research (i.e., I took things for a quick drive then started digging deeper), and was really impressed with the work. Reached out to see if he'd be up for a quickie chat, and he jumped on the opportunity.

So you get this - my Thanksgiving gift to you. Great talk with a really insightful programmer, sound designer, songwriter and Ableton Certified Trainer.

I always like when someone opens a door for me to explore. Brian's ideas about vocal music (especially mixed with electronic music concepts) are really unique, and the way that he mixes music and teaching is also very interesting. Listen to his work here, and enjoy the discussion!

Direct download: podcast_056_AfroDJMac.mp3
Category:Performing Arts -- posted at: 5:26 PM

I've been wanting to do this interview for a while, but Andrew kept pushing me off - he thought that too much of the stuff that he does is just related to us working together. Alas, I had to point out that he works with a class of instruments that I've never touched, he lived 40 years before we even met, and he has a completely unique view of how electronics is used on-stage.

So he ended up saying "OK"!

Since we've known each other for a long time, the conversation is relaxed, filled with laughter - but also filled with interesting new information. We discuss the role of electronics on stage, how computers change the performance game, and how you approach practice when you are working with massively augmented instrumentation. Super fascinating, and something I'm hoping you'll enjoy.

Andrew has put up some audio of his work. Check it out at this link. And enjoy!

Direct download: podcast_055_APask.mp3
Category:Performing Arts -- posted at: 5:52 PM

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