Art + Music + Technology


Performing Arts




September 2014
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Sometimes you run across a person that everyone respects, and that seems to be on top of their game for the long run. So goes the story of Katy Wood, who everyone seems to agree is the best at it - almost regardless of what 'it' is! This is a marker for someone that I'd find interesting, so I reached out to Katy and was very pleased when she agreed to have a chat.

Whether talking about the process behind sound for film, suggesting ideas about location recording or revealing tips on starting a career, Katy was open, honest and willing to share everything. It was also fun to ask her about Virtual Katy, a virtualization of a conforming tool that matches some of her production work on the Lord of the Ring trilogy.

I make mention within the chat of Katy's IMDb listing; if you want to check it out, take a peek here. This could be intimidating, but when you talk to Katy, she is anything but intimidating. It was great to talk to her about her work, and I hope we can find more about her in the near future.

Direct download: podcast_046_KWood.mp3
Category:Performing Arts -- posted at: 3:53 PM

If you spend time around the media art technology forums, you've probably run into Tommy Dog. The iconography is pretty striking (some sort of moose/dog combo smoking a cigarette and giving you the finger...), and the posting will almost always be opinionated - and well-informed. I've had the pleasure of interacting with Tommy over the last decade-and-a-half, but we've never gotten to talk in any depth.

Doing that reveals some surprising things: while Tommy embraces the Punk asthetic, he also considers himself a fan of many kinds of music. He also has significant learning disabilities - which (as you can imagine) make working with media tech a particularly difficult task. And he is fascinated by tech both new and ancient, but he has some specific ideas about what makes for useful technology.

All-in-all, a stellar chat. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Direct download: podcast_045_TDog.mp3
Category:Performing Arts -- posted at: 5:51 PM

Tim Weaver is one of the people in my life that inspires me - but also pushes me into things that might be challenging. He helped me get into grad school, helped me get a gig teaching and is always helping me out with my academic stuff. But beyond that, he is an artist with a very particular method to his work: he uses biological data as the spine of his work. Whether it is using protein data for melodic moves, or using the structure of a moth as an instrument to be played, biology always plays an important role within his work.

And it makes sense - because Tim is a trained biologist. The path that he took from protein-geek to art-geek is quite fascinating, and he spells it all out in this podcast. Additionally, we talk about the difficulties in having artist works with scientists (which can be more significant that you'd think).

Enjoy! If you'd like to find out more about Tim's work, you can check out an overview at or get more detail at

Direct download: podcast_044_TWeaver.mp3
Category:Performing Arts -- posted at: 3:26 PM

I first met Nick Ciontea at a Max/MSP/Jitter workshop in Madison WI, and it was clear at the time that he was (creatively) on fire. He wanted to know about everything, and wanted to understand how it all worked together. In my experience, people with this attitude end up doing great things...

Well, in fact, Nick has done just that, but in a very unexpected way. He decided to focus on live video art, but did so by being one of the first people to embrace the LZX modular video system. As a result, he was doing work unlike most others, and it ended up getting him a lot of attention. As a result, he's been doing work for a number of high-profile artists, doing live gigs around the world, and doing work preparing video for large-scale shows. And all of this happened over the course of three years!

This is a great podcast for people that are wondering how to get into video art, but is also a great discussion for peple that are not sure if their hard work will make artistic sense. I really enjoyed this discussion, and I hope you do too!

You can check out Nick's work at

Direct download: podcast_043_NCiontea.mp3
Category:Performing Arts -- posted at: 3:24 PM

I was having an email chat with Mark Vail when he suggested that I think about an interview with Tim Caswell, one of the founders of Studio Electronics. I jumped at this chance, since I've long been a fan of SE's work, and wanted a chance to find out more about the start of the company and what it is going to do for the future.

The discussion was wonderful, and I got a chance to dig into Tim's head about design (and especially filter design), old-school music and new-school electronics. Additionally, we find out a little about Studio Electronic's future product plan (a scoop!!!), and learn more about Korg filters than anyone has a right to know!

I hope you enjoy this chat as much as I did; Tim is a gracious and thoughtful synth designer, and it was an honor to be able to talk to him.

Direct download: podcast_042_TCaswell.mp3
Category:Performing Arts -- posted at: 2:58 PM

I first met Dan (virtually) regarding my ArdCore Arduino-based module ( - a master's project for DU that helped me graduate. Dan was into it, built it from the breadboard up, then asked me if he could develop a commercial version. I gave him the thumbs-up, and the Euro ArdCore was born. But from that contact, I started looking into his effects and chaotic modules - you can check them out at - and sort of fell in love with the whole concept.

Dan talks about his background and his conceptual basis for his work. But there is also an interesting subtext: his concern about creating complex modules in a world that tends to preference instant gratification. It's an interesting area of discussion, and worth considering as the modular market continues to grow in size and importance.

This is a good opportunity to point people to the MuffWiggler forum, where Dan has his own SnazzyFX subforum. If you want to interact with him and his users, that's a good place to start.


Direct download: podcast_041_DSnazelle.mp3
Category:Performing Arts -- posted at: 5:38 PM

One concept that has come up several times in previous podcasts is the Deep Listening movement, a system of applied listening focus that was developed and is championed by today's guest, Pauline Oliveros. Ms. Oliveros was kind enough to spend a little time explaining the history, concepts and futures of Deep Listening, and helped me get a better feel for what is involved - and how it can help ones artistic perspective.

I'll admit something here - I was a little flustered during this conversation. Pauline is a personal 'hero', and her history places her in the center of many of the things I hold dear. So please forgive me if I'm a little gushy... <blush>

If you want more information, please check out the books mentioned in the podcast, or visit (for Deep Listening information) and (for information on Pauline's work).

Podcast #40! Thanks to everyone for their support, all of the kind emails and social media messages that I get, and for your continued listenership. You all make this so worthwhile!

Direct download: podcast_040_POliveros.mp3
Category:Performing Arts -- posted at: 2:32 PM

Last week I mentioned that I had a release out on PoL with my long time collaborator, Gregory Taylor. I decided that, if I was going to mention it, I should also record a conversation with Gregory for the podcast. So here it is.

Gregory is an incredible fount of knowledge about many things, but an interesting aspect of this is that much of his knowledge comes from experience. In this conversation, we focus on 'how we become the people we are', and we get an insider's view of the Cassette Culture world.

This was a great chat, and I'm glad to be able to share it with you. Enjoy!

BTW - you can check out his radio at; the show streams live on Sunday evenings from 9-11 pm (CST), but the shows are also archived for a week for you to catch up. I find something new each week that I listen, and suggest that you give it a try.

Direct download: podcast_039_GTaylor.mp3
Category:Performing Arts -- posted at: 8:31 PM

As an electronic music-head, I've been using computers, DAW's, synths and other tech crap for decades now. However, one of my favorite software packages is a program that doesn't try to do everything - in fact, its creator steadfastly refuses to take one certain tasks that he doesn't feel belong in his bit of code.

That creator is Jim Coker, and the software is Numerology (found at I started using this at version 1, and it is now up to version 3 (with 4 right around the corner). In this podcast, I take the opportunity to corner Jim, talk to him about his background, his vision of the software/hardware combo, and his view of the future.

This is another case where I've known someone for a long time, but this is the longest conversation we've ever had. What's wrong with me? I need to spend more time with these people!!!


Direct download: podcast_038_JCoker.mp3
Category:Performing Arts -- posted at: 5:11 PM

Tom Hall is one of my ‘pocket’ favorite artists, and I’m pleased that he was willing to be interviewed. His music is a blend of many influences, but the end result is very particularly his own. We talk about his background growing up in Tasmania, touring off his MySpace connections and even his favorite guitar pedals (as a non-guitarist).

It all ends up quite a lot of fun, and informative as well. If you’ve not yet heard Tom’s work, the best place to start is at Try it out - I'm sure you will enjoy it.

Direct download: podcast_037_THall.mp3
Category:Performing Arts -- posted at: 7:05 AM