Art + Music + Technology


Performing Arts




August 2014
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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

Brad Garton is the head of the CMC (Computer Music Center) at Columbia University, but he doesn't wear any of the pomp that such a position might imply. He's an engaging, fun and funny guy that is always up for a rousing chat. The weird thing is that, well, he doesn't think he is very interesting! How wrong could a guy be? We skate around his history coming up through the computer music ranks, talk about the current setup at Columbia, discuss the position of code as artistic content - and even get into the future of books. All of this in an hour - what a ride!

Even if you aren't into academics, you will find this to be a cool view of the world, and you can get a sense of how people help others to succeed. In fact, this is probably the thing that Brad excels at (beyond cutting code): he is able to help students, co-workers and collaborators focus on the thing they are best at, then helps them to acquire the tools necessary to nail it. Thats a skill that we should all seek.


Direct download: podcast_036_BGarton.mp3
Category:Performing Arts -- posted at: 7:43 PM

I've long been a fan of Robert Rich's, and we've gotten to know each other over the years - mainly through hang-outs at the NAMM trade show. But this is easily the longest conversation we've ever had, and it's a treat to have him share his background, his philosophy of art creation, and his views on community and sharing. Robert is one of the most thoughtful people I've ever known, and this podcast reveals some of the depth that makes Robert a special artist.

If you are looking for Hot New Modular tips, this might not be the interview for you. But if you struggle with releasing your work, or if you are wondering how to engage with others in our increasingly virtual world, you may find Robert's words both an inspiration and a comfort.

Damn, I'm going on a bit. Listen to the conversation and hopefully you'll find something to help you grow - just as I did.


Direct download: podcast_035_RRich.mp3
Category:Performing Arts -- posted at: 11:21 PM

This is an interview with Jeff Snyder (of Synderphonics), the creator of the Manta instrument interface, and a performer in several New York groups. Jeff shares his history with us, from a young Minnesotan learning about Elliot Sharp and John Zorn through his tenure at Columbia under Brad Garton and Douglas Reppeto. And, through all of this, he seemed bound and determined to create instruments that would allow him to move past the typical bracketing of the classical musical world.

This was an interesting and inspiring conversation, and one that's got me thinking about how I create the tools that I use. I hope it is equally inspiring to you. Enjoy!

Direct download: podcast_034_JSnyder.mp3
Category:Performing Arts -- posted at: 6:32 PM

Les Stuck is one of my teachers - but he probably doesn't really know it. Everytime I speak with him, I find my mind expanded, and he subtly points me in directions I need to go. He has fulfilled this role for many others; at Mills College, he has helped many people find their way through the jungles of Media Art.

In this conversation, we cover a lot of ideas about doing media for dancers - one of Les' specialties. In talking about this, we also end up exploring the development process, what works in collaboration with dancers and choreographers, and how to prepare for performance. A great chat with a quiet but strong artist.


Direct download: podcast_033_LStuck.mp3
Category:Performing Arts -- posted at: 4:39 PM