Art + Music + Technology


Performing Arts





February 2015
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I've been following Soy Sos's posts on the Muff Wiggler forum for quite a while - he has a unique view of the gear, and fills a role as an intermediary between the hand-wavers on MW and the Pittsburgh Modular company. Cool gig! But I also knew that Herman Pearl was a serious recording head, and when Mike Metlay mentioned that he'd be up for an interview, I was in!

As our chat progressed, we found ourselves talking about the current state of the recording studio industry, and how the current generation of recording artist is engaging with both the technology and the world. With his interesting view on current artistic direction, Herman maps out the landscape for us in a way only available from an insider.

If you are interested in Herman's studio, you can check it out at the Tuff Sound Recording site, and if you need to reach him, his email is found there. In any case, I had a great time talking with Herman, and I hope you enjoy listening it!

Direct download: podcast_068_HPearl.mp3
Category:Performing Arts -- posted at: 5:26 PM

One of the most interesting people I met up with at NAMM was Sam Botstein of Tipsy Circuits. Sam is the producer of The Distillery, a podcast that also talks to media art people, focusing primarily on music (and often analog) people. But Sam was at NAMM showing off a new Eurorack module - the Emperor, an Intel-loaded computing box-in-a-module. I have to admit that it was pretty damned cool to see Max, Maschine and other products running within a Eurorack system.

So we set up an interview date/time and pulled it off. But it turned out that Sam has a much more diverse background than most folks - in this discussion, he took me on a journey from playing with the Extreme Trumpet Mafia, through Keith McMillen's CalArts and Mills tribes, slipstreaming through turntablism and lymphoma, and ending up on the NAMM show floor with a Great Big Module and an even bigger plan. It was a wild ride.

And he's only 21.

An amazing individual share an amazing story. Enjoy!

Direct download: podcast_067_SBotstein.mp3
Category:Performing Arts -- posted at: 6:50 PM

One of the bits of hardware that keep showing up around me are the Percussa AudioCubes. I would keep on running into Percussa's owner, Bert Schiettecatte, at trade shows, would run into users in different places, and even found out that my friends (see Mark Mosher...) are seriously into them. So when Mark opened the door for me to chat with Bert, I rushed in!

Bert's story is a somewhat common one - a guy with a vision of a product that works hard to make it happen. But when you start talking about all the different things that he had to learn - and master - for this implementation to succeed, it seems like an impossible task. So how does one person make the impossible happen? That's what we talk about.

I hope you enjoy this one - it is very revealing, but also points to one of the most innovative products out there. Enjoy the podcast, and check out the cubes!

Addition: You can now learn more about the new AudioCubes MidiBridge implementation by checking out this link.

Direct download: podcast_066_BSchiettecatte.mp3
Category:Performing Arts -- posted at: 2:54 PM

Chris Stack is about as multiply-experienced as anyone you can imagine. He was a marketing manager at Moog Music, and was instrumental in the launch of the Moog Guitar. He's been working with Paul Vo on his new and unique brand of synthesis. And he runs a little site called that highlights interesting new developments in music hardware, and keeps an active feed on Facebook that keeps all of us up-to-date with cool videos.

But the thing that really intrigued me about Chris is that he comes from a similar background to my own: born and raised in a rural setting, he juggled jobs, learning both music and technology - eventually to land in the MI industry through a combination of determination and luck. It's interesting to hear how the twisty passages of The Real World can end up leading to something really wonderful. You can learn more about Chris at this Moog Foundation link.


Direct download: podcast_065_CStack.mp3
Category:Performing Arts -- posted at: 3:58 PM

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

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