Art + Music + Technology

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: 11:26am CDT

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: 11:52am CDT

At the beginning of this podcast, I talk about "KMI" as if everyone already knows who they are. And I suspect they do: Keith McMillen Instruments is the home for some of the most interesting portable keyboard and control systems in the industry. But Keith has come through a long line of inventions (and companies), starting with Zeta Systems, through some software iterations, and now with KMI.

In this chat, we talk about his history, how he got to the point of playing with unique materials for hardware creation, and what he sees in his (and the industry's) future. We also get a chance to talk about the future of musical instruments, and learn why Keith feels like we might not see any more instruments in the future. Fascinating stuff.

Thanks for listening, and enjoy the podcast!

Direct download: podcast_054_KMcMillen.mp3
Category:Performing Arts -- posted at: 12:02pm CDT

Chris Blarsky is a guy that has his fingers in a lot of pies. He's the main man behind the Ninstruments brand, which puts Gameboy music systems into play for well-wired studios and stage setups. He's also been hacking in the Eurorack world, with hacks of the Pittsburgh Oscillator, Moog Werkstatt and the TI Speak & Read. All of it is awesome, and the build quality is impeccible.

Where does someone like this come from? Well, it turns out that for Chris, like many other hacker/musicians, it all starts with the Commodore 64. Balancing black and white hats as a youth, he found his calling in game music, and the result is some amazing hardware tools.

This chat gave me a chance to explore some of the ancient days of gaming, PC's before the PC and hackery in general. Enjoy!

Direct download: podcast_053_CBlarsky.mp3
Category:Performing Arts -- posted at: 10:19am CDT

This week's chat-ee is Mirko Vogel. Mirko first reached out as a listener, and invited me to a show that was going to happen last week. I told him I'd love to go, but would also like to record a conversation. Hence, this podcast.

Mirko is a pretty amazing cat; he's worked as both tour developer and tour manager for bands, has done a lot of his own work, and also collaborates with a number of interesting people. As a result, he's got a pretty unique view on how the music world works, and also some hard-earned understanding of working with people.

In this chat, we talk about the process of transferring music from album to stage, how you manage working with analog synths in a touring environment, and how you choose the people you work with. In the end, though, Mirko just opens up about what he is in this for - which is pretty revealing.


Direct download: podcast_052_MVogel.mp3
Category:Performing Arts -- posted at: 12:19pm CDT