Art + Music + Technology

Giorgio Sancristoforo has been on my radar for quite a while - mainly due to his software development work. He uses Max/MSP to develop interesting composition systems. He's probably best know for the Gleetchlab software, but I really fell in love with the Berna software, which provided a chance to experience 'old school' electronic music composition with all the limitations of the original labs.

If you aren't familiar with his software, you should check out his website:

While you are there, also take a look at some of his other work. His music is really interesting, and he was also involved in the creation of a documentary about electronic music, and he is an extraordinarily busy live performer. He's also been teaching, and working with AGON on various works.

I hope you enjoy this chat; Giorgio is an amazing guy, and I appreciated the opportunity to dig into the details with him.


Direct download: podcast_109_GSancristoforo.mp3
Category:Performing Arts -- posted at: 2:00pm CDT

It seems like I've known Dave Hill Jr. forever. He was writing magazine articles and book (Ableton Live Power for versions 2-4) about the time that I was writing a lot of magazine articles, running the Creative Synth website and writing about Ableton Live myself. We first met it person at a NAMM conference, and we've kind of been in touch ever since.

So when I decided to try something different with the podcast, my first thought was to talk with Dave, and I'm glad I did. It was a great way to get some insight on how marketing works in the music/art software space, but it was also a chance to talk about the past, the future and even the hardware vs. software thing. Oh, and we get to find out that marketing in the music gear space comes via players, not via Wharton School graduates. Whew!

Dave's super busy, so I'm glad he was willing to take the time to chat. I hope you enjoy this view into a different side of the creative business space.

Direct download: podcast_108_DHillJr.mp3
Category:Performing Arts -- posted at: 8:56am CDT

William Mathewson is one of the most active guys in the modular synthesizer community. He is one of the most inventive designers (in the podcast, you'll even hear how some modules start off as jokes...), the head of a bustling modular company, and the manufacturing source for a lot of the current modular devices available. I got the chance to spend some time with William at his office/plant, and we had a great chat.

One of the things that I'm always fascinated with is the process by which synth designers go about their business, and William was super open about how he comes up with designs, how he actually implements them, and how he sees people using them. It's also really interesting to hear his background: how he got from being a 'coffee guy' at a recording studio to the head of one of the largest modular companies in the States. Very interesting, and very inspiring.

This is one of my favorite interviews because William is one of my favorite guys in the business. Enjoy!

[Edit: A slight change to the file was done on Sunday afternoon. Sorry for any confusion!]

Direct download: podcast_107b_WMathewson.mp3
Category:Performing Arts -- posted at: 7:48am CDT

VJ Manzo in an incredibly prolific individual - he's written several books (two out this year!), kicked off a major initiative with his website, and has developed some extensive Max object libraries. He's also taking over the site, which is a relief to many that depend on this resource.

So how does someone develop all these skills - and keep on generating new stuff? In VJ's case, it's a combination of drive, excitement and a desire to help people learn music technology. Enjoy this all-over-the-map chat with VJ as we talk about history/background, his ideas for education, and why he wants people to learn to make their own tools. This is a fun interview with an important voice in music tech education.


Direct download: podcast_106_VJManzo.mp3
Category:Performing Arts -- posted at: 8:31pm CDT

I've gotten so many requests to interview Leafcutter John - but it really blew up after his recent work at the Ableton Loop conference. I reached out to him and he was nice enough to say "Yes" to the interview request. What was cool is that it started out like an interview, but quickly turned into a chat about how we do our respective things.

This was a great one, and I can't wait to meet John in person. Awesome guy - and someone that has been quite thoughtful about what and how he does his thing. If you know Leafcutter John's work, this won't surprise you. But if you are new to his work, I think you'll really get into this talk.


Direct download: podcast_105_LCJohn.mp3
Category:Performing Arts -- posted at: 11:20am CDT

Mark Egloff has, quietly, inserted himself in many of our lives. As a Ableton-ista, he has worked on Push design, worked on the interface system for other hardware devices and even gotten involved in the manufacture of the new Push 2. But he's also taken an interesting path to becoming a serious (and prolific) Max for Live programmer, and has started, an outlet for the Live utilities that he enjoys building.

So how does a university business graduate become a critical cog in the world of hardware/software hybrid systems? And what does he think the future looks like? You may be surprised at his answers!

I always enjoy talking to Mark, but this opportunity to dig into both his personal and professional history was really special. Having just gotten my new Push 2, it is awesome to talk to one of the people with their fingerprints all over that system.


Direct download: podcast_104_MEgloff.mp3
Category:Performing Arts -- posted at: 8:18am CDT

I've been following Kerry Leimer's work for some time; after several friends simultaneously pointed to his work (and his label), I became a big fan. Therefore, I was especially pleased when I got a chance to release a duet album (with Gregory) on PoL, tourbillon solo. But in addition to running one of my favorite labels, Kerry is also an incredible artist, weaving relaxed but deep sonic cloth out of his unique sound design.

This is one of the great interviews of this series, because it hits all my prized marks: we talk about history, but we also talk about the process of doing work, and the mindset that makes it all come together. Kerry was incredibly open about how - and why - he does the things he does, and I felt fortunate to be on the listening end of this inspiring message.

If you've not yet experienced the Palace of Lights sound, or Kerry's music, you will want to check out these links:

The Label:

I hope you enjoy Kerry's work as much as I do!

Direct download: podcast_103_KLeimer.mp3
Category:Performing Arts -- posted at: 7:12am CDT

Brian Crabtree ( dropped me a line and suggested that I consider chatting with Rodrigo Constanzo. I wasn't sure I'd heard of him, but when I checked out his site, I realized I'd been following his work for a while. The Party Van software was certainly a hit in its time, but I was most intrigued by the karma~ MSP object, and the ability to bring advanced looping to my Max programming.

Spending time with Rodrigo was great, because he revealed both how he works and why he works, something that people find difficult to talk about. But he was super-willing to explore why he likes looping, how he uses software to both play and collaborate, and how he engages with his audience using DMX lighting.

Really fun talk, and a great view into this creative multi-artist. Enjoy!

Direct download: podcast_102_RConstanzo.mp3
Category:Performing Arts -- posted at: 6:07am CDT

Chuck Surack is a legend in music circles, having created one of the largest MI retailers in the world with Sweetwater Sound. It is interesting to understand how he got there - from a mobile recording studio-in-a-bus, through his initial (and sometimes painful) experiences as a sound designer, then into building a massive business getting us the gear we want.

Chuck is much more than a successful retail businessman. He continues to be an active musician and complete gear nut. And he is actively involved in helping young people continue to make music part of their lives through his work with non-profit organizations.

Chuck has also been one of the great supporters of user groups and online communities. I saw this first-hand when he helped make the K2000 mailing list and online users group one of the most vital places on the web. It's been my great pleasure to interact with Chuck over the years, and this interview should help you understand why I hold him in such high regard.


Direct download: podcast_101_CSurack.mp3
Category:Performing Arts -- posted at: 8:21am CDT

This is the second part of the interview, where Gregory Taylor inteviews me - Darwin Grosse. Whee!

Direct download: podcast_100b_DGrosse.mp3
Category:Performing Arts -- posted at: 7:57am CDT