Art + Music + Technology

I first got to know Ben Griswold as an instructor at DU when I was there as a student. He led one of the most insightful classes I'd ever taken (it was about art and the senses, including smell and touch - ewwww!), and we ended up getting to know each other over time. I've always been blown away by his work (a show he helped develop - Blink! - is simply the best-presented new media show I've ever seen), and reached out to see if he'd be up for a podcast-chat.

Well he was, and here is the result. I think it is surprising to hear about the twists and turns involved in the process of showing an artist's work, and the different ordeals that come up during that process. Ben is incredibly thoughful about everything he works on, and it shows in the way he talks about the work. He shares a lot of detail with us, and I hope that you find it as interesting as I did.

You can find out more about Ben's work at

Direct download: podcast_089_BGriswold.mp3
Category:Performing Arts -- posted at: 8:39am CDT

Most of my podcasts are with people that are established in a thing that isn't going to change - they are builders, musicians or coders that have chosen the tools and directions of their craft, and are sticking to 'em. Har is different - he's decided to step away from one milieu and into another. I didn't know much about this at the time that I reached out to him, but as he filled me in on his transitions, I realized that this was a great opportunity to see someone as they change tack.

My original goal with talking to Har was that he is an ambient musician that doesn't really use keyboards; rather, he uses guitars, basses, Chapman Stick and other stringed instruments. When I played with him at a planetarium gig, I watched with awe as he set up a rig with perhaps 50 guitar pedals in a ring around the stange - and proceeded to use 'em all! The sound was both beautiful and mighty and something that I'll remember for a long time as a completely unique experience.

Anyway, in this podcast, we talk about his instrumentation and his style, but we mostly talk about the process of change: leaving behind his internet radio show, embracing a new style, learning new skills and starting a new project with a here-it-all-is video.

You can learn more about Har's work here:


Direct download: podcast_088_Har.mp3
Category:Performing Arts -- posted at: 8:26am CDT

It's cool when I get to talk to one of the artists that I consider my personal influences. Tony Gerber's style of contemplative but present instrumental work speaks to the way that I hear music, and it's clear that I'm not alone - he's a widely followed performer with a worldwide following.

What's interesting is that a lot of his performance is done in virtual space. His solo work is perhaps best known in Second Life, where he (as Cypress Rosewood) has performed over 1600 shows. He also experiments with video concerts (most recently on Concert Window) and has a lot of music available through various online outlets.

But one of the most interesting things about this chat is our discussion on how, after all these shows, he continues to be creative. Therein lies the heart of a true, in-the-moment artist. I was inspired by this talk, and hope you are as well.

Enjoy! And check out more of Tony's work at the Gerbtone site.

Direct download: podcast_087_TGerber.mp3
Category:Performing Arts -- posted at: 7:16am CDT

I have to admit being mesmorized by motion control since I saw some early body-suit performances in London. But thank the gods, the technology has really advanced since those early days. With the advent of the Microsoft Kinect, artistic use of motion control for visuals and sound has blown up, and the Ethno Tekh team has been at the forefront of the work.

Chris Vik took time out of his schedule to chat about motion control, his use of the Kinect and some of his performing experiences - including one of the most harrowing tales I've heard about crap-yourself tech problems. Any time you are taking technology out of its natural home (and let's face it - the Kinect is meant for your living room, not the C-Bit stage...), it can get a little wooly. But Chris and his working partner Brad Hammond take it on, and we get to hear about some of the fallout.

You can check out Chris' work at his site: Enjoy!

Direct download: podcast_086_CVik.mp3
Category:Performing Arts -- posted at: 8:52am CDT