Art + Music + Technology

My first encounter with Carla Scaletti was at an AES show, where she was doing personal demos of the Kyma system in a little square in the middle of the show floor. In among mic preamps and tape decks was a bunch of computer monitors and a demo station with a mic. I was blown away when Carla proceeded to use the microphone to record her voice, then use it (her voice) to do score following - it was magic to me.

Since then, I've always been fascinated to see where the Kyma system appears. Often tied to serious sound designers, I saw it in studios, in background pictures of Hollywood sound-heads and in the workplaces of my friends in the game industry. I also started seeing it in academic institutions, where it was being used for both teaching/recording and research.

I was so pleased when Carla said she was willing to be interviewed for the podcast. I'd recently noticed that she was pretty active in the community, having given the keynote speech at the 2015 ICMC (which was also published in the Computer Music Journal), and Meg Schedel mentioned that Carla was going to be doing some sessions at Stony Brook. And now I'm happy to present this talk with Carla, where we range from her personal history to her (incredible) ideas about the nature of modern experimental composition.


Direct download: podcast_132_CScaletti.mp3
Category:Performing Arts -- posted at: 7:37am CDT

Absynth is one of my favorite software synthesizers. It is everything you'd want in a modular system, but is packages like a standard instrument - helping smooth the way for quick-and-efficient patch development. But the level of modulation and pure sound design goodness is unparalleled - and this thing is 15 years old!

It's a sign of great work when something lasts, and 15 years is forever in software terms. What makes Absynth so great? A combination of excellent design, fantastic sound and the fortitude to keep improving it the whole time.

Several people have pointed to Brian as a potential interview; I finally reached out to him and found him more than willing. Then we started talking, and it turned out to be one of the great chats that I've had. Brian is a cool guy, and was willing to be introspective about his work and perspectives. I felt like I made a new friend during our discussion - and you get to hear it happen.

Check out Brian's sound work at his Soundcloud page. And if you aren't using Absynth, you need to check it out at its Native Instruments product page. Enjoy!

Direct download: podcast_131_BClevinger.mp3
Category:Performing Arts -- posted at: 7:11am CDT

I really love people that follow their passions - wherever it takes them. Logan Erickson is one of those people; his company (Low-Gain Electronics) features Eurorack modules, MU-format conversions, format jumblers, power components and other goodies. You also get a little insight into Logan's mind - he loves a lot of different things, and puts his efforts where his heart is.

In our chat, we discuss the different formats, talk about the different threads of module developments, and explore some of the ideas about the comfort of different cable and mode sizes. We also talk about the nature of custom builds; how it comes about, and how it works for a professional builder.

Logan combines building and playing, passion and business - and has the experience to make interesting and informed decisions. This was a fun interview with a fascinating guy - enjoy!

Direct download: podcast_130_LErickson.mp3
Category:Performing Arts -- posted at: 9:49am CDT

Jane Rigler opens a lot of doors for me. She's always been generous with her teaching opportunities, her performances and her contact; the last time I spent time with her, she told me about an upcoming performance with her friend and colleague Elizabeth Hoffman - and that Elizabeth would be a great podcast subject.

When Jane speaks, I listen!

This podcast is the result of that contact, and it's a great one. I really enjoy interviews where we start diving into people's motivation and concept development, and Elizabeth was more than willing to dive into that stuff. Additionally, we get a glimpse into the actual workings of a composer's career - it is never a straight line, and it is always packed full with self-education and exploration.

This is an interesting chat in many ways, but it was also fun because I feel like I got to know Elizabeth a lot over the course of the 45 minutes. I hope you do as well! You can find out more at her personal NYU website, and check out her CD (which I will continue to rave about...) at the site for the work: Intérieurs harmoniques.


Direct download: podcast_129_EHoffman.mp3
Category:Performing Arts -- posted at: 8:38am CDT