Art + Music + Technology

Marielle V Jackobsons has a very interesting practice: she's part of Date Palms, does live work with bassist Chuck Johnson, and has developed an amazing instrument that she calls a "Macro-Cymatic Visual Music Instrument". She actually was a history of building unlikely instruments - and most of them are focused on vibrations in some interesting way.

If you can't quite imagine what I mean, you should start by checking out her website: (click on the big image to get into the site...). You can get a nice tour of her artistic statement as well as a lot of her work; once you see it, you'll want to find a way to see and hear a live show. 

With her recent release on the Thrill Jockey label, Marielle delves deeper into the mix of computers and analog systems, melodies and ambiences. It's an excellent release, and has been on constant play here in my hideout. But diving back into some earlier work (Date Palms, the Glass Canyon release) you can find a variety of styles, influences and even instrument use.

A relaxed and enjoyable chat - it was awesome to find someone with so much comfort talking about their process. Enjoy!

Direct download: podcast_145_MJakobsons.mp3
Category:Performing Arts -- posted at: 10:06am CDT

When my friend and coworker Andrew Benson said "Hey, you ought to check out Jonathan Snipes!", I didn't think I'd get what I did. The work that Jonathan is doing with the band clipping is a whirlwind of machine-gun rap magic and bizarre - and amazing - sound design. The use of hand-grabbed samples and handmade synth lines conjures up the best of old-school rap while simultaneously pointing to the most up-to-date sound design and music production techniques. Remarkable.

Then, in talking to Jonathan, I find out that he's got his fingers into movie and TV music as well, and has a history doing show design work with Max, and does all this realtime manipulation during shows, and...


Rather than tell his story here, I'll let him do it on the podcast. But you should also check out his personal website:, and also see him in action, doing the live variation thing in this YouTube:



Direct download: podcast_144_JSnipes.mp3
Category:Performing Arts -- posted at: 8:19am CDT

Chris Lowis first showed up on my radar via an episode of the JS Air podcast. He was talking about the history and concepts of the Web Audio API to a bunch of Javascript-heads. He seemed equally comfortable talking about either audio or programming, and I knew he'd be a great interview for my podcast.

I couldn't have been more correct. Chris has a great history; studying acoustics, working at the BBC and being involved with the standards groups that are pulling the Web Audio API spec together. The effort is starting to show some great results, with recent Web pages really lighting up some spectacular devices: synths, games and other goodies.

Where you you go to find out more about this stuff? One place is Chris' home for his Web Audio Weekly blog: This is the de-facto clearing house for new apps, devices and libraries that work with the Web Audio and Web MIDI specs. If you want a little more active call-and-response, you can check in on the Web Audio Slack Channel. Finally, Chris himself refers to the Mozilla Developer Network documentation as a great place to find out more about the details of web audio.

Finally, when you are ready to do some coding of your own, you will probably want to take the Web Audio School:

(online trial)

(github download)

Enjoy, and make sure you give some Web Audio examples a try! 

Direct download: podcast_143_CLowis.mp3
Category:Performing Arts -- posted at: 9:13am CDT

Have you had the feeling of meeting someone and immediately feeling like you were best friends? This was my experience with Terry Pender, Associate Director of Columbia University's Computer Music Center. He has an easy and laid back style that immediately puts you in a good mood - then he hits you with some of the things he's done.

It's amazing.

From mandolin gigs at Carnegie Hall (with Pradeep Ratnayake), live improv shows with PGT or film sound design, it seems like Terry has done it all. Then you find out that he did music spots for daytime TV, works with the Pulitzer committee and has put together a master work on recording technology - you've got to wonder when he sleeps!

This chat with Terry was a great chance for me to get caught up with him, but to also learn a few new things about his background, and to get some hints about how he approaches the difficult-to-teach area of recording and production. He also talks a bit about collecting the stories that he'd pulled together; it's fascinating stuff.

Sit back, take your shoes off and enjoy this chill hangout with Terry Pender!

Direct download: podcast_142_TPender.mp3
Category:Performing Arts -- posted at: 5:43am CDT