Art + Music + Technology

The first time I saw Huston Singletary I was on a ride. At the NAMM show, surrounded by amazing talent, all giving their best shots at demos. A guy gets up in front of the Ableton stage and starts riffing on the latest version, showing all the new features and stuff - standard fare. All of a sudden he stops, says to someone "Hey, that's a great question!" and wheels off into an impromptu clinic on how to perform some production magic that had everyone mesmerized.

That is Huston at his best - in one of his lives. In other parts of his life, he does amazing sound designs. In other parts, it's feet-on-the-ground production. He's got bones in so many parts of the audio/music field, and it's wild to hear him talk about moving - frictionlessly - from one to the other. But above everything, he loves to help people learn about doing new things, and this is the legacy that Huston will always have to me.

I hope you enjoy this longer-than-normal, wide-ranging talk with someone that was there as studios moved to DAWs, synth stacks moved from keyboard stands into plug-in folders, and production moved from the few to the many. Huston has seen it all, and it is really interesting to hear his take on the music/production world.


Direct download: podcast_165b_HSingletary.mp3
Category:Performing Arts -- posted at: 7:29am CDT

Bana Haffar's profile in the modular world is growing by the day. She really hit people's attention with her demo video for the Moog Mother32: Liquid Light Solid Motion, but is also gaining momentum by being involved (with Eric Cheslak) in creating and coordinating the Modular On The Spot performance series. Although a self-professed 'beginner', she's obviously found a way to express herself in the modular instrument, and has a release coming out shortly as well.

Surprisingly, in this interview we find out about an artist that has embrace Death Metal in Dubai, musical session work and the inevitable move to LA. But rather than let any of this define her (or swallow her up, as it can with many artists that move to LA), she's expanding herself with more experimentation, trying out more instruments and more collaboration.

Alas, Bana did this interview from an outdoor cafe while I was huddled in my over-heated Minnesota house; I was more than a little envious! But I was also inspired by an artist that is seeing success without ceasing her own development. That's something we can all learn from, right?

Thanks to Tom Hall for this great connection. Enjoy!

Direct download: podcast_164_BHaffar.mp3
Category:Performing Arts -- posted at: 8:23am CDT

Qu-Bit Electronix holds a special place in my heart: there was a time when I wouldn't do a gig unless I'd loaded up a thumb drive with some new samples for munging with a Qu-Bit Nebulae - that company's first product. Since then, they've gone on to do a lot of additional modules, including a new series of devices that are in 'sets of four' - which Andrew talks about in this chat.

Talking with Andrew is also interesting because you find out about an accomplished musician that learned everything - design, programming, synthesis - out of a love of music and musical devices. Brought up under the tutelage of Dr. Boulanger at Berklee, Andrew took what he learned and made it concrete, literally wedging Csound code into a module so that he could further pursue his interests.

At the forefront of bringing digital to Eurorack systems, Andrew remains excited and fascinated by synth tools, and has some pretty big plans for the future. Listen in and enjoy!

Direct download: podcast_163_AIkenberry.mp3
Category:Performing Arts -- posted at: 6:56am CDT

Brenna Murphy is about as mediated of an artist as you will find. She combines video and animation with the development of physical objects (through a variety of means), but will also include analog synthesizers in her installations and as soundtracks for her films.

Hand-made synthesizers.

If you don't know Brenna's work, you need to check it out at (the site is a mashup of her first and last names...), where you will find a ton of different kinds of work. I especially loved the videos, since their soundtracks often sounded like they were taken straight from the vaults of late 50's sci-fi flicks. But as you dive in deeper, you find an incredible depth in Brenna's work, including the use of 3D printers, fabric printers and other fab systems to create sculptural work from her designs, and collaborations with her partner Birch Cooper (see to create the synthesizers that sonify much of her work.

In our chat, we talk about the development of an artist in Portland - and the development of the sorts of communities that allow for this work to bloom. We also talk about the difficulties in creating work, getting it shown, and finding out how to work in an environment that wants to embrace everything - all at once.


Direct download: podcast_162_BMurphy.mp3
Category:Performing Arts -- posted at: 6:33am CDT