Art + Music + Technology

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

OK, I was a little nervous about this.

A number of people had decided the content of podcast #100 for me. They all said the same thing: "Podcast 100 has to be you, man!" So, while I felt like I had talked a lot about myself during the first 99 podcasts, I agreed to it - with trepidation.

So, without a lot of extra noise, I give you part one of a two-part interview with me, Darwin Grosse. Some of this is about the podcast, other parts are about how I got into audio work, and even more are about how I became an analog-head. During the editing of this, I realized that the story is about me, but also about people like Oscar, Grant and others that shaped me. So in a way, it is also a light shining on them.

I hope you enjoy this, and it helps you know me a little better. And don't worry - starting next week we will feature other (and probably more interesting!) people.


Direct download: podcast_100a_DGrosse.mp3
Category:Performing Arts -- posted at: 7:56am CDT

I'm so excited about this week's chat - with DiN label owner and prolific musician Ian Boddy. Ian pretty much defines the continuing production of classic electronic music, and his various works - with ARC, collaborations with Robert Rich and Markus Reuter and others - keep him active and not pigeon-holed. But he is also an active library music developer and even sound designer.

So yeah, Ian is pretty busy.

Luckily for me, he was willing to chat for a bit about how he does what he does, what are some of his inspirations and how he is able to keep 'fresh'. This was a great opportunity for me to see inside the mind of are real "producer" (in that he is always producing).

If you haven't spent much time around the DiN label, you should check it out here:


Direct download: podcast_099_IBoddy.mp3
Category:Performing Arts -- posted at: 10:07am CDT