September 2nd, 2010
I will be performing at a few different festivals/shows during September. Here goes:
Show at EMPAC in Troy, NY on Wednesday, Sept 8th. Here is the press release:
North South Currents: Bogota/Troy/Guelph
September 8, 2010 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM
Featured together in a telematic performance accordion legend Pauline Oliveros performs live in Guelph (ON, Canada) with Anne Bourne (cello), Guelph’s own Ben Grossman (hurdy gurdy) and Jesse Stewart (percussion). They will be connected to two other sites, where they will be joined by Ricardo Arias on balloon (in Bogota, Colombia) and by Jonas Braasch on soprano sax, Curtis Bahn on dilruba/electronics, and Doug Van Nort on laptop, and Blair Neal on video (in Troy, NY). Following is a local performance of containment and dispersence by Curtis Bahn with Jonas Braasch and Doug Van Nort and Blair Neal.
For four decades Oliveros has explored sound through improvisation, electronic music, ritual, teaching and meditation. Oliveros has been honored with awards, grants and concerts internationally. Whether performing at the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., in an underground cavern, or in the studios of West German Radio, Oliveros’ commitment to interaction with the moment is unchanged.
Curtis Bahn has composed containment and dispersence especially for this performance. He performs his work internationally and is noted for his sensor based bow technology and electronic transformations of his instruments.
Presenting organizations: RPI Arts Department, Guelph Jazz Festival, and Universidad de los Andes Arts Department
For more information: http://www.guelphjazzfestival.com/ and http://www.uniandes.edu.co/
After that, I’ll be performing at the In/Out Fest at the Tank in NYC. The festival is on September 17th and 18th. I will be performing Saturday evening around 7pm. In/Out Fest needs your support if you’re interested in contributing, check out their Kickstarter.
Finally, I’ll be performing a couple visual sets at the very first VIA PGH festival alongside !!! (aka chk chk chk) and Gangwish on Oct. 2nd and 3rd. in Pittsburg, PA
The only stuff going on after that is a residency at the Experimental Television Center at the end of October…should be a good time…
September 1st, 2010
In preparation for my thesis show, I began developing a series of pieces involving different uses of live visuals in relation to music. I was particularly interested in the fact that in many cases the visuals were being led by the music, that is, they were representing the music without having the music react to them. This process seems broken to me, so I tried to think of an idea that was more of a feedback loop.
Trip[tych] treats the visualist as the conductor of the overall musical action. Three musicians sit behind see through scrims that are projected on. The musicians are only allowed to play while their particular screen is lit up in front of them. While the musicians are improvising off eachother, they are also supposed to be working off of visual cues being projected in front of them. The visualist is also reacting live to what they are playing, so dynamic changes are seen and heard very fluidly. The use of scrims also solved a problem I was having with projecting on a rectangular screen and how that disconnects the projection from the performers. By setting up the projection in this way, I was able to create a multilayered space with the musicians in between. The content of the projections was based on a late night cab ride I had back from a show in NYC.
The first performance of Trip[tych] was at the West Hall Auditorium at the Fall 2009 MFA show. It featured Kyle McDonald on drums, Will Rogers on saxophone, and David Rhoderick on guitar effects pedal. It was also performed at my thesis show, Overflow.
You can read more about Trip[tych] in my thesis.
September 1st, 2010
Spring 2007- Ongoing
This has been my longest running project, and has grown from a side curiosity into my primary artistic focus. It started as a way to just play with video live using different MIDI controllers. I started the same way every visualist seems to, by using clips of retro films and other footage I could find online. I would cut these up real-time with different Jitter effects and got a few easy gigs with some great local DJ’s running the monthly Troy Night Out Afterparty series. Gradually, my focus shifted into using the software and hardware as a real instrument. I became more interested in bringing the visualist into the position of performer and improviser.
As the years go on I’ve been adding more and more visual effects and physical interfaces. I stay away from more cliche effects if I can and try to dig up ones that feel more gestural or emotional. I can do a lot more with a bright flash than a cheesy posterize effect. I am constantly re-working how I’m mapping different effects to my physical interfaces. Currently the system uses the following MIDI devices:
-M-Audio Trigger Finger (a 4×4 drum trigger with pressure sensitivity, knobs, sliders)
-Akai MPD24 (another 4×4 drum trigger)
-3D Space Navigator (special mouse for navigating 3d environments…very sensitive)
-Wacom Bamboo tablet (for scrubbing video and drawing on top)
The software and hardware is discussed more extensively in my thesis available here. It has been used in every performance I’ve done, and for several different recorded videos as well, including all of the videos used for Phantogram’s 2010 tour. It is very modular and adaptable to different situations.
For some reason I have never placed a proper name on this project, and part of the reason for that is because I feel like I would’ve started confusing myself and wondering “Is this really the same thing as that project from 3 years ago?” So..it continues to be vaguely named for now…although most of the files are called “Trigmovies” or “Padmovies” as a mix of Trigger Finger, or Padkontrol, my main MIDI interfaces at the time.
Below are some images of the device from my thesis, but they are already pretty outdated..but it gives you a general idea of the setup.
September 1st, 2010
(Photo by Jeff Stark)
Overflow is the title of my MFA thesis presentation. It was a 5 piece performance that took place in the Troy Gasholder House on March 3rd, 2010. The Gasholder House is a 100ft diameter, 50ft tall cylindrical brick building with very unique acoustics. You could clap your hands and hear delay and reverb for a good five seconds. I used four projectors, two laptops, and six different musicians.The entire performance was about 50 minutes long.
Each piece explored a different relationship between sound and image in a live context. The relationships range from the visuals representing the music (Building a still), to having the visuals be the conductor of the overall musical action (Trip[tych]). The five pieces were:
- 1. Building a still (featuring an arrangement of Bon Iver’s song Woods)
- 2. Free Improvisation
- 3. Trip [tych]
- 4. Scouter
- 5. Overflow
The participating musicians were Kyle McDonald, Ryan Jenkins, Will Rogers, Caitlin Morris, David Rhoderick, and Jesse French and Lisa Rogers.
Overflow is described in more detail in my thesis, available here.
September 1st, 2010
This is a page of other notable live performances I have participated in.
Michael Century approached me about adding a visual element to Frederic Rzewski’s piece Coming Together, which was based on the Attica Prison Riots of 1971. For this piece I obtained several discs of riot footage from the New York State Archives and edited it into several sections. The piece itself is divided into seven different sections, so I moved from rather neutral and blurry clips at the beginning, to very grim and violent clips by the time the piece reached it’s thunderous climax. I performed the video live alongside the Rensselaer Contemporary Music Ensemble.
Synesthesia – 4 Cantos
A four part performance in Saratoga Springs, NY. James Gascoyne had contacted me about doing visuals along with his music for this night of performance originally intended to involve live painting as well. The night included four 45 minute performances of loosely structured music and completely improvised visuals centered around four main themes. The above video is a clip from the last section of the performance.
In/Out Fest 2010 with Jared Smyth
This was a performance as part of In/Out fest a two day experimental media festival at The Tank in Manhattan. I was paired up with a musician I had never played with before, and we did our best to work together. Smyth’s music was largely pre-composed, and was tied in with drum triggers running through software. He had five different pieces planned for the thirty minute performance, and I divided my content into five sections. We also hung scrims in the space to create a slightly more dimensional projection surface. This performance saw the introduction of a few new techniques and interfaces, including the Wacom tablet and Space Navigator.
Performance with !!! (chk chk chk) and Gangwish at VIA 2010
I was invited to play at the very first VIA festival in Pittsburg. The festival invited several local bands and paired each one up with a different visualist. For the first day, I got paired with the amazing local act Gangwish, fronted by Sam Pace. On the second day, I was paired with the headliner !!! (a.k.a. chk chk chk). Because !!! is not an act that I would normally play with, I developed some special content in Quartz composer that I felt was fitting to their sound. Both performances went really well, and I hope to continue playing at VIA in the future…it has a lot of potential for making the visualist a more important part of a live concert.