Video Feedback Jam, Digital Folk Music, and Studio Nostalgia

Submitted for your perusal, in the eye candy/ear candy category, is this latest meme™ jam, a meditation on video feedback set to an unpolished, unsequenced electronic jam from 1991.

Visuals: two channels of Rutt-Etra video synthesizer set against a blurred video background. Input video is pointing at the screen for feedback. Created in Quartz Composer.

Music: Bad Mind Time™ Digital Symphonies, first few minutes of Volume I, part 1. The entire collection—over 12 hours of electronic and acoustic sketches and improvisations—was created between 1991 and 2005, and can be streamed, downloaded, or remixed here. BMTDS is one big, online musical sketchbook: lots of thumbnails, doodles, and scribbles in sound. Some sketches are very rough, some are more developed. There are multiple experiments with samplers, sequencers, keyboards, live and extended instruments, and voices.

You may hear echoes of your own electronic studio: Ensoniq ESQ-1 synth/sequencer, Roland S-10 sampler, Roland R-8 drum machine, the Casio VL-Tone, the Kawai G-Mega and Emu Proteus Orchestral midi modules, Alesis Microverb, Mackie 1202 mixer, Pioneer RT-2044 2/4 track open reel deck, Tascam DAT deck, Tascam 788 digital 8-track; Opcode Studio Vision Pro software run on a Mac Iici (25 mHz processor!), and/or the PowerBook 5300cs (100 mHz !). Ah, good times! And p.s., I’ve sold or given away almost all that vintage equipment (as well as all but 8 or ten LPs from a collection that was once maybe a couple thousand records), because, well, I’ve moved around a lot.

This is the sixth in a aeries of meme™ jams, short videojams to document how I’ve approached the form. The other five can be downloaded on iTunes.

Year-End Wrap-Up

So, here are a couple of videos celebrating our survival of the Mayan Apocalypse, the laming-down of the Fiscal Cliff, and other averted disasters!. First, my final project for Mark Franz’s class (generative visuals, video feedback, and Arduino control):

And, finally, my video for Trialog™: The Happening™ (November 29, 2012, Museum of Art, Fort Lauderdale):

Kinect + Quartz + Oscar Wilde

For my first in-class presentation this semester, I performed “My Profundis”, a little visual-sonic-textual-movement essay where my alterego SkyRon™ channels Oscar Wilde, while generating trippy visuals via Kinect. The video cube location and rotation is controlled by the left hand, and its dimension, along with the position of the fuzzy halo-balls (particle system), is controlled by the right hand. A live camera feeds visuals to the background and the cube, and is pointed at the screen or monitor, creating a very hazy style of video feedback. There’s also a patch I found online that motion-blurs the blurry video background according to the position of your body.

This is my first project using Kinect, which is running a patch I created in Quartz Composer (with a big assist from middleware Synapse, and a patch made in Max MSP). Currently, I can’t find a whole lot of documentation on Kinect-Quartz, other than the Synapse site. If you’re interested in a more detailed exploration of Kinect (with Processing, Arduino, MakerBot, etc.), I suggest the O’Reilly text Making Things See by Greg Borenstein, which uses the NI library to create interaction with Processing.

“My Profundis” is at a conceptual growth-point, and may take a number of different paths as it develops. I will have a greater idea about how to incorporate Kinect into performance once I further connect the sensor to other software, especially PureData.(sound design/composition) and Unity, and possibly Processing, once I overcome my Terminal (Unix) Anxiety!

What you need to recreate this (besides a Mac Book Pro running Lion, a separate video camera, and a Kinect sensor) is Synapse (downloads here) and my Quartz composition. Enjoy!

Houses I Did Not Buy (Photo Essay) . . . and , uhm, a Free Book!

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You know, sometimes it’s just nice to STEP AWAY FROM THE TECH—and I know you know what I mean . . .  all the motion graphics, and programming and really sophisticated sound design—and just look at a photoessay, a slide show, a set of photos, a Flickr, however you want to characterize it. This is my little slideshow, “Houses I Did Not Buy”, shot is the mysterious land of south Florida in 2008 and the first month of 2009. Oh, and also, I guess a self-acknowledgement that I’ve been taking still photographs since 1971, so that would be about 41 years of composition through a lens.

So, here  they are. Enjoy!

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Oh, right. The other part of that title. OK, so here’s the link (0355-3) for you to download my book, H y b r i d  F o r m s  a n d  S y n c r e t i c  H o r i z o n s ! I figure I’m not making any money on it, so why should anyone else ( such as, my publisher, not a person as much as a title-mill. And if nobody edits it but yourself, it’s not even a ‘book’ in the eyes of academe.) So, i’m over all that now. Yay!

For Your Post-Holiday Depression™!

For your post-holiday depression (see how thoughtful I am?)  : a slightly updated, dusted-off, new hosting of BAD MIND TIME™ Classic ! It’s been about eight years since I’ve done anything to polish these brutish crown jewels, and most of the Shockwave pieces weren’t working. So now they are, except for two, which I’ve YouTubed into video documentation (below). Also, a new Ten-Minute Tour, which really can now be done in ten minutes! (P.S. Use only Firefox for now!).

And don’t forget to stock up on way overpriced, obscure texts and unconventionalnon-monetizable, and morally ambivalent DVDs!

Channeling Cage, Cunningham, and Paik in Quartz Composer

So this work—Trialog and Interludes— began as a formal idea for a visualist presentation by meme™ (media experi mental ensemble): audiovisual compositions by individual meme-bers of the group would function as interludes between three “takes” of a larger, 17 minute work for visualists, dancers, and electronic music, the Trialog.

The Trialog is expressed in two ways—first, as a set of  three-voice chantings of micronarratives (this is done in Flash, and the score is below) played as bookends to the entire performance (in an ideal performance; didn’t happen this time), and secondly as perhaps an imaginary 3-way dialog between the works of John Cage, Merce Cunningham, and Nam June Paik, representing their progressive approaches to music, dance, and electronic visual media, and giving the work its aesthetic frame of reference, but re-imagined through contemporary means. Are we good with that?

This was meme™’s first performance exclusively using Apple Quartz Composer to manage all the visuals and interactions. The fantastic Rutt-Etra Video Synth plug-in by Vade was a key visual element: it enfolded the dancers in a 3D mesh that responded in real-time to their movement.

Each dancer was asked to develop a vocabulary of 12 events, and she was given an instruction track she listened to over a clip-on iPod mini.

 

Special thanks to dancers Stacee Lanz and Kori Epps, and to my graduate class, Creating Interactive Culture: Cynthia Gutierrez, Michelle Hipps, Chandra Maldonado, Miguel Oubina, Steven Wang, and Xuan Zhang.

And a word on the sound component: This was also the first time meme™ performed without a pre-produced sound track (I know, high time). Compositionally, each of the visual sketches had a set of samples associated with it, and those samples were mixed live via Kevin Holland’s wonderful Sapling software (free, for those of you running Mac OS). The dance video above used a bunch of samples I created from the waterphone; other sections remixed Tallis (Spem in Allium—see earlier post—with editorial voices provided live by Bebot, the Singing Robot), as well as SkyRon’s Bister Badgent, my instrumental track Echo Mic (appearing on the American Sock™ soundtrack), and music I wrote for an interactive presentation of humanitarian work in Cambodia (based on indigenous melodies and instruments). Samples to be available soon!

New Look for The BAD MIND TIME™ Experience!

Hi, welcome to the blog-looking face of The BAD MIND TIME™ Experience site!

You might wonder what’s going on on the BAD MIND TIME™ site . Well, it’s getting an extreme makeover: a snappy 3D interface (yeah, we’ll see how that goes), new hosting (moving from premium to free – -now, why do you suppose I’d do that?), and this hazy notion of BMT™ as a “digital ecosystem of mind + media + meaning”.

Anyway, if you want a preview of the site, go here. Anything might be happening to it in the next few days or weeks, so hold on tight, we’re in for a bumpy transition!

And, as always, the DVDs I’ve made over the past few years are available here.  As in, “you can actually buy them, with your own dwindling money supply, on Amazon, just like everything else, you know, books, CDs, appliances, Segways, etc.”. Why buy my DVDs? For a temporary reprieve from suffering and meaning, yuck yuck!