SkyRon™ Performs a Sui Generis “DisTonea™”

So, SkyRon™ has been buggin’ me for a while, to put a more-or-less definitive version of his performance on Kombo™ (quad-theremin/sample player) online. Here it is!

This can be understood in terms of the little paper I wrote a while ago, which has astonishingly, to date, garnered more than 1,600 views!


New Year’s Update

my score, yoHi all! I know it’s been a while since the last post. As you may have guessed, there have been a few distractions in my feeble life over the past weeks:





Screen Shot 2014-01-02 at 6.14.39 PM (2)HOW ONE GETS THERE: STAFF PICK ON VIMEO

Yes, it only took six years, but finally, one of my little videos is featured on the curated part of the site. At 2,500 views, it’s garnered more hits than Kick-Ass Kitty! I know, 2.5k is tiny in YerTerb terms, but, you know, whatevs!




Screen Shot 2014-01-02 at 6.14.39 PM DO REAPER! IT’S GOOD!

So, I’m trying Reaper as my DAW of choice. Surprisingly robust, and mostly intuitive! Not bad for $60, and no requirement to upgrade to Palins (sorry, I meant ‘Mavericks’). And finally,





On January 27, come to Miami Beach to watch associates of the New World Symphony play the soundtrack to my latest video, Passing Bird, featuring SkyRon™ as that damn bird! Music by Toru Takemitsu (Rocking Mirror Daybreak —one of the first screenings of a video I made without my own music!). Are you on the vimeo page and locked out? What might that password be? Maybe “skyrondancing” or something like that? I have no clue!

And check out the typography on the poster for the concert—uberclever, no? (The c/n thing).nws_aiga

Pd via Kinect: SkyRon’s QuadTheremin and Sampler

Yeah, I know—straight out of 2011, but some of us have been busy with other distractions. So, above is a preview of a set of QuadTheremin essays, and below is SkyRon™’s initial performance , assisted by Pooster Beest, of Kick-Ass Kitty fame (view that video here).
And, yes, it’s not really four independent channels of theremin wonderfulness—more like two dual-pitch stereo channels. Both x- and y- axes  control different pitches on each hand, with the z-axis controlling dynamic/volume. I need to adjust the Pd-Kinect router patch in order to make the four channels truly independent.
I suspect this will be a useful start for approaching Kinect control of sound, especially if one keeps it simple—sure, we could have wahwah or vocoder effects added to each foot, but I’m not that good of a dancer! Hands are easier, plus we’ve all studied conducting anyway, right?
For a quick overview of how to build this, go here. Oh, and, ok, here is the first draft of a sample-player controlled in PureData via Kinect—enjoy!

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!

My First Video Game! Woo!

Here’s a video of my latest project and my first 3D game, “Blimps ‘ n ‘ Torsos”. Would you like to be a beta tester? No money, but great personal satisfaction and an element of meaning shall be added to your life! (use email link above).

Stay tuned for my Kickstarter page for the project. $5 gets you a hand-crafted copy of the beta version, plus a free iPad copy when it’s completed!

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And, there was this one tutorial that was very helpful in converting my Illustrator work to Maya.

What About Digital Culture Don’t You Get?

Finally, a couple of YouTube channels that can help explain, oh, I don’t know . . . digital media culture? Definitely check out Idea Channel and OffBook, created by digital media powerhouse PBSDigitalStudios. If you know all about 8-bit art and Bronies, you can skip these, of course!

“Home is where the killer ghost-bird robots are”, in the words of SkyRon™. SkyRon™ belongs on these channels, playing iTard!

Have a Kick-Acid™ Summer!


For those of you who can’t sit through that interminable 3-minute video below, here’s the 48-second musical example, wherein our hero, dorkotronix™ (a.k.a., SkyRon™ without his usual deformed-face mask and dredlocks, and with dark glasses and a dust mask), plays a lovely chanson  à trois voix by Clément Janequin from 1552. No, wait, this is that new musical genre for generation attention-deficit-disorder known as kick-acid™, which is characterized by having a comic/pathetic figure noodle away on an iTar-D™ over a driving 180BPM track previoulsy generated from that quaint iPod app, iSyn, accompanied by a disturbing back-and-forth rocking motion. There’s your Grove’s Dictionary definition.