Saturday, August 15, 2020

Nod3studs tutorial

The new interface for DDD brand is either BANANA or M3. 

If you choose M3 over BANANA, The unit comes with M3 brass screws sticking up. This is actually a good interface for touch or using conductive foam or using alligator clips, but you can choose to add STUDS, which mostly take the M3 format screw.

Procure these items on the internet. Such as eBay or Alibaba. They're called "leather working studs" and come in a variety of shapes. Spikes are the evil ones; don't get them. Try 10mm but really any spikes are evil because they're going to be resting on firm wood not giving leather, so if you fall on it, you die. I like the 5mm buttons. They hold an alligator clip really well.

100pcs-Cone-Spots-Metal-Alloy-Punk-Stud-Spike-Rivet-For-Leathercraft-DIY-4-Color

200-PCS-Trendy-10MM-Silver-Spots-Cone-Screw-Metal-Studs-Rivet-Bullet-Spikes-USA

Once they come in the mail (check the shipping times), finger tighten all your STUDS on. If some have threading issues you should have a steel M3 screw on hand that you could work in and out to clear up the threads. Once you get them all on and you like how it looks, take them off and one by one put a drop of thread-locker on the M3 screw and finger tighten it again. Now it is semi-permanent.

Don't get the spikes unless you are really know what you're doing, and you don't have any kids that can fall on them or pets. I will not be held responsible for what you do with your STUDS. Also consider getting conductive foam to play it with. Make a wand like I did in STUBERBRO 1, 2, and 3.


Friday, July 17, 2020

Quantus Barney: Secluded Residence @ Radio Shack, Part XII

Springtime at the JI sect headquarters, Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. Our group of famous and secret esotericists is deep in their springtime orgy of philosophical discussions on media. What follows is a documentation of three presentations. The first speaker is actually a team of Quantus and Parson, speaking on undocumentable art.

Presentation One: Undocumentable Art

It is impossible to document an installation; let's assume this is a given, and begin a thought experiment, a sort of workshop assignment for those present. First let's raise some hands and tell us an example of successfully undocumented installations. If someone wants to at this point bring in an example of a well-documented installation, we need that too. Then moving on, we can think constructively about what this gives us, both in the creative initial phase and in the creative receptive phase. How to savor photographs that don't explain anything. How to leverage undocumentability to make an even more invisible installation. sometimes all you get from a really good installation is a really dim grainy picture out of focus of a small ceramic cup.

I mean bald trombonist (and by that i mean a metaphor for you, my audience, when you are performing for another audience), do you really care about pictures of you on the stage, your forehead shining, i mean bald trombonist, your forehead shining in the red and blue.

That's the joy of playing experimental jazz is that you, the bald trombonist with square glasses,  can show up on any day of the week, get up on the stage, and then next week show up with a huge mustache. it's just that the audience can sense a certain vibration about your persona itself. that's what art is without media, it's simply about vibrations.

You are not present, bald trombonist, but Quantus has summoned your vibrating image. the elves are random colors.

I have a neighbor Heinmann, you may remember him because i talked about him a lot already. he has a big metal barn by the road that leads to radio shack, with a pink light lit intermittently at night. Higher up on his manicured hill sits his low ranch home, a huge picture window behind which the Ohio lace hangs illuminated by his blue TV.

I have a thought experiment wherein I imagine his silhouette, a portly pork-eating figure, transformed into the terrible shadow of the monkey god Hanuman, breathing patent smoke as he rears up against the evil media portal there in the living room, across the walnut coffee table.

The presidential media artist employs data waste as a contrast to sloganeering simple and powerful messages of art pieces. Going off-script at the state of the union, muttering half-words. making sounds, these are all un-transcribable in the traditionally scripted governement proceedings. They are a breakage, a multimediafication, branching into video.

A tweet is a thought experiments, an art piece for life and death. The president is completely paranoid about losing the internet because her best art pieces are there on twitter. Take your partners preferred kitchen layout and inscribe the tools outlines in sharpie, then move them to your own preferred kitchen layout.

Later on the lake, at the end of the presentation, Parson bowed his head and offered others of prayer, however they may receive it. Then he began the typical dialogue with Blanc, how one person may become a media artist simply out of spite.

Thank you Quantus and Parson. The second presentation, by Monkletto, is on stepping into the couch.

Presentation Two: Stepping into the Couch

It's a form of wilding-out, but imagine doing it at home on a snowy night. You can think of it as wilding-in. Quantus thought of his own aversion to playing-out: a masochistic tradition of rock bands playing in puke bars, extended to synthesizers. He broke his music up into playing-out and playing-in, and try to minimize the former, that's how his residency at the radio shack was so brilliant because transmitting is solely playing-in, playing on the airwaves.

Here is a slide of my castle of couches in the basement, it's actually a stack of three. I knid of "sit" in the couch, but I do it by walking, face forward, into it. It's a metaphor of life as waiting for deathfacing the couch. You might think I'm going to sleep, but I'm actually going through the couches, to a wilder place beyond. That's why I have three couches, to make the inner space as wild as possible. There's paint splashes all over in there, and some analog synths too.

The JI sect headquarters couch was like burlap, an outdated fashion. Monkletto pushed it to the middle of the room, displacing the council table and folding chairs. We managed to not pinch our fingers. Now, Monkletto disappeared into vibrations of the couch, like Heinmann blurring and blending with Hanuman: he does actually "step into the couch."

Next he invited someone to critique his art, and approach the couch.  Blanc was first. The two parried as they circulated around the couch. Monkletto has too much going on, we can't see what's in there, in the dusty cavity behind the couch and within the scratchy fabric cover. But it is intriguing to hear synth sounds coming from within the couch. I like how it's wrapped up into a single couch, and that is your art catalog, simply a set of couches penetrated.

Quantus snorted, typically, at Blanc's need for monomania. He then approached the couch and offered an analogy: what a dog thinks of a car. It is a sleek turd that runs really fast. The joy of derangement: instant transportal in a turd to a random land of strange anus smells. I too, can get off on petroleum.
the two parried as they circulated around the couch.

And the next presentation is titled "Blanc's lagoon." The society buckled themselves in...

Presentation Three: Blanc's Lagoon

On location at my house near the shores of Lake Erie, the dammed creek there has crystal blue waters. On closer inspection, it is a blue pollution stain, cloudy blue waters. I pour copper sulfate in, sourced from ground up circuit boards. It also contains glass and epoxy dust. We send our aluminum and steel to China on barges, and the empty barges ship back this turquoise technology waste. Just joking, they actually send stuff to sell. But I have an inside connection to get the waste, and I am partially simulating some of the industrial-metallic bogs in mainland China.

You are all jealous because I get to do non-internet art, he grunted proudly, then picked up a tumbled river cobblestone and threw it in the lagoon.

I call this experiment "Blanc's Lagoon: toward a metastasis between halogenated aromatics and animal tissue." My symphony includes biphenyls and chlorine too. Cloudy forms erupted from below in the murk. This is a sort of beach programming, my chemical symphony. I have these instruments which are rings of benzene, my violins synthetic, and I add imaginary flavors with the chlorine, things that have never been done before.

It's like playing violins with tape music, it's completely new! I multiply them, there's a difference between add and multiply. In add they are sitting together side by side, like a concert hall situation with a tape recorder and a violin player.  In multiply, they form cell walls or structures or even bind to each other with electricity.

Blanc poured some bleach on the oil, with crawfish crawling beneath it. They put their claws up and then down and trembled a little in the sand. "There is the idea of the albuminous, two types: one that can pass through animal tissue and one that cannot. Both are interesting, and correspond roughly to add and multiply.  I can create forms and cell walls out of the pure substances of industry: chlorinox. But those that can penetrate animal tissue are interesting for I can create a being that is like an overlay of the oil forms and the organic forms."

Albuminous is a substance that shows a ghostly white pseudo-form in the water. "We are active environmentalists, seeking to find an ecosystem that thrives in the modern electronics industry eflluent. I have different areas in the lagoon that I can focus on different metallic activities or halogenic aromatics. The ducks seem to like being around mercury, and the crawfish seem to like bleach."

To perform the experiment, Blanc scoops up some of the murk, the most formed clouds in the soup, and extracts them into a flask or dish. To prepare the funnel, he bands an animal membrane, such as inside peritoneum of steelhead, or intestine of duck, as a filter at the base of the funnel. Half or more stays on top of that which is transversive.

Why is he doing this, having been doing computer music by the side of the lagoon, why did he walk out into the lagoon? Because he noticed that it was already changed and in a moment of hallucination, believed the industry chemicals were also put there for experimental sound forms. A fountain of green oil burbled in the center of the lake.

"I got interested in the idea of the environment, our ecosystems. My medium is painting shells, however, I am steward of actor-networks both virtual and in this lagoon. My computer is a swamp, which is swampier than a lagoon because of the chemicals I put in it. I wanted to put down my computer music ecosystem and take up something more direct, while I transformed my artistic practice into an time-old, materials-based approach."

"Instruments are the materials of computer music, and chemical albumin is the instrument of industrial metastasis."

"Action," Quantus snorted.

"Beach programming, like we are now eating flounder stuffed with crab. I'm interested in putting a body inside another body: an ecosystem of nesting flavors. The experiment began with a question of how do crawfish handle acid rain, which I simulated with bleach."

Quantus snorted louder. "Because bleach is the opposite of acid, that's why they like it."

"In any case the experiment grew to include all alkaloids and acids, which were accessible in Cleveland at various stores. By various stores I mean the burning river, the steel pits, the old electronics factory. Capacitors for electronic elevators had a resevoir of chemicals, as did transformers for escalators. These contain the oils that I have distilled into proto-organic forms, in my lagoon."

"Beach programming is nothing more than creating an ecosystem on your computer, be it a game or the most distilled forensics in computer music, the sound world. It is world-making. I got more interested in direct world-making. Not interested in saving the environment, more like salvaging the alchemical components of Lake Erie, like at the surplus store where I got these transformers, and creating something new with it. There are natural components, and industrial components."

Cells that have iron in them become blood, storing oxygen for the fires of zinc chloride. Cells that have zinc in them react with my bleach, in the lagoon, to create zinc chloride, a corrisive of metals liberating many free radicals including mercury and cadmium that mix and are stored within the modules of polychlorinated biphenyls. these become the plurality of modules in the central ooze. They exchange electronic signals through the capacitance of the PCB globs, and the modulated electron wells of the metastasized cells. Blanc is the reason the lake is clean; his lagoon holds all the vile electronic waste. He goes out to feed it bleach.

"I noticed that people use bleach to clean their clothing, remove dirt. Why not use bleach to clean up the duck pond?"

"bleach is pollution, water is supposed to be dirty! The duck pond is a poop processing pond, no? leave it alone." Bingzi was offended; he did not share American values for changing the landscape with chemicals.

"Jesus, Blanc, do you want to generate more halogenated aromatics, more than we already have?"

"Yes, that is my conspiracy. Cells that have iron in them become blood, storing oxygen for the fires that fuels metabolism. Now, there is oil in the pond, no?"

"Yes, there is much oil because it is connected to lake Erie."

"I want to create a new form of life that can use this oil, by sequestering it with chlorine exchange. Its blood is made out of PCBs! Its electrolyte is zinc chloride, not alien to our own, and a byproduct is that this solution also dissolves and can purify heavy metals such as mercury and cadmium, that it stores in the PCBs. Since there are hundreds of different PCBs, this is like its enzyme DNA, a catalog of PCBs, like a 50s Dow Chemical brochure: Aroclor, Fenclor, Plastivar, Nepolin, Noflamol."

"You want to save the world by bleaching the duck pond?!" Quantus was ready to clean up the headquarters, broom the floor, and leave. "All those dollar store bleach bottles, can't you just do computer music instead, at the duck pond?"

"Yes, cleaning the pond, creating life, I also use computer music for this. I have purchased an underwater microphone on ebay, so I can hear how the life reacts when I send different alternating currents through the water. I'm trying to get it to sizzle, that's when it's creating new synthetic molecules."

"What?"

"The molecules in my oilganism..." Bingzi pushed his chair loudly, interrupting Blanc. "Yes, let me spell it: o-i-l-g-a-n-i-sm, its molecules are more like modules, and they exchange electronic signals through the capacitance of their PCBs. In computer music, we have the concept of the digital delay, which is basically a tape machine."

Bingzi nodded.

"The digital delay is modeled after the concept of the analog delay, which is easiest as a tape machine, but can be made with PCB oil and a rotating head. The head records an electronic sound directly into the oil, and then plays it back. The swirling of the oil can be controlled to change the pattern of the sound, like dipping paper into a tide-pool with iridescent oil floating on its surface. The living PCB modules in my lagoon are a computer music software. Thank you for auditioning my presentation."

At the conclusion of presentations, we resume our informal repor.

 "DONE, enough!" Quantus snorted and began striding out the door.

Quantus please stay a moment.

"What?"

You may be in trouble again for the use of webcams in the Ji temple.

"But none of the information was ever broadcast, it wasn't even stored, just piped to my teahouse as research materials for trombone improvisor."

Yet, there is still a natural law against taking the image of others' bodies, and the Ji sect has spiritual rules about them too. Social monking time should not be wasted taking selfies.

"That's not a rule, just a sermon! The Ji sect is primarily an arts institution that relies on deep spirituality. Each monk has a different outlook on media art."

Blanc went to the bathroom, and emerged in a paper ghillie suit with a miniature crossbow. He tackled Parson to the floor and pointed the bow up his ear. "How about I pour Hebanon in the kings skull right now, while he's sleeping? Do you dream when you are editing videos or perusing media platforms? No? Then why are you wasting that time sleeping, soaking up blue light from your monitor? The two parried as they circulated around the couch.

"Quantus Barney: Secluded Residence at Radio Shack" is an attempt to explain how some people become sound artists out of malice, or other perverted reasons. Malice towards other types of artists or degrees of sociability. Sound artists become radicalized, experimental electronic musicians by lines of flight from the norm, disgust and a hope to eventually blow it all u.

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Proposal for KORG

  • To design two KORE chips, KORE (AR+TRI/SAW/SQU+VCA), and KORF (ADSR+RESOFILT), and solidify 1vo on them. I believe this has become a low-hanging fruit. The silicon economy is ripe for artisanal chips; you could vend them on Mouser, enhancing your DIY image and also generating lateral revenue. I’m excited to hear that you’ve acquired Arp; its elegant engineering can be blended in to make the chips with the simplest epitaxial transistors. I am inspired by 20th century chips like LM13700; surely it’s time to consolidate the best of analog synthesis into two useful packages. In fact, Korg actually employed monolithic CEM chips back in the 70s.
  • Optioning Islamic (neutral) intervals is the greatest need of a 21st century, instrument of peace. Casio did this with its AT3 keyboard for localized “oriental” sales, but I seek to design an instrument with global intentions, that reflects our world's diversity. Adding 5 red keys to the 12 tone octave affords microtonality, but it also offers articulations within the twelve tones, such as timbral accent or musical macros. Extra keys have been added to organs since medieval times. To me, this is also a “secretly new low-hanging fruit,” not only adding tuning detail, but inspiring any kind of functionality, accessed by a programmable nexus on the keyboard controller.
With these two “recycled innovations,” i can implement a scaled line of instruments from tiny toucher to analog front-ended polyphonic workstation. Because they are unique keyboards by a prestigious company, everyone would want one. From my work in solar powered synthesizers and organic materials, you can tell I think about sustainability, but I also think about music’s role in world peace. Your mission speaks about important new instruments. This is what I offer to you.

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Stuber Schematic

Hi Guys. The Stuber is a stereo filter with all kinds of controls and a digital octave divider to further e/affect your sounds. It is in the unpopular oval interface, which offers a philosophical background of androgynous nodes, marked as asterisks in the schematic. They are both inputs and outputs, and all these special curated nodes come to the surface of the instrument in either banana jack or brass stud format. 

I've finished the prototype and you can watch two videos about it here:
The Stuber completes the line of oval instruments. All three, the Srine, Fyrall and Stuber, may be combined into one full "dudero" and I am very excited to make this happen with deluxe CNC capabilities. All three instruments received a lot of special attention to make them compatible with each other. So without further ado, here's the petite sketch of schematic. You can see the mansion multiplexers in the middle and the shape of four state variable filters to the sides. Q control is at the top. Enjoy!



Sunday, September 29, 2019

Quantus Barney: Secluded Residence @ Radio Shack, Part XI

Quantus called out to you, "come here, you bald trombonist, my friend! Hey, come into my video booth, where I am having tea, would you like some?" You bring your trombone into the darkened room, its walls painted black. The red power lights shone on the monitors.

"I am beginning a new project, interrogating the product of video-graphic work. More specifically, why do we videotape actions and then play them back after some editing? Does it have to be a deliverable via TV, or could it be some sort of jazz performance? I am bringing you, a visiting improvisor, into my clandestine video booth, to watch these debaucherous scenes and improvise along. No I won't let you use your favorite video editing software, just your trombone!"

The party was videotaped secretly, using a cluster of the audio bus wires to feed a panoptikon of all rooms in the compound to the radio shack, where Quantus was having tea. He had duct-taped black cardboard all over the walls which originally were porous, giving it a dark, pervy feeling.

"We are going to improvise a lyrical piece, and I might even write some lyrics on the spot. The microphones are on in the radio shack, and our improvisations will be broadcast live to all corn-cob-men in Ohio."

Quantus clicked the red glowing lozenges on each monitor and they fired up with an ultrasound zap! "Let me explain myself as an artist. I follow Andy Warhol's maxim 'watch, but don't touch.' As such, the entire events of this compound become potential materials for improvisation."

"For example, there is an orgy going on right now in the temple, but also my friend Chris Peters is patching a synthesizer in the studio. I put the webcam of sexual penetrations on monitor A, and I feed imagery of the banana wires jacking and unplugging into monitor B. Now I can explore various transmutations with this slider: a crossfade, dissolve, hard cuts. Now I think you know what to do."

You blow some air into the trombone and get the mouthpiece wet. It is cool but brandishing warmth at every breath. In the sexual webcam you immediately see some gestures that are easy to transfer to trombone: pistoning, flopping, up and down glissandi. But you want to start it cool, for the radio drama of the piece. You look over at the synthesizer patching. Chris Peters is slowly rotating a knob. That makes you think of your own, cool breath in and out, cool but warming deep inside the pipes. You blow a breath sound not unlike the wind in the pines.

"You are the composer, the improviser, the multi-instrumentalist! I may broadcast some of the videotaped sounds, but most of it is either too explicit or too experimental; you are the bridge, my friend the bald trombonist! What we're going for is a complete loss of the original data, be it pornographic or experimental music, enabling the improvisor to step in and reconstruct the party as jazz."

"I've always loved the CDs that you can buy in the store of Ancient Greek and Roman music. Who made these CDs, a digital recording from ancient times? How were they recorded? A music goes unrecorded, only to be spoken of by various shady and misty authors, and then becomes sound data on a CD. It's like a legendary party, that leaves no record."

"The recording of Ancient music is like the symmetrical opposite of what I'm trying to accomplish here: starting with a recorded stream, and then using ancient instruments to channel the data, and thus removing the original data. It's a way to deal with data waste, my bald trombonist."

"Then we have my friend Bingzi who mostly hangs out in the kitchen. He has such a nice ordering of the space, and disciplined about cleanliness, we rely on him for food and as far as recipes, we just let him go. He cooks great Asian fusion food, like take his cold noodles, which I know secretly through a webcam, he is eating right now. I wired the kitchen with high-gain microphones; avoiding drafts from steam and ventilation fans was a challenge, but the main fan motors are baffled outside the kitchen on the roof. So it's actually quiet enough in there right now to hear him eating. Actually you could hear him eating over a truck; he's sucking them and slurping them so loud as is the custom."

Making slurping sounds is an audio manifestation of basically using your lips as a swirly blender, to mix some oxygen into the noodles and thus bring out the flavors by oxalysis. Quantus would be extremely at unease with the intensity of Bingzi's slurping, but he was much more comfortable hiding in a video booth during such a party, drinking tea and composing.

"Now we're listening to Bingzi through ultra-sensitive microphones and I can mix them, the noodle slurping takes on different timbres throughout the room, anyone can hear that. I think a lonely noodle slurper in a metal cafeteria: that's a great score for a trombone improvisor. Just follow the swoopy movements and noodly forms, and the noise sounds are great take-off points for extended technique on the trombone. We might even get to the gurgly sound of spit moving through its pipes. The dinking of soup spoon on ceramic bowl would make me crazy in real life, but here it becomes a wonderful percussive ring within an improvised piece."

From now on, when Quantus addresses the second person, imagine that you are a bald trombonist with a penchant for extended technique and ridiculous sounds, but you can blow hard too. You have learned to improvise to the videostream of an orgy, and someone eating noodles, and these sounds were broadcast over the quiet Ohio farmscape.

Friday, September 6, 2019

Post-Electronic Manifesto

Handmade Electronics

The synthesizer maker creates a fiction that musicians play with and make real. The electronic instrument enables the musician, just as silicon transistors and plastic capacitors enable its maker. Synthesis, or putting together, applies to music as well as electronic materials.

Synthetic materials are chosen for electronics to isolate fundamental properties such as resistance or capacitance. Organic materials are not perfect or ideal in this sense, but contain a variety of electronic properties. When paper and wood become part of a circuit, they change it in an unknowable way.

Sometimes I make a circuit board out of paper, encase the circuit in wood, and the device becomes doubly handmade. In a world where electronics are easily made by machine, why make them by hand at all? Because time spent soldering is time spent philosophizing on the nature and purpose of craft.

As a meditation consider four objects crafted from electronics materials:
  • a rounded envelope of Alaskan copper. A geometric thorax shape sits above a T-split waist. Some have told me it resembles a fillet of salmon. The copper shield embodied wealth in potlatch culture.
  • a spiral wrap of kapton, a plastic tape used in aerospace electronics, and anti-static mylar, for packing-protecting sensitive electronics components. A tiny crescent hook forms its armature. A single strand of copper wire gives its abdomen an insect-like striation. The synthetic sheen of the materials fools trout to imagine it as a pupal midge emerging from the deep.
  • a small basket woven out of colorfully insulated strands of wire, salvaged by its maker from telecommunication installations in South Africa.
  • a thin acoustic housing of wood around a resonant airspace containing two speakers and a paper circuit. It emits primitive and noisy sounds, perhaps an instrument to scare animals away? 
Four objects handmade from electronics materials

The copper shield embodies a principle of hacking: its owner broke it into pieces, distributing them as gifts to guests at the potlatch, each of whom brazes a new copper shield. Copper, a fundamental component of electronics, is a spiritual material because of its elemental nature of repeatable re-melting. Its hackability arises from this inherent physical property. The copper shield held a revered ritual place in traditional Potlatch culture, representing animal spirits, thus interacting with the dreams of guests at a ceremony.

Spiritual science examines the invisible subconscious motivations and dreams behind human manifestations. For Rudolf Steiner, looking for “spirit” of an object involves taking a natural object and a perfect facsimile of it and trying to discern which one is living. Do electronics, especially musical ones, deserve only a physical analysis, or can we speak about the spirit of electronics? Spirit is recorded, crafted into the copper of the shield. The copper is dream putty: it can imitate the form of natural life, as perceived through the dreams of its maker.

There is something compelling about an object that synthesizes artificial and natural elements. It must have been handmade, fitted together; it is a sign of human touch. Think of what the tension between organic and synthetic messages to the end user. Plastic cases strike a subconscious chord of disposability. Even though wood is more biodegradable, users treats it more indispensably, because of how it looks, feels, and the sound of it. Protected by nostalgia, it is un-obsoletable: a musical instrument

Thousand Years Post-Electronic Medieval Times

You wander the woods with your handmade electronic unit, but why did you make it? The bear following you wonders too at the strange sounds and its nightmares scare it from you- it's like dream putty. A media device would have captured you in its own dream state, and you would become too entranced to notice the bear sneaking up behind you. The primitive noisemaker yields psychic agency to its player who emboldens to face the bear.

What whimsical talk about hipsters and wild ones! It may, however, become relevant 500 years hence in the middle of the thousand years post-electronic medieval times. Then, media is not the dazzling promise it was at the beginning, but electronics has continued to develop as a craft. The bell of innovation has rung and decayed; Moore’s law did not curve upwards forever, but plateaued for many generations. The twentieth century was a crisis at the beginning of this bell-shaped acceleration, but now we know what we’re doing. My job as builder of analog synthesizers is to resonate with the original innovation of electronics itself. 
 
Look at the development of bronze and other new industries that enabled the roman empire, a dizzying expansion and invasion. Bronze was immediately sequestered by powers into swords, but did new technology increase exponentially from there? No, it plateaued for a thousand years of middle ages, passing through many hands to be reworked, to develop as a craft. Electronic craft shall follow a similar path; initially developed for war, then realizing a latent potential for art over the thousand years post-electronic medieval times.
Moore's Law as a series of bell-shaped accelerations and technological plateaus.
The thought of passing synthesizer artifacts through generations informs my prophecy. During this period of time, we will seek to fully understand our relationship with electronics. Do you think that we really only had analog synthesizers for a hundred years and now they're dead? Do you think that's what we thought when glass was discovered? Until some distant human evolves a brain organ that understands the relationship between quantum physics and general relativity, we will inhabit this new plateau, the electronic limbo. 
 
Here's a note about ego during the twentieth century. At times of acceleration, people are thought of as inventors. In technological plateaus, however, they are more like resonators, fitting into a multi-generational continuum. Summoning spiritual electronics is our shared task during the thousand years post-electronic medieval times. After so many years of co-existance, electronics subsume into our subconscious, where dwells spirit. Focus not on the media, but the medieval; record spirit in dream putty, hack an electronic artifact and pass it along as a memory of your craft: a musical instrument

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Solar Sounders busk log, 8//19

The goal of the day was to bring Solar Sounders and an aluminum bucket (Car Brand) to the farmer's markets, starting at the local one. We had test busked in the square last afternoon. When the sun fully struck the Solar Sounders they blazed frequencies, but there was much traffic coming from the bridge to drown the them, and very few pedestrians of the clientele sort. By mentioning clientele I refer to my son's quest for gold, for busking would earn him dollars to buy candies with. My quest was to experiment with social interactions and explain Solar Sounders to strangers.


On the test-busk I only spoke with one stranger named Jim, who is not a bum but had walked the streets, been chewed up by them and had a dog named Max. He is studying to be a pastor and I offered the a dove (sounder) for his church but he corrected me: his sort of pastor walks the streets and helps others. He wanted a dove to freak out his neighbors and offered to buy it. I repeated they were not for sale as he cradled it sunward in his arm. "Well then," he said and picked through a handful of minor change, dropping some in the aluminum bucket. It clinked, the boy smiled. He brought the coins to the Thai shack for some tamarind iced tea.


I bought the boys some Pad Thai too, and while we ate I noticed a bicycle-mounted bum circling near the Sounders which leant against the brick semi-wall near a cardboard bum-bed. He skirted us sitting in the shady Thai restaurant patio. "Do you want us to move those away?" I asked. "No worries! They're really trippy." Thus he was copacetic which I could not have told from his hollowed eyes. He smiled a bit. "Good weird, right?" "Sure!" As the test-busk wound down, I confided my trippy sounds in the open-mindedness of bums, and that quarter would be safe. Jim did have a weird moment when he started walking away with the dove, and I had to snatch it back.

 

Today we started early, Kiri and I. I thought we might leave in the truck with an extra battery of four Sounders, but we had become hungry so Kiri convinced me to bike. We left with two full backpacks (two monks, one dove, and three cicadas) and the aluminum tip bucket. I joked, "I usually wear a helmet but today a stylish Irish beret." We biked to the same square that held the test busk but today, the Farmers Market. I'm friendly with the man who runs the stage there, even though I flaked on him once. I respect the stage but I can't really even compete with it yet, so everything's copacetic with my strange peripheral busking. In Portland I've never had trouble with the authorities, me and my solar powered sound. But today was different; there was a loud generator and a camera crew. We ordered some crepes which arrived promptly. As we ate a Japanese production crew supervised an American film crew. It became clear that we would not busk, for the extra bustle and the loud sound of their generator would easily drown us out. We started biking home, but stopped halfway, and congealed a plan to load our bikes onto the 16 bus toward downtown Portland and the main Farmers Market.


The bus took us to 6th and Oak, we got out and removed our bikes. The glazed, wide, brick sidewalks, somehow shady in the urban canyon, mostly deserted except near the market. We biked south and west uphill to Pioneer Square, the glazed brick cascade of steps baking in the Sun. A young tour guide babbled in the shade of a solitary oak. The courthouse sat silently across the street. The brick steps form a large acoustic lens throughout the park but there also sits a smaller recessed lens near Starbucks. A young, vaguely homeless couple clustered on some cardboard in the shade. We set up in the middle of the lens, resting Sounders against the bricks, angling them towards the Sun. Then began our first encounter with the lady in a wheelchair holding a dog, and her friend a bearded lady. She and I both wore pink shirts and our conversation was pleasant, and they expressed true interest. I'm open to all forms of sexuality and they were all open to all forms of electronic music. So naturally solar Sounders are healing; their day-tripping sounds present an alternative to mainstream electronic music. They inhabit Sunny baked spots of midday sun, reflecting the weirdos' baked mixed feeling of boredom and paranoia. Most people in the world don't have ears. They sit there too, baking in the sun. You can be certain that most people will stroll by and not even notice the weird in their ears. That knowledge helps me focus on particularly meaningful interactions with weirdo strangers.


Dwelling a little bit longer in Pioneer Square, we moved the Sounders twice within that massive glazed amphitheater. Moving on, we packed up the Sounders and the aluminum tip bucket. Pumping farther up south and west we arrived at the strip of park that begins the main Farmers Market, and locked our bikes at the edge of it. Because it's big we hiked around it first, arriving at the top of the hill. There, I placed the Sounders on a patch of sunny dirt, with the tip bucket barging onto the sidewalk. One lady asked me what we were doing and I answered "we are busking." Kiri and I had agreed on this answer the night before in a discussion. I gave him some money to get ice cream and pizza, then sat down in the shade to observe pedestrians, their shadows, and a very small percentage of interested people: babies, three older men with caps, one bum who said it sounds trippy, the lady in the wheelchair with the dog and the bearded lady. I think one girl dropped a micro-coin in the bucket by mistake. The three older men were separate, Smiley, and wanted to see under the hood. I responded in kind, showed them the simple circuit board and speaker cone shrouded by the solar panel. To each man I worked my mouth around a manifesto, explaining that I made synthesizers for sale, but these are not. It's an experiment. I'm interested in using solar for something in the moment, like electronic sound. That's why they don't have batteries and shadows mute them. To another stranger I explained the palette: two monks, a dove, and three cicadas. "They're fixed at these sounds, there are no knobs, it's art!" I persisted. The sunny corner had good traffic but an inner glade was quieter and harbored  relaxing individuals and a small patch of sunlight wither removed the Sounders.


From this part of the day on we met no more strangers and descended back down hill to meet the bus back home, which cradled our bikes. I thought of Kiri quietly singing with the dove and realized this is a possible avenue to generate more gold: performing an imitation of the sounders with our voices. If I throat sang with the monk, then I would become what it was imitating and thus a musical loop of inspiration. That's generating a performance greater than just some cardboard boxes making trippy sounds for bums. I mean for some real clientele, we could have accented the sound, with our own voices, like a band. Well I did get a paper bag of fragrant basil stuffed in the aluminum pot.

Today I learnt from a combination of bums and smiley gentlemen. I need to implement "Tuba Car" ASAP. It is the thumping trippy bass of the sounders, installed in my shingled Tool Shed as a twelve inch woofer, a sixty watt solar panel, over-driving unbeknownst a seven watt car amplifier chip on aluminum heat-sink. I will need to experiment with a range of panel wattages down to ten, to discover what causes the wonderful distorted tuba sounds. I shall recreate the shed on elf scale with fine cedar shingles, a corrugated plastic roof, like a dog house for the woofer and the circuit. I think the the tuba sounds truly may only have one cause: current interactions on the supply caused by extreme amplification. I include a chaos knob in the fine electronic organs which I sell, to give them sophisticated sounds of very fine granularity. A Solar Sounder is different, it gets all the chaos it needs from the panel interacting with the environment of light, and a secondary action is just as nonpareil. That is, the current relationship of the panel and the speaker amplifier, mediated by the main bypass capacitor. Thus tuba car thumps beats in a rhythm controlled by its amplifier gain. Simple circuit bending knowledge, thanks Jessica Rylan, Todd Bailey, David Tudor, whomever else you should comment below!