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studies for robotic marimba and disklavier

This piece explores the compositional affordances of mechanical instruments, using the extended precision of electro-mechanical devices to create dense layers of shifting harmonies and asymmetrical polyrhythms that form a puzzle-like structure. The collection of studies focuses on mapping an electronic minimalist approach to acoustic instruments, conjoining the seemingly divergent relationship between electronic music production and the physical space of musical instruments.


pulses // patterns

a sound installation exhibited at the Western Front, Vancouver Canada 

Opening | December 7, 7pm
Exhibit | Dec 8 – Dec 13, 12-5pm (Except Sunday)
Performance | Dec 14, 8pm

pulses // patterns invites listeners into a spatial experience of a large-scale electronic and acoustic instrument. Formed from technology from the pipe organ and electronic organ building traditions, a custom array of rotary speakers and a single pipe-organ rank is interfaced with MIDI and micro-controllers to create a system of interlinked sonic objects. The installation conceives of the room’s space as an unfolding sculpture, as the air is compressed, accelerated, and spun into sound by the mechanics of the instrument, which breathe heavily with droning chords and pulses that phase and synchronize over the duration of the composition.

Press – BeatRoute Magazine Feature 2017


‘Aisatsana’ for Player Piano

Composed by Richard D. James (Aphex Twin), ‘aisatsana’ is a Satie-esque piano piece inviting stillness and careful listening to one’s surroundings. This mechanical and acoustic reproduction of ‘aisatsana’ uses a 100-year-old player piano to play a custom-made roll of the piece. Set in Hadden Park, the piano is recorded alongside visiting starlings and crows in the canopy above, creating a “live” version of the bird song heard in Aphex Twin’s original version on the 2014 ‘Syro’ album. An homage to Richard’s signature blurring of the acoustic, electronic, and automatic, the meeting of the programmed player piano and the park’s incidental soundscape invites one to reflect on notions of soundscape composition, ‘liveness’, and automation.


Otonomi

otonomi is a kinetic musical sculpture built using custom made electro-mechanical devices, metallophones, pipe organ, and drums to map electronic music approaches onto acoustic instruments in sculptural forms.


Pulsars

Pulsars is a sound installation that uses mechanical rotary speakers to explore sound, movement, and pulse. The work re-configures technologies associated with early 20th century era organ building tradition, when electronics were attempting to synthesize and recreate the acoustics of pipe organs. During this time, Donald Leslie invented the ‘Leslie’ rotary speaker to mimic the sonic quality of large, spatially dispersed pipe organs. In this piece I use 4 channel ‘Leslie’ rotary speaker array to sound a 25-minute composition to produce polyrhythmic  pulses and a heightened awareness of the environment’s spatial dynamics. The composite effect for the listener is a morphing and dynamic sense of space choreographed by the re-localizing movement of sound through the air.

Pulsars was featured at Vancouver New Music’s 2016 Mechanical Music Festival.

 

 


Midnight Owl

Midnight Owl is a performance and recording project that brings together my interests in electro-acoustic composition, ambient music, and field recordings. Using cello, electronics and analog organ technology to create improvised soundscapes, I invite deep and careful listening within the grey area between sound and music. Performances throughout 2016 were given at the Big Joy Festival, Artswells, and the Field Gathering. 


Gamelan Bike Bike

Gamelan Bike Bike found its musical inspiration from Bali, Indonesia and its raw materials from the scrap metal bins of Vancouver. Between 2012 and 2013 I collected over 100 discarded bicycle frames to build the instruments. The colorful metal scraps, configured into a series of metallophones instruments, created a platform for new experimentation with gamelan music on the West Coast. The ensemble has presented performances at the Western Front, the Surrey Art Gallery, the Vancouver Folk Music Festival and released Hi-Ten, a collection of original music with the Indonesia-based art collective and label Insitu Recordings on November 11, 2017, available at http://insiturec.com/hi-ten/

Press – Discorder Magazine Feature 2017


Intonarumori

By invitation from Giorgio Magnensi, I participated in an ensemble that formed around replicas of Luigi Russolo’s Intonarumori instruments, created for the Vancouver Art Gallery show MashUp: The Birth of Modern Culture. Curated by Martin Gottfrit, the performance explored Russolo’s ideas of mechanical sound machines through a re-interpretation of his early written score, and a series of improvisational gestures. The ensemble featured Giorgio Magnanensi, Kedrick James, Jules Lavern, Mariah Mennie, and George Rahi.

Intonarumori

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Bass Piano

The Bass Piano is an experimental piano created by Andrew Wedman in 2016 as part of the Western Front’s series 88 Tuned Bongos. Wedman, a musician and piano technician, tuned the piano down a full octave to A220, creating a unique tonal quality comparable to carillon bells and steel drums. Interested in the inharmonic overtones of the piano, pianist and composer Robyn Jacob and I prepared a suite of Colin McPhee’s piano transcriptions for Balinese Gamelan. A performance was held on 3/31/2016 at the Western Front, and was later video documented at the Hadden Park Field house where the piano now resides.

Below is a video of a piece “Gambangan”
Colin Mcphee’s Balinese Ceremonial Music – Piano Transcriptions (1940)
Played by Robyn Jacob and George Rahi on the ‘Bass Piano’.

Recorded at the Hadden Park Fieldhouse, Vancouver on January 5th, 2017.


Bicycle Arpeggi

Bicycle Arpeggio is a kinetic musical sculpture created from re-purposed bicycle parts. The mechanism’s design mimics that of a cylindrical music roll common in music boxes. Steel bike frame tubes, tuned by length, are placed around the rotating cylinder and act as both the programmable score and the source of sound. The multiple rotating cylinders interact with one another when ridden by multiple people, and can sound individually or blend together, allowing the rider(s) to choose when to actuate the striker mechanism. The composite effect is a series of fast melodic lines that go in and out of phase with one another. I lead the project‘ design and installation with support from members of the Publik Secrets artist collective. Bicycle Arpeggio was featured at Public Dreams’ Illuminaries Festival in Vancouver and exhibited at Burning Man 2012.