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 series of ‘Leslie’ rotary speakers and a single pipe-organ rank is re-purposed, their mechanics interfaced with MIDI and micro-controllers to create a system of interlinked sonic objects.
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 is a mechanical percussion contraption created with a toy metallophone, drums, hammers from an upright piano and electro-magnet switches from an electric organ. Inspired by the playful works of Trimpin and Conlon Nancarrow, otonomi is a meeting of programmed/electronic music and acoustic instruments in sculptural form.
Pulsars is a sound installation that uses re-purposed electronic and mechanical organ technology to create new experiences of sound, pulsation, and space. The project re-configures technologies associated with early 20th century era organ building tradition, when electronics were changing how organs were constructed and perceived. 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 four ‘Leslie’ rotary speakers that were collected from aging electronic organs over a span of five years. A four-channel 25-minute composition is amplified through the speakers, specifically composed to produce polyphonic pulsing sensations and a heightened awareness of the environment’s spatial dynamics. The composite effect for the listener is an enlarged and excited sense of spaciousness by way of the active, choreographed re-localizing movement of sound in space.
Pulsars was featured at Vancouver New Music’s 2016 Mechanical Music Festival.
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
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.
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 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.