Archive for the 'programming issues' Category

25
Feb
11

Concert, Sound of Mu, January 25

The stage was set for an exciting encounter between two live electronic musicians of international standing at Sound of Mu on Tuesday January 25.

Diemo Schwarz from IRCAM held a workshop in advanced synthesis and signal processing at NOTAM in the end of January.

Diemo Schwarz is one of the leading figures within the live electronics field, and he has developed a number of signal processing tools, including Max/MSP patches such as FTM and CataRT. It was a pleasure for me to be able to play a concert with him again.

Schwarz-Johnson at Sound of Mu

The concert was organized by me in collaboration with NOTAM, and Cato Langnes was the sound engineer. In addition to improvisations by Diemo and me we

From the concert at Sound of Mu in Oslo

both played a solo piece each. I played Thomas Dahl’s piece No Reason Aftermath. It was a great atmosphere at the venue.

Diemo is using the iPad as a control function for CataRT, as well as a pressure-sensitive MIDI-controller which controls the dynamics. It works so well with the iPad. He can play it like a separate instrument, away from the computer, using the accelerometer.

Diemo’s setup
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22
Feb
11

Concert September 3, 2010

At the concert, Alexander Refsum Jensenius and I performed our piece Transformation, exploring improvisation in time and space during this concert that also featured pieces by Henrik Hellstenius, Thomas Dahl and an improvisation by Victoria Johnson and Peter Tornquist.

Alexander and I have been collaborating for several years on exploration of various types of technologies for musical expression. The piece currently presented is based on video analysis using modules from the Musical Gestures Toolbox in Jamoma and CataRT.

By moving inside a seemingly empty space, I have slowly explored a sonic landscape of thousands of short fragments of various violin sounds. The space thus becomes a musical entity in itself, a space that the violinist both controls and interacts with at the same time. What seemed to be an empty space at first, is left as a sonic space in our memory when the piece ends.

For Victoria Counting IV we used the new visual ideas from the workshop (see previous posts), and added a new direction, made mainly by Henrik Hellstenius. The new direction made me very busy on stage, at first sitting on a low stool, after a while started to run when playing, and looking for my lost photos when at the same time looking at all the photos from my life.

From the dress rehearsal, kneeling on the little stool.

13
Aug
10

Workshop August 3-4. Motion capture

I’ve not been able to update this blog since March, due to troubles with my arm. I’m now back in business, planning a solo concert on September 3.

Due to the arm problems I’ve had to postpone my final performance, but I will still have a “work in progress” performance on Sep 3. For the first time in 3 years I had the possibility to practice over a long period in the concert hall in the Academy of Music. I had access to the hall for 5 whole working days, and did not have to rig down every evening. I have realized, during this project, that rigging and solving technical problems take – worst case – up to 80-90% of my time. Usually there is too little time for working musically with the right set-up in the right room. The fact that I seldom have access to a big space for more than one day, means that I always feel that I haven’ practised and experimented enough musically.

Alexander Jensenius stabilizes the camera before climbing to the ceiling

Alexander Jensenius stabilizes the camera before climbing to the ceiling

This was also the case the first day of the workshop; Alexander Refsum Jensenius and I used 5 hours to rig up the 8 speakers and the motion capture system (with video analysis) in the hall. On the first day we had only one hour of musical activities, and our brain capacity was rather poor (after removing two Steinways, repairing the door to get the pianos out, fighting with our mixer, placing the video camera 15 m up in the ceiling.) 😀  We decided to let the 4 inner speakers define the soundspace, forming a square. The size of the square was decided by the video camera that was mounted in the ceiling.  We tested some new pre-sets in CataRT and found that the pre-set silent segmentation made the sound stay for a long time and made it difficult to interact with the electronics, which is the goal for the whole project. We also experimented with an amount of reverb, because the concert hall in itself has a lot of it. To level equally the sound of the violin and the electronics was also an issue we worked on that day.

On August 4, with fresh brains, we started to work musically with our set-up. We used Alexander’s video analysis transition, so that video analysis could be used as a controller for CataRT. In earlier workshops we have gone through all the pre-sets in CataRT, testing various loudspeaker set-ups, and now we could concentrate on deciding what kind of violin sounds we wanted to use.

Strangely enough, some sounds that worked in an non-acoustical room, did not work in the concert hall. The most brutal sounds, like crush tones and strong pizzicati, sounded much too brutal in the hall. After an hour or two Sidsel Endresen (my superviser in improvisation) turned up to listen to our music. Her feedback was that I should think of the electronics as a musician, a person you play with and against. And to let this interaction guide my movements, and not vice versa. And the music which happens when I don’t play, only move, (ghost playing) is not a goal in itself, but rather a result of a musical process. And the curiosity and eagerness to explore the soundscape which emerges must be what drives you.

I’m so glad that we could go more into the musical issues!! Thanks to Sidsel for coming.

12
Oct
09

Autumn 2009

I have also participated in the conference Sensious Knowledge at Solstrand, Bergen (September 23-25) and made a presentation in International Contemporary Music days in Gothenburg (October 2-3 rd 2009) During the seminar at Solstrand we heard many interesting presentations, but the most interesting thing was for me to meet other artist outside my field. In the conference in Gothenburg was about the boundaries of interpretation and practical Artistic research and was very interesting for my project. I did the presentation together with Henrik Hellstenius. I also played some excerpts of Victoria Counts II during the presentation.

Video-analysis and CatArt

Having the second workshop together with Alexander R Jensenius (October 5-6) has given me more understanding about how CatArt works. Again using a fairly big space at the Academy (4x4m) gave us the possibility to go through many different parameters in CatArt to evaluate what works the best. In this space it works best if the grains are fairly evenly distributed like in preset 2: Spectral centroid periodicity Loudness. Using this preset I am then able to use the whole space to interact. It also works best if the sounds we use are not too brutal and strong. (crush does not work so well as pizzicato and flageolets)

Working with open form

October 7-9 we had rehearsals for the open form festival in November practising Else Storesunds piece Liquid Vapour. The piece is based on schemes and graphs from a research book about water. We use these schemes as a starting point and ground for improvisations where the theme is water.

12
Oct
09

hyperimprovisation seminar

I arranged in cooperation NMH an international workshop on hyperimprovisation where the theme was; own practise with real-time improvisation and augmented instruments. The seminar took place at NMH during Ultima festival from 15-17 September 2009.

I have during the conference met some of the best international performers working in my field. I made a presentation of my project during this conference and got a lot of important feedback. I had the possibility to discuss musical, aesthetical and technical questions more informally with the participants during the seminar. To put the music, improvisation own practise and interaction with the computer as the main topic has been missing in many conferences such as NIME and ICMC etc.

I hope to arrange this seminar on annual basis and refine and sharpen the topic.

I have got written feedback from the participants and this feedback will be important for forthcoming seminars.

Participants: Victoria Johnson, Cléo Palacio-Quintin, Øyvind Brandtsegg, Peter Tornquist, Hans Tammen, Jan Schacher, Alex Gunia, Bjørnar Habbestad,
Tanja Orning, Natasha Barrett, Kjell Tore Innervik, Alexander Refsum Jensenius.

For photos follow link

http://www.flickr.com/photos/alexarje/sets/72157622395123793/

3982721057_75dbbf2e2f

01
Jun
09

audiovisual satelite

On May 7th Mattias Arvasstson and I had our performance at the Museum of contemporary Art in Oslo. We tried out the idea of using the movement, colours and pulsation of the video as a musical score, using Mattias,s object for projection. That meant that we did not have to have any walls for projection and did not have to interfere into the exhibition as such. Originally it had been the meaning that the concert installation should take place in the big exhibition room. It is very light in Norway during the summertime and i realised that during one of the visits to the museum that this room was much too light for projection.IMG_5222 We ended up to get a beautiful empty room at the second floor. Many thanks to Anna Lindblad at the the Museum of Contemporary Art who helped us to get this space and to arrange the concert.

On photo: The original space for the performance.

For the first time I played a concert without any soundperson there. I realised that the acoustics changed  a bit when the audience came, and I think I will bring a stage monitor for the next performance. I used 6 genelecs, one on the object and the one with pure violinsound behind  me, and the rest in in each corner. Again I used the a granulation process using 3 buffers with different lengths, pitching and grainlength. Thanks to Edvin Østvik for the beautiful and user-friendly maxpatch !We had to carry all the equipment ourself which was really hard!

After rigging up we got visitors from the Academy of music, the electroacoustic composition class came to see what we where doIMG_5253ing.

On photo: The performance space

Having 9 footpedals I got a very broad setup. I am looking forward to experiment more with some smaller controllers and setup.

I will also for the next performance have visual monitor in order to see the visuals better.

18
Jan
09

realtime-video and audio

I had my first experience with real-time video/audio improvisation on my stay in Bergen  January 15-17 th.

Being able to have space at BEK Mattias Arvastsson and I worked on Victoria Counting II as well as  real-time improvisation together. I also got to meet Trond Lossius at Bek Jørgen Larsson at Lydgalleriet to discuss a project for the Autumn. More about this later. Fortunately I got to see see the opening of the exibition “Composers in Space” at Lydgalleriet as well as the exibition Looking is Political at Bergen kunsthall the same evening. img_4304

From “Composers in space at Lydgalleriet”, work by: Bjørn Erik Haugen

The electric guitarist and composer Thomas Dahl from Bergen  is also one of the composers in my project. We luckily now founded time to work together, and trying out some sound material in live and guitar rig.img_42971

Thomas Dahl working at BEK.




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