CatSynth TV: Benjolin!

Our latest video features the Benjolin, a module designed by Rob Hordijk and distributed by Epoch Modular.  From the official website:

The benjolin is a multifunction synthesizer designed by Rob Hordijk. The module consists of four separate function blocks: two VCOs, a state variable filter and an additional circuit, invented by Hordijk himself, called a rungler. This particular arrangement emerged from his efforts to design a synthesizer that was, as he puts it, “bent by design”. As such, the module functions according to principles of chaos theory, where short to long sputtering patterns spontaneously transform themselves, at times, gradually, at others, quite suddenly, morphing into new pattern doublings and bifurcations. ​

The rungler is what gives the module (and its predecessor the Blippo Box) its chaotic character.  It’s basically a shift register timed off the two oscillators which then fed as a control signal back to the oscillators, creating a nonlinear dynamic feedback system.  It’s a lot of fun to just play and explore, but I have also used it in both recordings and live performance.  It works particularly well with subtle control inputs, like the Theremini.

Weekend Cat Blogging: The Move-in

Well, it's now been a week since the big move to San Francisco.

Luna arrived last Sunday, after a spending a few days safely away from the commotion in the care of the folks at Kitty Hill Resort for Cats in Santa Cruz. It was a great place to board her, with nice large quiet rooms. But it's not home.

The trip up was difficult. And Luna was of course frightened the first evening, mostly hiding behind boxes. But eventually she ventured out to explore, and found some new interesting places:

Here she looks out from several of our balconies that overlook the cavernous main space below:

Yes, we still have quite a bit of work to do here to get set up. But that hasn't stopped Luna from claiming this comfy rocking chair in the loft as her new favorite spot:

When I come upstairs, there is a decent chance I will find her sitting there, or napping. With some effort, I have managed to convince her to share it. Indeed, we are both enjoying the chair right now.

Weekend Cat Blogging is being hosted on this Groundhog Day by Katie and a rather agape Puddy at A Bytootaful Life. Check out Puddy's photos and the round up.

The Bad Kitty Cats Festival of Chaos goes home to Megan and Zed Monster at the Bad Kitty Cats.

The Carnival of the Cats is going to be with the “Meowers of Death” at When Cats Attack this Sunday. And of course the Friday Ark is hosted by modulator.

Weekend Cat Blogging #124 and more: Away

Luna is looking out her favorite window…and waiting for someone to return from tour…

Weekend Cat Blogging #124 is at the *New* Tuxedo Gang Hideout.

The Bad Kitty Cats Festival of Chaos will be held at Pet's Garden Blog, while the Carnival of the Cats will be at our friends The Bad Kitty Cats – we hope things are going a bit better for them now. And of course the Friday Ark is at the modulator.

Weekend Cat Blogging #123 and more: An Old New Favorite Spot

After a major clean-up in the studio, the bean bag chair reemerged from hiding. And Luna immediately reclaimed it as one of her favorite spots:

In addition the great black-on-black styling, it's a comfy place to “nest”, whether just relaxing and watching me work, or taking a nap:

Indeed, Luna spent quite a bit of time on the beanbag yesterday, even well into the evening (while I was working on the headphone festival performance):

Cats can remind a lot about simple joys, like a comfy spot to nest.

Weekend Cat Bloggin #123 is being held by Upsie and Sher at What Did You Eat. Upsie is learning about the US healthcare system, and also featuring the “sight formerly known as ScamperDude” at their new home at CASPCA (Charlottesville, VA ASPCA).

The hardworking “cat boys” Kashim and Othello are hosting this weekend's Kad Kitty Cats Festival of Chaos (it's already edition #14, tempus fugit). The Carnival of the Cats will be happening this Sunday, hosted by Grace and the Kittens. And of course the Friday Ark #160 is at the Modulator.

Weekend Cat Blogging and more: Happy Tail

This weekend's theme for the Bad Kitty Cat Festival of Chaos is “tails and toes”. And we know that Luna has quite a talent for posing her tail:

…even while simply resting:

The “crook in her tail” is actually pointing out towards the camera.

Watch this video (originally posted at Luna's Catster page) as Luna swings her tail:

Weekend Cat Blogging #122 is being hosted by Astrid and the “cat boys” Kashim and Othello. That “nip beer” concept sounds pretty good to me.

The Bad Kitty Cat Festival of Chaos is being held at This, That and The Other Thing, where we expect to see other “happy tails.” UPDATE: the round-up is posted, and features a slide-show video with background music – I believe the technical term is “finger snapping.” Check it out.

Carnival of the Cats will be hosted this Sunday by StrangeRanger. And of course Friday Ark #159 is at the modulator.

Weekend Cat Blogging and more: It's all about Luna!

Well, I am still in New York this weekend, and meanwhile Luna is home at CatSynth HQ in California. I thought it would be appropriate to share some photos taken during some previous trips by our pet sitter Ronni West:

It's great getting to see these photos from Ronni, knowing that Luna is happy and being herself. Here we see her kneading some laundry left on the bed, which remains one of her guilty pleasures:

I make sure to leave some laundry out when I go away, I think it gives her a sense of familiarity and comfort.

Even though I do enjoy travelling, it's always great to come home and be reunited.

Weekend Cat Blogging #121 is being hosted this weekend at masak-masak.

The Bad Kitty Cat Festival of Chaos is going on the Mind of Mog. The theme this week is catnip, and while I know Luna is getting to enjoy fresh catnip during my absense, I don't have the photographic evidence on hand (yet).

The Carnival of the Cats will be hosted this week at Life from a Cat's perspective. And of course the Friday Ark #158 is at the modulator.

Finally, thank you to everyone who sent their kind thoughts this week, through comments here at CatSynth as well as via email or other media. I will try my best to answer individually as well, but wanted to say something here for everyone.

Weekend Cat Blogging: Beds, Pillows and Rain(?)

As usual these days, we are consolidating our weekend cat blogging activities. Weekend Cat Blogging is being hosted by Kate and Puddy (one of Luna's look-a-likes) at A Byootaful Life.
This weekend's theme for the Bad Kitty Chaos Festival, hosted by Pets Garden Blog, is pillows and beds. Well, soft cushions are one of Luna's areas of great expertise:

Of course we have seen her curled up on the bed many times:

And it is one of those days where curling up on a bed or a cushion seems like the perfect thing to do, with a steady cold rain coming down around us:

That wouldn't be much of a problem, except that we have an outdoor music festival tonight! September is the usually the hottest, driest month here, so something is wrong…

In addition to WCB and the Festival of Chaos, we also have the Carnival of the Cats, hosted this week by This That and the Other Thing, with Amber, Kosmo, Mouse and Indigo (another fellow black cat). And of course, the Friday Ark at themodulator.

Always time for Weekend Cat Blogging

Even in the midst of an incredibly busy weekend, we at CatSynth always try and find a few minutes for Weekend Cat Blogging:

Regular readers know that Luna is quite fond of towels, resting upon them, kneading them, etc. She has taken over this green towel which I left for her one day on the bed, and it has become a great spot for those all important afternoon naps/meditations.

Yes, being unemployed seems to leave me more busy than I was before, and this weekend is no exception, with several upcoming shows, and major and software projects with looming deadlines (but which I can't talk to you about), revamping my main artist/professional website, and a lot of time on the phone in touch with friends, colleagues and others. But one of the best parts of this period has been spending lots of quality time with Luna, even if just for an hour here and there in between other events, or having her around while I work online or in the studio.

Weekend Cat Blogging is being hosted by Megan and the Bad Kitty Cats. It seems that their site is down while recoving from hackers. Very rude and incovenient, those pesky hackers. We hope they're back up soon.

Carnival of the Cats will be at the House of the (Mostly) Black Cats this weekend.

The Bad Kitty Cat Festival of Chaos #10 is being held at the *New* Tuxedo Gang Hideout. They have a great graphic to go with it, reproduced below:

And of course, Friday Ark #156 is at the modulator.

Chaos Festival: "Aquatic" Luna

We couldn't let this week's theme for the Bad Kitty Cat Chaos Festival (hosted by Kashim and Othello) go unanswered. The theme is “water or rain.” Did somebody say “Aquatic”?

Indeed, the CD does have an underlying water theme, and can be very relaxing to listen to, according to many who have either purchased or downloaded it. Although several of the order pieces had an aquatic sound to them (e.g., “Proportional Fish”), the idea to use it as a unifying element was largely inspired by living here by the ocean…

Of course, all this talk about water makes us at CatSynth quite thirsty:

Weekend Cat Blogging #118 and more: Luna in Late Summer, Strays and Project Purr

We begin our Weekend Cat Blogging with Luna, in a photo taken last weekend:

Late summer (August and September) has a particularly quality of light I have always enjoyed, both clear and melancholy. I am particularly fond of this photo of Luna, not only does the light work great on her, but also the texture/geometry of the shadows from the blinds adds a stark, modernist touch.

Plus, the way Luna's expression complements the fish? Priceless.

I continue to see cats quite often in this one triangular vacant lot, not too far CatSynth HQ. Here is a grey cat I saw the other day :

I often see them stalking and hunting in the grass in this lot, which is bounded by a shopping center, a residential street and train tracks. The tracks have a nice walking path alongside, which I often use.

We previously featured a stray cat spending time in this lot in June.

In that same article from June, we mentioned the semi-annual rummage sale held by Project Purr, a local “cat rescue organization dedicated to FERAL cats and kittens.” The end-of-summer edition of their sale is this weekend. This time, we at CatSynth were prepared and donated some useless junk “quality household goods” for the sale. And bought some books. While I am primarily looking to reduce the amount of stuff here at CatSynth HQ, there is always room for more books.

Don't forget to check out all the other cats, domestic and outdoor, at What Did you Eat, where our friends Sher and Upsie are hosting.

The Bad Kitty Cats Festival of Chaos is being hosted by the “catboys” Kashim and Othello. Seems like they have been busy of late.

Carnival of the Cats is at Mind of Mog, and of course Friday Ark #155 is hosted by the modulator.