Outsound New Music Summit: PoetryFreqs

The concert series of the Pitta of the Mind, my duo with Maw Shein Win got things going with a set of poetry and electronic music on the themes of abstract art and cinematic distance. Our color theme for the evening was red and black.

Pitta of the Mind at Outsound Music Summit
[Photo by Annabelle Port.]

It was our longest set to date, but also our best so far, with a variety of sounds to match the words and tight transitions between poems. It was also the most complex technically, with the Prophet 12, analog modular, Moog Theremini, iPad, and Nord Stage EX all running at once.

Amanda Chaudhary
[Photo: PeterBKaars.com.]

Maw Shein Win
[Photo by Annabelle Port.]

We performed confidently and playfully and we got a great audience response. And the color theme went well with the blue set and lighting courtesy Travin McKain.

We were followed by first-ever performance by Ruth Weiss, one of the original Beat poets, with master analog synthesizer artist Doug Lynner as well as Hal Davis on log.

Doug Lynner, Ruth Weiss, Hal Davis
[Photo: PeterBKaars.com.]

Log may seem like an odd instrumentation, but Davis made it work well with Ruth Weiss’ recitations, and Lynner managed to create sounds on the Mystery Serge modular that sometimes mimicked the percussive resonance of the log and at other times complimented it with more lush tones. He was also able to hit loud or noisy moments in between the words. Ruth Weiss was sharp and witty in her readings, moving from her work in the 1950s and 1960s to more recent compositions. Although the trio had only met once before, they seemed very comfortable performing together and it made for a fun and exciting set. This was something that will likely never be repeated, so we were privileged to have witnessed it.

The final set brought together Zachary James Watkins on electronics and Marshall Trammell on percussion with poet and voice artist Amber McZeal.

[Photos: PeterBKaars.com.]

The music began slowly, with calm but textured percussion and electronic sounds combined with McZeal on didgeridoo. The drone built up to more intense textures, with noise and thick electronics, Trammell’s intense drumming, and McZeal’s voice, which was at times beautiful and melodic singing, and other times dramatic and confident speech. The text for this set was very sparse compared to the previous sets, more like a third instrument than poetry set to music.

Overall, this was a great start to the Summit concerts with three strong performances (I admit I am biased about the first one). We had a great turnout as well, filling all the seats in the concert hall at the Community Music Center. It set a high bar for the next nights.

CatSynth pic: still life with Mixtape Alpha (and Nord)


This one is my own composition, with the Mixtape Alpha atop the Nord Stage EX 🙂

CatSynth pic: Cat dancing on Nord Lead


Submitted by John F. Elberstein via Twitter. The keyboard being danced upon is obviously a Nord Lead, but we are leaving identification of the lower keyboard as an exercise to the reader 🙂

CatSynth Pic: Dave Smith Instruments Evolver


From Dave Smith Instruments on Twitter.

“What are you looking at? Oh nothing, just that #Evolver Desktop in the corner…”

(UPDATE: original credit to synthcats.com for the photo.)

DogSynth pic: Hammond and Nord (Reconnaissance Fly)

A first for us at CatSynth! (And possibly a last as well.)

This is Hammond.  He was helping us out in the studio last weekend as we began work on our Reconnaissance Fly album.

The album, which includes our entire Flower Futures “spong cycle”, is quite an undertaking.  Recording a five-piece band performing live requires a complex setup in terms of microphones, cables and general logistics.  My Nord Stage (in the photo above) is actually one of the simpler elements.  But we got everything working over the weekend, fired up Pro Tools and were able to complete tracking on our first song.  Wisely, we started with the simplest one first.

CatSynth pic: Ring Mod Sync

From Sawa Masaki on flickr.

“Yoko who pushes the RING MOD SYNC button”

If you would like to submit your cat-and-music photo or video, you can share it with us via our Facebook pagetweet us @catsynth, or contact us.

CatSynth Video: Holiday Techno Kitty!

No, that is not Luna. Our own holiday video would probably be a bit more Hannukah themed.

From GayGod on YouTube, via matrixsynth.

Happy Holidays from your friends at Subtractive!

Music by: Justin Bates
Edited by: Kaipo Jones

CatSynth pic: Missy and Nord

Submitted by Addz Vindicare Milner via our facebook page.

“My cat Missy getting some zeds Nord style :)”

CatSynth pic: Thor, Korg and Nord

Submitted by Jack Hertz via our facebook page.

“My cat Thor makes a good synth module too.”

CatSynth pic: One’s back view

From Sawa Masaki on flickr.

“Taro stand near by the synth”

I quite like the black-and-white and focus in this photo.