ICMC late concert on election night

Imagine yourself an ordinary New Orleans bus driver, doing your normal night route on St. Charles. Just two or three passengers, quiet. Maybe even a little quieter than usual given that many people are home watching election returns. Then suddenly you come to stop where twenty or so weird people with laptops and beeds get on the bus. That’s what happened to a bus driver last night when participants at the ICMC conference boarded to attend the offsite late-nite performance at the aptly named Columns Hotel.

The election so far went as well as one could expect at 11PM, with headlines suggesting things are about to change for the better – a takeover of the House, Virginia is the new Florida (with George “macaca” Allen trailing), and social conservatives (i.e., the littering religious right) lost a trifecta on abortion, stem cells and gay marriage. Plus, I get to watch all of this from the home (and district) of William “Frozen Assets” Jefferson.

So what better way to celebrate than with experimental electronic improv music in an old hotel parlor? First on the program was Pink Canoes, who hail from the Bay Area. I was acquainted with several members of the group by name only (and vice versa), so it was quite ironic to meet in person in New Orleans. Musically, they played free improvisation with guitars, effects pedals, analog synths and circuit-bend instruments, similar to some of the group improvisations I have done with friends in Santa Cruz. I get the sense that many of the academics at the conference hadn’t heard much of this sub-genre of electronic music. Personally I would like to see more hybridization among free electronic improv, traditional computer music, and even things like the jazz duo that was also playing in the hotel at the same time.

Pink Canoe was followed by the due Andre Castro + Martin Aeserud, featuring laptop and “prepared” acoustic guitar. I found the guitar quite interesting to watch as well as listen to, and gives me some ideas for projects with the guitar that’s sitting in pieces on the floor back home.

More on the conference later.

Weekend Cat Blogging #74: Preparing for New Orleans radio performance

Lali at Lali et Cie is hosting Weekend Cat Blogging soixante-dix quatre (I never could get the hang of French numbers). And how appropriate to be blogging this weekend from one of America's great cities with French heritage, New Orleans. I am here attending the International Computer Music Conference (ICMC), and will be performing a piece live on local public radio WTUL FM. For anyone interested in listening in, it will be streaming live online, next Friday at 1PM CST US (check out my main site for more info.

Needless to say, I've been scrambling a bit to get ready for the trip in general, and the performance in particular. I'll post more about the music and technology later this weekend, but for now it's enough to appreciate that Luna has been keeping me company in the studio as I work out some nasty bugs in the software for the piece:

She seems to enjoy sitting on my lap while I work. And it's great to have her sharing in some small part of the creative process.

I think this closeup qualifies as a “catsynth pic.” Luna poses with laptop, E-MU Xboard, E-MU Vintage Pro and circuit-bent VTech toy phone.

In my absence, Luna is being well cared for courtesy of Ronni West's Happy At Home Cat Sitting.