The 2017 Outsound New Music Summit kicked off this Sunday with the annual Touch the Gear event. As always, there were several musicians and instrument-makers were on hand to demonstrate their setups or inventions.
Above we see Alphastare demonstrating his setup for processing of synthesized and recorded sounds that he uses in his live shows. Below, CDP bandmate Tom Djll shows his analog modular synthesizer setup with sundry external boxes for expressive control of sound.
I opted to show my modular synth as well this year, along with the Moog Theremini.
The theremin is always a popular item at this event.
Kim Nucci demonstrated some custom modules alongside a Korg MS-20 mini and a DIY metal instrument with sensors.
I have always found metal plus electronics a musically interesting combination.
Among the more unusual and surprising instruments this year was Dania Luck’s musical chessboard. It contained sensors for the magnetic chess pieces, with each square of the board triggering a different synthesizer in a SuperCollider patch.
This wasn’t the only SuperCollider program being shown, as our friend Tim Walters demonstrated his patch and controller setup. It is the setup he will use as part of Usufruct in the opening concert for the Summit.
Tim Thompson was on hand with the latest incarnation of his electronic-music instrument, the Space Palette Pro.
[Tim Thompson demonstrates the Space Palette Pro to Outsound director Rent Romus.]
It uses the same software as previous versions of the Space Palette, but with a new more compact interface based on new touch-sensitive pads from Sensel Morph. These pads are quite impressive in both response and feel, and we at CatSynth will definitely be looking into them.
Not all the demos included electronics. There were several acoustic instruments demonstrated by the Pet the Tiger collective (David Samas, Ian Saxton, Tom Nunn, Derek Drudge), including this beautiful kalimba tuned to 31edo.
I would love to write a piece for it one of these days. There was also a large metalophone with a deep resonant tone, interesting tuning, and some satellite “bass” notes.
Back inside the hall, Motoko Honda demonstrated a network of electronic devices processing voice, along with a fun circuit-bent instrument.
Matt Davignon brought his setup for expressive manipulation and processing of samples and other pre-recorded sound materials.
We would also like to thank Matt for his efforts organizing this event every year! We would also like to thank the folks at VAMP for co-presenting and bringing a pop-up shop of records and sundry vintage and musical items.
It was a fun afternoon as always, and it was great to see families in attendance. And there were multiple things to inspire me musically and technologically. We will see where that goes. Next up, the concerts…