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Tag: live

Malta Steiner at Münzviertel Strassenfest

Very few people may have attended this Malta Steiner gig, but hopefully we can bring it to a wider audience on the internet. His description on the video page is pretty classic.

It was windy,cold and wet, few people, monitors kept collapsing, in short: a typical Hamburg streetfest. I expected the worst, a new low in my career, but it was fun and good test of equipment.

Please note the small black netbook which ran the whole show, together with Archlinux and a realtime kernel. Csound replayed the loops from the studio, process them and provided synthesis for my solos. Right now I am booking some shows, perhaps Notstandskomitee comes to a place near you. [1]

I think we can all commiserate with Malta on this, and applaud him for toughing it out and playing a nice set!


Weather Duo

This is an abridgement of the live concert at Gates of Heaven Synagogue on July 6th, 2010, filmed by Peter Mackie. I’ve edited together a few moments from that performance to show the variance within our set of about 40 minutes. This is a combination of original compositions, guided improvisations, and free improvisations. Hopefully I’ll get more footage from this concert up soon. [1]



Allele by Michael Zev Gordon

Today The Guardian brings us details on Michael Zev Gordon’s new piece, Allele. The piece uses the human genome as source material and is being debuted on July 9.

It’s been a delicate path to tread, and my approach has been shaped by seeing genes as simultaneously physical matter and things of extraordinary wonder. Humans share more than 99% of our genetic material. But every so often in any gene, at known points, or “polymorphisms”, tiny differences in genetic structure occur between groups of individuals. The different forms of the gene at these points are called alleles – and specific aspects of our individuality are influenced by particular allelic combinations. The scientific research has involved comparing certain alleles in musicians with those in non-musicians. The driving, expressive impulse for my piece has been to highlight these miraculous variants.

It took me time to get my head around the science involved. Things crystallised when I began to map a segment of common sequence leading up to my chosen polymorphism – A, C and A on to the same musical note-names; then T – “ti’ in the doh-re-mi solfège system – on to B, and so on. Adding a supple rhythm, I arrived, to my surprise, at something that sounded quite like plainsong: it became the initial gesture of the piece.

Other, pragmatic factors were formative, too. We had to decide who the performers would be. It was a starting point for the project that I would use their specific DNA data in my work – we were drawn to the image of “singing one’s genes”. That led to a multipart choir, and, inevitably for me, the model of Thomas Tallis’s 40-voice motet, Spem in Alium. The common linguistic root of Alium and Allele – the other – was not lost on us either.

With the Blurred Vision of a Newborn

This piece unites Cage’s conception of graph music with ideas from the field of swarm intelligence. The software uses a graph of notated musical fragments to generate a score in real-time, for live performance. It does this by allowing a swarm of virtual insects to crawl over the graph, choosing new fragments with each move.