Thursday, March 29, 2018

Performance 2 Reflection

This performance gave me insight into how my live signal would blend and function with each sound source coming from the board. While following our instruction sheet,  I had to listen and notice Ben and Tim for the pieces pacing and energy. The performance therefore helped me learn more about expressing my partners' performances with audio manipulation effects. For the next performance I want to find the most efficient method of adjusting these effects. I think mapping MIDI to a controller will fix this problem and give me more expressive elements to my personal performance. In accordance to the feedback we received, we are re-designing our game board to first, look more like a game board, but secondly and more importantly, create an better overall sonic and visual performance.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Performance 2 Reflection

I was very pleased with how our performance went last week Tuesday despite some of the technical difficulties we faced.  I believe it definitely says something about how much we've prepared that even though we experienced some technical issues, we were still able to pull together an engaging performance.  Going forward I personally would like to get more comfortable with the Korg synth, as I want to have a more expansive sound world that I can access throughout the piece.  As a group, I think we need to spend more time on structuring, developing sections where we play in duets, and working on the max patch to achieve a full visual experience.  It feels to me that every week we are making significant progress, and heading in a direction where we all have pretty much the same idea of what the final performance will be.

Performance 2 Reflection

Though far from the ‘ideal, final run’ I am very happy with how our second performance of the piece went. We now have a fully fleshed out idea of the form and materials of the piece, have begun streamlining the elements of performing it where we can, and have a foundation of aesthetic directions for the visuals. Obviously, there’s a ways to go still. We need to get more used to playing with a click track, and with playing together as an ensemble, we need to work on the balance of the overall mix, on the panning, and of course develop past our baseline of visual interest. This is all ‘refining the piece’ rather than ‘building the piece’ however, which I think is a comfortable place to be given where we are in the process. Now that the construction is all out of the way, we have much more time and space to devote to the detail work that is needed.

Performance 2 Reflection

Considering that this was our first real performance since we've taken this new direction, I am overall quite happy with the performance as a "proof of concept" of our performance idea. I think it showed that we do have an idea and structure that can be interesting and engaging.

However, I think the performance also showed the current weaknesses in out presentation. The main one is of course lack of rehearsal. I think a lot of what sells our performance is the body language and communication between performers. The audience may not know what good mousetrap playing sounds like, but they do know what good acting is. We will need to spend a lot of time rehearsing with each other and developing the chemistry. I think the first "act" of our piece was well done and showed what we can be capable of, we just need to bring the rest of the piece up to that standard.

Something else I think the performance showed was just how limiting our instrument is, and that we will need to spend some time adding more diverse sounds. It's especially hard finding things with a sustained envelope, so we will need to spend time on that.

A final consideration that we need to account for is the aesthetics of the piece. Our performance was a bit loose in this regard, so I think we will need to better control the aesthetic of ourselves, and how we present ourselves, and the instrument and make sure that there is a unifying idea behind each aspect of the piece.

Performance 2 Reflection

I thought our performance felt more complete and a little more cohesive than last time, however, I still think we have a lot of work to go before it's really clean. It was our first time performing with a click track, so considering that I think we stayed together reasonably well, I think we just need to practice more and figure out a good way to organize monitor mixes and how we can make everything sound the way it should, both to us and the audience. I also want to experiment with how I can make the saxophone sound more natural compared to everything.

Visually, I think this is where we're the weakest. I'm starting to make progress with how to change up my visuals within processing, but honestly I might just try to get a better grip on Jitter and figure out how I can use that instead of linking processing and max. I also think it would be interesting to mess around with the lights in Davis, and see what sort of moods we can evoke with that.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Our performance on Tuesday definitely felt like a step in the right direction. I think it certainly represented what we are interested in pursuing aesthetically in our performance. It also showed our communication style as a group. Even though things didn't go smoothly or as planned as we would have liked it in parts, I think we still communicated well throughout our performance and will do so in a similar fashion during the final performance. The one thing I'm worried about is getting stuck in the same mode of thinking when it comes to our instruments. I feel like we kind of keep on coming up with similar ideas while we play and I'm not sure what will get us out of that. This does not mean I don't like what we are playing, I just think variation is great.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Week 10 Reflection

Our performance on Tuesday went okay, considering the technical difficulties that ensued during it. We were still able to keep it together, even though it went on longer than we were anticipating. I learned to make sure all the tech is functioning before the performance, and a warmup run is always helpful. I did learn that we are able to salvage a performance even when it's going haywire. Moving forward, I think we will have a more solid structure in our performance so that we don't get stuck if something goes wrong. The feedback was helpful in terms of structure – I liked Professor Gurevich's suggestion about a prelude with just Nick, and I think we are going to incorporate that into the piece. It was helpful to hear people's feedback about timing, too. I was not sure if things seemed to be dragging on for too long, but it was helpful to hear how we could keep things engaging in the performances with different textures and combinations of instruments.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Aesthetic References


I really enjoyed your arrangement, and the way in which you used looping/layering to create a very musically pleasing space.  When thinking of a reference to how you utilized looping, I immediately thought of Julia Easterlin.  I was able to to participate in a masterclass with her last summer on songwriting and looping; her live performances are incredible.  Even though your musical goals may be different and more instrumental than vocal, I feel you could draw a lot of inspiration from how she is able to create such a rich atmosphere in such a minimal style.


I really like the direction you guys are headed in, and I feel you could use more creative inspiration for the "forest" theme you seem to be going for.  This music video and song by Maggie Rogers definitely evokes a lot of emotion using the forest as a reference point.  I also really appreciate how organic the production and her use of original samples are in the track, which is something you guys could definitely experiment with. 

Aesthetic References

Textural References:

There are quite a few easy choices for you, because the category of textural music is so large. I think most of your influences seem to be from the shoegaze/dream pop realm, so an artist outside of that world who I think may help, especially where the use of looping is concerned is Philip Glass. Most of his works involve looping in some form or another, and there is an art to preserving the sounds of the piece while maintaining audience interest.

Jam References:

I really enjoyed your chemistry, and definitely look forward to seeing the development of your group! One group that you remind me of, as far as unusual instrumentation and jazzy jam music goes, is the band Bela Fleck and the Flecktones. They're a bit more structured than I think you intend to be, but I do think the interplay between the instrumentalists, who are all world class in their own right, is worth watching.

Ayal/Kate/Nick Aesthetic References

I really liked the chemistry between the three of you. I thought you all improvised well together and fed off of what each one of you were giving to the group.

The timbre of your groups overall sound reminded me of the group Saajtak. I think maybe it was the combination of acoustic drums and analog sounding synthesizer, but a lot of their compositions stem from improvisations, and because they have a tech savvy PAT alumnus in the ensemble, there's a lot of interesting things going on both sonically and visually.

I think as far as your movie goes, I really like the effects you all are incorporating. It seems a little more dystopian to me, but I think that the music you provide with it could really impact it. Something that it reminds me of, but isn't exactly the same as, is a trend that I've seen on Youtube. I've seen this done a few different ways, but musicians  will have someone play a video game, and in real time, they'll accompany the game with sound effects and theme music.

Oren/Tim/Ben Aesthetic References

I think the idea of using these contact mics is really interesting and could be used in a lot of ways! I'm not sure if you all actually wanna make like, pop music, or if people were just joking around, but if you do, you should totally take a wacky, found sound sort of approach to it.

I like your idea of a forest but I think it might be hard to do a performance like that live with the sounds in this room.

I dunno, I feel like the three of you could do some cool things that are sort of up the alley of Bon Iver's 22, A Million. There are a lot of interesting sounds on there that sort of allude to the groups folkier past, and it kind of reminds me of the woods, but not natural, if that makes sense.

There's also a lot you can do with Ableton and all of those mics. It would be really cool if you had a lot of them working at once, and maybe took advantage of all the speakers around the room to really enforce a surrounding forrest 'vibe'.

There's a video of an instillation that I need to find that has a bunch of random objects with random speakers and microphones in them scattered around a room that I need to find and show you, but I'll add that in when I find it.