In June I travelled to NIME2018 at Virginia Tech to present some of work from the RITMO centre and EPEC project at the University of Oslo. This year, our NIME presentations were focussed on “standstill performance”—where participants have to stand as still as possible to create sound. In previous years, our group had created standstill performances using motion capture in the lab, but our new work was on ways to do this at live events, and even in installations, using the Bela single-board computer.
I recently had the chance to present a paper about my “Neural iPad Ensemble” at the Audio Mostly conference in London. The paper, discusses how machine learning can help to model and create free-improvised music on new interfaces, where the rules of music theory may not fit. I described the Recurrent Neural Network (RNN) design that I used to produce an AI iPad ensemble that responds to a “lead” human performer. In the demonstration session, I set up the iPads and RNN and had lots of fun jamming with the conference attendees.
We presented MicroJam this week at the Boost Technology and Equality in Music Conference at Sentralen, Oslo. The conference arranged a Tech Showcase session in Hvelvet, Sentralen’s old bank vault with developers of music apps, synthesisers, robots and education software.
We recently hosted a music technology event at the Department of Informatics to gather together researchers and students from the University of Oslo to see performances and demonstrations of current research.
Since about 2011, I’ve been performing music with various kinds of touch-screen devices in percussion ensembles, new music groups, improvisation workshops, installations, as well as my dedicated iPad group, Ensemble Metatone. Most of these events were recorded; detailed touch and gestural information was collected including classifications of each ensemble member’s gesture every second during each performance. Since moving to Oslo, however, I don’t have an iPad band! This leads to the question: Given all this performance data, can I make an artificial touch-screen ensemble using deep neural networks?
We recently had the chance to present some experimental musical instruments developed as part of the EPEC project at Oslo Konserthus as part of their “Score” video game music concert.
I joined the ANU Experimental Music Studio to perform several works at the International Conference on Auditory Display at the ANU School of Music last week - here’s some photos!
I’ve just gotten back from NIME2015 in Baton Rouge where I presented a poster about my performance tracking system for iPad ensembles. Great to catch up with new and old NIMErs! The paper is available here and here’s the text of the poster:
I’ve been using iPads and iPhones in performances since 2011 and other performers often ask how I connect the iPads to the PA system. The easy answer is “just use the headphone output”, but getting audio cables with a 3.5mm jack that are rugged enough to work on stage can be a bit of a problem.
In January 2015 I ran a four day workshop in computer music, hardware hacking and new interfaces at the ANU School of Music.
The Intel Galileo Gen 2 - All hooked up.
I’m currently at PASIC2014 in Indianapolis to present a session on performing with iPads in percussion ensemble - here’s the take home notes from my talk!
In May 2014, while I was travelling through Boston, I had the chance to embark on a mini-tour with Maria Finkelmeier as part of ArtWeek Boston, in between our mallet duo and iPad concerts, we played two nights of experimental music for ice and percussion at the Frost Bar called Frost Beat!
In late 2013, the Australian Music Examinations Board released a new syllabus for percussion from Preliminary level to the Licentiate Diploma. The much anticipated new syllabus completely revises the set pieces and technical work for all levels and works in concert with new publications including grade books from Preliminary to Grade 4, two books of technical work, and a sight-reading book.
Recently I flew on Porter airlines from Toronto to Boston - since I was at Toronto’s exhibition centre in the middle of the city, I took the opportunity to walk to the airport! Amazing!
A few years ago I was really interested in finding ways to augment the vibraphone with computer music sounds, particularly ways that could fit in my backpack since I was travelling a lot and using other people’s vibes!
At the end of April I presented my Metatone Apps at CHI2014 in Toronto, as well as delivering a short paper.
Today I’m announcing a debut, self-titled album, from Ensemble Metatone, my group dedicated to creating improvised and experimental music using iPad apps and percussion!
I’ve previously written about my adventures in finding a good OSC library to use in iOS development. I found a new contender, F53OSC, yesterday that seemed to be a complete implementation of OSC 1.0 and doesn’t require any XCode sub-projects (very annoying to setup when starting a new app).
MetaLonsdale is an improvised piece for four iPad performers. The iPad app was written for the opening of an exhibition of David Sequeira’s work at Everything Nothing Projects gallery in Canberra. The concept for the work was to perform with everyday sounds of the artistic precinct that surrounds the gallery as well as pitched percussion sounds. Field recordings were gathered from the café and shops surrounding the gallery. Diatonic pitches from one of three scales were available in MetaLonsdale. A UI buttom cycled through the scales, changing the pitches available to the performers and incorporating a harmonic progression into the instrument.
In August 2013, Ensemble Metatone and I performed a short concert of our works for iPad and percussion developed over the previous four months. We played two improvised pieces, MetaLonsdale for four iPads, and MetaTravels for four iPads with percussion.
When Ensemble Evolution and I were planning our showcase concert for PASIC2013, I suggested that I could put togther an iPad app to use in one of our pieces - an idea that Jake and Maria were super excited to support! We decided that our “Bird’s Nest” piece - an improvisation with xylophone, twigs and various percussion accessories recalling the Bird’s Nest treehouse at Treehotel, would work perfectly with an iPad instrument.
Time to catch up on some old blogs!
In November 2013, I visited Boston to meet up with my group from Sweden, Ensemble Evolution. We were preparing for our debut showcase at PASIC2013 by playing a few concerts at the Arnold Arboretum and around Boston! We also had the chance to visit a few of our supporters, Neil Grover of Grover Pro Percussion and Keith Aleo at Zildjian. It was awesome to visit the Grover and Zildjian factories and use some of their exciting new instruments in our performances!
Ensemble Metatone went to Electrofringe! It was fun! Here’s the video:
I recently presented a poster and paper at ICMC2013 (International Computer Music Conference) in Perth! Here’s the text of the poster and a link to the paper that went with it!
A behind the scenes look at Heroku
I really enjoy using libpd to embed interactive sound into iOS apps. One tradeoff of doing this is that Pd externals are often GPL licenced so you can’t use them in projects that are destined for the App Store - in particular, you can’t use expr or expr~ which are very widely used objects included in Pd Vanilla.
My new article “Creating Sounds from the Treetops with Ensemble Evolution” has just bee published in PERCUSscene Issue 7! Grab it in the latest DRUMscene magazine!
I’ve been writing some very simple Processing sketches to visualise logs of OSC messages for my Metatone project and I’ve wanted to turn these visualisations into videos to match up with the performances.
Updates! Thanks to David and the audience for a great performance! Super-thanks to Rohan Thomson for taking some amazing photos on the night, here’s a gallery!
I pushed an update out to the Snow Music app on the iTunes store a few weeks ago but forgot to post it!
Ensemble Evolution’s first album, “Sounds from the Treetops” is now available as a REAL CD over on Bandcamp!
The Nordlig Vinter app plays computer generated soundscapes inspired by the landscape of Northern Sweden in winter.
I’m now a performance teaching fellow at the ANU! I will be specialising in lessons in marimba and vibraphone improvisation as well as helping students to use computer and electronic instruments in their projects. At the ANU and want to have a few lessons with me? Go check out the Performance Development Allowance page and we can make it happen.
In March 2011, Ensemble Evolution hosted the Piteå Percussion Repertoire Festival at Studio Acusticum. More than 40 teachers, performers, composers and students came from around the world to share new music, ideas and inspiration!
Ran into another problem today with Xcode while updating Snow Music for iPhone 5’s and found the solution on CDN. Turns out, Xcode 4.5 is causing all kinds of problems with linking static libraries, and the default build settings don’t work with libpd.
I have an article in the new issue of PERCUSscene that comes with DRUMscene issue 70! The new magazine is out now so you can grab one from newsagents or order online.
A good tip from Apple Support on how to export the sound of auxiliary channel strips in Logic when doing an “export all tracks”
Anna, Maria and Jake playing in Västervik
In May 2011, Ensemble Evolution went on tour into the south of Sweden to play concerts and give workshops at Oscarshamn Folkhögskolan, Västerviks Museum and in Stockholm.
The cover of Ensemble Evolution’s forthcoming album!
In March, 2012, Ensemble Evolution travelled from Northern Sweden to Australia to perform our new percussion music and hold workshops in improvisation and mobile computer music.
In June 2012, Ensemble Evolution put together a “farewell” tour in Northern Sweden to celebrate everything the area had given to us and enjoy the midnight sun and amazing natural environment.
2014-10-02 - added some updates for XCode 6
I love these things. Dish washing brushes with a hollow handle that slowly deposits detergent into the sponge. With these, I can wash a few things without making a mess.
Since I’ve been working with a lot of new drumset students, I’ve put together some new etudes for them to play. Here’s three! Easy and medium rock style etudes, and a 12/8 blues style etude.
I’ve updated my website to use Squarespace 6, so to celebrate, here’s some nice images. These are from Oslo and Stockholm, taken in June 2011 with my Olympus XA.
I had a paper published in the proceedings of ACMC2012 (link) which was held at Queensland Conservatorium last weekend! The paper was a short version of the Snow Music project from my Master’s thesis. During the conference, I presented the work in a poster session with this terribly wordy poster:
Had a little trip down to Stockholm last weekend for a recording session with Anders Åstrand and Evaristo Aguilar - really fun to play with two of my favourite musicians and friends!
Ensemble Evolution had a fun concert this weekend at Palmgren Conservatory in Pori, Finland. The highlight for me was our performance of one of my pieces, a nice theory, with the percussion students there and Janne Tuomi from the Osuma Ensemble. We got a great review in the local paper and Maria took a video of my piece! We have to thank Toni Hietala for setting up the concert and all of his support.
Ensemble Evolution is on a mini tour in Pori, Finland. I gave a seminar and performance of my music for mobile computer and percussion today and we have a concert tomorrow at Palmgren Conservatory, including a performance of my piece A Nice Theory. Then driving back around the Baltic to Piteå!
This week, Ensemble Evolution hosted Bill and Ruth Cahn at Piteå Musikhögskolan to conduct a Creative Music Making workshop for the percussion and master’s students here. As well as seminars and improvised performances in Piteå and at Framnäs Folkhögskola in Öjebyn, we performed “A Page of Madness”, Bill Cahn’s score for the silent film by Teinosuke Kinugasa, together with Bill and Ruth in Studio Acusticum.
When I started Ensemble Evolution with Jacob and Maria in Piteå, we agreed to bring other artists to Piteå for our Percussion Repertoire Festival and other events. Christina wanted to come to our 2012 festival to present a ragtime xylophone workshop following her Honours project in Australia, but when we decided not to run the festival her session turned into a month of ragtime teaching, performances, composition and recording.
Christina and I recorded a quick demo of Norra Vinter in Canberra just before I left for Sweden.
Christina’s favourite kind of percussion music is ragtime xylophone, so we’ve decided to start a duo project recording and performing the music of George Hamilton Green, Red Norvo and many others.
I recently finished my first prototype for a dedicated computer music system for vibraphone, just in time to use it at Electrofringe at the end of September and to take with me to Sweden!
Heading up to Newcastle tomorrow for Electrofringe and This Is Not Art! The best part is that I’m putting on the first performance of my new project “Norra Vinter” along with my lovely and supportive fiancée, Christina. Norra Vinter is a suite for percussion and iOS reflecting the sights and sounds of life in Northern Sweden, since I’ve used RjDJ to develop the iOS component of the performance, I’ve reworked some of it as an interactive sound experience for the audience to download and take away! So here’s the link (click this using mobile safari on an iOS device!):
update the developer tools from rjdj.me have been updated for lion now.
In August and September 2011 I’m offering lessons in improvisation and jazz interpretation on vibraphone and marimba. Lessons will be in my home studio where the student and I will have enough space for collaborative music making and exploration.
Here’s some photos from the final concert of Tony Miceli’s Delaware Vibes Workshop in July 2011. All the participants played a tune with drums and bass and then at the end there was a special “vibraphone orchestra” playing Las Vegas Tango all together! Pretty silly, but a lot of fun!
A few puns from the streets of Newark…
A few MORE puns from the streets of Newark.
Touring in NYC.
Chrissy and I had great lunch in the East village yesterday. It was soooo hot.
My friends and I in Ensemble Evolution had a great idea for our Piteå Percussion Repertoire Festival: “Let’s record ALL of the seminars and concerts!! We can just use the little camcorders from the school service centre.”
I’ve been experimenting a bit with a cute blogging engine called Toto and wanted to migrate my Posterous posts so I wrote a little script in Ruby to download them all and format them in a Toto-appropriate way.
I went to NIME2011 in Oslo a few weeks ago, it was a really fun opportunity to catch up with some contacts in computer music and interactive media and to see what’s going on in the research world at the moment. Here’s a (non-exhaustive) list of things that stuck in my mind.
Some thoughts about grant writing and funding…
I’ve been thinking a bit about “crowd funding” recently since some good friends were successful in using Kickstarter to fund their commissioning project for percussion music. Kickstarter is for US residents only but I see that there’s an similar product called Pozible available for Australians.
update [ sold now! :-) ]
Somebody asked me whether it was possible to have a metronome synchronised between a bunch of iPhones… it turns out it is!
Since our repertoire festival, I’ve been thinking about what the role of a percussionist should be after they’ve left university. I remember something that Eugene Ughetti (Speak Percussion) said when describing his own move from the academic to professional world:
I’ve been thinking about the whole process of creating a performance (from nothing or from a composition) and what has really worked in the projects I’ve been involved in.
On Saturday we rented a car and drove to the Ice Hotel at Jukkasjärvi. Adventure!
today Chrissy and I went for a walk to the river and, to our surprise, there were lots of people hanging out skating, sledding, snowmobiling and even cycling on the ice. we walked to town and sat in the snow to have a picnic. fun! Finally a few hours of proper sun today. Yay!
Outside the Louvre.
I played in a concert of the school’s composition student’s work. Fun!
Snow sticks to trees in an interesting way.
Julmust testing rig.
At PASIC now. The socializing begins. Gosh! So many people!
This sculpture is super cool. Beautiful, seamless reflection plus an interesting shape. Crazy photo is the view from underneath it. As you walk around the world twists like a kaleidoscope. Amazing! Ps, I am in these photos! It’s like Where’s Wally.
Woo! Time for cheap food!
Came to Stockholm to work with Anders, Everisto and Rolf. I hacked together a little video mixer in oF for their concert at PASIC. After late dinner and listening at Anders’ place I walked home to my hotel. Stockholm streets are quiet and surreal even during the day. But especially late at night. Stylish shop keepers leave their lights on so you can see their cool stuff. See below.
I had a really fun time walking around Stockholm with Ensemble Evolution + Anna. We went to two museums - the East Asian museum where they had a terracotta warrior exhibit (pretty super cool), and the Vasa museum which houses a ship that sank in 1698 and was salvaged almost complete in the 50s. Interesting story - they built it and it just sank as soon as it was launched, turns out they didn’t know how to build a ship with two gun decks properly.
Last weekend, Ensemble Evolution and I played some concerts with Anders and Dave in Stockholm and Piteå. Fun!
Stockholm is fun!
The water is starting to freeze over.
Including - the concert hall (Acusticum) with it’s strange spire thing + my friends Maria and Jake. Some roads, houses and the ocean!
Achievement for the day was to gather the necessary items for cooking dinner and having a bathroom. Headed down to one of two big supermarkets in town, I chose the one called “Coop” rather than “ICA”, which is about 30 minutes walk. Had to limit myself to absolute necessities since I had to carry it all home!
At NIME someone asked if I had tried using Xbee with my wearable Arduino setup for Last Man to Die. I hadn’t then, but after today…. now I have!
Charles I wanted to take Strike on Stage with me overseas, so Lisa and I each made a smaller version of the screen. When I went to the US and Canada recently, I brought my setup with me and performed a solo version of Strike on Stage at Stanford’s CCRMA, a computer music research institution.
Here’s some photos of the setup and software:
I attended a workshop at Stanford CCRMA about tabletop interfaces which is related to the work that I do in new interfaces using realtime computer vision in performance.
At the end of an awesome week talking about the future and past of human computer interaction and having fun with processing, chuck and supercollider, we had a little concert. I played two pieces, my new Study for Table and a micro solo version of Strike on Stage, videos below! and photos!
Study for Table:
Strike on Stage Micro:
The waitress was going around accusing customers of not eating their dinner, so I immediately got scared of not finishing!! Although I didn’t finish it all… luckily she had her back turned while we escaped. Posted via email from charles martin
Today I worked a lot on Strike on Stage Micro, my portable solo version of
Strike on Stage! Next Friday I’m going to present it during a Stanford CCRMA Summer Workshop on Multitouch Tabletop Interfaces.
Posted via email from charles martin
I bought a Korg NanoKontrol in Japan in February and, before I even had one performance with it, I managed to break the USB connector. Looking inside, I found that it was only held on by weak solder connections so I can’t blame myself too much… Anyway, I looked at it again and realised that I could fix it by soldering a wire from each pin from the USB mini socket to the next component in the circuit. The surface mount soldering was very difficult but it works now. I tried to add some extra tape and foam inside the case so that the socket would be more secure now. Maybe it’ll break again, but at least I have a chance to use it now!
Alternative version of ofxOsc for broadcasting OSC messages to every client on a local network.
THE LAST MAN TO DIE is on at Street 2, The Street Theatre, Canberra next week! July 7-8, 8:30pm.
Dave Samuels + Anders Åstrand + ANU DRUMatiX
Developing LMTD2010 at Belconnen Arts Centre and Belconnen Theatre
- Supercollider field recording and vocal soundscapes.
- Ableton live - composition.
- Arduino - accelerometer data + LEDs.
- OF blob tracking.
Canberra, February 2010.
Various Diana Mini photos from Tokyo. Yay film!
I met with my new friend Recotana (Osamu Funada) in Tokyo the other week. We had a coffee, talked about Arduino and iPhone apps, and walked around Akihabara looking at parts shops. His friend Hide was also there to help. I was lucky to have them showing me around, even though I’ve been to Akihabara a few times he knew the good shops to visit which I’d never seen before.
My residency with Last Man to Die at Canberra Youth Theatre is finished. We developed heaps of great ideas for our new works in 2010 and put on a fun performance on the 9th of December.
Last Man to Die is showing a few of our new works at Canberra Youth Theatre, 9th December at 6pm!
I’ve finished a season of at the Street Theatre in Canberra with Last Man to Die. We performed five shows from 24th-30th of October and had a great time! Review here.
Last Man to Die performed a preview of our upcoming project at Newcastle’s famous This Is Not Art festival.
On Friday, I performed with Chi-Hsia Lai and Veronica Walshaw at the Hughes Festival of Music - in a bakery! The programme was:
I performed my final recital for the Master of Music course at the ANU School of Music in July.
I made a simple heartbeat sensor using an Arduino which sends OSC signals at each heartbeat over a network. I’m using the heartbeat sensor as an awesome prop in my show which is on at the Street Theatre in Canberra!
I’m going to use an Ubuntu system to do some audio projects, so I wanted to figure out how to use Jack and some other applications that come with Ubuntu Studio.
A review of Cognition Pt.2 featuring my piece, Duet for Vibraphone and Computer appeared in City News, October 2008.
I’m planning how I will make a MIDI heartbeat sensor, probably using my arduino.
I installed Safari 4.0 beta this morning and later found that Supercollider would crash when I tried to open the help browser (html rendered by webkit). Returning to Safari 3 fixes this problem.
In order to gain a fundamental knowledge of synthesis as a base for my research I chose to work from the textbook Computer Music using SuperCollider 3 by David Cottle. SuperCollider (or SC) is a program which aims to be a general tool for creating music on computer. It is extremely powerful and has a flexible and deep interface which makes it perfect for learning general techniques of synthesis. The following report explains some of the fundamental methods of synthesis and demonstrates how they can be implemented in SuperCollider.
A review by Helen Musa appears in the 24th September 2008 edition of City News. The relevant excerpt is here:
When I started learning Pure Data (or Pd) a couple of weeks ago, it was difficult to find good tutorials and examples. In the end I used a couple of different tutorials to take my first steps in this language:
I updated to Leopard last night on my iBook G4 and was thrilled to find that my printer drivers had been deleted. After a furious search I found a press release from HP indicating that Leopard was supposed to delete old printer drivers and use newer built in drivers, supposedly there is a driver for my HP Laserjet 1022n but I couldn’t find it.
Cigars for the Man invited us to Newcastle to play two shows with them over this weekend. On friday we played the Cambridge Hotel with them. For us, it was a fairly unremarkable show. There were some technical difficulties with Tim’s mic and the foldback for my pad but it wasn’t too significant. Cigars were really fantastic though. AfThe bass player, Justin also plays in The Porkers as does Rob the trombonist. Their myspace belies the experience each of the members have as musicians and the energetic and convincing performance they made.
We had a weekend in Melbourne to play two shows - The Esplanade on Friday and Sounds Like Chicken’s final show out at a community centre in Bayswater. In spite (or because of) the reputation of the venue I’ve been disappointed with our previous shows at the Espy, but I really enjoyed Friday night. A few fans in the crowd knew some words had everybody dancing and the awesome sound guy set up quickly and mixed up a great sound.
I played a show this evening in Cooma at the youth centre there. Since two bands pulled out, it was a short show with Los Cap, Strong Like Sam and an interesting metalcore two-piece. When we were about to play Scene Queen, Tim unexpectedly presented me with the microphone. Not one to leave such a challenge stand, I “sang” the whole song through. I even embellished my performance with some of Tim’s special brand of hardcore floor squirming.
This is pretty unorganised but it was fun to make and has some nice ideas I might use again in future. I was inspired by Four Tet to use my soundblaster live mic for a lot of this. It captured some nice sounds!
A new piece I made in an hour.