Concentric Circuits

Here is an excerpt from the latest N4rgh1l3 performance:

This was from a live performance @ the Crossbows festival which occurred over a few days in May at the Griffith Conservatorium of Music in South Brisbane.

For this performance I designed a fairly simple Max patch for Andrew to run his videos.  Max 6 is a joy to work with, the easy to follow instructions and extra usability features have made it a more potent tool so i’ve ditch Vizzie entirely (which locks the vision to 4:3 boo hiss!!!).  I would still consider VDMX if I was doing a presentation or a Video Centric performance.  VPT if I wanted to do projection mapping. But for a basic 2D screening they are surplus to requirements as our patch runs faster and allows us to throw more layers together.  It’s a fairly basic patch mixing 2 lots of 2 video inputs with a plethora of layer blend options available to Jitter.

Composition of the work began with audio sketches that I would forward to Andrew.  I was particularly interested in playing live but at the same time had little inspiration for composing.  So I turned to the Muzoracle for guidance.  Muzoracle is a Tarot style oracle system that works specifically with musical concepts and harmonic theory.  More specifically aimed at musicians than John Cage’s use of the I-Ching for deterministic intervention, the Muzoracle helped define the arrangements for each piece.  Each casting begins with a die cast for key (E descending in the example photo).  Then the Solfege die is cast and a card drawn for each.  They are laid out according to whether they are chromatic or diatonic scalepoints with a repeated die roll indicating crux of the reading and completing the piece.  The cards are a variety of notes or directions and have metaphysical, psychological and musicalogical importance.

Turning the composition into a self-reflective game brought a greater sense of purpose and definition towards the building of tracks and the final result extends beyond it’s origins effectively.  I also used an Elder Futhark (runic) system to help define the textures.  I can see the philosophical concepts derived from both oracles as having impact on both technical and conceptual aspects of the sonic compositions.

Here is a tidied up version of the audio:

Forthcoming work:

  • Parts 1 + 2 of a Psychogeographic series of recordings
  • Sequences – a new SKON album focused on different forms of sequenced electronica.  Inspired by Philip Glass and Tracker music it will feature heavily layered repetition from sources digital and analog
  • Miniatures – a collaborative work with Jesus Lopez Donado.  He is making brittle analog shards that I plan to polish into aural jewellery.
  • a remix for Adam Stalker
  • study for AV translation / transduction – a piece for Metasynth and one for Synchronator – from my Doctorate research
  • score for short film / featurette with Dani Kirby

1 thought on “Concentric Circuits”

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