31 August 2007

circuit bending

Hey guys. I apologize for being M.I.A. Wait, if I say that now does it sound like I'm apologizing for being her?

Nevermind, I am being silly. Anyway, I am alive. The past two weeks have been a whirlwind of insanity. I flew to Miami for 28 hours to have a client meeting, I had calls with Argentina (hi Tiffany), I worked sixteen hour days, etc. I never forget to balance, though.

Last Saturday, I went to Glasslands for the first time to see a Japanese band that I have been listening to a bit this summer, Lullatone.

(I'll get to them in a later entry; I wrote a letter to my Canadian pen pal about them and want her to read it in the letter before it's on my blog. More about letter-writing culture later as well.)

Anyway, Glasslands – as they put it – is an "experiential community art space" in South Williamsburg. Once I found the correct door (just a random collaged door on Kent, slotted in between industrial structures /warehouses and the like), I felt like I was walking into someone's loft apartment to hang out with a bunch of people. It was a great feeling - open, assorted bits of art everywhere, clusters of people sitting on couches.

One of the most interesting performances of the night was Loud Objects. What they basically do is live circuit bending that gets projected onto the wall via middle-school style overhead projector. The glitchy sounds that come out of what they do right in front of you (soldering irons and all) reminded me a bit of the MS-DOS games I used to play on my father's IBM when I was a wee. They describe it best:

Our music sets are built in front of you on overhead projector from scratch with electonics and soldering irons. Our components are microprocessors (Atmel), a 3V battery and an audio-out jack.

Tristan - whom I am quickly forming a friendship with now - is one of the minds behind Loud Objects; he has other side projects as well. Visit his site, he is quite the engineering and programming genius. 1-Bit Music wrote this about one of them:

[Tristan] programs and packages electronics in a standard CD jewel case that generate minimal glitch/dance music when headphones are plugged in. The music is 1-bit, the simplest representation of digital sound.

Here are a few photos I took that night (I definitely need a better digital camera). First, two of their previous sets, stacked together and for sale. I loved this concept. It's like buying a piece of art that was both created and enjoyed at the same time. The other two are of their live performance (+ wall projection).

two of their previous sets, stacked.

circuit bending

overhead projector.

I have more to say, but I'll break it down into different entries so nobody gets overwhelmed. Sometimes when I see a really, really long entry I panic and don't read any of it. oops. I hope nobody does that to me!

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