Author Archives: em:p

daedelus in mlr-bourne

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Daedelus played a post Laneway festival gig at Miss Libertine’s in Melbourne, Australia on 1/2/09, and after an hour and a half of monome-fueled sample mangling, had the crowd crying out for more. A maestro of MLR, replete in red tails and dress shirt, not to mention his very physical approach to performing with the monome, there was something outstanding about watching him a whole set of electronica construct right in front of you in a way that was both entertaining and understandable. Props to Daedelus for being such a gent and having time to chat after his set, and props to Brian and Kelli for designing such amazingly simple yet powerful devices!

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Daedelus was supported by an excellent performance by Dorian Concept – fat and quirky beats and funked up keyboard licks. Thoroughly enjoyed the flow of his set, and the very live nature of the performance. Curiously though, I found Daedelus’ performance with a monome more “transparent” than Dorian’s. Even though Dorian was using a more traditional instument, it was actually hard to tell at times what he was doing in between fast keyboard licks – and there was a real feeling of all the beats coming off the laptop on cue, with just the keys being added on top. No disrespect to Dorian’s music, and I’d love to be half the keyboard player he is – I’m more just noticing the limitations of his chosen interface.

The monome performance allowed you to see how the whole song was being constructed and manipulated – not just one part. And it was nice to see a 64 down beside the 256 being used as a mixer/effects control (including an accelerometer controlled “slooow down” effect). Daedelus’ interaction with the laptop was pretty much reduced to selecting the next set of samples, and the occasional tempo slide.

So, perhaps I’m biased, but those are my humble reflections. I left the evening inspired – more monome playing and building await!

first flight of the cigarduino

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first flight of the cigarduino synth! i was given this fantastic Cuban cigar box, and my first thought was: “I have to build a synth to put in this…” so my trusty arduino board began its journey from the workbench into the Cuban enclosure. the current configuration is inspired by Beavis’ Audio’s arduino punk console design. I’ve tweaked the code a bit to support portamento between notes in the sequencer.

I had a spectrasymbol softpot looking for a home (courtesy of stribe maker josh boughey) and was delighted that it fitted in just beneath the row of momentary buttons. however, along with four pots on the top row, and two more beneath, that was one more analog input than the arduino supports natively. so, i used a 4051 multiplexer to support extra inputs, although i’ve got a bit of work to do to get the multiplexing working reliably.

currently the cigarduino is running a variant of the Beavis Audio Arduino Punk Console code, with the top row of pots are assigned to pitch, duration, portamento, and tempo. support for portamento is a twist on the straight arduino punk console, but the thing just oozed acid so much when I first heard it, that portamento became essential. the two pots beneath are as yet unassigned. likewise the softpot is unassigned. the red momentary buttons are sequencer slots, while the right black switch is on and off. the left black switch is unassigned.

lots of room for expansion and exploration – check back soon for more details

empty quarter ep launch


qalandari dub gypsies, the empty quarter, have been pouring out their collective heart and soul in the studio over the last few months, in the lead up to this year’s Muslim Music Festival. Joined by Meg Smith on violin, the group continue to explore the realms of the heart through the words of the mystic poets, rumi, hafez and ghalib and their own original lyrics. the group will be launching their debut ep at the final concert of the 2008 Muslim Music Festival, on September 8. joining them on stage will be the colour of unity qawwali ensemble, acoustic pop duo, patterns for paper, and victorian beatbox champion, shazet. full details of the festival, which spans three nights at the Northcote Town Hall, Melbourne, are available from the Muslim Music Festival website. here’s a sample of what to expect from the empty quarter on the night: [audioplaylist:TheEmptyQuarter] 

hathira sama – elemental explorers

Hathira Sama Concert
after 2 years in the wilderness, hathira sama have re-convened their exploration of the sonic and the spiritual, recording a meditation on the 5 elements: earth, water, fire, air and ether. recorded in hyderabad, the album incorporates sounds from the fringes of one of india’s most rapidly developing cities into hathira sama’s unique blend of voice, bansuri, tabla and electronics. a journey from earth to the heavens, “elements” represents hathira sama’s most focused work to date.

new spices in the chailight brew

global dub mystics, the empty quarter, have joined the chailight roster. formed by vocalist kate grealy, rasheeda cooper on tabla and arabic percussion, mark pedersen on electronics and pete emptage on bass, the empty quarter blends texts from the mystic poets of mughal india, iran and turkey with the dubbed out global grooves of asia. hafiz meets king tubby in downtown delhi on their first release, the sun never says, which featured recently on sbs radio’s alchemy and radio national’s rhythm divine. watch this space for more sample tracks, and dates of upcoming performances. you can also check their myspace: