Saturday, July 31, 2010


I found this picture in my 1974 Joy of Cooking. Just opened it randomly, as I was about tio make pancakes and it caught my eyes. There is also a nice bit on squirrels. Now you have information. I don't condone the killing of bunnies, but hey, it is interesting.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Computer 10 n 11

So here are some more performance studies of my latest patch. I am not sure if I ever noted it before, but this entire project was inspired by a comment by Dick Raaymakers about Cannon in 5 movements ( a wonderful listen if I do say so). He called it "mouse music. That got me thinking about all of the individual impulses in a sound file. So, I built a continuously recording buffer that is triggered by loud input to play an individual sample. Then I added different means of reading the buffer to provide a little of the real world sound, brief it may be, and often transposed.


11version One (no compression)

I also took number 11 and compressed it a great deal. This is more akin to what one finds in modern mixes of pop music. It certainly doesn't look as interesting and there is a great homogenization of the volume. It does bring out some detail which is interesting, but I think I prefer the largely dynamic first version. Of course, as with all of these, it will be more apparent on a high quality listening system. (Leave a comment about the compression).

11 version 2 (with compression)

True, my works are nothing like Dick's, he spent 3 years solid cutting and splicing thousands of pieces of tape (ir sine tones on magnetic tape). Yet, the impulse of the impulses has guided this project, although as of late I have strayed into more tone's as it were. The other aspect of this piece is that I am using a cracklebox for a good deal of the sound source. Another Dutch contribution to my thoughts.

Here are the 5 Cannons by Dick Raajmakers

Canon - 1, Super Augere

Canon - 2, Super Imprimere

Canon - 3, Super Addere

Canon - 4, Super Sub-Trahere

Canon - 5, Super 'Dis-Moi...'

Thursday, July 29, 2010

5 more F.A.T.LAB

Exploring some new things with my new set up. Here are a 4 more studies for the F.A.T.LAB piece. The material is beginning to fall into place, when the video arrives in my inbox it will be a fun day.






Wednesday, July 28, 2010

3 for F.A.T.LAB

A week and a half from now, Aug 7, 2010, there will be a show at the Contemporary Arts Forum in Santa Barbara. Part of this show will be a collaborative work between myself, Alejandro Casazi and Joel Chapman. Joel will be preparing food, myself sound and Alejandro images. We will combine our work in an installation. For this opening night Alejandro and I are working on a video. The focus for this evening is beets (yes the vegetable). Here are a few preliminary sound sketchs.




Tuesday, July 27, 2010

EEG sensing

What an amazing tool. I want to experiment with one of these. Here is the page

NYC present and past


I like the interactive nature of this advert. It is rather engaging and interesting to watch the interaction with adoring crowds. What I really want to see is how it interacts with uncouth and irreverent persons. What is the algorithm for distinguishing possible paying customer from from distrusted, disenfranchised members of the society?

Times Square Billboard by Space150 from Cliff Kuang on Vimeo.

Towards the end I heard some sounds that reminded me instantly of TAXI, the NYC show that I never really watched, but that I love the theme for.


Growing up I watched a lot of television (among other things). But I never watched so much TV that I actually watched more than a handful of episodes of TAXI. I would be tripping through channels and stumble on it, watch it for a bit and then realize that there was really nothing on that I wanted to watch. In this way it became a signal for me to turn off the TV, most often, late at night. I think this also says something about me being part of the "I'm bored generation" but that is another story.

Even though I did not watch it much, there is a certain stillness and clarity of mind that it's theme music elicits for me. In fact, I rather like the theme so much that it is part of my mental architecture of the ethos of NYC. WHile people are transfixed by an interactive anorexic, I prefer the dirty, rough about the edges geography of a New York long since dead. After all, that is the city I was transfixed with from a very early age, thinking that Sesame street was a part of it, as well as Welcome back Kotter. I was not able to get there until I was much older, so I voyeuristically watched from across the plains in a little glowing black and white light cube.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

hi-fi addicts

I came across a site on James Lansing, the designer of JBL speakers. The article that initially grabbed my interest is on "The Hi-Fi Bandwagon" It is a 1953 TIME Life article. Really quite a read.
This is a nice quote..

The syrupy, "bass-heavy," unrealistic sound of the old-style living room phonograph is dying out. What is replacing it is easy to distinguish by ear but hard to describe in words. Perhaps Harold Weiler, author of High Fidelity Simplified, one of the several books on the subject to appear in recent months, does it as well as anyone:

"Do you [when listening to your radio or phonograph] hear cymbals as a crashing sound followed by a sustained shimmering? Do you hear the triangle as a clear ringing sound? Can you actually feel the vibrations of the tom-tom? . . Can you always differentiate between the violin and violoncello? Can you tell the difference between string bass and brass bass?"

If you can't -and if you care- you are ready for high fidelity.

since high-quality sound is especially popular in remote areas where entertainment is limited. Anchorage, Alaska, numbers some 30 hi-fi addicts. A local problem in Alaska is finding the favored corner location for speakers in the rounded Quonset huts in which many residents live.

With its extended range, a hi-fi sound system produces music of almost hallucinatory realism

Contrasting the enthusiast and the bug..
THE bug, on the other hand, does not necessarily like music at all but is simply interested in the reproduction of dazzling sound for its own sake-the more difficult to reproduce the better. He is especially fond of the voice of Yma Sumac, an Ecuadorian singer who has an uncannily great range, and of such tintinnabulating instruments as the harpsichord and the glockenspiel.

Here she is.

One of the strangest facts about both bugs and audiophiles is that they are almost exclusively male. Women seldom like high fidelity, and often oppose it with such violence that Walter Toscanini, the son of the maestro and a hi-fi expert, has asked with some seriousness whether women and high fidelity can coexist in one civilization.

making recordings -in nightclubs or in carefully arranged jam sessions at which the audience is instructed to please let itself go.

Such particularists represent the advance guard of a movement

Binaural addicts love trains.

likely they love them because of Emmory Cook, maker of hi-fi recordings with his label, "Sounds of Our Times". Here is a short article on him from 1954, in TIME magazine.

This theory is spectacular.
While binaural is beyond the reach and probably even the desire of the average U.S. listener, high fidelity as such will probably invade his consciousness and very possibly his living room by the endl of this year. One indication of this is a theory of Harrie K. Richardson, associate editor of Audio Engineering magazine, that high fidelity tends to follow television into a new area after a four year interval. Richardson argues that when telecasting begins in a certain region, radio-phonograph and record sales slump badly for about two years. Then, as TV's novelty wears off, a public which has been conditioned to seek amusement at home begins looking around for a new kind of entertainment. Record sales begin to rise and high fidelity is likely to engage the interest of the former TV addict. Four years after the arrival of TV, sales of records and sound systems are likely to hit an all-time high. Right or wrong, it is true that high fidelity today is selling its hottest in areas which have had television for a period of years.

THe use of addict is is so soft, as if to admit that we are all addicts and that this conditioning is really quite a normal and positive component of the modern (1953) situation. Really quite interesting.

This is a great closer.... budy!
But hi-fi's best sales stimulant is less disenchantment with television than the tendency of its devotees to turn the volume up and thus acquaint other people with its virtues whether they want to hear it or not. Not long ago a Washington, D.C. hi-fi addict with more than $4,000 worth of equipment was visited by a policeman.
"We hear you were playing records pretty late last night," said the cop ominously.
"That's right," said the addict.
"Pretty loud, we hear," went on the cop.
"Let me show you how loud," said the addict. When the cop was comfortably seated in his living room he turned on some Beethoven-full blast.
"Sound too loud to you?" he asked.
"It sounds swell," said the cop thoughtfully. "Real swell." "That's how I played it last night," said his host.
"Keep right on playing it that way, buddy," said the converted cop as he got up to leave.

Of JBL... the original D130.
This driver was responsible for establishing the nascent James B Lansing Sound as a force to be reckoned with in the loudspeaker industry.

And it shows up in this little rig.

Grateful Dead's Wall of Sound.


A-B-ING-Comparing two speakers or other components by switching rapidly first one then the other into a system while it is play ing, to judge their performances.

COAXIAL SPEAKER_A speaker with a tweeter (below) mounted within a woofer, on the same axis.

FLAT FREQUENCY RESPONSE - This ideally is the equal and undistorted amplifi cation of all tones on record or broadcast at any degree of volume from soft to loud.

GOLDEN EAR -A person whose hearing is acute enough to differentiate between grades and types of reproductive quality.

KEYHOLE EFFECT - How music sounds when it seems to come from one small source -a "keyhole"- instead of filling the room. Also, "porthole" effect.

NEEDLE TALK - The noise created by a stylus in its contact with record grooves.

SHRIEKER - A system made up of "in compatible" components which consequently create distortion. Such a system is said to have a "bother" or "worry."

TIN EAR - Antithesis of golden ear.

TWEETER AND WOOFER - The tweeter is usually a small speaker designed to repro duce high frequencies. The woofer is a much larger cone, designed to reproduce the lows.

WAR HORSES - A perennially selling re cording of a standard classic by a standard orchestra or artist.

WHISKERS - Sound is said to have whisk ers when the highs are not clear - fuzzy.

WOW - A slow wavering tone, especially noticeable in sustained piano chords, caused by uneven revolving of the turntable. A rapid wow, caused by a faulty turntable motor or faulty tape recording, is a "flutter."

Monday, July 19, 2010

photocopier finctionality


Sunday, July 18, 2010

art art


8 and 9


Again I find myself making more improvs and experimenting with what I can do. Originally this series involved only the computer. As time has passed I have incorporated other things, the crackle synth (rather fitting in a way), chop sticks (my favorite plastic drumsticks) and the cloth I use to clean the computer. I am thinking it would be fun to bring in some of the visual element of the performance as well, although I have yet to think of what part of this I find important, hence I haven't done it yet.


Saturday, July 17, 2010

Varese the actor

Unknown performance by the French-American composer as an actor. From the film "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde"(1920) by J.S. Robertson.
Scene 1, Varèse as an Italian nobleman, with strange haircut. Scene 2, Varèse as a police chief with top hat. Soundtrack: a personal reassembled selection of Amériques(first v.1918-21).

Cmptr with Crackle Synth

I seem to be on a role making stuff. I added the crackle synth to the mix (instead of just tapping my computer) and I like the results. Here is a preliminary run. Starting to make some base tones, have the sensitivity of audio rate and great spatialization.

cmptr5 and LTT

The latest in the series of me hitting my computer and reading from the buffer based on the amplitude of how high I hit the computer. This one is longer @ 11:37.

I also got a very random message when Luke's butt muscles decided to dial my number and leave a message @ 8:30 AM. Kinda similar in a way. LTT = Luke Thomas Taylor.
Luke's Butt

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

computer study 4

Introducing... STEREO!
By using the same instrument in multiple instantiations I created a means for different levels of control. The paradigm that I am using now has 4 instantiations and each is set to a react to a different amplitude threshold on the input. The four are paired into 2 instances of 2, one mapped to left, one to right. Of the two on the left, one controls the amplitude of the signal, the other is the signal (the same on the other side).

By using differing levels fr the triggers I insure different reactions in each channel. When an action is performed and picked-up by the microphone, it is written to the buffer as before. The difference is that now, the buffer is read at different rates for the sounds and the amplitude for each channel.


now can post from phone. cheers

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3 computer studies

Here are three studies that I performed this evening. The sounds are impulses read from a buffer that is being read and recorded. The speed at which the read head is moving through the buffer is determined by the amplitude of the noise in the room. This is ideal for a person, in a room alone with headphones. I would like to make a compelling stereo placement tool as part of this performance tool, but that has not happened yet. That being the case, these are mono pieces, which happen to have two tracks.

#1 (4:26)

#2 (7:46)

#3 (10:18)