Tentacle Prints Now Available at The Artling

May 13th, 2022

Earlier this year, Amir Hariri and I released the first sets of images from Tentacle, an algorithmic drawing project that creates gestural abstractions using contour drawing techniques. We have now made the first set of prints available at The Artling. More prints will be released over the next few months and look for more Tentacle related projects later in the summer, including limited edition prints. Sign up for our email list to be kept in the loop.

1 Vox, Vol. 2 Released

May 13th, 2022

Better late than never, the follow up to 1 Vox, Vol. 1 finally makes it out into the world. 1 Vox, Vol. 2 is the second set of etudes that employ tight constraints to encourage focused exploration of the capabilities of my small modular synthesizer. Each piece uses only one voice (that is, one sound generator) plus the small set of modulation and utility modules in my rack. In order to center my attention on the capabilities of the system, I used no external controllers or sequencers. I’ve long focused on radical constraints in my work, so while this performance interface is more limited than many of the instruments I’ve built, a tightly controlled possibility space is a natural place for me to explore.

Available now on Bandcamp. Coming in June to select streaming services.

New Project: Tentacle

March 8th, 2022

I’m excited to introduce Tentacle, an algorithmic drawing project created in collaboration with Amir Hariri that creates gestural abstractions using contour drawing techniques.

Tentacle Drawings

A few years back, my friend Andrew West was visiting me in New York. While he was here, he also had plans to visit Amir, an old friend from his art school days. It occurred to Andrew that Amir and I might have similar interests in art and technology so he introduced us. We started getting together from time to time to talk about art, particularly algorithmic art. The conversations weren’t limited to visual art; George Lewis’ interactive music system Voyager featured heavily in early conversations. It turns out Andrew was right, Amir and I shared a similar aesthetic and approach. Soon enough, philosophical discussions started to turn into design discussions and those designs eventually turned into code. We’re now ready to start sharing what we’ve been working on. Learn more >>

Exquisite Two Released

December 28th, 2021

Sneaking in just before the end of the year, Exquisite Coast Two is the second in a series of albums of synthesiser improvisations created in collaboration with John O’Brien. In the spring of 2020, as the Covid-19 lockdown got under way, John and I started talking about ways to collaborate remotely after realizing that we both owned a Make Noise 0-Coast semi-modular synthesizer. By sharing patches—the state of the synthesizer, including the positions of the knobs and how the signals are routed from one part of the synthesizer to another—we created pairs of solo pieces that shared a common configuration. Each week, we made two recordings: one based on an original patch—the Prompt—and then a Response based on the other person’s patch.

You can get it now on Bandcamp.

Exquisite Coast One Now Streaming

August 12th, 2021

Exquisite Coast One is now available on all major streaming services.

And of course it’s still available at Bandcamp for those who prefer a download to a stream.

Exquisite Coast One Released

July 29th, 2021

I’m excited to announce the release of a new album in collaboration with John O’Brien. In the spring of 2020, as the Covid-19 lockdown got under way, John and I started talking about ways to collaborate remotely after realizing that we both owned a Make Noise 0-Coast semi-modular synthesizer. By sharing patches—the state of the synthesizer, including the positions of the knobs and how the signals are routed from one part of the synthesizer to another—we created pairs of solo pieces that shared a common configuration. Each week, we made two recordings: one based on an original patch—the Prompt—and then a Response based on the other person’s patch.

Exquisite Coast One is the first of many albums in a series that we will roll out over the next year or so. You can get it now on Bandcamp.

You can play Exquisite Coast too! If you and a friend have any of the small semi-modular synthesizers from Make Noise or Moog and would like to play the game yourselves, we have publicly released the web app we used to notate and share patches. Visit ec.rustle.works to learn more.

Exquisite Coast Web App is now Exquisite Coasts

July 25th, 2021

Exquisite Coasts is a shared patch game created by Damon Holzborn and John O’Brien (original announcement here) for the Make Noise 0-Coast semi-modular synthesizer. We have now expanded the game to include additional synthesizers from which to choose. Now, in addition to the 0-Coast, we’ve added additional small semi-modular instruments from Make Noise (Strega, 0-CTRL) and Moog (Mother 32, DFAM, Subharmonicon, Werkstatt). Learn more and join in at ec.rustle.works.

Quaxtrip Update

April 11th, 2021

I’ve made the first major(ish) addition to Quaxtrip since launch. Rather than use a hardware mixer to get my synth setup into the computer, I tend to go directly into my multi-channel audio interface and do the mixing in software. Since Quaxtrip’s release I’ve developed an evolving set of patches to manage my personal integration with Quaxtrip. Figuring that there are likely others who work the same way, I decided to build this functionality into Quaxtrip. When you launch the mixer, you can combine up to eight stereo or mono channels to send to your remote peers as a mono or stereo mix.

There are a few other changes to the patch as well. Two separate mutes — local and remote — were added to the Local Input. This allows you to isolate the remote signals for local monitoring or prevent your signal from being sent to the remote partner(s), respectively. There also were changes to the send and receive objects you can use to hook into Quaxtrip in your own patches. This is a breaking change, so sorry about that, but the old strategy was too confusing.

There was also a minor bug fix or two, so I do recommend all users download this version.

I am planing more features in the coming weeks or months. Here’s some of the stuff I’m thinking about adding:

  • Synced recording of the local input of each performer.
  • Remote clock signal sharing (although it recently dawned on me (duh) that if you have a device with tap tempo, you can pretty much accomplish this manually without fancy clock sharing, but I never met a problem I couldn’t over-engineer…).
  • More robust text chat.

If you think of anything else you’d like to see added to Quaxtrip, don’t be shy. I’d like Quaxtrip to be useful for Max experts and novices alike, so I’ll do as much as I can to make it useful for a wide variety of users.

Find installation instructions and join the conversation over at the lines forum.

Announcing Quaxtrip – low latency audio over the internet in Max

December 1st, 2020

Quaxtrip is a set of Max patches that makes low-latency uncompressed audio and messaging interconnections over the internet, intended for musicians wishing to play together remotely.

Quaxtrip runs Miller Puckette’s Quacktrip Pure Data patch within Cycling ‘74’s Max. Quacktrip, in turn, is an implementation, in Pure Data, of Chris Chafe’s JackTrip network protocol, based on jacktrip.pd by Roman Haefeli and Johannes Schuett. It establishes a low-latency, point-to-point connection between two sites, with no audio compression. Quaxtrip allows up to four of these connections, allowing an ensemble of up to five players at once.

Learn more and join the discussion on the Lines forum or download the patch at GitHub.

Announcing Coast Express

June 26th, 2020

Coast Express is a MIDI settings manager for the Make Noise 0-Coast semi-modular synthesizer. I previously released a version for Max but now I’ve added a version that works in the browser. Visit https://ce.rustle.works/ to learn more.