If / When: “Pigments”

On Saturday, October 14, I will be debuting a new solo alias called If/When and present an installation and live sound performance called “Pigments” at the Kunstraum 34 in Stuttgart. The event is taking place in coordination with a city-wide cultural event called Stuttgartnacht and as part of the finissage for artist Anabella Spielmannleitner‘s show Whiteout. Details and a description of the project follow. Continue reading

Recent Writing for the High-Performance Computing Center Stuttgart (HLRS)

In April I started a new job as a science writer and editor at the High-Performance Computing Center Stuttgart (HLRS), a core facility of the University of Stuttgart and a member of the Gauss Center for Supercomputing. HLRS is the home of Hazel Hen, the fastest supercomputer in Germany, conducts its own research focusing on issues related to high-performance computing, and supports academic and industrial researchers, with emphases on simulation, data analytics, and visualization, among others. Here are a few of my first pieces of writing about some work underway there.

> Hazel Hen’s Millionth Compute Job
> HLRS Focuses on Sustainability in Supercomputing
> Hazel Hen Helps Explain Ultrafast Phase Transition

Sick Passengers Now on Bandcamp

 

On this night 13 years ago I was at the Trash Bar in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, celebrating the release of Your Words, Bought and Sold, the only proper CD that my big, loud rock band at the time, The Sick Passengers, ever finished. This was long before “digital albums” came along, and so we never got around to updating it for the streaming age. Today seems like a fitting occasion to change that. I’d like to invite you all to check out our new Bandcamp page, which offers free downloads of “Your Words,” our early demo (If You Are Not Well, You Will Not Be Left Alone), and a new compilation of live versions — imperfect as they may be — of lost songs we never recorded in the studio, called Cut Outs. For old friends who came to the shows, hopefully this will bring back some good memories. For newer friends, I’m glad to finally be able to share these songs with you — an awful lot of them still make me smile uncontrollably.

Glass Bees Presentation at Salon 34

 

Members of the Stuttgarter Kollektiv für Aktuelle Musik (S-K-A-M) recently started a monthly meeting at the Kunstraum Filderstrasse called Salon 34 to foster dialogue and collaboration among members of the local artistic community. So far, it has been a very friendly and informal series of events that have offered a chance to hear about some very diverse artistic work, spanning many disciplines. On June 12 I introduced myself with a 40-minute presentation about the Glass Bees, focusing on the evolution of the project from a studio improvisation duo into a platform for more conceptual multimedia performances and installations. Thanks, Karmin Shim, for following with an interesting presentation on the Borneo Art Collective (and for the photo!) and to the S-K-A-M team for organizing this series. I’ll be looking forward to hearing what others around here are up to in the coming months.

The Next Station: Remixing the London Underground

The website Cities and Memory has just published a sound map of the London Underground called The Next Station. Working with The London Sound Survey, the project collected and associated field recordings to specific Tube stops in a map. They also issued an open invitation for musicians and sound artists to choose a particular station and to remix the sounds. Nearly 100 artists hailing from across the world chose to participate, and the results are now available on the website as a playlist. Interestingly, there is a wide variety of interpretive strategies on display.

I submitted a piece based on the Edgware Road stop on the Bakerloo line and am pleased to see it on the website alongside a lot of quite compelling work. It’s available here and in the embedded player below.

I use a pretty rudimentary sound editing set up, which made it challenging working with a single raw recording. After isolating quotidian sounds particular to the time and place of a single person walking through the station, my goal became to find a way to navigate a new path through them. The result is a collage emerging from sounds in their original form, processed sounds, fractured sounds, and some additional guitar and synthesizer sounds that harmonize with the natural tone of the space. The results, I hope, constitute a different kind of movement, retaining something of the character of the original recording, while musically reconfiguring the experience of traveling beneath the city.

I would encourage you to spend some time with the playlist to hear what other people came up with as well. Thanks to Stuart Fowkes for organizing the effort.

Salvage #1

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Three-color screen print and collage based on a sketch generated in Processing.

New Screenprint

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Last week I took a refresher screen printing class at the Künstlerhaus Stuttgart. The image is based on a generative sketch I wrote in Processing, manipulated a bit in Photoshop, and then separated into four colors. Coincidentally, Dave DiMarchi, who taught the last screen printing class I took, was in the midst of organizing a print exchange through his 9 in Hand Press, and I finished just in time to be able to participate. I’ll be looking forward to seeing what the other contributors submitted. Continue reading

Where Christmas Dreams Come True

For 27 years now, Jon Solomon has hosted a 24-hour Christmas radio show on WPRB, an independent radio station in Princeton, NJ. Steering clear of the obvious shlock that dominates the airwaves, his show unearths obscure, distorted, cracked, and often touching tributes to the holiday season. If your idea of Christmas music involves parodies of the classics played in the style of The Misfits, Jon’s show is a gift. (You can see the playlist for the most recent marathon here.)

I’m fortunate to have known Jon for many years, and have watched his show become a community affair, increasingly featuring exclusive songs and spoken word pieces contributed by friends and other members of the listening audience. During the run-up to this year’s show, I discovered Mark Davis’s Attention Kmart Shoppers, a collection of tapes he packed away while working for the retailer. One particular tape that aired in December 1990 seemed particularly appropriate for the season, and I suggested to Jon that he might want to excerpt it on his show. He countered by challenging me to make a piece of music out of it, and this is the result.

Columbia University Physical Sciences in Oncology Center

I have been working closely with Raul Rabadan, an associate professor at Columbia University, on launching an exciting new research center sponsored by the National Cancer Institute’s Physical Sciences in Oncology program. He and a multidisciplinary team of investigators at Columbia and other institutions will be using advanced mathematical approaches to analyze data generated with new single-cell experimental methods, with the goal of providing more effective ways of understanding how cancerous tumors evolve. I wrote and designed the center’s website, and wrote this article announcing the project. Check them out! The center will be doing some truly fascinating work.

PSOC-screenshot

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