I'm a software engineer, musician, and installation artist.
I worked at Bell Labs and AT&T for 20 years in New Jersey,
and for Network Appliance in Silicon Valley for 9 years.
I'm interested in programming languages, algorithmic composition,
networked collaboration, atypical controllers,
event-driven graphics generation, and realtime video processing.
I've been inspired in recent years by something described
in this quote by Larnie Fox:
"There is a yet unnamed art movement that may prove to be of some
significance, and Burning Man is close to its center. It often manifests
itself as circus, ritual, and spectacle. It is a movement away from a
dialogue between an individual artist and a sophisticated audience,
and towards collaboration amongst a big, wild, free and diverse community.
It is a movement away from galleries, schools and other institutions
and towards an art produced in and for casual groups of participants,
more akin to clans and tribes, based on aesthetic affinities and bonds
of friendship. It is a movement away from static gallery art and formal
theater and towards site-specific, time-specific installation and
performance. It is a rejection of spoon-fed corporate culture
and an affirmation of the homemade, the idiosyncratic, the personal.
It is profoundly democratic. It is radically inclusive, it is
a difficult challenge, and it is beckoning."
What are people doing here?
In the last week, Tune Toys have been used 400 times.
Here are the most recent MIDI files generated:
I went to Burning Man for the 17th time.
I camped in Illumination Village with a few friends
(Melissa, Brad, and Raphael), and we set up a Photon Salon
with both the classic Space Palette and the latest Space Palette Pro,
whose software was significantly enhanced over the summer.
Here's some photos
and videos of the Photon Salon in Illumination Village.
On Saturday night after the burn, I had
an unexpected and amazing opportunity to bring the Space Palette Pro
over to the PlayAlchemist camp and project onto their Grand Pyramid
for 30 minutes on Saturday night at 11pm, right after the Man burn.
Another June, another SubZERO Festival in San Jose. The Photon Salon this year contained both the old classic Space Palette and the newest version of the Space Palette Pro (whose software is continuously evolving). Here a video snippet: https://photos.app.goo.gl/uDuQFPN4a4oAek4E7
The Photon Salon meetup at my house was turned into a memorial for Fred Lakin.
I attended Synthplex in LA, and did visuals with the Space Palette Pro to accompany Doug Lynner's modular synth performance.
Another June, another SubZERO Festival in San Jose. The Photon Salon showed both the old and new Space Palettes.
Cathy Thompson, my best friend and partner in life for over 40 years, passed away on April 21 after a 16-month battle with pancreatic cancer. An album of memorial photos can be found here.
I started having some Photon Salon meetups at our house to provide opportunities for visual instrument experimentation.
The Building Bridges Art Exchange brought their Synaesthesia show to the huge LA Art Show, and included the Space Palette.
I brought the Space Palette Pro to another Exploratorium's "After Dark: GLOW" event, where it was displayed in a very nice setting with a large screen and seating for an audience.
Three in one place! Two of the original Space Palettes and one of the new Space Palette Pro were displayed for almost a month at the Artechouse in Washington DC. While it was a royal pain to ship them, it was a wonderful opportunity and experience.
Bill Wiatroski and I joined forces to do visuals at the Robotspeak anniversary show in San Francisco.
I had a new HDMI video mixer which allowed us to mix our visuals together.
I used the Space Palette Pro to do visuals ony - the music was provided by modular synth performers.
While in Washington DC to see the Lumia show, Louie and I checked out a new technology-focused art space called the Artechouse, where they were showing interactive visual art. I showed them videos of the Space Palettes, and the next thing you know I'm planning on shipping three Space Palettes to Washington DC to show there.
And then there were two. I built a second Space Palette Pro using Appleply wood for a better finish. It's a bit thinner, too.
I went to Washington DC with Louis Brill to see the amazing "Lumia: Thomas Wilfred and the Art of Light" show at the Smithsonian. It was incredible - so good that I visited it three times.
I brought the Space Palette Pro to the Synaesthesia Dance Experience at the Actors' Gang in Culver City.
I brought the Space Palette Pro to the Venice AfterBurn event in Venice Beach.
I installed a Space Palette at the Building Bridges Art Exchange in Santa Monica, as part of their "Synaesthesia: What is the taste of the color blue?" show.
Two Palettes in one place! I brought both the original Space Palette and the new Space Palette Pro to the Institute For The Future in Palo Alto.
I brought the Space Palette Pro to the lobby of the Wiltern Theatre in LA for the "Easy Rider Live" show.
I brought the Space Palette Pro to the Touch the Gear event of the Outsound New Music Summit.
I brought the Space Palette Pro to Sensel in Mountain View, to show them what I've done with their amazing Morph.
Cathy and I took a short vacation to San Diego, checking out the zoo and taking a Segway tour of Balboa Park.
For SubZERO 2017 in San Jose, the Photon Salon included both the brand new Space Palette Pro as well as the LinnStrument-based UniLooper.
The first prototype of the Space Palette Pro is operational.
I brought the Space Palette to a fundraiser event at the Exploratorium.
I helped Joel Davel by doing video at a Grey Area memorial event for Don Buchla.
I participated in the LAST Festival at the SJSU Hammer Theatre Center in San Jose.
I brought the Space Palette to the Worlds Fair Nano in San Francisco.
The Space Palette's month at the exploratorium ended with another "After Dark" event.
I installed a Space Palette for people to play with at the Local Color artist collective in San Jose. It was there for 6 months.
I brought the Space Palette to the Exploratorium's "After Dark: GLOW" event.
The Exploratorium folks liked it so much that they asked to keep it there for the rest of the month.
At the LoveTech Resurgence event,
I brought UniLooper for people to play with in the Jam Lounge, and performed a couple sets with LoopyCam.
I performed with LoopyCam at Binary Society's season-ending concert in San Jose.
Cathy and I took a trip to the east coast and enjoyed all
the fall color.
Burning Man - my 15th year in a row.
As in 2014, we camped in Illumination Village and set up the Photon Salon on the Esplanade.
In addition to the Space Palette and Deeje Cooley's tappr.tv dome, I brought my UniLooper installation.
Here's an album of photos and videos.
I brought the Space Palette to Chillits, where it was installed inside a huge teepee - a great setting. I also did several hours of LoopyCam to accompany the chill-y music.
For my 14th year in a row at Burning Man, I decided to take a vacation from doing installations, and went as a (gasp) spectator. I used my newly-acquired 1990 Chevy G20 van and only went for half the week - got there Wednesday and left Saturday. Because I didn't have a project, I had time to check out the artwork more. It was a good year for art.
I was honored to have the Space Palette included in the month-long exhibit Technological Mediations at the Art Works Downtown gallery in San Rafael, CA.
For Burning Man 2014 our sub-camp (Space Palace) within Illumination Village created another Photon Salon - this time it included a dome with Deeje Cooley's tappr.tv, and the first Burning Man appearance of the new furniture-quality Space Palette.
The Space Palette ended its six-month appearance in the REBOOT:music exhibit at the San Jose Tech Museum.
"Make your own Space Palette" is the name of a workshop I ran at the
San Jose Tech Museum, as part of the Reboot:music exhibition.
I polished up a new release of
the MultiMultiTouchTouch software,
and taught people how to use it.
I performed with LoopyCam at the REBOOT:music Live!" event at the San Jose Tech Museum. I did two sets, accompanying Daniel Berkman and Onyx Ashanti.
Lucidity is one of my favorite festivals, near Santa Barbara
in a nicely wooded campground. Paul Sable-Snibbe and I went and
installed the latest version of the Space Palette in the
Lucidity University tent.
The latest version of the Space Palette is a furniture-quality instrument,
thanks to a collaboration with
It uses a monitor in a matching wood frame, rather than a projector.
It is now installed in the San Jose Tech Museum, as part of the
Here's a video that shows me explaining it.
Cathy and I took a trip to Australia (our first) and had a great time in Sydney and Melbourne. I brought the portable version of the Space Palette and gave a talk to the OpenLAB group in Melbourne, here's a video of the entire talk.
I participated in the CODAME Art+Tech Festival, bringing both the
large and small Space Palettes.
The large palette I used was a nice laminated wood one
with lots of different woods, made by
Another year, another Burning Man - my 12th in a row.
I again camped in Illumination Village, and built the Photon Salon,
an enclosed tent where light-based art could be displayed - it showcased the
Space Palette (actually, 4 of the new smaller Space Palettes, with completely new sounds and graphics), tappr.tv (an iPad-based instrument by Deeje Cooley), and LoopyCam.
I displayed the Space Palette in the art gallery of the
TV of Tomorrow conference.
I gave a talk at CCRMA
on my exploration of 3D input.
Here are the slides.
I took the Space Palette to the
Pinnacle Electronic Music Festival
in Apple Valley. I got some more experience with the tent I'll be
using at Burning Man this year, particularly in dealing with hot air
inside the tent.
I set up the Space Palette
in a sun-blocking tent at Lucidity 2013 so it could be used during the daytime. The outside wall of the tent was white, so I used it as a projection screen for using LoopyCam at night. This video shows clips of both.
I participated in the SOURCE Interactive Arts Festival on Maui, setting up the Space Palette in the MUSEarium - a gymnasium filled with art,
including the amazing Colorbox.
This video shows what the MUSEarium looked like with lots of
projectors running. I did a little LoopyCam,
gave a talk, and met a lot of interesting people.
I took the Space Palette to all three Bay Area decompression events - Santa Cruz, San Francisco, and the South Bay (Soulfire). Soulfire was special - the
Palette was installed in a large yurt for 2 days and nights.
This meant that it was acoustically isolated, and could work even during
the day. With chairs and space for an an audience, it saw a lot of use from
a lot of very good players, many of whom did not previously consider
themselves musicians. I am now routinely fooled - someone
who appears to be a good musician (by the way they play the Palette)
will turn out to never have played an instrument before.
I participated in the Decibel Festival in Seattle, giving a talk about the
Space Palette and joining a panel session on new musical instruments
(with Roger Linn, Moldover, and Randy Jones). I also
showed the Palette at Jigsaw Renaissance, a hacker space in Seattle.
I performed interactive video projections for Claudine Naganuma's piece
I used a variation of LoopyCam, consisting of a handheld security camera
and a Korg Nanokontrol2, to control video effects in realtime as I pointed
the camera at the dancers.
The resulting visuals were projected by three projectors onto
silk screens suspended above the sides of the performance space,
with the audience surrounding it. Here's a
review of the show.
Another year, another Burning Man - my 11th in a row. For the first time,
I camped in a large theme camp - Illumination Village - making it possible
to install the Space Palette right on the Esplanade. It was running from
9pm to 5am almost every night, got a lot of traffic, and was
enjoyed immensely. I was delighted to be able to
reuse most of Monolith 2.0 (my 2009 installation) to make a wood
projector screen that could withstand high winds without any guy wires.
I also had LoopyCam running on the back side of the projector screen.
I built protective boxes (with fans and filters) for the
2 projectors and 2 laptops.
Dinko helped with building the screen, Alyssa helped with lighting
and installation, and Claudine tirelessly helped with lighting,
installation, and teardown.
Last year I brought the Space Palette to the Venice Art Crawl, and they
liked it enough to invite me back, so I took the 2012 version of the
Palette down to Venice Beach again. Because they were concerned about
the volume, I brought a few headphones and a headphone amp. With headphones,
people were able to immerse themselves in the experience
much more completely - it made a big difference.
I brought the Space Palette to Cognitive Awakening as part of the LoveTech Digital Jam Dome. We had a very nice spot
on the main/only path between the stages, so lots of people got to enjoy it. The dome ran all three nights till sunrise.
Another year, another SubZERO in San Jose. Space Palette was set up on First Street with two projectors - one of them was used to project the visuals on the side of a three-story building.
I went to Symbiosis 2012 and got lots
of exercise carrying 50-pound batteries so the
Space Palette could be powered
without a noisy generator. A 60-lumen LED projector is surprisingly bright,
especially when there are no other lights around. This video has some
good clips showing people's reactions.
I brought the Space Palette to the Illumination Village fundraiser at the Box Shop, using two projectors to display the graphics on a tall wall.
I taught a workshop in circuit-bending at the TechShop in San Jose.
I've developed a package making it possible to write
FreeFrame 1.5 (OpenGL-based) plugins entirely in Python.
Contact me if you're interested in the source code for it.
I spent a week at an instrument-building workshop at
STEIM in Amsterdam, and did a
I've updated the Space Palette page with a gallery and better-organized information.
I participated in both weekends of the GLOW Festival in Santa Cruz.
The first weekend I had the Space Palette in the atrium of the Museum of Art & History, and the second weekend I used LoopyCam on the street outside.
I brought the Space Palette to a member event at the Tech Museum in San Jose. I also showed it in the lobby of the TechShop in San Jose, during First Friday.
Several performances on the Space Palette - I gave a "house concert" in
our home, and I participated in the Guthman Musical Instrument Competition
at George Tech in Atlanta Georgia.
I gave my first actual performance using the Space Palette at Turquoise Yantra Grotto in SF.
I brought the new oval Space Palette to the Sea of Dreams, a large
New Years Eve event. It was doing only graphics, since it was too loud
to hear anything. The graphics were newly rewritten in C/C++,
running as a FreeFrame plugin inside Resolume.
I gave a talk about the UI aspects of the Space Palette. Here are the slides.
I performed with the Space Palette at the Y2K+1 LoopFest in Santa Cruz.
Here's a video showing my entire 30-minute timeslot - first there are a few
minutes of intro/explanation, then 15 minutes or so of a musical performance, and finally some informal but interesting discussion
with audience members. The audience
was almost entirely composed of musicians - i.e. other people performing at
the 3-day LoopFest. I really enjoyed seeing their instant understanding of
what the Palette was doing, and discussing their questions and suggestions.
This is by far the best video
explaining and showcasing the Space Palette, to date.
It's only the second time I've attempted a public performance with the
Palette. Unlike the previous performance at the
Controller Battle (which was more of a demo/teaser), I think
this performance qualifies as something reasonably musical.
The explanation at the beginning and the discussions at the
end are quite informative and cover a lot of ground.
Big thanks to the folks at https://sequencer.de
for recording this.
With help from Dinko and Claudine, I took the Space Palette to Decompression in San Francisco. Here's some video clips of it.
For First Friday in San Jose, I set up the Space Palette in the parking lot next to the Art Glass Center on Market Street. Both sides of the parking lot had nice blank walls, so I projected onto both of them.
I participated at the SF MusicTech Summit in a panel on DIY instruments. I set up the Space Palette in the main gathering room for people to play with.
This was my 10th year in a row at Burning Man, but the first time applying as a theme camp - Multi Multi Touch Touch Camp. We hosted the Space Palette installation, which people loved - check out the video clips.
I had a good night at SubZERO in San Jose,
installing Space Palette for people to play with
as well as projecting LoopyCam on the side of a building.
I had a fantastic time at Lightning in a Bottle. Space Palette was set up in the LoveTech dome, and was mobbed almost constantly. Comments heard repeatedly: "I'd love to have this in my living room!" and "We're a band!"
The latest version of my Kinect-based musical instrument is much larger, and is now called "Space Palette". Here's a video showing it in operation.
I participated in the
Stanford DIY Musical Instrument Tailgate Party by bringing my MultiMultiTouchTouch controller. It was a great way to discover exactly how much shade I need in order for the Kinect to work outdoors. Answer: a lot.
I gave a talk at the Kinect Meetup on the first version of my Kinect-based musical instrument. Here are the slides.
Along with many other LoveTech artists, I participated
in the Sea of Dreams - a huge
New Year's Eve party in San Francisco.
I created an auxiliary control panel (pictured) that made it possible for
other people to control LoopyCam effects. The panel also turned out to
be very convenient for me, particularly when the camera was mounted on a tripod
rather than being handheld.
With thousands of people in wild attire
and dancing continuously, the environment was a perfect one for LoopyCam.
At Prairie Willow House (another name for our home),
we hosted a screening of the Punto y Raya Festival Best of 2009. These wonderfully creative abstract visual music animations from around the world are more than a little inspiring.
I performed LoopyCam visuals with a number of artists at the Y2KX 10th Anniversary International Looping Festival in Santa Cruz. David Tristram joined me, using ElectroSlate. Here are a couple of YouTube videos from the better sets.
I went to Burning Man for the ninth year in a row, again camping
with my friends Claudine and Dinko. LoopyCart was successfully used for several nights.
I developed a new version of LoopyCam, making the hardware controller more flexible and the software more portable. The controller now includes an LCD display and keypad.
To use the new LoopyCam at Burning Man, I built LoopyCart - a mobile projector and screen on a trailer. Its first appearance was on First Street in San Jose, at the August "First Friday" event.
The Looping Lounge at Anno Domini was part of the SubZERO 2010 festival
in San Jose. Some excellent musicians performed, and I had a great time
using LoopyCam. The images were also visible on
the street, projected on the large screen above Anno Domini's door.
I got a number of good recordings, shown here.
I organized the "Experimental Music and Art Zone" at Maker Faire 2010,
with exhibits from several dozen Makers, and a stage used for a
dozen performances and demos. I brought the Monolith 2.0 controllers - you can see a couple of ladies playing with them in the picture here.
I also brought LoopyCam, and used it to enhance a number of the performances.
I played music with some members of SHARE San Jose at a press event for the ZER01 organization, held inside the still-under-construction new terminal at the San Jose Airport.
I collaborated and performed with Michael Broxton at LoveTech SF.
I used NthControl (my experimental Python-based controller using the Mimo USB-connected touchscreen) to control
the musical parameters of an 8-channel MIDI looper.
I played everything into the looper in realtime with a MIDI keyboard, using
Spectrasonics Omnisphere for the sounds.
The notes were also sent via OSC to a second laptop to trigger
Python-generated graphics (derived from my previous Python visual music efforts) and
further processed in amazing ways inside
Michael Broxton's Phosphoressence
software, controlled in realtime by Michael using two joysticks. To the right
is a picture of our two rigs and a
YouTube video of the performance.
I gave a talk covering my music, software, performances, and installations at Expression College for Digital Arts. It took over 2 hours to cover it all -
here are the slides I prepared.
I gave a talk for the PyGameSF group, showing
my recent experiments and evolving touchscreen interface, written in Python
for use in controlling the parameters of a musical/visual performance.
I took the Monolith 2.0 controllers to
LoveTech and set them up in the interactive art area for people to play with.
My installation for Burning Man 2009 - Monolith 2.0 - was successfully deployed. Dinko Matkovic, Claudine Naganuma, and Leah Chubb helped to install it on Saturday and Sunday before the event opened. It was up and running on Sunday night, and worked well all week, day and night. Here's the description and pictures. Check out the youtube video to see it being used.
SHARE San Jose participated in Starry Night at Villa Montalvo.
With invaluable help from Dinko Matkovic on the physical aspects, Monolith 2.0 was finished in time to have a party at our house before dismantling it for its journey to the playa.
SHARE San Jose participated in the SubZero street fair in San Jose.
I'm busy working on an installation for Burning Man 2009 - an 11-foot high monolith with interactive music controls in the side. Most of the work is going into the physical aspects - designing a steel base that can support it in high winds without any guy wires.
I did video work with LoopyCam in the This Here show at Temescal Arts Center in Oakland.
Another great jam with SHARE San Jose at Villa Montalvo. This video shows what was happening.
I did more video work with LoopyCam in the This Here show at Temescal Arts Center in Oakland.
At this month's SHARE San Jose jam, we experimented with transmitting live visuals done in Sacramento by Scott Davey. They were sent with ichat, projected, and then post-processed to produce a second projection. It worked very well - both sides of the connection could see and hear what was going on. There was a lot of other homebrew software and hardware in use that night as well - check out the video.
I did video work with LoopyCam in the This Here show at Temescal Arts Center in Oakland.
I did a solo performance of visual music at the Luggage Store Gallery in San Francisco as part of the Music by the Eyeful series.
I combined my latest two systems, taking the graphical output of Galaxy
(a keyboard-driven version of Finger Painting with Planets) and providing it as the video input to
Two projectors showed the output of both systems simultaneously, side-by-side.
Everything was driven from my playing on a MIDI keyboard.
The performance was recorded - here's the youtube video.
I used a much-enhanced version of my LoopyCam system to perform with Herb Heinz's new improvisational group thishere. Here are a couple of pictures showing what it looked like. Note that the loops no longer are restricted to being shown in 4 quadrants. This version had up to 8 loops, and they could move around while looping.
I did some more work on my LoopyCam system
an installation for the front window of the ATA Theater/Gallery on
Valencia Street in San Francisco.
For the entire month of December, a camera in the window was pointed out at the sidewalk, and video loops were continuously captured, processed, and displayed on a monitor.
People could also control the installation with their iphone or other wireless browser.
newspaper article about it.
For an "opening night performance", Mira Cook (a friend and dancer) helped to provide the motion and images captured in the video loops - here are clips from that performance.
I performed at the New Nothing Theater, doing music and visual
simultaneously with new custom software.
Everything was done by playing on a normal MIDI keyboard - the notes I played
were looped, and triggered the visuals.
Here are two videos from that performance.
I did a video installation/performance as part of
great show at the Climate Theatre.
My piece was called "Captured Accidents", and I used my
LoopyCam to capture and randomly process
live video loops of the DOUBLE VISION dancers and show visitors.
Here's some video clips showing what the projected results looked like.
LoopyCam is my latest hardware creation.
It's a handheld game controller with a security camera attached, and it
lets me interactively record and overlay up to four video loops. I can also
insert new recordings in the middle of existing loops.
Very portable, very interactive, and lots of fun to play with.
The security camera automatically turns on infrared LEDs in low-light
situations, so it works great even when there's very little light.
And another year (my seventh) at Burning Man.
The playa surface was very hard to bike on, so I wasn't able to get
around nearly as much as normal. I performed once at the Entheon camp
(doing music and video with my custom controller and a keyboard),
and Claudine and I did several nights of
realtime video looping
at our own camp, for the entertainment of our neighbors and passers-by
(who were also included in the looped video). See my
burning man page for a few pictures.
I gave a talk about my Python-based work with VST and Freeframe plugins at a PyGameSF meeting. The slides I presented are here and here.
Finger Painting with Planets
was shown again (this time as part of the
DOUBLE VISION group), in a show at the
Climate Theater in San Francisco.
The show was called "Night Lights - an Evening of Luminous Environments,"
and included several dozen light-oriented installation artists and performers.
video (50mb) showing what members of DOUBLE VISION did at the show.
For this show, I simplified the interface of my installation so that
it was easier to switch
each finger pad from graphics to music, and provided only a single page
of parameters. People therefore had an easier time playing with it, with much
more consistent results, and I got a lot of compliments about it.
To the right is a video showing clips of the installation at the show.
Here's a video I created which shows a compressed version of my performance at Different Skies 2007. 2 hours of interactive video performance compressed down to 2 minutes. See the entry below for October 2007, for details about the Different Skies event.
I created an installation for Yuri's Night 2008 at Moffett Field,
Finger Painting with
Planets. The picture here shows
what it looked like, and
here's a closeup of the custom
controller I built. People used the multitouch pads to place and move
planet-like objects whose simulated gravitational attraction created
the graphics, which you can see demonstrated in the video to the right.
instructions for using it.
The software used Salvation
as a freeframe host,
a freeframe plugin using Python to do the graphics with Cairo libraries,
to help do the physics simulation. The freeframe plugin communicated
using OSC to and from KeyKit, which managed all the device interaction
and music generation. Music was generated both directly by the pads and as a result of planet collisions. The controllers
used a Doepfer USB64 to interface with the knobs and buttons, and
a Pertelian LCD display to
label the knobs and display their values.
I did a gig with Tim Conrardy, doing music and graphics at Works Gallery
in San Jose. I used new software that generates graphics using simulated
gravitational attraction between objects. The software also did MIDI looping.
The video here is a collection of snippets from an
hour-long live improvised performance.
Longer musical selections from the performance can be found here and here.
The graphics software is a noteworthy advancement for me - it makes use
of Python from within a
using Cairo for drawing the graphics,
for the physics simulation.
This means that I'm finally able to combine the two types of graphics that
I've been doing separately for the last few years (geometric, and
video/bitmap processing) in a single programming environment
on a single machine.
A bunch of videos I've done with dud are now posted on YouTube, under the username dudland. Check them out. To the left is sample showing the kind of graphics I was doing in 2005.
dud performed at 21 Grand in Oakland as part
of the Art Murmur. I used some new realtime video-processing software to
generate and manipulate video loops of live camera feeds. There were two cameras - one inside capturing the musicians and dancers, and one outside capturing passers-by
and (occasionally) dancers. The two camera feeds were processed, looped, and mixed, and projected with 3 projectors on the inside walls of 21 Grand. There was also a projector and screen outside, so passers-by could see what was going on as well as see their own image when the outside camera was mixed in.
I participated in
Different Skies 2007,
a week-long gathering of extraordinary musicians with a mountain of
synthesizers and other musical equipment. The week was spent
composing music and preparing for a concert on Saturday night.
With 20 or so musicians, I was the sole visual performer,
using my iGesture pads to draw graphics in realtime to fit the music.
The event is held at
Arcosanti in the Arizona desert - this was the fifth year of the event.
Here's a review of the concert, and here's some blogs and photos of the week.
Although the Woodstockhausen 2007 event was cancelled due to rain,
I performed the piece I had prepared, anyway, at a small gathering.
Here's a video of the piece, recorded and prepared by David Tristram.
It was called "Finger Fresco 2.0", and both the music and visuals were
generated in realtime using the iGesture pads and my custom software.
My sixth year at Burning Man. This one was particularly dusty,
but entertaining as always. See my burning man page for
details, pictures, and videos.
I performed at the Skronkathon event in Oakland, doing a piece
I described as "Theme music and title sequence graphics from a 70's TV
action series gone horribly wrong". I generated visuals and music
simultaneously using the iGesture pads and a keyboard.
I went to the Autonomous Mutant Festival with the Double Vision group and had a lot of fun showing Betty Boop cartoons, doing visuals, visiting other camps, and just hanging out. The picture here
is of our camp. More pictures here
I took Finger Fresco to
Electro-Music 2007 in Cheltenham,
I also did 3 visual performances, in support of Lynn Bechtold,
Margaret Noble, and Reverend Mofo. Feedback on my visual work was
gratifying - one person called it "amazing visual poetry" and another
said it "was like another musical part".
This picture shows a bit of the visuals
I did for Margaret Noble's set.
I did a couple of visual effects (bubbles and other things projected
onto a transparent scrim) for Claudine Naganuma's dance performance
"Nothing Left to Chance", at SomArts in San Francisco.
I performed with dud inside the tiny frankenart mart in San Francisco,
projecting onto a screen in the storefront window.
I performed with dud at the Temescal Arts Center in Oakland.
Claudine Naganuma and some of her students danced, and
Franz Keller and I did visuals with two projectors.
At my retirement party (I've left Network Appliance after 9 years),
I was totally surprised and totally honored with a fire-dancing
performance by Rebecca and Wolf from Nocturnal Sunshine. Click on the image to download a video of the performance.
I participated in an event with the
Double Vision group,
at the Red Ink Studios in San Francisco. Here Wendy Marinaccio is
dancing with my graphics in the background.
I participated in a fundraising event for the
Double Vision group,
at the DragonBar in San Francisco.
The picture to the right shows my projected graphics on the wall.
For this event, I used a new performance controller I built containing
three iGesture Fingerworks pads and a JLCooper CS-32 slider/button box.
pictures and a
video (15 seconds into the video you'll see me, the new controller, and then the graphics I'm generating on the wall).
I posted some
videos showing keykit on youtube.
You'll find a tutorial of keykit's GUI from 1994 (actually it was still named keynote back then), and another much more entertaining and geeky demo from 2002.
I went to Burning Man again, and performed
three times, including once on the Center Camp main stage.
Three friends (Herb, Mark, and Claudine) joined me and shared our RV.
To the left is the hardhat I decorated to wear at night.
Pictures and videos are here.
Cathy and I went on a 2-week vacation in China, with our friends Rick and Sue.
Here are a LOT of pictures.
Yet another show with Double Vision,
this time a big 2-day extravaganza called
"Evolutionary Patterns & The Lonely Owl (Mutation #2)"
at the CELLspace performance space in San Francisco.
I created two projector-based installations, each one controlled by a pair of
driving controllers. One installation was the
"Bouncing off the Walls" one I did at the Spectra Ball, but this time
using driving controllers instead of the dance pads - the driving controllers
were easier for the audience to figure out. The other installation
was a purely-graphic one where people used the driving controllers to
"paint" by driving around, firing and bumping into graphical sprites which leave trails as they bounce around.
short video showing a bit of
what the installation looked like in action, along with a bit
of what else what going on during the show.
Here's some larger and more comprehensive
video from Friday night,
video from Saturday night,
showing all the different things that were happening at the show.
Another Double Vision group
event - this time at the spectacular Spectra Ball in San Francisco.
I created an installation using the old familiar dance pads - audience members
used them to create a projected maze and fire bouncing balls into
the maze. As the balls bounced off the walls of the maze,
they would trigger bits of music coming from the corresponding walls
of the actual room they were in. The name of the installation
was (not surprisingly) "Bouncing Off the Walls". Here's
a video of double-vision at spectraball - at 3:00 minutes in there's a segment showing my installation.
I performed with the Double Vision intermedia performance group
at Mad Horse Loft in Oakland. The event was called
"Evolutionary Patterns & the Lonely Owl (Mutation #1)" and combined
dancing, painting, music, video, and algorithms in
an intense maze of installations that the audience wandered through and
My contribution was an interactive music installation
using 2 Fingerworks iGesture pads which controlled a
multi-color DNA-inspired "Game of Life" program (written in keykit and python)
that generated music and projected graphics onto the walls.
video (at 2:00 minutes in there's
a segment showing the graphics of my installation).
I've started working with Herb Heinz's group dud. I'm writing python-based
software to do OpenGL graphics triggered by MIDI data from the drummer.
I went to Burning Man 2004. My installation this year was called
Radio Free Quasar - an antique radio outfitted with a computer generating
audio and a laser generating visuals. Check out the description and pictures.
I did a 30-minute performance at the
Works gallery in San Jose. I used my usual controllers of late - wireless
keyboard hung around my neck while simultaneously dancing
on 2 dance pads. This time I used a new set of sounds,
and a less-dorky strap to hold the keyboard (if it is at all possible
to look less-dorky when you have a qwerty keyboard dangling from your neck).
I took my big lyre (see below) to Woodstockhausen 2003. Here's
a 40-second video
of the lyre in action. The video is 6 megabytes, in mpeg format.
The first 20 seconds show the lyre playing pre-recorded music, and
the second 20 seconds show people dancing on the pads and
generating their own music. See my Woodstockhausen archive
for more details on Woodstockhausen 2003 and previous years.
I took my big installation (Dancing Under the Stars of Lyra) to Burning Man,
and people enjoyed it a lot. Cathy went with me and helped - I couldn't have
done it without her.
See lots of pictures and a video.
Cathy and I took a 1-week vacation to Mendocino and Seattle.
Here are the pictures.
On June 29, I sat alone in my room in San Jose, California,
and played a live 15-minute performance at the opening of a new Internet cafe (The Jade Room) in St. Louis, Missouri. KeyKit was used to
send the MIDI data in realtime over TCP/IP
- from my Win98 PC through my
Linux web server to a Win98 PC in St Louis - all three machines were
running KeyKit. Here's the
MIDI file containing the entire live performance. It's solo piano stuff, a medley of various compositions and improv.
Thanks go to Chris Deckard for making it possible.
Another (short) composition - DNA #1 -
derived from some genetic algorithms I'm playing with.
My latest composition - 23 Shots of Expresso - was played at the
"Algorithmic Shorts" concert at UC Santa Cruz.
Yippee! I've upgraded this server from a 233 Mhz Pentium II to an
800 Mhz Pentium III. Things should be quite a bit snappier.
is a new Tune Toy. It's a more advanced application of Expresso,
with drums and more musical output.
As long as I'm dredging up things past and putting them on my web site,
I figured I might as well include my original posting of the
Stevie vi clone, which has
evolved over more than a decade into the popular vim editor.
While converting cassettes to MP3's, I decided
to also do my Octave++ cassette from 1994, which
contains two noteworthy pieces - Renaissance Ninja and Sunrise/Another Day.
I dug out the five MMML Tapes
that MMML members put together in the late 80's and early 90's,
and decided to put them online as MP3 files.
is a new Tune Toy. It generates music using Conway's game of Life.
I reworked my entire web site, giving it a fresh look and more
useful front page.
Power Flower is my latest
composition, from the Rock Garden 1 project.
Rock Garden 1
project produced 7 final 'gems'. Hurray, I now have
another composition for my next CD!
Rock Garden 1
is a new collaborative project in the Composer's Quarry.
The deadline for final compositions is December 1.