Hey now – another place on this planet where you can pop in and jam our wares and not just take our word that they’re extremely worth it and totally cool. Ladies and gentlemen, we’re happy to announce that VauxFlores is now available at Robotspeak in San Francisco, Ca. For those that don’t know, this store is awesome. But then again, every brick and mortar carrying our boxes is totally awesome. What can I say, we strive for consistency. Ala address, you can find said shop at 589 1/2 Haight St. in San Francisco, Ca. Check it out!
It’s with great pleasure that we announce that VauxFlores-brand electronics are now available at Outpost Music on the Avenue in Hampden, Charm City, USA. It’s a cool store in a neat location and is only a few blocks from our house – Jessie’s a real stand-up guy to boot. We’re hoping to have Outpost be our home base in Baltimore for any and all on the home front interested in our devices, as well as a place where one can pick up the occasional custom-build and special edition coming out of the workshop – Psyched! For those lacking the coordinates, Outpost is located at 846 W. 36th St. in Baltimore and is open 7 days a week – come visit, yes?
‘lo everyone. I feel like I’m beginning too many posts with “just a heads up,” but just a heads up on what I’m up to this summer, or at least what I’m up to outside of building electronics, doing whatever I do for the state university I work at and fluffing the nest for the ever-approaching birth of my daughter come September. Namely, I’ll be amplifying water currents out in California, transferring the vibrations electro-mechanically to writing utensils and pulling prints with them in a quasi-steampunk attempt at mechanical synesthesia, or something in that ballpark. For those into reading, I’ll post the abstract in a second, but for those more into times, places, and events, I’ll be doing said things twice – once on July 10 at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, and again on August 3 At Battery Townsley at Fort Cronkhite, overlooking the Marin Headlands. Both are part of MEDIATE’s Soundwave ((6)): Water, San Francisco Innovative Art and Music Biennial. It’s been nearly two years since I was last in California – looking forward to heading out and doing whatever Californians do. Not to mention the artwork.
Hydroprinting II is a semi-autonomous, performance/installation designed to explore the connections between current and tidal movement by way of a constructed visual output, utilizing abstract audio processes and custom-designed hardware. For this piece, I intend to construct three hydrographs, fashioned after analog seismographs, modified for input to be derived from the San Francisco Bay. Each device will be used to impel the movement of a stylus on paper, much in the same fashion as a seismograph or a polygraph, however, there will be no set period for each device, allowing for the potential for individualized measurements of tide and current, unique to the operator of the device. Over the course of a set duration (30 minutes for performance, with option for extended installation upon request), the audience will be invited to participate in the creation of unique art prints, on location, as part of an open-ended performance/installation designed to bring awareness to the interrelations between our ambient surroundings, the environment and our own aesthetic derivatives therein
Prior to to the performance, the hydrographs will be assembled on site using materials easily found in Bay Area, consisting of a rigid vertical frame with a moveable boom, suspended in stasis via spring and counterweight, with the dimensions approximately two meters tall and one meter wide. At the end of each boom will be a customized holster, designed to hold permanent markers, which can be swapped for the sake of color and tip density. Attached to sliders on the far end of the boom will me moveable plexiglass art-boards, designed to permit the pulling of prints without hindering the view of additional audience members.
Powering each hydrograph will be a small amplifier affixed to the base of each device, designed to best relay the signals taken from a submerged hydrophone on an extended lead to a transducer fastened to the apex of each hydrograph. Similar to the principals of a spring reverb, signals from the hydrophones will be used to activate movement in the spring. However, instead of reintegrating the amplified signal with the original, each spring will convey movement to the boom, facilitating the creation of prints.
Each amplifier will also contain an additional audio output for direct amplification over a larger PA system to allow for direct amplification of the hydrophones, as well as contact microphones integrated into the booms of the hydrographs, intended to amplify both the movement of the spring, as well as the direct sound of the physical act of printmaking. During the course of the performance, I intend to create a site-specific mix, incorporating these six sound sources, as well as the immediate ambient sounds of the location, further integrating the space, the devices and the environment in which they were constructed.
Howdy Y’all -
Just a quick heads up that our Gold Standard fuzz pedal was recently reviewed by Pedal of the Day. Here’s the link to the review and a hearty shout-out to Mike B for having such an amazing blog, as well as taking interest in VauxFlores. Lots more on the way, but figured it was about time to mention this on the official channel instead of the just the various viral satellites we employ to help spread the good word.
Ah yes – if the spirit moves, here’s where you can buy said effect, as well as the rest of our available wares – enjoy!
Ah, and for those curious to hear what the Gold Standard sounds like in a more performative setting than the usual minute and a half test-riffs, check this little number out:
Curious about what this little guy does? Check this video. Or take a walk down to Lorimer St. and check out the box for yourself.
The title’s pretty self-explanatory. VF’s now available through Reverb.com for those who favor online gear marketplaces over online craft ones. Yet another tendril of the industry that defines us. Check it out!
This might be a long one. For anyone interested in the basic facts, separated by informative bullet-points, it might be best to skip ahead to the actual page. For those interested in how this all came to be, hey now, read on.
Travis tells a story in his typical rambling fashion:
This is how this all happened. Three things went down in January 2013. First, Pau and I went to Panama on an art thing. Second, we got married. And third, I began contemplating a return to the United States, taking into account such factors as location, occupation and minimal income needed to sponsor Pau’s immigration proceedings. A few months earlier, I’d applied to a few positions in anticipation, but inevitably learned the hard way that regardless of how internationally well-versed you seem and what biennial’s you’ve shown at, a knock of opportunity isn’t necessarily a guaranteed thing.
In short, get over yourself. Love, Your Ego.
Two addendum to that last statement. The first parallels a common mistake I’ve often made in the few fistfights I’ve been in over the course of my existence – don’t just throw a punch and expect it to be over with. Usually that ends up leading to you standing and looking dumbstruck as your opponent a.) doesn’t flop to the ground in some sort of glorious heavyweight knockout and b.) probably will rally the gusto to decide to take a swing back, not necessarily parlaying to the same rules of fisticuffs of bygone era’s depicted in newsreels of the vaudeville. Instead, it’s better to keep swinging, thoroughly pummeling your opponent until the threat of any imminent retaliation has been subdued into a dusty, blood-spattering pulp on the boardwalk. It’s not that I don’t yearn for the vaudevillian era of dueling – its just, well, you know how these trying times are, metaphorically speaking. I guess what I’m trying to say is you can no longer submit just one application to what you perceive as your dream job and wait to hear back as if nothing else matters in the world. Instead you have to keep sending out apps to anything marginally related to our desired position and hope for the best. Yeah, that fits the metaphor, right?
Addendum two: Just like the lottery, you have to be in it to win it. So in April 2013, I boarded a flight north and landed in New York, intent to hit the ground running and hope I could potentially nab something zesty within driving distance of the nest, or at least from an organization willing to cover the cost of airfare. However, before I could do anything, I had to run a couple errands. Funny how that happens. One of which involved taking a trip to Baltimore to return a pair of sandals to a friend with a rather large footprint. Being of average size for your typical American male, I was unaware of this, but apparently anything over a size 14 is extremely hard to come by and the cost of shipping is commensurate with the cost of a one-way ticket on the chinatown bus. Adding to the necessity of this trip to Baltimore was my friend Ami, who was playing in New York that weekend and just so happened to be looking for some company on the drive back – trust me on this one – New York and Baltimore seem close on a map, but the drive itself is a bit of an endurance test. Well most routes, at least. There is that one way that goes through Harrisburg that’s kind of pleasant, but it also dumps you out 100 miles north of the city. Good for Hudson Valley farm rats such as myself, not so much for the metropolitan commute. We left at 8. We arrived at 2. I slept most of the way. Apologies, I’m a horrible navigator.
Later that morning, my boots hit the pavement in search of coffee and a rendezvous with Peter. Ironically, I ended up getting coffee at the coffee shop next to my future office, observing the banners for the school and contemplating whether or not they had any open positions. Imagine the time I could’ve saved. Not to say that I didn’t enjoy reconnecting with New York, but eh, necessity and industry and whatnot. I met Pete in the early afternoon, and after spending a good chunk of the day talking circuits and playing in the park with his son, we reconnected with his wife, Ayako, who I went to grad school with, as well as Liz Meredith, a very old friend, violist, collaborator, band-mate, composer, etc., also from my California era, as well as a couple bi-coastal tours afterwards for good measure. Good people, one and all. And, like many good people who haven’t seen each other in a while, we had dinner and we talked.
Of the many subjects that came up that night was the future of VauxFlores, since said cottage industry had blossomed just a bit since our last collective encounter, not to mention the intrigue on how, or if I would continue to carry the torch now that I was back in the states and actively seeking a day-gig. At that point, I was honestly a little undecided. Shortly after the weeding, I’d placed an order for a couple boxes and switches in hopes of depleting my reserves and returning without my usual tools and components, but the combination of my Ticotronics class and our trip to Guatemala pushed things back a bit. I mean, I did finish a couple and while describing these special editions, I mentioned this one gold-colored, stripped-down 24 that I had just sold in New York a few days prior that ended up being pretty cool in the end and was jokingly referred to as my new “Gold Standard” while describing the box. This is what it looked like, by the way.
The next part is a bit hazy – sorry, I don’t remember every conversation I have over dinner with friends, but by the end of the evening, Liz and I had agreed to collaborate on a pedal, with Liz supplying the artwork and me designing the circuitry. And finally, after nearly 8 months, we’re proud to introduce y’all to the newest addition to the VauxFlores family – a dirty, striped-down fuzz-monster capable of some amazing heaviness that invokes a symphony of harmonically-rich buzz saws, grinding, shredding, tearing, even vivisecting your tone, cutting through mixes and taking no prisoners. It’s intense, it’s gated, it’s for real. It even sounds great on bass, guitar and viola, produces some amazing chirps and artifacts when not passing signal and in certain settings, the tone control does this strange filter sweep thing. Is it for the tone chasers out there? Nope, not in the least – there’s nothing transparent about this beast. Is it something intended for the crowd who believe that every box they rock needs more controls than an Apollo module? Nope. Think minimal racing-edition – built for speed, not precision. But for the crowd looking for something interesting that applies itself to creative music in a footprint that we all know and love, hey, it’s worth a shot. Not to mention in comes in a sparkly gold enclosure with some killer artwork that doubles as a graphic score. Into score-based, aleatoric shoegaze? Now you can look cool and follow the chart at the same time – how’s that for forward thinking?
Either way, both Liz and I are proud of this little number and we’re happy to share our collaboration with the world. So uh, yeah, take the plunge. We like it. And if we like it, who knows, maybe you might, too.
Here’s the link again, for anyone who just read this and is adverse to scrolling.