Second Inaugural May Report

•May 24, 2016 • Comments Off on Second Inaugural May Report

 

Fact: I cannot spell “inaugural” for the life of me. I used to have problems with analyze, but after one musicology paper (my only to date), that was cured but quick. Hopefully the current trent of labeling everything “inaugural” might do the trick – hey now – first try. But I thick I was cheating. So. It’s the end of the month. Here’s what we’re up to. The show in Takoma was a ripping success – and somehow the sound system didn’t crash and burn. Eyecillators were sold and the drive back featured my favorite DC latin station having a live birthday bash for one of the DJ’s, so the hour burn back to Baltimore wasn’t as dolorous as it usually is. Gotta say that I’ve missed performing. More of that’s definitely on the horizon, starting in as little as two weeks. MoogFest was also inspiring, even if I was just acting in tech capacity to my buddies. Hopefully there’s room in the rotation on a later iteration. If only the drive back was as nice as the drive back from DC – I-95 is less than pleasant in the rain when you only have about 3 hours of sleep under your belt. Either was we’re home safe and have some downtime to build – a good thing since the bench is currently 20+ projects deep – yikes! Speaking of, I should probably stop typing and knock one of these out. But in the meantime, enjoy the video of the Takoma show. More coming.

May Report 1

•May 6, 2016 • Comments Off on May Report 1

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Considering the last post is over a month old, I should probably put something new up to maintain the idea that this is a current project and al that. Because, all said, it is. The workshop was awesome. And exhausting. After a nice dinner in Takoma Park with the family and our good friend Analog Tara, we drove home and I think i was awake for maybe 5 minutes, passing out before even Xime fell asleep for at least the 5th time in her toddler-aged life. Oh the joys of burning the candle in so many places you might as well just throw the whole thing in a larger fire. So. It’s May. Here’s what’s up in the neighborhood. First off, building. I know I do that like, all the time, but a good chunk of the inventory is currently out of stock so let’s do something about that. With any luck, new 23‘s, Gold Standards and Eyecillators will be back on the shelf by the end of next week in time for my first live show in about a year. Yup. Decided to standardize some of the older analogs into a new performance rig that’s about 90% home-built. That’ll be in DC on the 14th. More on that soon. Should be fun – not to mention it’ll help generate some documentation for a thing I’m applying to – and practice for another upcoming show in Baltimore in June, hosted by the Spleencoffin folks. Both’ll be some late-night jams – let’s see how that goes. I’ve never been a night person – let’s hope I can manage to play after 11. There’s also a new workshop in the works – featuring a new design – kind of a sequenced switched capacitor filter type thing. Will update on progress as it progresses. Also headed to Moogfest later this month to lend a hand to EMA. Bringing the family as well. So yeah, in all , hey art’s being made and done. And with that, let’s get cracking. Today I actually have a ay off on a weekday and it’s exactly 9AM – meaning I have exactly 8 hours of taking care of at least a month’s worth of business hour errands to take care of. Fun! Catch ya on the flip side.

Upcoming in April

•April 3, 2016 • Comments Off on Upcoming in April

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Hi all – apologies for the delay in missives here – things have been a little nuts at the day gig. The joys of working at a university that prides itself on public policy studies and community outreach during an electron year in a city with its fair deal of issues in need of addressing. Or something to that extent. Needless to say, production has slowed a tick to accommodate such things as sleep and exhaustion, but hey now, a minute to sit down and type.

Two lines of business. First up is on the 23rd of this month, we’ll be offering an electronics workshop at Rhizome DC in Takoma Park, Md. It’ll be our first workshop in the US and we’ll be building a new iteration of the PauTron circuit, designed with more CV outputs and a couple component tweaks. Buy in is $100 and if you’re into it and in the area, you should totally come – Rhizome = good people and this space should be totally supported.

Secondly, I (being Travis, human/singular, as opposed to VauxFlores, concept/plural) have been recording again and am happy to share the first addition to a new project, currently being called “The Mysterious Sounds of the VauxFlores Sound System (in Stereo)” – something that I’ve been longing to do for a good long while now and finally have the time and direction to do so. In a nutshell, I’m doing what I can to combine my love of experimental electronics and builders with the whole diy, homebuilt studio experiments that spawned dub music in project that only utilizes instruments I’ve built myself to record and produce. Here’s the first two additions. More to come. Would love input.

Ok – gotta run. Baby to be fed. Will be in touch.

More on the art front

•March 13, 2016 • Comments Off on More on the art front

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‘lo. Figure it’s about time for a new post and as it happens, I just finished a series of print that I’ve been working on for about a year now, created by rendering synthesizer improvisations of a set duration into a visual image with embedded audio data. I’m still working on figuring out the proper way to display them in the real world, but at least for the moment, you can view them here. Questions, etc? You know how to find me. Meanwhile on the electronics side of things, I’ll be teaching a synth workshop in DC next month and seem to find myself preoccupied with building the perfect dual-channel overdrive – he says, never to be seen again. Will it lead to a production release? Maybe. Am I having fun pairing OD combos in hand-painted boxes int he meantime? You bet I am. Anyways, here’s a link to the prints, if you want to take a look. Enjoy!

Meanwhile in the Art World

•January 31, 2016 • Comments Off on Meanwhile in the Art World

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Loveydoves: Just a friendly heads up that the opening for Amorfo, the new solo show by my awesome wife Paulina Velazquez-Solis will be on Friday, February 5th at Terrault Contemporary in Baltimore, Md. For questions on any or all of the above, feel free to drop us a line and get in touch!

VF goes to NAMM…sort of.

•January 23, 2016 • Comments Off on VF goes to NAMM…sort of.

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So hi there. According to the weather app, there’s currently a blizzard in Baltimore, and most, if not all external functions of the things I do outside of building stuff and writing about it are cancelled, so hey, longer than usual missive. Of course, considering that the past few posts have been 15 words or less, that shouldn’t be hard, but let’s stretch out and write, shall we? Today’s topics: trade shows and giveaways. For those who are more visually oriented and don’t like words, yes, VF is taking part in our first ever giveaway and yes, it is because of the NAMM show out in sunny Anaheim. If that’s what you’re after, look at the above image, find Pedal Genie on either Twitter or Instagram and follow the directions. Now here’s my thoughts on the matter, or at the very least how it all came to be.

So VauxFlores is turning five this year. Wow. That means it’s been five years since we left San Francisco, three years since we left Costa Rica and our third year in sunny Baltimore. Much has changed. Yet somehow the constant has been this here cottage industry. Could be worse. Of course, while things have grown substantially since I was first inspired to try to make a go at building boutique pedals there’s still  few things that we’ve yet to do – for instance, giveaway. Or for that matter, seriously pursuing an external distributor of our wares so that we only have to concentrate on building and not marketing, which we hate so much. Of course, as an independent builder, I’ve learned that the cold approach to the usual brick and mortars don’t especially yield much – a handful of sales, consignments and the less than fun task of following up with various shops to keep track of inventory. Lesson learned – independent predilections aside, in order to make it in this industry, you kind of have to play the trade shows if you want the big orders – and therein lies a dilemma.

Going back farther than 5 years – more like ten or more to when I was halfway through college I’ve kind of been just a little biased against the commercial music industry. Starting in high school, I began keeping a list of gear that I just couldn’t live without, primarily culled from Musician’s Friend catalogs and primordial gear pages – often putting off numerous projects and recordings because I just couldn’t live without a certain piece of gear, as if the sound I was after would magically be derived from simply owning something. In college, that list got even longer and grandiose and with the aid of my first credit card, a couple things were even crossed off said list, leading to more things being added to it, as well as a small, but significant debt that was only recently paid off. Then, shortly after the release of my first album, things changed – I was left just a little jaded with the industry, angry that my naivety allowed me to think that a single self-released record would do anything without the proper channels for distribution, and it didn’t matter how much gear you had, few things wouldn’t change that unless you had the right connections – which, for downtempo techno artists attending college in rural Ohio before the whole sound cloud thing came to blossom, just weren’t there. Things got noisier. The country got angrier. The web got friendlier to DIY folks and spaces and for a good clip, I was content to tour with just a backpack consisting of my laptop running Max/MSP, a small midi box and a mixer, selling hand-painted cd-r’s and tracking where they ended up on Discogs. Ah, happy days. And while I would dabble in a  piece of gear here and there, the list was long gone as I continued to do my thing with processed field recordings culled from mostly interesting places.

What stopped that? Two things, mostly – largely the collapse of a DIY-friendly world wide web in favor of algorithms that encourage you to pay for views and me attempting to release a solo record of my field recording comps – again – hard to exist in a vacuum – try harder to make impression on labels, release more, etcectc – working on that. Not to mention that at the moment I’m enjoying building things more than writing, yaddayadda.  Now back to that dilemma. I want to build and not have to worry so much about marketing. Meaning I need distribution. Meaning I need to attend these gear conventions and not be that poor looking sap with a single pedal board, my tiny, but awesome amp and a Home Depot folding table. I mean Moog brought a freaking cactus garden to their exhibit this year. Don’t quite have the resources or capital to go big quite like that – not to mention that I just don’t know enough super large name axe-noodlers who would agree to spend a week with me and my folding table. Not to mention that the current convention comes at a pretty bad time for yours truly. Lots of deadlines at the day gig, and a blizzard on top of everything.

Enter Pedal Genie. Cool guys, all said. And as we speak, they’re currently repping VF at NAMM by way of some colorfully-dressed genie girls – find them and post about them and you’re entered to win. Not in California? Just retweet and tag on the Twitter and the Insta. More to come on said topic, but happy for the leg up. And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some stuff to build and a baby to take out to play in the snow. Will be in touch.

And we’re back yet again!

•January 6, 2016 • Comments Off on And we’re back yet again!

Hi All,

Currently packing our bags and prepping for a flight north. Shops are now officially open and all orders will begin shipping on Friday, January 8th. More on the way ala some sort of welcome to 2016 post, but figured I should at least mention that we’re back and ready to seize the day and all that.

Much love,

tpx

 

 
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