On the Illogical Idealism of a Life in the Pictures

Just-Intoned digital synthesis and custom-DSP feedback loop realized as an improvised live performance.


Premiered 06.01.2010 as part of Vox Novus’ 360 Degrees of 60×60 installation performance at the 2010 International Computer Music Festival, Electronic Music Foundation, New York, NY.


Program Notes

Travis Johns is a composer and sound artist currently nested in the Victorian bluffs of San Francisco, California – neatly isolated by a buffer of highways and thousands of miles of ocean, restricting escape to few but a handful of daring seabirds. Each day he preens his feathers and plans trajectories, yet is continually grounded by the serene realities and siren songs that have drawn so many wayward travelers to the safety of this gilded peninsula over countless generations; yet still he plans – and one day the winds will be right and his westward progression will soon be eastern once again.

On the Illogical Idealism of a Life in the Pictures is a compositional mantra, newly composed in hopes of the realization of a dream. I reserve my rights to disclose what that particular dream may be, but if anyone reading this happens to be searching for sounds to license for use in some sort of art-house horror film, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. In the case of this particular track, all sounds were composed with custom synthesis software tuned to seven-limit just intonation and realized as a live performance. Outside of minor adjustments for levels and clarity, no other alterations were made.

Performance History

  • 06.01.2010 – ICMC, Electronic Music Foundation, New York, NY.
  • 06.02.2010 – ICMC, Electronic Music Foundation, New York, NY.
  • 06.03.2010 – ICMC, Electronic Music Foundation, New York, NY.
  • 06.04.2010 – ICMC, Electronic Music Foundation, New York, NY.
  • 06.05.2010 – ICMC, Electronic Music Foundation, New York, NY.
  • 06.18.2010 – Rhode Island College, Providence, Rhode Island.
  • 10.01.2010 – Instituto Universitario Nacional del Arts, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
  • 10.15.2010 – EMM Festival, Lewis University, Romeoville, Illinois.
  • 10.20.2010 – Rodan Video Lounge, Wicker Park, Chicago, Illinois.
  • 10.21.2010 – The 4th Annual Kentucky New Music Festival, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky.
  • 10.26.2010 – Brooklyn College Electro-Acoustic Festival, Brooklyn, NY.
  • 11.13.2010 – SALT Gallery, New York, NY.
  • Media Arts Video Studio, Hartford Art School, University of Hartford, Hartford, Connecticut.
  • 12.03.2010 – Longy School of Music, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
  • 12.03.2010 – Pina Bausch Theatre, Folkwang University, Essen, Germany.
  • 12.21.2010 – “George Enesco” Concert Hall of the National University of Music Bucharest, Bucharest, Romania.

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