DW55

Abstract

Ok, so there’s a lot of images in this one – 125, to be exact. Which, of course, if 5 cubed. So 125 5×5 inch square images which could essentially be combined to form a giant cube in a gallery space if one so desired, which I in fact do not. If anything, this piece is more of a proof of concept, if anything. I started it at the beginning of 2015 and finished it about a year later. Or thereabouts. I was mostly doing this in my spare time during a particularly active season of electronics building, and Xime was super-young on top of that – not to mention the general soul-consuming nature of the Baltimore day gig as the icing on the cake, all equating to a time when records might’ve been just a little hazy, as was the desire to document. Aren’t we all glad that’s changed? At the very least, I figure I should at least mention this piece since it helps bridge the gap between the glitch-art inspired pieces I was making at the end of 2012 and some of my current work. For whatever reason, I’m all about documenting the good, the bad and the ugly, so hey, another notch in the meta-narrative. One day I’ll somehow or another carve out a curated narrative on my work, but in the meantime, let’s all sit back and work on the assumption that this website sometimes serves as a working notebook for a future prepared statement – possibly in conjunction with the exact point when I possibly figure out exactly what it is I do.

As always, a story. Why? Because personal narrative is easier than institutional abstract. Here we go. At the end of 2014, I was fortunate enough to be featured in Guitar Player Magazine, with the general vibe being that I was one of the craziest pedal builders on the scene. I doubt I actually am, but this lead to a spike in sales that allowed the family to ride the wave of the first few months of parenthood, as well as give me something to do during marathon feeding sessions, with the general agreement that once this phase was over, I’d step up and step into the ring. Which I believe I have. I hope. Priorities. Generally speaking, it was pretty fun. Both the parenting and the pedal-building, that is.

The only nagging things were two stray thoughts running around in my brain – 1.) While my adolescent self was kind of a pedal nerd, I was never much of a guitarist and only a marginal bassist – other than having a bunch of things that can be stepped on around the house, the practical application of these devices was kind of lacking, especially now that there was a newborn to also attend to and hopefully not subject to extreme hearing damage that soon out of the gate. 2.) I kind of got into boutique pedal building at the tail end of things. Not to say that there won’t always be people making pedals (there will be), but the general paradigm shifted to Eurorack stuff and kits. Or at least that’s the view from my mountain. So – looking to the future and realizing that I was more of a synth person anyways, I started looking into Euro stuff – without really having any background on the subject, or anything to compare it to. Meaning, maybe I should familiarize myself with the giant money pit otherwise known as modular synthesis. So I picked up couple kits and began building – and while I was building, I was also truing to see if I could make this investment/addiction into a viable, expensive instrument for future musical endeavors. Because, why not?

Big circle, which hopefully explains why this thread even related to the prints below. While building, I was also recording. That shouldn’t be that big of a headline, but if you’d believe it, I was never much for recording prior to this project – I mean, every once in a while, but for most of my time in school, my creative process revolved more around processing field recordings that actually recording my instruments, which I had around more for live performance and sheer goofing around. I know – strange. One of the things about getting older is you suddenly have the basis for self-reflection and hopefully improvement. But first, let’s learn to play the stuff, yeah? That’s how this started – recording tiny snippets of modular synth improvisations and playing them back to see if I was onto something.

In the visual art world, I’d just finished up performances of my Hydroprinting II piece, was looking for a new project that I could do while gearing up for the pending third iteration of that series. From an aesthetic perspective, I liked what I was doing with the 144 series, but felt that I couldn’t continue it due to lack of direction. Using a similar process, but with my synth improvisations to guide me, I began creating a series of prints derived from the audio data in these recordings. To provide additional structure, I opted for have each piece be 2 minutes, 15 seconds long, which approximated to a corresponding print that was 5 inches by 5 inches – otherwise known as the size of your average CD cover.

Of course, now the big question – where and how to display these things. Originally, the idea was to have the exhibition be the reverse of he creative process – using your smart device, you take a picture of the print and custom software re-interprets it back into sound but with whatever distortions from light and lens added to the mix. Maybe one day that will happen – who knows, it might even be all immersive to the point were I don’t even have to have these printed. Other thoughts included laser etching, printing onto metal, etc. but not much of that has happened either – a couple of these did end up in a music video or two, as well as the backs of business cards and a couple album covers (which seems to be a popular pace for my visual art work) – but still no official exhibition. One day. But in the meantime, here’s the initial prints for your digital amusement – enjoy!

 

Advertisements