Interview for Makery Magazine

Posted in Essay on March 19th, 2015 by admin

My good friend Ewen Chardronnet asked me to answer a few questions about the DELILAH TOO installation, my instrument-building practice and the workshop process. You can read my replies here.

One of my first formal trainings was as a silversmith, so the idea of making real things with my hands has always held far more appeal than the symbolic substitutions and semiotic shell games so beloved by the more conceptual and theoretical wings of the contemporary art world. But I think my instrument-building also reflects an economic reality one faces as a non-academic, non-institutional artist these days. There is so much digital music out there right now, and no one pays you for making any of it. But since we are working in the era of the “pro-sumer”, there are plenty of people who are constantly spending money on the tools to make their own music.

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Berlin Hack-a-Stylophone Workshop with Tasos Stamou 29 MAR 2015

Posted in Uncategorized on March 9th, 2015 by admin

Atelier Macumba presents our first public workshop in Berlin, Hack-a-Stylophone with London circuit-bander Tasos Stamou. This circuit bending workshop on the 29thth of March is dedicated to altering and upgrading the functions and sounds of original Stylophones (revived version). Participants will be guided through the process of hard wiring the keyboard and transforming it into a useful analogue synthesizer; adding pitch controls, body contacts, sustain mods, CV (control Voltage) and other possible adds.

COST & REGISTRATION:

EUR 45 if you bring your own Stylophone (new version, not vintage!)
EUR 60 with Stylophone provided

Participation in this workshop is by PRE-REGISTRATION ONLY to kukurukurecordings@gmail.com. Location and further details will be provided upon registration.

Due to the nature of the modifications, this instrument will be really useful to people using modular synthesizers, as an extra voice source to their modular synthesizer system.

VIDEO:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LnynUfJLodw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-GW72fUHI8

Tasos Stamou is a dedicated circuit bender and an instrument modifier/designer. He has been utilizing his hacked creations into various performances (such as at the BENT Festival, New York) and recordings of obscure electronica ( Absurd, Triple Bathe, Orila).

MORE INFO:

www.tasosstamou.info
stamouinstruments.blogspot.com
www.facebook.com/macumbistanet

NEANDERTHAL ELECTRONICS ORCHESTRA (RITS Winterschool)

Posted in Documentation on January 28th, 2015 by admin

Together with Jeroen Vandesande, I gave my Neanderthal Electronics instrument-building workshop to a group of students of the RITS Winterschool (Erasmushogeschool RITS, Brussels) from 12-23 JAN 2015. Over these ten days, the participants with backgrounds in acting, writing, theater tech and radio production designed, constructed, learned to play and created a composition using their own self-built DIY electronic instruments. A variety of circuits–including CMOS logic chips, amplifiers, portable loudspeakers, contact microphones and opto-electronics–ensured that each instrument gave a unique voice to each player in the piece.

The resulting 16 minute composition (inspired by the works of Alvin Lucier, Pauline Oliveros, John Grzinich, David Tudor and others) was an immersive, surround-sound experience, performed in a darkened room for an eyes-closed audience of 25 people at a time. In the piece, a swarm of individual, simple sound sources such as tones and textures are modulated and moved through the space physically by the performers to create a complex sonic environment. Delicate and intimate sounds pass closely near the bodies and ears of the audience, while stronger, more extreme sounds occur at the edges of the space to give a sense of the architecture of the room and the objects in it.

Composed and performed by Bram Verrecas, Amber Meulenijzer, Jana Rymen, Kimberly Struyf, Francesca Van Daele, Anna Van Hoof, Max Adams, Zoë Bossuyt, Iben Stalpaert, Milan Van Doren, Nils Melckenbeeck, Emma Schiettecatte, and Michèle Even at Kunstencentrum NONA, Mechelen, Belgium on 23 JAN 2015.

Much gratitude to Dieter van Dam for the invitation!

Workshop info here: http://macumbista.net/?page_id=497

PLEASE LISTEN TO THIS CLIP WITH HEADPHONES

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DELILAH TOO at CTM Festival Berlin

Posted in Announcement on January 13th, 2015 by admin

My vocoder-based sound installation DELILAH TOO will open at the CTM Festival, in the Kunstraum Bethanien on 23 JAN 2015, and run until 22 FEB.

I am looking for a number of volunteers to speak, read or sing texts in any language you choose, as well as attempt to communicate with installation visitors (hopefully in a language they do understand) during the entire month of the festival. In the spirit of Alvin Lucier’s “North American Time Capsule”, you could consider these texts as transmissions to other beings in space about what life on Earth is like for you…

I hope that a number of people can take one or two one-hour long slots, and I will try to make a small gathering with snacks/drinks sometime during the festival for people who help out.

You can find a short overview of the project here: http://tinyurl.com/delilah-too-ctm-info

Please contact me by email at MACUMBISTA at the domain GMAIL dot COM with the subject line “volunteer” and I will send more information and a link to the sign-up sheet.

Many thanks!!!! D.

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Facto, Mexico DF 16-20 DEC

Posted in Announcement on December 12th, 2014 by admin

On the invitation of Arcangelo Constantini, I will visit Mexico City from 16-20 December 2014 to give a SoundBoxes workshop and Macumbista live performance at FACTO, in the Fonoteca National. The highlight should be the final participant performance of 100 hand made sound devices. Hope to see some of you there!

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Last Benjolin of 2014

Posted in Announcement on December 10th, 2014 by admin

Meine Damen und Herren… may I present the last Benjolin I will build in the year 2014.

The Benjolin is a standalone synthesizer designed by Rob Hordijk from the Netherlands. It contains two oscillators (one LFO and one VCO), a voltage controlled filter and a circuit called a “Rungler”, which allows chaotic cross-modulation possibilities between the different parts of the circuit. Hordijk refers to the Benjolin as a circuit which has been “bent by design.”

These hand-made Macumbista Benjolins (produced under licensed agreement with Rob Hordijk) have been further customized with a patchbay, which can be used to interface with other modular synthesizers or to setup further control voltage feedback systems within the Benjolin itself, attenuators on the three control voltage input and LEDs displaying the internal state of the Rungler.

You can see more photos and videos here: http://macumbista.net/?p=3935

This Benjolin is completed and ready to move, and just to get it out into the world a little bit quicker, I am offering FREE SHIPPING anywhere on the planet, this week only (payment must be in by 13 DEC).

Price is EUR 495 (incl 19% EU VAT) / EUR 416 (shipped outside the EU). Contact using the CONTACT page here or email MACUMBISTA at-the-domain GMAIL dot COM.

I am looking forward to newer, bigger and better things in the coming year.

I thank you kindly for your attention.
Derek

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Edith-Russ-Haus Residency NOV DEC 2014

Posted in Announcement on November 25th, 2014 by admin

Last spring, the Edith-Russ-Haus für Medienkunst, in Oldenburg DE, kindly decided to support my vocoder-based public speech encryption project DELILAH TOO with a working stipend, and if all goes well I look forward to showing it during the next CTM Festival in Berlin at the end of January. You can read the Edith-Russ-Haus jury statement here:

http://www.edith-russ-haus.de/en/stipends/stipends/current.html

From now until 05 DEC, I will be working with the staff and new directors of the Edith-Russ-Haus, Edit Molnár and Marcel Schwierin to give further shape to the piece. And doing a bit of soldering on the way as well…

I have a few public presentations during my time here, as follows:

Präsentation der Stipendiaten 2014 (ERH): 27.NOV, 19:00
Komponist Colloquium (University of Oldenburg): 28.NOV, 20:00
Derek Holzer – Tonewheels performance (ERH): 02.DEC, 19:00

You can read more about the DELILAH TOO project here:

http://macumbista.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/derek-holzer-delilha_too_public.pdf

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Atelier Macumba Demo Night

Posted in Announcement on October 30th, 2014 by admin

As part of the Lange Nacht der Bilder Lichtenberg 2014, Juan Carlos Duarte, Darsha Hewitt, and I will host an open studio from 20-00h on Friday 07 NOV 2014 at the Atelier Macumba.

Drop by to try out several of the SoundBoxes, Benjolins and custom modular synthesizer systems I have built, and sip a little fine bourbon while you are at it!

The instruments:

http://macumbista.net/?page_id=4035

Live sets by Seth Zahn + Matthew Burnett, Juan Duarte and Derek Holzer, a demo of the Wurlitzer Sideman tube drum machine by Darsha Hewitt, a live Benjolin+snaredrum set by Andi Stecher, and a very reasonably-priced selection of 10 American whiskeys for your tasting pleasure by Pure of Taste the Doom/Slowlands fame.

There will be many other exhibitions, events and open studios going on that night as well here, see full program here:

http://www.hb55.de/lange-nacht-der-bilder-2014

Atelier Macumba, Room 2.31, Eingang B, HB55 Kunstfabrik Herzbergstrasse 55 Berlin-Lichtenberg.

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Apokalypsegerät 2013

Posted in Documentation on October 16th, 2014 by admin

I just realized that, although it was built more than one year ago, I still have not documented the Apokalypsegerät machine I created for Andreas Catjar and Markus Öhrn‘s theater productions, and which I play in Bis Zum Tod. I was probably waiting to edit some videos for it, but my video backlog is twenty miles long at this point. So here we go….. Please note there are some slight differences in panel layouts (and a couple extra functions added) between the proposal images and the finished system.

FEATURES

* Analog Modular Synthesizer with four Voltage Controlled Oscillators, four switchable Voltage Controlled Filters/Amplifiers, four Output channels and onstage lighting
* Optimized for the creation of apocalyptic doom drones

DUAL XR-2206 VCO

* Rough and Fine manual Tuning Controls
* Manual- and Voltage-Controlled Skew adjusts shape of the waveform
* Linear, Exponential and 1 Volt/Octave Frequency Modulation
* Sync input resets waveform
* Square Wave output
* Switchable Sine or Triangle Wave output
* Low Frequency or High Frequency Oscillator modes
* Circuit design by Thomas Henry, circuit layout by Bugbrand
* Two Dual XR-2206 VCO modules present in system

QUAD LOW PASS GATE 292

* Each of the four independent gates is switchable between Voltage Controlled Low Pass Filter, Voltage Controlled Amplifier or “Both” mode
* Used for Manual- or Voltage-Control over both amplitude and spectrum of audio signal
* High resonance allows generation of percussive sounds as well
* Circuit design by Don Buchla, circuit layout by Thomas White
* One Quad Resonant Low Pass Gate 292 module present in system

QUAD OUTPUT MODULE

* Each of the four outputs converts unshielded banana-jack to shielded 6,3mm audio jack
* Attenuators used to reduce modular synthesizer voltage level (10 Volts peak-to-peak) to line-level audio (3,5 Volts peak-to-peak)
* Female XLR connection provided for gooseneck LED lamp
* One Quad Output module present in system

I would love to do more custom systems like this, please contact me via the CONTACT link or at the email address MACUMBISTA at-the-domain GMAIL dot COM for more information.

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Steve J. Holzer 1950-2014

Posted in Announcement on October 2nd, 2014 by admin

26 SEPT 2014. 02:57AM. Peacefully, at home, with family. Small Irish wake. “Take a deep breath and jump” was his greatest advice to me. So I did. Steve Holzer made the greatest jump of all that night. Have a good trip, Dad.

Obituary: http://bigbendnow.com/2014/10/holzer/