Posted in Announcement on December 30th, 2009 by admin

Just back from the beautiful (and internet-less) mountains of southern Bulgaria, loved every second of it. Found some small sound treasures there that I will post later on. In the meantime, I decided to pimp my page to see if it can generate some new interest in the workshops that I do.

For those who don’t know, the School of Everything is a website that got started a couple years ago in the UK as an alternative educational resource. The idea is simply to use the same kinds of social networking platform that others use to…um, well, uh, “tweet” and whatever it is they do with it, to hook up people who want to learn specific skills with those who can teach them.

In general, I find this self-education idea much closer to my own way of thinking than the traditional academic model. In fact, I’ve always maintained that the only thing that separates artists using technology now from David Tudor and the other electronic art pioneers of the 60s and 70s is the internet. Whereas Tudor, the Vasulkas, Buchla, Paik, Sandin and the rest had much more limited channels to find the information they needed, we have an almost limitless supply. Which is of course the other half of the problem–trying to get the signal out of the noise.

As a result of all this, the models of teaching and learning that I use have become quite tuned towards self-initiation and self-discovery. Having someone hand over all the answers to you doesn’t really stimulate the brain, and in fact could hardly be called learning at all. So most every lesson or workshop that I do is project-oriented, to encourage that process of teaching people to teach themselves.

You can check my teacher profile at:

And I have listed the following as one-on-one lessons:

Circuit Bending & DIY Electronics
Circuit Bending & DIY Electronics
Field Recording Techniques
Field Recording Techniques
Audio Recording & Post-Production with Ardour
Audio Recording & Post-Production with Ardour
Introduction to Pure Data
Introduction to Pure Data
Sound Art Technologies
Sound Art Technologies
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19-29 December = unplugged

Posted in Text on December 13th, 2009 by admin

BanskoI will be 100% totally and completely analog from 19-29 December 2009. Click the photo to see where… I wouldn’t even realize it if the internet suddenly ceased to exist during that week, so any holiday greetings should happen before or after. Have a good New Year if I don’t hear from some of y’all by then!

Now Playing

My six hours on the train from Berlin to Cologne today was “Electroacoustic Day”.  I guess the connecting link between all these pieces is a radical sensibility about sound which I think still holds to this day. None of these composers were at all interested in representing conventional sounds, nor using conventional tools to create those sounds. That, and an exciting sonic density and an almost overwhelming amount of detail at a near-microscopic (i.e. microsonic) level.

Bernard ParmegianiDe Natura Sonorum (1975 GRM)
Curtis RoadsPurity & Sonal Atoms (1994, 1998 IRCAM)
Trevor WishartRed Bird & Anticredos (1977, 1980 Electronic Music Foundation)
Iannis XenakisMycenae Alpha & Polytope de Cluny (1978, 1972 IRCAM)

And now that I’m back at the KHM with their incredible library, I can start looking up more material from all those academic journals that I could never afford before.

First stop: Dan Slater, Chaotic Sound Synthesis (Computer Music Journal, Summer 1998)

Review: Echelon Teufelsberg by Thomas Ankersmit & Valerio Tricoli

I also had the chance to hear Dutch saxophonist/synth-improvisor Thomas Ankersmit & Italian tape-loop maestro Valerio Tricoli’s Echelon Teufelsberg project last Friday night at Ausland in Berlin. Ankersmit and Tricoli spent a week recording in the acoustic strangeness of the former CIA observatory dome at Teufelsberg, on the far west side of the city. The performance was meant to showcase these recordings, however I found that most of the connection to the specific qualities of the space were lost, and the field recordings themselves could have been made in any reverberant space… or with any studio effect. The pair layered up Revox tape loops, vocals, saxophone and analog synthesizer on top of this, spatializing the sounds across four PA and two desktop monitors as well as around the room via a handheld, hyper-directional ultrasonic speaker, further transforming (and obscuring) the source material. In some ways, I would have preferred that this rather accomplished improvisational duo would have simply dropped the conceptual baggage of the recordings and focused on playing a real-time concert, however some of the bleed-through from the echo chamber did carry some interesting sonic moments.

More info here:

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KHM, Cologne 14-18 Dec 2009

Posted in Announcement on December 12th, 2009 by admin

I’ll be back in Cologne next week for my fellowship at KHM. Two lecture/workshops have been planned…

Tuned City:Sound+Architecture lecture

(Will Schrimshaw’s “Little Helpers”, photo by poportis)

11.00-13.00, Monday 14 December 2009
Klanglabor, KHM, Cologne

“Tuned City – Between sound and space speculation” was an exhibition and conference project taking place from July 01.-05. 2008 in Berlin which proposed a new evaluation of architectural spaces from the perspective of the acoustic. In this lecture, we will see and hear some of the projects from the Tuned City event, as well as related projects covering the themes of Temporary Architecture for Sound, Buildings as Instruments and Composing the Cityscape. Following the lecture, from 14.00-18.00 the participants of the Materialize ISEA/Tuned City project will meet in a working group to discuss the projects and concepts shown.

The lecture is open to the public, however the working group is by arrangement with Materialize participants only.

Analog Synthesizer Workshop: Vocal Processing

Frequency plot of Doepfer Vocoder

(Frequency plot of Doepfer Vocoder module)

14.00-17.00 Thursday 17 December 2009
Klanglabor, KHM, Cologne

Building on the basic introductory workshop given in November, this special topic workshop will investigate using the Doepfer A-100 analog modular synthesizer for processing an external input–in this case the human voice. Modules such as the vocoder, ring modulator, envelope follower and various filters (voltage controlled & fixed frequency/equalizer) will be used to analyze and transform the sounds from a microphone. Previous knowledge of analog synthesizers, either from my earlier workshop or personal experience, is helpful since we will not spend much time explaining what was covered last time (voltage controlled oscillators, voltage controlled amplifiers, envelope generators, keyboards/sequencers, triggers/gates, etc etc).

Workshop instruction will be in English, and will be limited to 12 people. Preregistration required! Contact: derek AT THE DOMAIN

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Nu Fest 2010, Padova IT

Posted in Announcement on December 12th, 2009 by admin

Practice your Italiano!


Nu Fest 2010 Padova, IT

Venerdì 19 febbraio

Palazzo Liviano
ore 14.00 (durata 6 ore circa)

Teatro MPX
ore 21.00
MIRA CALIX live set (Warp Records – Joahnnesburg.Londra SOUTH AFRICA/UK)
+ opening act by DEREK HOLZER live set (Umatic NL/USA)

Tonewheels è un esperimento che consiste nella conversione di un immaginario grafico in suono. Il workshop si ispira ad alcune invenzioni basilari come l’ANS Synth (Murzin USSR 1937-57), il Variophone (Sholpo USSR 1930) e il sistema Oramics(Oram UK 1957) sviluppate da importanti musicisti e ricercatori sin dall’inizio del secolo scorso.
Fogli di plastica trasparente e colorata verranno illuminati per poter interagire con dei circuiti elettronici sensibili alla luce che così produrranno suoni e strutture ritmiche. I partecipanti impareranno come costruire due tipi di circuiti che sono due mattoni fondamentali per la costruzione di un sintetizzatore ottico: un semplice convertitore luce-suono controllato da un motore e inoltre come disegnare e stampare dei pattern personali usando il materiale disponibile in internet gratuitamente.

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Introduction to Ardour FLOSS Manual online now

Posted in Announcement on December 9th, 2009 by admin

Ardour is a full-featured, free and open-source hard disk recorder and digital audio workstation program suitable for professional use. It features unlimited audio tracks and buses, non-destructive, non-linear editing with unlimited undo, and anything-to-anywhere signal routing. It supports standard file formats, such as BWF, WAV, WAV64, AIFF and CAF, and it can use LADSPA, LV2, VST and AudioUnit plugin formats.

The “Introduction to Ardour” FLOSS Manual is a free (gratis/libre) tutorial-style book, which introduces the program without expecting a vast knowledge of computers or sound editing from the reader.

This FLOSS Manual can be read online at:

The Ardour FLOSS Manual was largely written by workshop participants learning the software themselves, over a one week period during a session led by Derek Holzer at the moddr_lab/WORM in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Non-profit, print-on-demand paper copies can be ordered from soon. Please check back with the main FLOSS Manuals page in several days for ordering information:

The manual is free to use, distribute and remix according to the GNU General Public License. FLOSS Manuals volunteers are currently working on French and Portuguese translations, and anyone is free to add contributions and edits for future versions of the manual at

Thanks to Adam Hyde, Walter Langelaar, the workshop participants in Rotterdam as well as those who helped online from the FLOSS Manuals, Ardour and Linux Audio communities, and to all the folks at the moddr_lab and WORM!

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bone awllive KFJC[2004]
ernest hemmingwayfor whom the bell tolls [book]
expo 70psychic funeral 2×3″cdr[2009 ruralfauna]
francisco lópezbuildings (new york)[2001 v2_archief]
iannis xenakisformalized music [book]
isis + circle-live at postbahnhof last monday (isis encore with circle vocalist!)
krallicedimensional bleedthrough[2009 profound lore]
liturgyrenihilation[2009 20 buck spin]
merzbowshirasagi (13 japanese birds part 11)[2009 important]
sylvester anfang IIuntitled 3″cdr[2009 luchtrat]
takahashi chikuzanno shinzui (shamisen improvisations from 1970s)
trevor wisharton sonic art [1996 book]

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