[Club]Transmediale scorecard

Posted in Announcement on January 31st, 2010 by admin

Newsflash: I’ll be taking part in the Tuned City panel discussion at Club Transmediale next Friday with Carsten Stabenow, John Grzinich and Sam Auinger. FRI 05.02. 19:00, HBC-Berlin.

Besides that, here’s my scorecard for the upcoming Transmediale/Club Transmediale events this week. Accept my advice at your own risk…


Haus der Kulturen der Welt, 2-7 Feb

White Noise–Žilvinas Kempinas: floating bands of unspooled video tape

Optofonica Capsule–TeZ: unique viewing and listening environment for synaesthtic works

A Parallel Image–Gebhard Sengmüller: speculative media archaeology

Chernobyl Project – The Invisible Stain–Alice Miceli: photographing the lingering radiation

Artvertiser–Julian Oliver: playful urban intervention to replace public advertising with artworks

Coincidence Engines–[The User]: homage to Ligeti from the creators of the Symphony for Dot Matrix Printers and the Silophone (Transmediale award nominee)


Agnes Meyer-Brandis–Cloud Core Scanner: Inside the Tropospheric Laboratory: Schering Stiftung Berlin, Unter den Linden 32-34 15 Jan-27 Feb 11:00-16:00

Julius von Bismarck & Benjamin Maus–Perpetual Storytelling Apparatus: Gallerie Art Claims Impulse, Lübbener Str. 5, 20 Jan – 13 Mar, Wed–Sat, 16:00 – 21:00

Exhibition curated by Hicham Khalidi, produced by Den Haag art space <TAG>.  CLUB TRANSMEDIALE: Spandauer Strasse 2, 30/01 – 06/02, 15–21:00

Exhibition with works by students of the Sound Studies program of the Berlin University of Arts, curated by Professor Robert Henke. CLUB TRANSMEDIALE: Spandauer Strasse 2, 30/01 – 06/02, 15–21:00


radio aporee ::: sound/tracks
Workshop by Udo Noll [DE] 31/01–02/02 > CLUB TRANSMEDIALE .HBC > 14–18:00

Constructivist DIY workshop series, by NK, Martin Kuentz & Jo FRGMNT Grys [DE] 01–06/02 CLUB TRANSMEDIALE > SPA > 14–21:00

Martin Howse, Verena Kuni, Danja Vasiliev, Oswald Berthold, 04-06/02 TRANSMEDIALE,  .CHB – Collegium Hungaricum Berlin



Yokomono-Pro (Staalplaat Soundsystem, Ilpo Väisänen, Mika Vainio)

Keiji Haino (JP)

MON 1.2.2010

Keiji Haino  / Ilpo Väisänen / Mika Vainio (JP / FI)


Charlemagne Palestine (US) –Tintinnabulations For Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Charlemagne Palestine: a concert for the outdoor carillon tower in the Tiergarten from a composer who needs no introduction (TRANSMEDIALE, Tue, 2.2.2010 – 19:00-20:00 Tiergarten carillon, next to the House of World Cultures)


Interface and Instrument-Design – How Technology Affects Music–Takuro Mizuta Lippit [JP] / Robert Henke [DE] / Yutaka Makino [JP] / Christopher Salter [CA/US] / Moderation: Tony Herrington [UK] (CLUB TRANSMEDIALE 19:00 HBC)

Pe Lang–cl_loop: audio improvisation based on the manipulation of an electromagnetic field (TRANSMEDIALE, Wed, 3.2.2010 – 22:00, Haus der Kulturen der Welt)

Habsyll (FR)
Hildur Gudnadottir (IS)


artificiel–POWEr: audiovisual performance for Tesla coil (Thu, 4.2.2010 – 20:30, Haus der Kulturen der Welt)

Alex Nowitz (DE)
dj sniff (JP)
Justin Bennett (NL)
Tok Tek (NL)


Presentation: See This Sound: Sound–Image Relations in Art and Media Sandra Naumann [DE] / Dieter Daniels [DE] (CLUB TRANSMEDIALE HBC 18:00)

19:00 Talk: “Put Your Ear on the Wall – Tuned City: Platform for Examinations in the Field Between Architecture and Sound“, Carsten Stabenow (DE), John Grzinich (US/EE), Sam Auinger (AT/DE), Derek Holzer (US/DE) (CLUB TRANSMEDIALE HBC)

Studies in Light and Space screening
Studies in Transfalumination, Peter Rose, us 2008, 5min
Black Rain, Semiconductor, uk 2009, 3min
The Moon Goose Experiment, Agnes Meyer-Brandis, de 2008, 5min
Ascension (Woschosdenije), Pavel Medvedev, ru 2008, 50min
(TRANSMEDIALE, Fri, 5.2.2010 – 18:30-20:30, Haus der Kulturen der Welt)



“Spectroscopy” – Open Studio Installation: Sound art lab NK, Jo FRGMNT Grys, Martin Kuentz and the participants of the “Spectroscopy” workshop invite visitors into their scientific laboratory of experimentation and present the various devices conceived and constructed during the workshop days. (CLUB TRANSMEDIALE SPANDAUER STRASSE 2 15:00 – 21:00)

Agnes Meyer-Brandis–Making Clouds or On the Abscence of Weight: Sophiensaele 18:30

radio aporee ::: sound/tracks: Presentation by Udo Noll [DE], John Grzinich [US/EE] and participants. (CLUB TRANSMEDIALE HBC 19:00)

Spectroscopy II: Presentation and Performance by Jo FRGMNT Grys [DE], Martin Kuentz [DE] and participants. (CLUB TRANSMEDIALE HBC 20:00)

RASTER.NOTON.UNUN CLUB TRANSMEDIALE: WMF Floor 2 – in collaboration with Raster-Noton and transmediale 22:00
Atom TM (DE)
Aoki Takamasa (JP)
Senking (DE)
Grischa Lichtenberger (DE)
Ulf Eriksson (SE)

SUN 7.2.2010

Invisible Cities Salon–Verena Kuni (de), Julian Oliver (nz), Martin Howse (uk), Oswald Berthold (de), Danja Vasiliev (de/ru), Bengt Sjölén (se), Julius von Bismarck (de) TRANSMEDIALE Sun, 7.2.2010 – 12:00 House of World Cultures

MYTHS OF THE NEAR FUTURE CLUB TRANSMEDIALE: HKW Auditorium – in collaboration with transmediale 22:00
eARTS Shanghai Showcase
FM3_Zhang (CN)
Xu Wenkai (AKA Aaaijiao, CN)
Feng Mengbo (CN)
Ben Huang (CN)


Ulver: DISK/CTM: Volksbuhne 20:00

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Pure Data Workshop + FLOSS Manuals Book Sprint

Posted in Announcement on January 28th, 2010 by admin

Pure Data Workshop + FLOSS Manuals Book Sprint
Tusday 23 – Friday 26 February 2010, 17.00-22.00 [GMT +1]
NK Elsenstr. 52 2HH 2 Etage 12059 Berlin, Germany

Contact Derek Holzer: derek AT THE DOMAIN umatic.nl mob: +49(0)176 2812 5845
Or contribute online!
irc.freenode.net #flossmanuals

Pure Data (or Pd) is a free + open source, real-time graphical programming environment for audio, video, and graphical processing. Because all of these types of media are handled as data in the program, many fascinating opportunities for cross-synthesis between them exist. Pd is commonly used for live music performance, VeeJaying, sound effects composition, interfacing with sensors, cameras and robots or even interacting with websites.

A book sprint brings together a group of writers, editors and artists to produce a published book within several days. This sprint will combine a workshop within it, where new users will learn to create basic patches in Pd, documenting them along the way for the FLOSS Manual. This is an exciting opportunity both to acquire new skills as well as share them with others in the form of a book!

This sprint is a long-distance collaboration between FLOSS Manuals, the Berlin Pure Data users group and ITP/Tisch School of the Arts, New York.

Please bring your own laptop with Pure Data Extended installed. The workshop is free, with the expectation that participants will contribute to the FLOSS Manual.

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Voltage Controlled Slope

Posted in Documentation on January 26th, 2010 by admin

Desperately trying to finish some new electronics before other tasks consume my attention… the latest module for my DIY synthesizer is something like a clone of the recently released Makenoise Maths, which is itself a riff on the Serge Dual Universal Slope Generator. I actually imagine it much more as a kind of analog computer to tell the truth.

It packs two Serge Voltage Controlled Slope Generators, a pair of bipolar “Attenuverters” with positive/negative offset and a series of “analog logic” functions behind a single panel.

In other words, it can create two different waveforms at low or audio rate, with voltage-controllable upwards and downwards slopes, and can perform a number of mathematical functions close to the original Serge “peak” and “trough” functions on these slopes. And yes, it can go into cycle mode by itself, to give me a basic LFO or VCO function.

First basic tests indicate it’s quite a monster! I tend to use one VCS to trigger the other, then cross-modulate the Exponential CV inputs through the Attenuverter, and use one of the Analog Logic outputs to drive a VCO. Instant chaos. It’s incredible to compare the very different flavors coming from the AND, NAND, OR or NOR outputs from the same two input voltages. This module and one or two VCOs would make a very complex little synth all by themselves.

A quick and dirty example of the above patch:

Voltage Controlled Slopes + Analog Logic test by macumbista

NAND drives one VCO, OR drives one LFO. LFO patched back to left-hand VCS “both” input, also to VCO FM, some other cross-modulations as well. Here’s a photo of the patch:


Rise CV / Fall CV / Both CV / Exp CV / Signal Input / Trigger Input


Rise Time / Fall Time / Rise CV / Fall CV / Linear-Exponential mode switch


End of Cycle Output / DC Output


DC Input


Positive-Negative Gain / Positive-Negative Offset


DC Out / Also linked to ANALOG LOGIC inputs


AND “tough” (lowest of two voltages) / NAND inverted “tough” / OR “peak” (highest of two voltages) / NOR inverted “peak” / Sum of two voltages / Inverted Sum of two voltages

The module was created using PCBs from Ken Stone/CGS synths. I love Ken’s boards to death. I used:

2 x CGS75 Voltage Controlled Slope

1 x CGS26 Analog Logic

3 x CGS04 DC Mixer

There’s really not much out there that can’t be self-built with them, if you’re clever with how you put them behind the panel. I’ll be putting a bunch of CMOS digital logic boards on order soon, and putting together a modular synthesizer super-computer in the spring! Hell, one could almost clone an original Serge with them.

Me, I’m not interested in “cloning” anything, thus the hand-stamped letters and general rough feel. Took some fiddling to get it running properly, but now that it does it’s fantastic.

I had a chance to play with a huge Serge system at CEM in Rotterdam a few months ago, and my main area of inquiry were the Dual Slope Generators there. Made some incredible feedback/chaotic synthesis stuff possible. Maybe I’ll find some audio examples from that session and post them later. Until then…

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4 tracks from the past

Posted in Documentation on January 24th, 2010 by admin

I moved the following tracks over to my Soundcloud account this morning. These four are ones that I’m particularly interested in, as they (mostly) combine electronics and field recordings. Gongs and bells as well, although I never realized I was so obsessed with them before! I’ll try to get some takes from the new DIY synth up soon. Until then, enjoy…

Derek Holzer-Untitled [boiler room] by macumbista

Multichannel recording of furnace in Karosta, Latvia (January 2003), processed shortwave radio in Mooste, Estonia (September 2004). Released as part of Untitled Songs: 49 Years from Gesang der Jünglinge 2005-1956 2xCD compilation by Sirr.ecords in 2005.

Derek holzer-metallophone drift by macumbista

Burmese gongs, ice field recording, mixer feedback. Recorded 30 July 2005, Utrecht, the Netherlands. Released as part of the Connected Dots.Connected Ideas compilation CD on the Frozen Elephants Music label, 2007.

Macumbista-hollow space capacitance discharge by macumbista

Japanese temple bell belonging to Jeroen Beets recorded 19 December 2006 @ STEIM, Amsterdam. Analog synthesizer recorded 2006-7, Berlin. Mixed 11-14 November 2007 @ RSS82, Berlin. Released as part of the {Autumn Soundscapes} collection on the Madorla netlabel, 2008.

Derek holzer-matrix events(skinned teeth) by macumbista

Self-made 8×8 matrix mixer, Cwejman/Analogue Systems/Doepfer oscillators, digital delay, joystick control voltage, mixer feedback. Recorded with a case of mild food poisoning (thus the “skinned teeth” feeling) January 25th, 2009. Unreleased.

Now Playing

bj nilsenthe invisible city[2010 touch](thx benny!!!!)
elias canettiauto da fe[1935 book]

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50 that did it in 2009

Posted in Text on January 20th, 2010 by admin

Almost too late for making “best of” lists now. Nostalgia for the old year is running dry and it’s high time to get on with the new. So, for what it’s worth, here’s 50 releases that did it for me in 2009.

aluk todolofinsternis[2009 v2]
anthony pateras & robin foxend of daze[2009 editions mego]
barn owlfrom our mouths a perpetual light[2009 digitalis](***pictured above***)
baronessblue record[2009 relapse]
ben frostby the throat[2009 bedroom community]
bodychokecold river songs[1996/2009 relapse reissue]
bohren und der club of gorelatitudes[2009 southern]
coalesceox[2009 relapse]
daniel higgshymnprovisations for banjo by the A.I.U. with piano and raindrops[2009 ideal]
drudkhmicrocosmos[2009 season of mist]
elehretreat lp[2009 important]
eliane radiguevice versa, etc….[2009 important]
elmnemcatacoa[2009 digitalis]
emeraldsemeralds[2009 hanson]
evan caminitidigging the void[2009 students of decay]
expo ’70psychic funeral 2×3″cdr[2009 ruralfauna]
greymachinedisconnected[2009 hydra head]
habsyllMMVIII [2009 psycheDOOMelic]
heckeracid in the style of david tudor[2009 editions mego]
hildur gudnadottirwithout sinking [2009 touch]
isiswavering radiant [2009 ipecac]
jana winderenheated[2009 touch]
jason crumerwalk with me[2009 misanthropic agenda]
john wiesecircle snare[2009 no fun]
josh layheirophant[2009 sentient recognition archive]
kevin drummimperial horizon[2009 hospital productions]
kinit herglyms or beame of radicall truthes[2009 hinterzimmer]
kk null/john wiesemondo paradoxa[2009 aufabwegen]
lightning boltearthly delights[2009 load]
merzbow13 japanese birds series(vols 1-12)[2009 important]
mika vainio & lucio capecetrahnie[2009 editions mego]
mika vainioaineen musta puhelin/black telephone of matter[2009 touch]
mudboymort aux vaches[2009 staalplaat]
nate youngregression[2009 ideal recordings]
natural snow buildingsdaughter of darkness[2009 blackest rainbow]
nicholas szczepanikthe chiasmus[2009 basses frequences]
omgod is good[2009 southern lord]
oneohtrix point neverrifts[2009 no fun]
oren ambarchia final kiss on poisoned cheeks vinyl[2009 table of elements]
our love will destroy the worldstillborn plague angels vinyl[2009 dekorder]
pan sonic & keiji hainoshall i download a blackhole and offer it to you[2009 blast first petitie]
peter wrightan angel fell where the kestrel hover[2009 spekk]
phill niblocktouch strings[2009 touch]
prurientrose pillar 11″[2009 heartworm]
stephan mathieuthe key to the kingdom 7″[2009 dekorder]
tiny viperslife on earth[2009 sub pop]
wolf eyesalways wrong[2009 hospital productions]
wolves in the throne roomblack cascade[2009 southern lord]
yogamegafauna[2009 holy mountain]
z’evsum things[2009 cold spring]

Coming soon: dates in New York, Pure Data book sprint, Helsinki workshops, new Particlechamber, analog synthesizer updates and everything else that’s so long overdue.


Sveta Troitsa, Bansko, Bulgaria

Posted in Announcement on January 3rd, 2010 by admin

Sveta Troitsa (or the Church of the Holy Trinity) was built in Bansko, Bulgaria, between 1810 and 1850. During this time, the Blagoevgrad Province remained under Turkish rule, and the founders of the church could only build it through a combination of diplomacy and heavy fees payed to the Turks. The four bells heard in these recordings were cast in 1855 by the Veleganovi brothers, who inscribed the name of the Turkish sultan on them so that they would not be thrown from the tower.

Reading through R. Murray Schafer’s The Soundscape: Our Sonic Environment and the Tuning of the World (1977, Destiny Books) the other night, I came across his discussion of church bells. He describes the church bell as a signal delineating the boundaries of a human habitation, as well as bringing its occupants together:

The most salient sound in the Christian community is the church bell. In a very real sense it defines the community, for the parish is an acoustic space, circumscribed by the range of the church bell. The church bell is a centripetal sound; it attracts and unifies the community in a social sense…

These bells were recorded on the rainy morning of 27 December, 2009–a setting which somehow reminds me of Yasushi Utsunomia’s incredible recordings of the concerts he organized in the Koukiji temple in Japan during a damp summer afternoon (Kougezan Koukiji – The Live [11th] Final Hyakusenmansyuuraku, 2002 Horen Records). And true to Schafer’s words, these bells reside directly in the middle of the acoustic space of the town–no efforts were made (or were even possible) to separate the sounds of the bells from the life both within the church and outside its walls. Why should life stop just because I want to record something?

In the first track, we hear two klepalo (solid idiophones) played by Ivan Todorov Hadjipopov (wood) and George Lazarov Pitsin (metal). Ivan Hadjipopov then plays a solo on the four church bells in the second track, followed by George Pitsin in the third. The overtones heard during these solos defy description, and only the sounds of the town and the church-goers sporadically remind you that what you are listening to actually occurred on Earth. The final track is a solo played by Boris Ivanov Hadjipopov, and then we return to the rain…

The entire session was recorded in a single, continuous take, using two DPA 4060 capsules (mounted in my trusty Latvian mink-fur ushanka) and a Sound Devices 722 recorder, standing in the courtyard below the bell tower. My gratitude goes to Boris “Bobi” Hadjipopov, who organized the occasion, and to Elena Kaludova for her translation (and so much more). Photo by lite.

The entire collection can be downloaded as high-quality MP3s at: http://macumbista.net/files/sveta_troitsa.zip

These recordings can be shared and reused under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license.

The Bells of Sveta Troitsa

01.i.hadjipopov+g.pitsin-klepalo by macumbista

02.i.hadjipopov-bells by macumbista

03.g.pitsin-bells by macumbista

04.b.hadjipopov-bells by macumbista

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