I make live improvisations on self-made, analog sound equipment. I do this because I never learned how to play the guitar, and because no one can tell you that you are playing an instrument “wrong” or “badly” when you have invented it yourself. My live sets are often quite loud, as I believe that the primary physicality of sound is far more important than the meager, extra-sonic avenues provided by (over-)intellectualization.
That said, I also believe in presenting the kind of sonic complexity which can only be obtained by creating, intervening in and observing chaotic systems at work–whether these chaotic systems be produced electronically (in the case of my analog synthesizers), organically (Iannis Xenakis’ “collision of hail or rain with hard surfaces, or the song of cicadas in a summer field”) or even socially (the schizophrenic power dynamics of crowds observed by Elias Canetti).
Other reference points might include the pioneering work of electronic art innovators and inventors such as David Tudor, Steina and Woody Vasulka, Don Buchla or Dan Sandin, the dense electroacoustic compositions of Maryanne Amacher, Bernard Parmegiani and Eliane Radigue and contemporary movements in the fields of noise, experimental, improv and extreme music.
My two primary instruments are the TONEWHEELS optoelectronic synthesizer–inspired by some of the groundbreaking 20th Century electronic music instruments such as the ANS Synthesizer (Evgeny Murzin USSR 1937-57), the Variophone (Evgeny Sholpo USSR 1930) and the Oramics system (Daphne Oram UK 1957)–and the self-built Macumbista Modular analog synthesizer, which reinterprets and hybridizes the forms and functions of the Serge and Buchla systems of the 1970s. I also work frequently with field recordings as well as with the Pure Data programming language, which I use to process the field recordings.
I regularly perform in Europe, and sometimes in North America or elsewhere as well. Those interested should subscribe to this blog, where I will announce future performances. To see posts related to previous performances, click here. Please write to macumbista AT THE DOMAIN gmail DOT com for my technical rider and availability.