a new album from neural goldberg
Bringing the summer heat…
I’ve written previously in this space about neural goldberg, an ongoing collaboration with Chicago electronic musician J. Soliday. In August 2020, J. invited me to play a duo set with him as part of the streaming PONIIA series he was co-producing. That one-off performance was rewarding, we swiftly decided to continue playing together, and neural goldberg took flight.
One year, thirty-plus rehearsals, and fifty-plus gigabytes of recordings later, we’re ready to announce our second album: doppler dopplegänger. As with our previous release, Flash Fouls, we’re working with generative music systems - complex configurations of audio hardware and software that can play autonomously, and produce a wide variety of musical ideas, approaches, and textures with minimal intervention from us. Much of the “work” of neural goldberg happens outside of our rehearsal sessions - building, developing, and evolving these intricate systems. Once we’re “together” (which is to say, network-connected between Philly and Chicago) we listen, adjust, supervise, record, and reflect - and then we iterate, week after week.
doppler dopplegänger feels like a leap forward - we’ve found a broader palette of sounds, textures, and gestures, and the music opens up to new kinds of spaciousness. (Though there’s no shortage of our characteristic density, intensity, and humor - in short, we’re still us). Please give it a listen - and if you are inclined to purchase (thanks!), note that today (August 6th) is Bandcamp Friday.
If that’s not enough neural goldberg to satisfy, the JMY label also included a track of ours, “fluidic, bubble wrap, roller torque, arborization” on a recent compilation, Perception:
Honored to appear in this company - it’s an excellent record from top to bottom.
Meanwhile, LV2MKRT, the improvised-music podcast I make with double bassist Scott Worthington, continues to publish episodes weekly (and is available in all of the major podcast clients and directories except Sp*tify). If you haven’t listened (or haven’t listened in a while), I think we’ve had a particularly strong run of pieces lately - may I recommend starting from “That’s the power of the DMA,” “There’s more reasons not to do it wrong,” or “I reject your regret”? (Yes, the episode titles only get sillier over time).
At the workbench
Matt Ingalls and I continue to develop a program of music building on our net-music-server software project. Most recently, we’ve added a new composition called Driftnetting to our repertoire. Inspired in part by classic Hub compositions such as Stuck Note, the game is that Matt controls the tempo of a gate/tremolo continuously applied to my audio output, while I control a similar tremolo for his output stage. With one hand we propose fast or slow speeds, and negotiate rhythmic convergences and divergences; with the other hand, we construct continuously evolving sounds and textures. All performances involve a mixture of collective and individual responsibility, but the particular (and clearly audible) blend of shared and independent activity here, and the way that rhythm and timbre intertwine, make for a fascinating experience.
Winning the race, and doing it in style. With thanks as always to cartoonist John Granzow, and to you for reading and listening -