I know, I know, starting a podcast is a pandemic cliché, but please hear me out…
Early in the Fall, Los Angeles-based double bassist, composer, and improviser Scott Worthington mentioned on social media that he was interested in experimenting with Quacktrip, a set of tools for high-quality, low-latency streaming audio. I waved hello, and we set up a “rehearsal” time. During our first session, we discovered not only that the technology was effective, but that we really enjoyed playing and spending time together, and that duo improvisation was a terrific way for us to reconnect to the joy of collaborative music-making at a time when that’s been difficult to come by.
We’ve continued playing weekly, growing our friendship and our musical practice, and if I may say so, we’re going places. (Possibly including: to the moon). Scott is a phenomenally creative and capable player, who has adapted beautifully to the idiosyncrasies of my electronic instrument (microtonality! feedback! etc.!), and we’ve learned to read and anticipate each other’s gestural, textural, and formal approaches to improvised music.
And so now we’d love to share it with you, in the form of a weekly(ish) podcast. Each episode ranges in length from seven to twenty minutes, and they are all-music, no-talk.
Well… almost no-talk - if starting a podcast is a more-than-slightly silly thing to do, we’ve doubled down on that with the title, graphics, and website, and most of all the logotone which opens each podcast. (Full disclosure: I made that introduction with the sole intention of making Scott laugh. I am proud to report: mission accomplished. If you stick with us, you will find that some way down the line it will get even sillier). Blame our pandemic-punchiness.
So - introducing LV2MKRT. The first episode is available now in Stitcher and Apple Podcasts (and maybe Google Podcasts, by the time you read this? The folks in Mountain View are somewhat inscrutable). Alternately, you can listen at our lovely new website (courtesy of Scott), lv2mk.art, or copy the RSS feed into your favorite podcast app. I can’t say for sure how long we’ll keep this going, but we’ve got eight more episodes in the can plus four more in production - with what I believe is an impressive variety of sounds, materials, and approaches. So… we might be silly, but we’re not kidding.
Other recent releases
If you hear that first episode and you can’t wait for the second, the Neural Goldberg album (made with J. Soliday, and released in December) places my performance with the same software instrument in a very different context:
And if hearing Scott’s playing makes you yearn for a little more Southern California sunshine, may I remind you of San Diegan composer/performer Christopher Adler’s latest release, featuring my composition Triangulation:
At the workbench
Yep, still working on that same software instrument I write about every time - and the opportunity to do so much “testing” of it in collaboration with Scott and J. helps me to keep refining, developing, and stretching it. But I’m also thinking about other ways to bring networking technology into electronic musical performance, working together with longtime comrade Matt Ingalls to develop server software that can mediate and facilitate some interesting new forms of networked communication. (If you’re familiar with the classic improvising ensembles The League of Automatic Music Composers or The Hub - that’s the space we’re targeting). We’re just getting going with this, but the first fruits are promising…
As always, house cartoonist John Granzow makes the connection.
Thanks for reading and listening,