Live Visuals / VJing Resources Mega-Roundup

Welcome, Keyboard Laptops Live and Computer Music Readers! Feel free to say hi and check out the rest of the site. Photo: Vello Virkhaus with Red Hot Chili Peppers in London (thanks, Vello!) Live visuals for keyboardists? Absolutely: if you’ve got MIDI chops, slick new tools can help you tickle projected imagery while you tickle the ivories. There’s just too much to say about VJing to fit into one story, so when I wrote up an introduction to live visuals for Keyboard Magazine‘s Laptops Live special, I ran out of space fast. Here’s a quick roundup of some of the …

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VJ Jackie Passmore Tours with Ladytron, Armed with PowerBook

Jackie Passmore is a talented VJ touring with Ladytron (and, in spring 2006, Stereolab). There are some talented genes in this family: her brother was the lead programmer of Acid. (Sorry, not the other Acid I was thinking of.) Thanks to sponsorship from Korg, she accompanies her Apple laptop with a Korg video mixer and microKONTROL keyboard. The heart of the setup is the superb Vidvox GRID2 software; Vidvox has a great interview with Jackie. (Watch for our own profile here soon.) Vidvox Featured Artists: Jackie Passmore Below: Jackie in China with Ladytron, showing off her rig. (Thanks, Jackie!)

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Synth Designing Dream Job: Korg R&D’s Dan Phillips

Dan Phillips with Korg Research & Development is one of the designers behind Korg’s ultra-premium Korg OASYS keyboard, among many other projects. In addition to getting to design electronic musical instruments for a living, Dan is an electronic singer-songwriter, writer, composer (Fox TV, As the World Turns), consultant (Santana, Emily Bazar), producer, remixer, and even amateur photographer. Dan shares with CDM how the OASYS was born, some of his favorite (non-Korg) synths and software, and how he got what for many of us would be a dream job.

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Digitally Modeling Percussion: DJ/Scientist Cynthia Bruyns

[Updated: Had the wrong record label — it’s not Muti, it’s Pretension. Though Pretension is also cool.] I asked readers to brag about their work, and, wow, does Cynthia Bruyns have amazing things to brag about: She’s a DJ — check out her mixes She’s working part-time with Apple’s Interactive Media group She’s involved with a really cool electronic record label She’s been busy modeling instruments in 3D The Vibration Lab is a sophisticated 3D modeling app for the Mac that accurately models percussive sounds. (Digitally-modeled cowbell? Not so far-fetched, after all!) See the project page for audio samples. She …

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VJing with a Hardware-Centered Rig: Go, Go, Holly Daggers

“For me, it’s like a music video,” says Holly. “What I do has more to do with go-go dancing than a DJ. I am the video equivalent of a go-go dancer.” My story on NYC VJ Holly Daggers (of Eyewash fame) is now available online from Keyboard Magazine: VJ Holly Daggers: Go-Go Music Videos Go Live [Keyboard music/picture] Links and story background [CDM] The key to Holly’s go-go effect is a hardware rig with a camera, Korg Entrancer sampler, and multiple Edirol mixers — no computer. (Check out the rig diagram.) So when the folks at Livid talk about expensive …

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More on Fabienne Serrier, Sound Hacker Extraordinaire

Now that this time I actually did my homework, more on Fabienne Serriere, the talented sound hacker who’s given us the two-part tutorial on custom MIDI control and Csound (see previous post.) From whatthehack.org: “multichannel audio specialist and futurist fabienne serriere (aka fbz) is a franco-american software, hardware and embedded interaction designer. she believes in a gorgeous technologically morphable future. her interests include hardware hacking, wearable computing, and large scale music system design. she currently resides in paris, france.” And she’s got a fantastic backlog of projects: Audio torrent of speech on pervasive multichannel; see also speech description Projects page …

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Thereminist Pamelia Kurstin on MacMusic

MacMusic.org has a great interview with “rollerskating” Thereminist Pamelia Kurstin. Hear Pamelia’s insights on how she’s become a Theremin virtuoso. And if you can make it to North Carolina in August, you won’t want to miss Ether Music 2005, where she’ll be playing with other greats of Theremin music from around the world. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to make the trip as I wrap up work on my book, but I’ll at least catch up with Pamelia here in NYC; she has a residency for the month of August in Brooklyn — more at her site. Not …

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VJ Day: Vello and Mat, VJ Superstars

Thanks to everyone who’s writing in about VJ Day. It’s funny, conventional wisdom is that musicians don’t care about VJing, but here among the hip technorati of CDM, of course, things are different. And with VJing moving out of the “psychedelia” area into a range of aesthetics and styles, I expect you’ll hear more soon. Our friend James Polanco of the superb Fake Science Lab Report podcast writes in to tell us about some rising VJ superstars: Mat Hale is a very close friend of mine that I have worked with on multiple events here in San Francisco when I …

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Theremin Divas: Leading Ladies of Music of the Air [Updated]

While we’re on the subject, it’s worth noting that a wide range of exquisitely talented women have taken up the Theremin as a serious instrument, continuing the legacy of Clara Rockmore and the instrument’s inventor, Leon Theremin: The Classical great: Lydia Kavina has led the charge, tutoring students in mastering the instrument using techniques developed by herself, Rockmore, and Theremin. She even has an instructional video and regularly gives master classes and lessons. Kavina is a major globe-trotter, from Barcelona to Singapore just in the next few months, is a noted composer, and has performed with the likes of the …

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Quantazelle: Producer-Designer-Musician Extraordinaire

I’m obviously getting too much sleep. Are you? Quantazelle (aka Liz McLean Knight of Chicago), designer and creator of MIDI jewelry as mentioned yesterday, must not be. She’s: a talented IDM musician/producer (take a listen — good stuff!) creator/editor of the electronic music zine Modsquare owner of the jewelry company Zella founder, manager, and designer of the subvariant record label Is the new trend in digital musicians multi-tasking? (Or is it just that we’re all doomed to spend every waking hour, and some non-waking hours, in front of our screens?)

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