Project description

Project description:

Performance with realtime interaction between drums and electronics.


To develop a setup with drums and electronics which shall be practical and easy to operate.

Why I do this:

Amongst guitarists and some what keyboard players, the integration of audio processing and the interaction between the instrument and effects has undergone an extensive development in recent decades and this has shaped much of the music we experience today.

I want to study the possibility of developing the interplay between percussion and electronics, as this has not been developed to the same extent.

Since 2006 I have been working with this and I have used several methods and setups during the process. The last two years I have developed a more conscious awareness of the problems that are present in my concept and I have actively used available resources to optimize my use of electronics as a percussionist, among these resources I should mention:

  • Studied Live Electronics for one year at the Norwegian Academy of Music.
  • Did a course in Max/Msp at NOTAM
  • I’ve taken the subjects “Sound theory” and “Digital Audio & MIDI” at the University of Oslo.
  • Performance at festivals, national and international stages.
  • Test with EEG(brainwave)-controllers and motion tracking systems.
  • I’ve made a semi-virtual interactive sound installation based on the listeners GPS-coordinates and sounds from the surrounding area.

Similar projects have been completed earlier, but the concept is far from standardized, and thanks to music technology’s rapid development the possibilities are more than ever before.

How I shall do this:

My method will mainly consist of:

  • Gathering information by investigating how other artists work with electronics.
  • Conversations and interviews with central artists, such as:

–  Jan Bang
–  Arve Henriksen
–  Eivind Aarset
–  Nils Petter Molvær
–  Peter Baden
–  Terje Evensen
–  Thomas Strønen
–  Alexander Jensenius
–  Victoria Johnson
–  Mats Claesson
–  Alex Gunia
–  Notto Thelle og Asbjørn Flø(NOTAM)
–  Jens Petter Nilsen (Xploding Plastix)
–  +++

  • Conversations with the audience after my installations and concerts.
  • Rehearsing and researching. I base this on my current setup with high-end contact microphones (ukko, b-band) in all the drums and piezo microphones directly beneath the cymbals, an audio interface, a computer and a PA system:

– Compare how different effects react on the sound from the drum set.
– Research how different controllers fit into my setup.
– Experiment with different methods of mapping.
– Experiment with the use of multiple speakers.
– Look into the integration of interactive video.
– Look at the possibilities for at external sources, such as the audience, a net stream, dancers, humidity, lights etc. can control the development in the music and in the video trough out a performance by using alternative sensors, controllers and programs.

I want to emphasize that the knowledge I want to acquire mainly is of artistic nature since I already possess the basic technical skills needed to complete the project. This is something I want to achieve through conversations with mentioned artists and through the audiences’s comments on my artistic choices throughout the process.

In the process of developing my sound and to perform better in a live context, I have worked to reproduce the works and sounds of artists I appreciate, including Aphex Twin, Square Pusher, Arne Norheim, Xploding Plastix, Audun Kleive, Ryoji Ikeda , Alva Noto, and Fennesz. I regard this as a good way to continue to work on, this so that I always have a musical direction and don’t get lost in the diversity of technological opportunities.

For a project like this to be successful it requires a structured plan for carrying out goals. I have prepared a tentative work plan that includes four project periods. These project periods illustrate where the main focus is at that time, but there is always an underlying work towards the end result. It should be mentioned that due to the nature of the project, this project description has to be modified throughout the study period, this because of new technology to be launched and that my opinion on where the focus should be will reach beyond what I know as of this writing.

Work Plan:

  • 1st semester:

– Thorough review of available effects in Max/Msp (including some externals), Ableton Live and Max for Live.
– Live sampling and processing of a drummer presented in concert form.

  • 2nd semester:

Based on results from first semester:

– Discuss what parameters I want to control and then choose the controllers considering that they should be practical and easy to handle.
– Play an improvised piece for audience where I will invite other artists within the same genera to play with me.
– I also want to make a sensor based sound generator presented as an installation where the audience controls a sound synthesis with various controllers.

  • 3rd semester:

– Look into how I can make video react on sound or controllers using the MaxMsp extensions Jitter and Vizzie.
– Present a similar concert as the one in the previous semester, but this time with video controlled by the music or control data we create or by other external sources such as randomness, the audience, dancers, etc.
– I also want to make a motion based sound generator presented as an installation where the audience controls a sound synthesis by moving around within a specified area.

  • 4th semester:

– Tour and final concert with the concept from earlier mentioned concerts.
– Final documentation and summary of the master project.

Essential resources:

  • A PA system
  • A projector and a …
  • 2-3 extra active speakers for working with surround.
  • “Patriot Polhemus”
  • An Arduino system for the installations.

The rest of the needed equipment I already possess, yet there might be certain recourses I don’t yet know that I need.

How the result will be presented:

  • Recording in 2nd semester with digital and physical release coordinated with the tour in the 4th semester.
  • Tour in the 4th semester including final concert at the Norwegian Academy of Music in march 2013 which will be documented with audio and video.
  • The work in progress will be presented as concerts and installations both at the Academy and in public.
  • The critical reflection will be in writing and grasp a discussion of:

1. The artistic process:
– Development of the pieces.
– Development of the whole expression presented at the final tour.
– Mixing and mastering of the release.
– My perception of the auditive and visual work during the precess.

2. The theoretical process:
– Development of tools and of the electronic and acoustic setup.
– Challenges presented today regarding the development of the music industry in the context of the project description.

  • The process will also be documented though a blog.

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