Selected Projects, Current and Past

Noisy People Podcast (2015-2016)

Some years ago I made a documentary film about the San Francisco experimental and improvisational music scene called NOISY PEOPLE (see below) which consisted of eight biographical sketches of active musicians in the area. Making that movie didn't seem to get rid of my itch to look into the lives of musicians and their work, so this audio podcast project is really a way to continue that process. In each episode I usually talk to one musician or sound artist, and play samples of their work. Experimental, improvisational and electronic music form the core of my interest, but really the only limitation is that I look at people and work that I find interesting, for whatever reason.

Sonification Marseille (2013)

In 2013 I was a fellow at the Mediterranean Institute of Advanced Study (IMéRA) at the Université d'Aix-Marseille in France, working specifically on several projects related to the sonification of scientific data. I worked with several physicists, biologists, historians of science and sociologists to develop ways scientists may use sonic representations of their data and their equipment status, as well as looking at the potentials for the use of scientific data to drive musical compositional processes. A video of one of the labs I worked on is at my Vimeo site, and an interview with me shot at IMéRA about my work there is at this Youtube link.

The Hub (1985-present).

The Hub is a computer network band I co-founded with John Bischoff in the 1980's, which continues to create live electronic music, blending elements of composition and improvisation in a unique musical context of our own creation. Six individual composer/performers connect separate computer-controlled or software- based music synthesizers into a network. Our focus has always been on working on the edge of controllability, to create networks which delight us by their unpredictability and inherent creativity.

A three-disc boxed CD set documenting the entire range of The Hub’s work from its beginnings up through recent work is available on John Zorn’s Tzadik label.

Nettet Project (2013-present)

In 2013, as the result of conversations and brain-storming with improviser/conductor/percussionist Gino Robair, I developed a group score conduction system for directing musical ensembles through laptop or tablet-based displays. Musicians in ensembles, with tablets or laptops on their music stands, receive individually targeted or group-targeted images of score pages sent to them by a conductor using a similar tablet-based interface. The images of course can be conventional notation pages, or graphic score images, and can be sent by a master timing script or on conductor command. Its proved to be an interesting way to do directed improvisational music, and being based on html5 and javascript, works with a wide range of display devices. Current and future work focuses on "closing the loop", directing the presentation of score fragments by algorithms which listen to players' actions.

A short video demo can be found here, and a recording of a performance using the system here.

Noisy People (2004-2007)

NOISY PEOPLE is a feature length video documentary that opens a window into a tightly-knit group of unusual sound artists and musicians from the San Francisco improvisational music community. An active player in the Bay Area experimental music scene myself, I followed my subjects for a year, filming them in their homes and studios, rehearsals and performances. What emerges is a set of funny and lively portraits of some very creative and quirky people -- and a portrait of a way of life outside the commercial musical mainstream of America.

The film is available on DVD and for streaming online viewing at the Noisy People website.

The League of Automatic Music Composers (1979 - 1983)

The League of Automatic Music Composers was a band/collective of electronic music experimentalists active in the San Francisco Bay Area between 1977 and 1983. Widely regarded as the first musicians to incorporate the newly available microcomputers of the day into live musical performance, the League created networks of interacting computers and other electronic circuits with an eye to eliciting surprising and new "musical artificial intelligences."

The League’s work is documented in a 2007 CD release from New World Records,The League of Automatic Music Composers 1978- 1983.