release date: 12 october 2021
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Frequent or perhaps even occasional listeners will by now be familiar with my sonic interests – unusual combinations of slow, strange and stochastic sounds.

This weeks episode presents a series of sketches made with the small Eurorack modular synthesiser I’ve put together and have been experimenting with over the past few months.

The system is intentionally oriented to manipulation of files from my samples library – recordings of the art instruments I make, found sonic generators such as the floating pontoon from episode 40 and sonic events performed for the recorder made with repurposed found objects.

Modular systems are attractive to me for their generative, unpredictable and exploratory qualities combining control and chaos, order and randomness.

The core of my tiny system is a MakeNoise Morphagene which is fed multiple Control Voltage signals from a chain beginning with a Bastl LFO generator feeding into a Mutable Instruments Branches then a TipTop Audio MISO. The series provides order from the LFO, randomised CV pathing through Branches, fine-grain signal control at MISO and extremely variable CV and manual audio  sample manipulation at the Morphagene.

Working with this system is pure experimentation – each module has multiple variable controls, the tiniest twiddle of any dial can dramatically alter the sonic endpoint and it can be next to impossible to recover a state of interest once even a couple of dials have been tweaked, buttons pushed or cables re-patched.

I like this – it keeps me creatively in the moment of making with all its pleasures, frustrations, intrigue and addictive hold. And like any instrument, it requires hours of attentive engagement to develop any useful level of skill or sense of knowing.

Modular Synthesiser
from Bastl Kastle
to Mutable Instruments Branches
to Tiptop Audio MISO (Mix Invert Scale Offset)
to MakeNoise Morphagene

track 01
15 seconds of an aleatoric ensemble construction

track 02
SOMA Ether EMF detector recordings;
small pieces of aluminium cut from a beer can, dropped onto granite

track 03
floating pontoon, Sydney Opera House
with contact mic + hydrophone

track 04
Jon McCormack’s vintage Roland DXY-1300 pen plotter
recorded December 2012

track 05
3-pendulum harmonograph – contact mic;
SOMA Ether EMF detector recordings