Oso

i’ve spent two weeks preparing for and documenting a virtual performance which took place 4/12/2020 via @andrew’s open space twitch platform

this is the result

for me (as an album oriented artist) it was a big deal to relinquish some control and try performing for an audience…even a distant/unseen group of people

making an album of the performance was something i decided on pretty soon after agreeing to play, and the decision helped dictate the musical outcome [ along with the fact that i (1) did not want to use my computer for performing and broadcasting simultaneously and (2) hoped to showcase visually compelling elements of my workflow ]

i hoped to present the music in the highest possible quality so spent extra time during prep, performance, and mixing to dial in a balanced representation of my sound

this is also the 1st time i budgeted for mastering to be done on my work (omar akrouche of prounpress) tho i must admit some indirect debt to @sellanraa as well (we had enlightening convos while working on an as-yet-unreleased edition of concentrics which informed many choices for this one)

it was a dream to collaborate and participate in creating this w/ everyone: omar, ro, @andrew, @dan_derks, @zanderraymond, and brin

also must acknowledge some folks for sharing/making tools used during the set: @tehn @Galapagoose @zebra (aleph, teletype, crow, norns, 3sis, just friends); @Justmat (otis); @damon (dcqlfo); @Olivier (compass…didn’t make it onto the album but i rehearsed with the app)

i’m grateful to @ioflow, yuk (chad valencia), and @jah for their encouraging words and for tuning in to watch everything live

lastly, shoutout to my very supportive partner whose unwavering love and sincere interest in my art made this release possible


there is a TON of context i can share about the way i approached things for this performance but i feel awkward talking more about it unprompted

please ask any questions yall have about OSO and i’ll do my best to answer below

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Congrats on the release! This sounded great during the stream, but damn…it’s now popping and leaping and banging in a spectacular way. MKYK is blowing my mind.

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This is good stuff! :slight_smile:

why is it all pretty much in mono?

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No particular reason

I often record in mono. Been exploring stereo in my recent work but the setup used for this was based on compositions from 2016

I had not really thought much about it until you asked. Good question @Fedor

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Feeling this! Very impressed with overall sound and feel - all recorded live? Sounds very polished.

@Oootini It was recorded live and then mastered by my best friend/collaborator [Omar Akrouche](https://omarakrouche.com/, he is a recording/mastering engineer living and working in San Francisco! He is such a thoughtful and wonderful craftsman! I am convinced that he has a magic touch when it comes to shaping the sound of recordings, he consistently blows me away! I believe his mastering window is wide open so check him out if you’re looking to get some work mastered!

@glia congratulations on the release, it sounds so so so good! I especially love the textures in the last track! such a pleasure to share that open space bill with you!

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Hey @Fedor I hope you don’t think I’m too fixated on it but I’ve thought more about your question

While searching for a clearer explanation i found something once shared in an old thread

Rhythmic and textural complexity is highlighted differently when i think about music this way. I’ve also spent the past few months focused on exploring methods to produce an artificial sense of confinement for listeners…controlling the perception of width (using mono or mid/side rather than L/R) is one way to accomplish that goal.


As noted by Zander
Credit definitely goes to my mastering engineer for this one. He did an excellent job and his work on this has elevated things to a level that matches the energy and power of the sounds themselves. By Saturday (4/11) I had tuned the synths and reached two or three pockets which I was quite confident would sound…interesting

I recorded two of those patches (what you now hear as PESH and MNYK). My thinking was that “Hey, if you have a technical problem, just play these minidisc recordings for a bit while the issue is fixed…”

Sunday morning I changed my mind and rehearsed again with the recordings from the day before incorporated into the 2nd half of the show. I dripped excerpts of PESH and MNYK thru Otis on norns and mixed that with the (now mutated) synth patch which created them in the first place. This recorded rehearsal became GÜELL (performed again during the actual show but i left that 2nd version on the cutting room floor to streamline the release).

Only IHIB and ÉCLADE were straight from the twitch recording from 4/12. However, all the tracks are performed “live” to digital tape (minidisc, norns or my computer) and a few were edited for length.

Thanks. Some of what’s on the release are the untreated minidisc source for the live dub i ended the set with. Also, while mixing the song ÉCLADE i used a few midi-mapped params from @randy’s aaltoverb to create additional atmosphere.

Oddly enough the actual music was the only part of the performance which i did not plan.

I remembered this old thread (for those performing their 1st show) suggested good ideas so i made personal notes on my phone mapping out a general idea of the pace and movements. Here were my performance notes:

• START CLOCK
• BEGIN RECORDING VIA OBS
• ROTA I ~ ALEPH PESH (play 317 + swap crow outs 1,2, 4)
• ROTA II ~ ÉCLADE VARIATIONS (mixer, sds, compass 3.0)
• ROTA III ~ PARC GÜELL (minidisc raws, otis)

I actually had a problem with norns an hour before i was supposed to start and forgot to charge while troubleshooting. That plus rehearsal with new grid controls for Compass drained the battery down to 6% :sweat_smile: when i started the show.

So the second major cycle had to be totally improvised sans Compass so i could at least play the last 10min cycle with norns involved.

People seem to like the dynamics during that part and now i love it too. Especially considering the fact that it more closely resembles the original composition (for teletype, mixer and drum synth)

While MNYK was loosely based on the principles of an older track, ÉCLADE actually uses the same teletype scene i wrote for the original.

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Checked this out this morning – very nice release!

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Hey, thanks. Honestly I don’t share these ideas, for me stereo is a part of immersion and how I perceive sound. And I’m not talking about crazy stereo-panning effects, even a little sense of space goes a long way. But maybe mono actually fits this kind of sound art more than stereo.

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I totally understand your point of view and appreciate you sharing it.

It’s important to think about our work from a critical perspective so this has been a great opportunity to ask myself whether i’d make the same choices again (or whether my feelings/preferrences has shifted in a new direction).

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I liked the mono presentation for this kind of stuff. Puts the sounds front and center.

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