in august 2022, i performed in the last flash crash. about a year later it’s now out as a record from Hard Return, a UK label for persistent music:
very happy about this recording finding a home on HR alongside some really great talent, some personal favorites being one of our lines moderators @emenel and yan jun (who i saw give a really great text based performance in 2018, which vaguely inspired a portion of my FC set)
there are a few different aspects that led up to this performance which take a little bit to get into. this entire process involved a lot of mixed feelings, weird memories, circuitousness… to explain, i’ve split it up into two parts: the technical and the theoretical. (maybe more precisely: the practical and the personal.)
everything driven by teletype: just intonation ratios are placed into the pattern banks, alongside separate patterns containing 1) a sequence of the ratios to play 2) a sequence of indices to ‘reset’ the sequence to. the metro drives this sequence to select ratios and periodically move the starting index around deterministically (attempting to copy the effect you get with meta-sequencing Sequins in crow).
eagle eyed viewers may remember an axidraw moving along with the music. the axidraw was plotting the sequence over time, with one axis being the index of the current ratio and the y axis being the index of the ‘reset’ sequence. i wrote a really quick and dirty norns script to take in volts to my Crow’s two inputs and send those over OSC to my laptop connected to the axidraw. (i could have probably learned to write some serial code to do this, but hey don’t push yourself)
there was also a Processing sketch being driven by the same OSC; each note change caused a word on-screen to progress through a very long poem. the poem text was taken in part from an installation piece i did earlier in the year.
the main voice was just friends with a mangrove humming along. i was inspired timbrally by pauline oliveros but obviously this sounds a bit less beautiful… my disting EX was loaded with the JI ratios and played strings alongside. beads was also involved for texture. the feedback occuring halfway through is a fun circuit between another just friends and three sisters – teletype throws some volts at three sisters to change the timbre over time but most of the feedback was me manually moving the knobs around. i think there was also a bass voice and some filtering but i don’t really remember.
obviously part of the requirement of flash crash was live coding, so everything was done in the fly.
zap! deleted. sorry. it was a little too personal. it detailed the repeated echoes of circuity, ephemerality, memory (loss) and grief running through and leading up to this performance, a death of a friend and reconciliation with one’s past. kinda depressing, sorry.
very big thank you to
- jack from hard return for both putting this out and mastering the performance, dealing with a pretty shitty base recording to start with
- @tyleretters and the entire flash crash crew for curating such an inspiring series of events
- the other performers of that night, especially @WilliamHazard , who reached out after my performance with a very fulfilling conversation that in no small part influenced the decision to put this out.