Source Of Uncertainty: A Buchla Podcast 4U
Artist Spotlight: David Piazza

Artist Spotlight: David Piazza

June 16, 2021
In the 1940’s, Pierre Schaeffer realized that the electronic medium opens up music composition to the whole domain of sonic phenomena. Technology enabled the composer to work directly with sound itself as opposed to an abstraction of it, operational signals on a sheet given to performers that could interpret them and realize the piece. For him, this reversal of the compositional process meant that we would need a new vocabulary to describe the whole reality of music, that notation only rendered a part of while all the while being prescriptive ; a language based on the premise that musical sounds are most importantly perceptual realities rather than acoustic ones. His idea was that we could use this framework to describe, discuss and reflect on our perception in a more objective way instead of relying on references to the origin of the sounds or onomatopoeia. This would in turn enable composers to identify and classify their materials based on their perceptual characteristics before manipulating and combining them into a piece of music.
 
Buchla’s 200e, to me, embodies these concepts in a single, open-ended instrument that allows me to generate, shape and articulate sounds into musical objects for both composition and performance.
 
This piece is an exercise in acknowledging my influences as well as a display of the way in which I have been using my 200e system in composition. It is organized in three parts : 
 
Part 1 :
A dynamic and busy system, where the ‘humanized’ noise of the 272e provides changing and unpredictable timbres accumulating in parallel to the 261e's shapeshifting waveforms. The 223e allows my hands to guide the flow of the processing and impart intentional gestures among the chaos of the patch. Sounds disintegrate, coalesce and resonate as they move around the different channels of the (mixed down) quadraphonic space.
 
Part 2 :
A pulsating drone swells and brightens as it iterates. Here, I am trying to coax the slowest movements that I can out of the 200e, as I open a filter on a rich sound being continuously shaped by the 296e. At the time of composing this section, I was listening to a lot of Eliane Radigue’s electronic works, which are often based around the careful exploration and subtle control of the movement and beating that stems from phase relationships between oscillators. I chose to pay tribute to her unique form through this progressive reveal of the spectral content of the sound, making its various components gradually percolate and collide across delay lines.
 
Part 3 :
Part 2 blends into part 3, wherein sorrow gives in to a more hopeful colour. The 272e is sampled and then manipulated. Repetition, like an attempt to eternalize things I know have to die, disperses faint echoes that become more distant and fade in and out, gradually, like memories.
 
Thank you to Kyle and Robert for the podcast and for providing me with an opportunity to share this. Thank you for listening and keep on patching!
 
Episode 24: MEMS Project Returns & The Boat Of Uncertainty

Episode 24: MEMS Project Returns & The Boat Of Uncertainty

May 26, 2021

Welcome to episode 24 (or is it 23?) of Source Of Uncertainty. We are excited to welcome back Mark and Chip from the MEMS Project, and had a great time digging into their “Boat Of Uncertainty.”

Show notes:

Hello: 0:00

Boat Of Uncertainty: 1:37

Interview with Mark & Chip: 55:22

Goodbye: 2:22:52

 

Find out more about the MEMS Project at: https://memsproject.info/

 

Find the David Rosenboom’s book “Biofeedback And The Arts” here: http://www.frogpeak.org/fpartists_paypal/fprosenboom.html 

 

Purchase Robert’s music at:

https://robstand.com/ 

 

Purchase Kyle’s music at: https://darksparkler.bandcamp.com/ 

 

Listen and subscribe to Podular Modcast: https://podularmodcast.fireside.fm/

 

Listen and subscribe to The Deerhorn podcast: 

https://thedeerhorn.podbean.com/ 

 

Listen and subscribe to Cosmic Tape Music Club podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/cosmic-tape-music-club-hosted-by-the-galaxy-electric/id1550827261 

 

Subscribe to Waveform Magazine: https://www.waveformmagazine.com/

 

Get your source of uncertainty t-shirts at http://sourceofuncertainty.threadless.com/ 

 

Support the show and get access to exclusive videos and audio content through Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/sourceofuncertainty

 

Find us on Instagram @sourceofuncertainty 

 

Contact us at sourceofuncertainty.audio

Artist Spotlight: Kevin Rix - Visitors

Artist Spotlight: Kevin Rix - Visitors

May 21, 2021

Kevin Rix is a film trailer composer, guitarist, and modular synth artist. His compositions have appeared in trailers for films such as Avatar, How to Train Your Dragon, Robin Hood, Star Wars, Pirates of the Caribbean, Aquaman, Frozen 2, Black Widow, Top Gun: Maverick, The King's Man, Joker, and Cruella. In 2015, Kevin was introduced to modular synths and fell down the rabbit hole. 

 

“Visitors” is a live improvisation recorded in one take on a Buchla 24 panel system and Music Easel. I took an hour to program the 252e and do initial patching, then hit record. When using Buchla, I like to program modules like the 252e and start a basic patch with the sound off so I can discover and perform the patch in real time using the Todd Barton "follow the sound" method. There's no editing, overdubs, or mixing. The Easel was patched into a Strymon BlueSky.

 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdaO1wMpa0iCTimthFvfvxA

 

https://robotrixie.bandcamp.com

 

https://open.spotify.com/artist/6OneC6VqxKoEr5z6N17sOC?si=d57jujP1R8WU60wM1Nd_TQ

Artist Spotlight: Mat Watson - Spin Patterns Selections

Artist Spotlight: Mat Watson - Spin Patterns Selections

April 28, 2021

BIO
Mathew Watson is a Melbourne (AU) based artist focussed on the exploration of electronic sound and the drumset. He has an extensive list of past and ongoing artist collaborations and has performed at arts festivals, music festivals, galleries and theatres in Australia, Japan and the USA. 

Watson began his musical life as a drummer, before turning attention to electronic sound, and in particular, modular synthesisers. He has established a highly personal approach to performance, composition and improvisation, as a solo artist and collaborator over the past two decades covering a vast spectrum of sound, style and form.

He released several albums under the name Other Places (It Records) between 2010 and 2017 alongside solo albums focussed on the EMS Synthi Aks and Buchla 200/e system. Amongst a plethora of local and international collaborations, Watson has moonlighted with Bronx legends E.S.G and performed in several large scale Boredoms BoaDrum performances in Australia and Japan. 

 

A few thoughts about Spin Patterns

As a drummer I am forever drawn to rhythm and texture. I am fascinated and inspired by pulses derived via electronic means: be it the beating of an LFO or the plucking of a low pass gate. Spin Patterns is very much focussed around the simple idea of movement and pulses coming together. I love how mellow the flow of voltage seems in the Buchla system. It’s like the edges are rolled off. This feels more musical to me and I think  you can feel this each time a new movement is set in motion, and as it reaches its destination. A perfect exchange of voltage, if such a thing can exist! Rather than using a sequencer for Spin Patterns, I decided to focus all attention on the relationship between cycling function generators and the Source of Uncertainty random voltage module. It is this relationship which is at the very heart of this album. I never tire of exploring this simple idea as it always yields new patterns and sounds that inspire me to create something new. I hope you enjoy this album as much as I enjoyed making  it. 

BANDCAMP: https://matwatson.bandcamp.com

Episode 22: Buchla USA CEO Eric Fox & The Infinite Phase Shifter

Episode 22: Buchla USA CEO Eric Fox & The Infinite Phase Shifter

March 31, 2021

Welcome to episode 22 of Source Of Uncertainty. Get ready to phase in or phase out (whichever you prefer) with a long look at the Infinite Phase Shifter Model 297. Robert and Kyle then check in with Buchla USA CEO Eric Fox about the past year and a half since we last talked and chat about what’s coming in the future. 

 

Show notes:

Hello: 0:00

297 Featured Module: 22:22

Interview with Eric Fox: 1:15:00

Goodbye: 2:46:40

 

Find out more about Buchla at: https://buchla.com/ 

Purchase Robert’s new album at: https://robstand.com/ 

Purchase Kyle’s new album at: https://darksparkler.bandcamp.com/ 

Listen and subscribe to Podular Modcast: https://podularmodcast.fireside.fm/

Listen and subscribe to The Deerhorn podcast: https://thedeerhorn.podbean.com/ 

Listen and subscribe to Cosmic Tape Music Club podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/cosmic-tape-music-club-hosted-by-the-galaxy-electric/id1550827261 

Subscribe to Waveform Magazine: https://www.waveformmagazine.com/

Get your source of uncertainty t-shirts at http://sourceofuncertainty.threadless.com/ 

Support the show and get access to exclusive videos and audio content through Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/sourceofuncertainty

Find us on Instagram @sourceofuncertainty Contact us at sourceofuncertainty.audio

Artist Spotlight: Musical Fungus - Eleusis

Artist Spotlight: Musical Fungus - Eleusis

March 10, 2021

The first time I ever saw a Buchla system I was curious and intrigued. When I first heard a Buchla system I instantly fell in love with the timbres and have been exploring Don's circuits ever since. The sound of the Easel's Complex Oscillator or the Programmable Complex Waveform Generator Model 259 are unlike any other oscillator I have ever used. And the in depth interconnected relationship with their Modulation Oscillators makes them instruments in their own right. There is truly something magical in Don's designs. Something that attracts and inspires musicians from all corners of the world and all walks of life, to push their boundaries and think outside the musical status quo.

In my mind the Buchla ecosystem is the perfect platform for live musical improvisation. Raw stream of consciousness materialized by the musicians creativity and rewarded through careful exploration of the system. My favorite quote from Don is "Anything is possible. We're not limited by technology; we're not limited by instruments. We're limited only by our mindsets." Its this quote that continues to inspire me to explore new ideas in the creation of sound and to be fearless in my approach to improvised live performance. This piece of music is a manifestation of that quote and a glimpse into my creative mindset. An eclectic mix composed of various patches reflecting and archiving where I was and what I was feeling during that moment in time. 

One of my favorite ways to create music is to wake up, fire up the Buchla, hit record, and just explore the endless possibilities. Whether I end up liking the patch or not I always make it a habit of documenting the results and adding it to my personal sonic journal. I love the places I go and the emotions I experience when freely improvising on my Buchla. I believe I produce my best work with this method and it has personally become a powerful creative technique that I continue to explore.

All sounds heard in this piece were one take recordings with no overdubbing or multi tracking. Recorded between March and December of 2020 straight from the mixer to a Zoom H4n Pro. While I have a growing collection of 200 series clones that were used in these recordings from time to time. This piece of music was done almost entirely on a Music Easel through various outboard effect units.

 

Modules used in performance:

- 2016 Bemi Music Easel (208 and 218e)

- Progammable Complex Waveform Generator Model 259r

- Source of Uncertainty Model 266

- Mixer/Preamplifer Model 207r

-Quad Lopass Gate Model 292c

- Quad Function Generator Model 281r

- Dual Voltage Processor Model 257r

 

Effects used in performance:

- Sony TC-366 reel to reel (for tape delay)

-Strymon Timeline

-Strymon Big Sky

- Make Noise Mimeophon

- Make Noise Erbe-Verb

- Make Noise Echophon

- Make Noise Morphagene

 

For more music, videos, and tutorials:

soundcloud.com/musicalfungus

youtube.com/musicalfungus

kriyarecords.bandcamp.com

musicalfungus.bandcamp.com

instagram.com/musicalfungus

(@musicalfungus)

Episode 21: Passepartout Duo & The Bandpass Filter 194F

Episode 21: Passepartout Duo & The Bandpass Filter 194F

February 24, 2021

Welcome to episode 21 of Source Of Uncertainty. In this episode Robert & Kyle talk to Nicoletta & Christopher from Passepartout Duo about their new album “Epigrams”. Kyle also digs into the Bandpass Filter Model 194F. 

Show notes:

Hello: 0:00

Kyle explores the 194F: 6:48

Interview with Passepartout Duo: 32:37

Goodbye: 1:36:26

 

Find out more about Passepartout Duo, visit these links:
Bandcamp: https://passepartoutduo.bandcamp.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/passepartoutduo/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/passepartoutpianopercussion

Website: http://www.passepartoutduo.com/

 

Purchase Robert’s new album at:

https://robstand.com/ 

 

Purchase Kyle’s new album at: https://darksparkler.bandcamp.com/ 

 

Listen and subscribe to Podular Modcast: https://podularmodcast.fireside.fm/

 

Listen and subscribe to The Deerhorn podcast: 

https://thedeerhorn.podbean.com/ 

 

Listen and subscribe to Esoteric Modulation: https://www.esotericmodulation.com/subscribe-to-podcast

 

Subscribe to Waveform Magazine: https://www.waveformmagazine.com/

 

Get your source of uncertainty t-shirts at http://sourceofuncertainty.threadless.com/ 

 

Support the show and get access to exclusive videos and audio content through Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/sourceofuncertainty

 

Find us on Instagram @sourceofuncertainty 

 

Contact us at sourceofuncertainty.audio

Artist Spotlight: Mike Estlick - January ‘21

Artist Spotlight: Mike Estlick - January ‘21

February 10, 2021

About Mike Estlick:

I'm an electrical engineer by day, and a Buchla player by night.
I've been recording electronic music since I was a kid in the 80s.
I was into raves, clubs, and MIDI sequencers in the 90s.
In the 2000s I recorded quite a bit with the Nord Modular synths, and got into sequencing with modules instead of MIDI.

In 2017 I got an Easel, and by 2018 had built up this Buchla system. Since then all my music is composed and performed on modular systems.
I find the 248/245/216 combo very productive for writing music, and it blows my mind that this stuff all was designed before I was born. 

I've since got into Serge and LZX systems as well, and have videos up on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/MikeEstlick

When there's no global pandemic, I like to hang out with my friends at the Colorado Modular Synth Society: https://coloradomodularsynthsociety.com/

"January '21"

Patch Notes:

0:00 - 2:10 : Start

A little filter-sweep introduction with 2x258 and 212.
There is a pretty complicated feedback network going with FM into the filter and the oscillators.
The 248 MARF is modulating waveshapes with slow, sloped voltages.

2:10 - 7:40 : SeqVol

Krell variation on the Easel, with the pulser driving the sequencer and the sequencer modulating the volume.
The Easel pulser is also driving the Pendulum/Ratchet, which runs a patch on the 212 system.
EHX Deluxe Memory Man provides the echo.

Various parts of the patch were recorded into the Keen Association 287e.
The end of this piece is the 287e playing snippets into the 212 system.

7:40 - 13:00 : Scan

A 248 MARF and 245 based sequence driving 208 and 258/212 voices.
The Pendulum/Ratchet divides down for drum and bass sounds.

Again recorded parts of the patch into the 287e, and played that through the 212.
The Pendulum/Ratchet is triggering the 287e and 212 envelopes for the end of this piece.

13:00 - 15:06 : Ival

Another 248/245 sequence, with vocal percussion sounds from the 287e (recorded from the onboard mic).
The filtered notes are selected by the 216 Touch Controlled Voltage Source.

15:06 - 21:28 : 9Swing

Have you ever wanted to have a rhythm swing in 9/8, against a 5 chord progression in 7/4?
Well, the MARF is the sequencer for you!

The lead sound is the Easel, using pressure to modulate pitch and timbre.
I used a 257 so I could have the pressure change the amount of modulation oscillator to timbre.

The backing is from the 212 system.

The second section is the patch as I originally made it.
For the first section, I just swapped the envelopes around to change the levels of other voices in the patch.
The third section is the 287e playing samples from the patch.

21:28 - 26:56 : Glory

The lead is the Easel arpeggiator. The Easel clocks the Pendulum/Ratchet, which then drives the 248/245 and all the background sounds.
The 287e is playing snippets of a reading of a Rilke poem.
The 216 plays the clicky bleep sound.

Episode 20: Robert Standefer & Kyle Swisher

Episode 20: Robert Standefer & Kyle Swisher

January 27, 2021

Welcome to episode 20 of Source Of Uncertainty. In this episode Robert & Kyle talk about some module news, how they got into music/Buchla and the new albums they recently released.

Purchase Kyle’s new album at: https://darksparkler.bandcamp.com/ 
Purchase Robert's album at: https://robstand.com/ 

Listen and subscribe to Podular Modcast: https://podularmodcast.fireside.fm/

Listen and subscribe to The Deerhorn podcast: 

https://thedeerhorn.podbean.com/ 

Listen and subscribe to Esoteric Modulation: https://www.esotericmodulation.com/subscribe-to-podcast

Subscribe to Waveform Magazine: https://www.waveformmagazine.com/

Get your source of uncertainty t-shirts at http://sourceofuncertainty.threadless.com/ 

Support the show and get access to exclusive videos and audio content through Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/sourceofuncertainty

Find us on Instagram @sourceofuncertainty 

Contact us at sourceofuncertainty.audio

Artist Spotlight: Robert Standefer - Seven .WAVs

Artist Spotlight: Robert Standefer - Seven .WAVs

January 13, 2021

Seven .WAVs (pronounced “seven dot waves”) is an exploration of materiality in electronic music. The album comprises seven individual compositions, each a conceptual interpretation of “waves” and a logical manifestation of waveforms. The recordings of the compositions are  materialized as .WAV files. 

All of the compositions use FM radio transmissions for theme and rhythm. In some tracks, the use of the radio is logical and relatively easy to distinguish. In others, the use of the radio is conceptual and the results are indistinguishable from synthesis. Using FM radio broadcasts as a foundational element of the composition results in a recording that captures a moment in time. It is left to the listener’s imagination as to what one would hear if the recording had started a few minutes earlier or later….

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