Robert Jarvis‘ sound art installation aroundNorth allows listeners to experience the near
universe as they have never heard it before. As the Earth spins on its axis, and day becomes night becomes day, our view of the near universe changes in terms of the changing positions of the stars in the sky. One star appears to stay stationary (the North Star); and the rest take about 23 hours 56 minutes and 4 seconds to complete a full revolution.
‘aroundNorth’ offers listeners an opportunity to hear this phenomenon in real time. As each star crosses equally spaced virtual lines emanating from Celestial North Pole, a corresponding sound is heard that maps the star’s position in the sky, size, distance from Earth, brightness and temperature, creating a mesmerising sound map of the universe as viewed by our turning planet.

‘aroundNorth’ humanizes the astronomical, giving us an emotional key to help us relate the unfathomable heavens to our own experiences of time and space. With echoes of a Neolithic monument of ancient myth, the installation introduces us to a universe full of interest, encouraging us to think differently about the cosmos and our place within it.

Jarvis presented his installation on 15 October 2016 in a rather neolithic setting — the Beaghmore Stones Circle complex, preceded by an installation performance at Antrim Castle Gardens.

For more information, future showings, or to invite Robert Jarvis to create an aroundNorth experience in your city, see the aroundNorth web site.


You won’t hear a single starting pistol or popped balloon in Matteo Milani’s Imagined Spaces impulse response library. Instead, the film sound designer imagined and synthesized the impulse responses of imaginary spaces using Kyma 7.

As a result, Imagined Spaces can do more than imbue your tracks with air, depth, and new perspective; it also expands and transforms the original material into something entirely new, something that’s never been heard before — like listening to your tracks in venues that exist only in the mind of the sound designer.

Time is but the stream

 Release, Sound Recording  Comments Off on Time is but the stream
Oct 182016

Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in. I drink at it; but while I drink I see the sandy bottom and detect how shallow it is. Its thin current slides away, but eternity remains.

— Henry David Thoreau

Priscilla McLean’s Songs of Radiance triptych seems to draw inspiration both from the words of Henry David Thoreau and from the wild northern landscapes she calls home. Each song is a meditation on a Thoreau text, giving a glimpse inside McLean’s stream of consciousness, quiet at first, but then as new layers are deposited, one-by-one, the music eventually and inevitably seems to triumph and overtake all.

Songs of Radiance 3 (Time is but the stream) begins delicately, with hybrid flute-birds, Pierrot Lunaire-like Sprechtstimme, and a scurrying of instrumental samples evoking small mammals. Spoken text, pointillistic vocal effects, laughter, careening vocal glissandi and other vocalizations merge, blend, and morph into instrumental and electronic sounds. Here the voice is employed as an orchestra — its full range from speech, to bel canto, to isolated sibilants, to staccato laughter, to vocoder-like multitrack harmonies, coalescing into fresh and unexpected ensembles.

After hearing what Priscilla does with Kyma 7 and her voice, one can only hope that she has plans for live performance versions of these songs!

For more by Priscilla McLean (including the full Songs of Radiance cycle), visit her playlist.

Strange loops

 Broadcast / Webcast, Release, Web site  Comments Off on Strange loops
Sep 282016

In Steven Johnson‘s upcoming book, Wonderland: How play made the modern world, he includes a chapter on the connection between musical instrument design and technological innovation. In this episode of his Wonderland podcast, he asks how and why it is that some experimental sounds find their way into the musical mainstream. With special guests Brian Eno, Alex Ross, Caroline Shaw, Carla Scaletti, and Antenes.

Resistance & irritation in Berlin

 Event, Seminar  Comments Off on Resistance & irritation in Berlin
Sep 262016

So-called new music is an aesthetic of resistance, of irritation, and self-reflection. In contrast to the visual arts, in which abstract and contextual works have long been accepted as a matter of course, the analogous musical experience continues to be difficult. So Schoenberg’s prognosis that his works would be understood 50 years down the road has remained illusory.

Bruno Liberda is a composer, promoter and performer. His lecture UNERHÖRT! 3000 (0) years new music is a tour de force through the history of sound systems, instrument developments and notation, and leads us to a new focus on hearing.

Text and Lecture: Bruno Liberda
Idea, development and scenic means: Fanny Brunner

A co-production of dreizehnterjanuar Wien and Wiener Klangwerkstatt. Funded by the Austrian Cultural Forum Berlin

TMIE — mediating the inner and outer sound worlds

 Concert, Event, Play  Comments Off on TMIE — mediating the inner and outer sound worlds
Sep 262016


Carlos Alberto Augusto’s new opera “TMIE, on the threshold of the outside world” just had a successful premiere in Lisbon on Thursday September 8th, 2016, at the O’culto da Ajuda; so successful in fact, that they added two additional performances! Apparently, the sound quality of the 10-track Kyma-generated score also attracted attention and appreciation from composers in the audience.

The 51 minute work was entirely composed in Kyma and is dedicated to Portuguese soprano Marina Pacheco who performs three roles over the course of the opera — Meretseger, who loves silence; Selene, who drives her silver chariot through the skies and vibrates to the beats of the stars; and Corypheaus who listens and tries to interpret their dialog.

The TMIE gene (Transmembrane Inner Ear) is implicated in the development of the cochlea and in the synthesis of a protein that mediates between the outer acoustic environment and the inner sound world of the auditory nerve and the auditory cortex of the brain; in the opera, TMIE serves as a metaphor for the interface between the inner and outer self.

For more details and contact information on how to program this work, please see Augusto’s fascinating program notes and news site.

How technology & music mutually influence each other

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Aug 232016

What would happen if you sat the designers of Reaktor, the LinnStrument, Ableton Live, and Kyma down together on a couch and asked them to talk about how music influences technology, how technology influences music, and what exactly is a musical instrument anyway? That’s what happened at the 2015 Loop Summit. Dennis DeSantis (author of Making Music and moderator of the discussion) wrote this summary with video clips.

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One man’s junk is another man’s musical instrument

 Concert, Conference, Festival, Sound for picture  Comments Off on One man’s junk is another man’s musical instrument
Aug 232016

Since childhood, composer/performer Franz Danksagmüller has been fascinated with the rich, interesting sound palette one can create from broken, discarded and so-called unplayable instruments. In 2013, on a visit to a local junkyard, he noticed a strange metal object that immediately captured his attention.

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Read the story of how he added contact mics and sensors and developed a bowing technique to transform this strange object (which he later discovered was part of a device for food preservation) into a new musical instrument that sends both audio and MIDI control data to Kyma.

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You can hear this mysterious and beautiful instrument performed live at KISS2016, when Danksagmüller and composer/performer/computer scientist John Mantegna perform their new piece — The Artificial Brain!
Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 8.35.55 PM

Conjuring with Kyma

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Aug 202016

Take a nighttime walk through the densely forested uncanny valley of Barton McLean’s imagination, where sounds become amplifiers of horror or wonder, and symphonic landscapes insinuate animal cries and wilderness. Barton McLean’s Night Conjuror is the latest in his series of evocative scores with suggestive accompanying visuals (as McLean reminds us, the visuals are there to set a mood only — the sound is the primary focus).

My goal is to always let the electronic sounds mimic the real world, and the real world sounds mimic the electronic. It is only since I have been working with Kyma 7 that this goal has been realized to the extent I hoped someday it would.

—Barton McLean          

Live from the subconscious of Barton McLean

 Album, Release, Sound Design, Sound for picture, Web site  Comments Off on Live from the subconscious of Barton McLean
Jul 302016

Dreamscapes, Barton McLean‘s ambitious new suite of five pieces with video accompaniment, explores the uncanny parallels between music and dream logic.

Symphonic in texture, complexity, and visceral impact, with an impressively broad sonic palette, ranging from quasi-acoustic, to raw electronic, to sounds that are indescribably ambiguous and fresh — electronic yet entirely physically plausible, this all-Kyma soundtrack is electronics with the subtlety and dynamics of acoustic instruments. It’s like listening in on the soundtrack of the universal unconscious.

© 2012 the eighth nerve Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha