Most, but potentially all Composed by Jim O’Rourke

 Album, Release, Review  Comments Off on Most, but potentially all Composed by Jim O’Rourke
May 212024

Jim O’Rourke & Eivind Lønning on Boomkat (Artwork, Blank Blank)

Longtime collaborators trumpeter Eivind Lønning and composer Jim O’Rourke have just released an intoxicating new album on Boomkat: Most, but potentially all Composed by Jim O’Rourke.

Lønning provides exquisite acoustic trumpet sounds and O’Rourke’s Kyma transformations, described by Boomkat as “often gentle and illusory, and sometimes utterly lacerating – lift the sounds into completely new territory.”

The entire album was composed, mixed and mastered by O’Rourke and is based solely on material from Lønning’s virtuosic performance.

Trumpet virtuoso Eivind Lønning



In the words of the Boomkat reviewer, it’s a “piece that shifts the dial on contemporary experimental music; dizzyingly complex but never showy, it’s the kind of record you can spin repeatedly and hear something different each time… as a progression of electro-acoustic compositional techniques, it draws a deep trench in the sand, setting a new standard.”

Lønning is touring with the material starting with a 29 May 29 2024 concert at the Edvard Munch museum.

Kyma creator on the cover of Computer Music Journal

 Magazine, Research publication, Review  Comments Off on Kyma creator on the cover of Computer Music Journal
Apr 062016

The Spring 2016 issue of Computer Music Journal (Volume 40 Issue 1) includes a transcript of Carla Scaletti‘s keynote address for the 41st International Computer Music Conference.

In Looking Back, Looking Forward, Scaletti uses mythology, evolutionary anthropology, nostalgia research and a story about the origins of Kyma to illustrate the idea that software is “hardware with cognitive fluidity”.


The Listening Back, Listening Forward issue marks the beginning of Computer Music Journal‘s 40th year of publication and, citing recent research showing that nostalgia enhances creativity, CMJ editor Douglas Keislar invites readers to share their own computer music stories for possible publication as letters to the editor throughout this anniversary year.

Also in this issue: Silvia Matheus reviews The Seventh KYMA International Sound Symposium (KISS2015)!

Kyma 7 Review

 Review, Software  Comments Off on Kyma 7 Review
Oct 022015

The Fall 2015 issue of Computer Music Journal includes an extensive review of Kyma 7 written by composer Barton McLean.

You can read the full review, Kyma 7: The Search for the Ultimate Sound Creation Instrument in the current Computer Music Journal, Volume 39, Number 3, Fall 2015, pp 96-102.

If you can’t find CMJ at your local book seller’s or library, you can also subscribe via Amazon or find the review online.

A few excerpts:

Kyma 7 is not a routine upgrade but a brand-new program… At first glance, the program’s screen graphics are much more refined and visually interesting than Kyma X. Virtually every part of the program has been significantly changed, with respect to visual layout and functionality.

In every way imaginable, Kyma 7 has made the exploration of its vast resources more fun, logical, intuitive, and attainable.

Many new areas of help have been added, such as the amazing Capytalk Reference area… followed by many Sound examples that contain the given message in different usages.

…the Wave Editor in Kyma 7 alone, in my opinion, would be worth the cost of the upgrade… One can take any sample and produce a Gallery of many distinct Sounds from it, using criteria set up beforehand.

Attractively, most of the Prototypes are associated with a complete Sound pathway, so that when one opens a prototype one can immediately hear it in context.

Perhaps the most innovative and startling new feature is the Multigrid. As a composer who often uses texture and timbre as prime constituents, I have found the Multigrid to be powerful enough that it has, in effect, changed the way I hear and think about music. … It is also a profound laboratory where one can experiment in order to find Sounds that work, or don’t work, together. Additionally, when one finds a particularly good Sound combination, there is a Sound extraction mode where, instantaneously, this combination can be converted into a traditional Kyma Sound, with all of its parameters and routing controls intact, to be used in a Timeline. This capability is truly magical and unprecedented.

[Kyma is at] the sweet spot between having the highest-level software language possible, consistent with the greatest variety and flexibility in producing sounds, processors, and controls. In my opinion, no other software design has come close to achieving this balance.

…moving away from notes and toward sounds was, for me, very healthy and invigorating.

Another attractive aspect about Kyma is its superb audio quality… Simply put, it just sounds beautiful.

This illustrates another—perhaps the most relevant—feature of Kyma 7, namely total integration.

Spiders Dance On

 Dance, Event, Review  Comments Off on Spiders Dance On
May 032011

Gilles Jobin‘s Spider Galaxies, featuring a Kyma-generated score performed live by Cristian Vogel, is embarking on the next leg of a world tour with performances at:

  • May 20 – Festival Evidanse – Delémont – Switzerland
  • June 14 – Festival Latitudes Contemporaines – Lille – France
  • December 8 & 10 – Festival theater:now – Steckborn – Switzerland

Susanna Panandes Diaz, Isabelle Rigat, Louis-Clement da Costa and Martin Roehrich in a scene from Gilles Jobin's Spider Galaxies

In his May 3rd review of the Beirut performance of Spider Galaxies for L’Orient du Jour, Critic Edgar Davidian wrote:

The music is intense, rhythmic, percussive, and populated by noises of all kinds, from the tuf-tuf of trains and hissing of bullets, sirens roaring or speeding decibels, cries of a tropical forest, or the noises of a bustling city; the dancers are like air traffic controllers giving signals and weaving a web (is that the spider?) by way of gestures and unforeseeable pirouettes, free, impulsive, fantastic, at the same time having often an almost machine-like precision in obeisance to rigor and discipline.

The richness of the sound score is due to two modern composers, Cristian Vogel and above all Carla Scaletti, a pioneer and intrepid avant-gardist of electronic music.  An amazing score (all the more so in that the steps of the dance fit perfectly with the notes that spring forth from synthesizers and computers) where the sense of melody is deliberately ignored in favor of cadences, of rhythms, and above all strange groupings of sounds like roars, gun shots, deafening landslides, organized noise.


Read the full review in the original French.

In The Daily Star, May 3rd edition, Matthew Mosley wrote:

Some audiences might have seen resonances with the beguiling behavior of subatomic particles when the Gilles Jobin dance troupe came to town Saturday with “Spider Galaxies,” their brand new creation.

With an electronic soundtrack that makes use of data from the LHC, “Spider Galaxies” is an hour-long stream of non-repeating dance sequences performed by a team of four, a continually mutating bodyscape of interaction and divergence that generates an intense hypnotic power.

As a subterranean rumble resonated through the Madina’s sound system, algae-hued light revealed dancers Susanna Panandes Diaz, Isabelle Rigat, Louis-Clement da Costa and Martin Roehrich dispersed across the stage.

Randomness was built into the soundtrack, too, mixed live by longtime Jobin collaborator Cristian Vogel. At several moments Vogel deployed random number generating programs to dictate the specific texture of the soundscape.

Spread over a number of channels, Vogel’s incidental music blended sampled sounds, electronic melodies and tracks from composer Carla Scaletti, whose pieces incorporated LHC data. The resulting soundtrack veered between Kraftwerk-like electro, industrial clankings and ominous hummings.

At times Vogel [and Scaletti] used multiple speakers to create marvelous Doppler effects, giving audience members the sensation of sitting at the center of the LHC itself, with particles whizzing round at increasing speeds, preparing to impact.

Investigating the elusive notions of beauty, meaning and human behavior, Jobin provides us with a reminder, if one were needed, of the essential mysteriousness of the world.

Read the full review and other reviews of Spider Galaxies.

Black Swan (the original!)

 Release, Review, Sound Recording  Comments Off on Black Swan (the original!)
Dec 152010

Long before Natalie Portman donned the sequined black bird’s eye makeup, composer Cristian Vogel and choreographer Gilles Jobin were collaborating on their own Black Swan, the music for which was released in December under the Sub Rosa label (SR303).

Boomcat reviewed the recording on the Global Noises forum:

Those who follow Vogel’s movements will already know he is deeply involved with the legendary Kyma digital synthesis/sequencing system, and ‘Black Swan’ feels like the perfect extension of those interests.
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