Run, by Mei-ling Lee, is a journey exploring the depths of fear, uncertainty, and the inevitability of death. Written for voice and double bass processed live through Kyma, the composition confronts our deepest fears about life and death, and contemplates the nature of “letting go.” Through this sonic journey, the composition explores what it means—in the midst of the transitory nature of life—to try to hold on to the ephemeral, the intangible. One aspect of this question might be: do the dead hold on to the world, or is it actually the living who won’t let go?

Through-hole pin-holes

As the solar eclipse passed over Symbolic Sound’s offices in Illinois on 8 April, it was discovered that a Capybara 320 printed circuit board can serve as an effective pinhole camera for projecting the occluded solar face onto a piece of white paper.

Name that PCB!

It’s good to know there’s still a use for through-hole technology.

eighth nerve kyma news: 04 January 2021

Opportunities for learning, listening, connecting, and inventing new ways to make music together in 2021:

Kyma software updates

If you haven’t done so in a while, please check the Help menu in Kyma for software updates to ensure that you have all the new (and free) features and enhancements we’ve been adding! Here are a few highlights:

  • A New Year’s gift from Domenico Cipriani: Samples 3rd party > Domenico Cipriani > drumstation to discover the new samples. Thanks, Domenico, and Happy New Year to all!
  • Kyma 7+ is compatible with Apple macOS 11 Big Sur (released November 25, 2020).
  • Kyma 7++ is a universal binary and runs on Apple Silicon M1 processor.
  • SampleTimeIndex, FunctionGenerator, MemoryWriter can now take a sample-rate triggers or gates.
  • OscillatorTimeIndex Frequency field can now update at the sample rate.
  • Instructions for how to access your work Kyma system from home (or vice versa) and hear the sound on your laptop.
  • Displays in VCS now update when the mouse is down (when moving a fader, for example).
  • Substantial speed-ups & optimizations in Oscilloscope, Spectrum Analyzer, 2d & 3d aggregate faders controlled by SoundToGlobalControllers.
  • Wormhole now works with an Ethernet connection to the host computer (substituting for the FireWire connection from Paca(rana) to host computer.
  • A gift to Kyma users from Stephen Taylor of violin pizzicato and col legno samples performed by Olivia Taylor.
  • New Capytalk message tripWires: and segmentOfGrid:
  • Speed ups in the reading & writing of all Kyma file types.

and those are just the highlights. When you download, please check the release notes for more details.

Opportunities for learning Kyma:

Personal Kyma Coaching with Alan Jackson

Alan Jackson is providing online individual coaching sessions and small group classes in Kyma. There are 3 slots still available on Fridays for 1 hour individual Kyma coaching sessions. Sessions are personally tailored for each student and conducted online through screen-sharing and video conferencing. Jackson assigns homework or suggests a direction for self-study during the week (when help is available through Slack chat if you get stuck). At the end of the week (or every two weeks) you meet online to discuss what you’ve done then look at what you want to do next. You do everything in Kyma yourself, sharing your screen with Alan’s help and guidance. The cost is £60 (GBP) per session. More information…

Online Kyma Course led by Alan Jackson

Alan Jackson is also running a series of weekly online Kyma classes starting in early January 2021. There is a 2-hour online teaching session once a week on Friday at 16:00 UTC. Some self-study tasks are set and there is support over Slack throughout the course. The numbers are kept low (5 or 6 people) to ensure that the classes are participatory and collaborative. The provisional syllabus is:

8 January: Introduction to Capytalk
12 February: Introduction to Smalltalk in Kyma
19 March: Microsound (sound particles etc.)
Cost: £240 (GBP) for the 4 week course.

More information…

Hybrid in-person/remote courses using remote-Kyma

At Carnegie Mellon University, Professor Joe Pino plans to continue using remote-access Kyma in his Advanced Sound Skills course, so students can log in from their homes. Last semester he discovered an unexpected side-benefit to remote access: his students could also use their own laptops during in-person classes, thus saving time cleaning and sanitizing before, after and during class. In the spring semester, he will be trying to minimize the time that people have to be in a room together, although he still hasn’t figured out how to deal with analog modular synths, since half the attraction of that is having one’s hands on the devices.

At the University of Oregon, Professor Jeff Stolet has put together an online Pacarana farm — 7 Paca(rana)s running on Mac Minis — that Future Music Oregon students can access for coursework via the Splashtop remote desktop software. Students in Jeff Stolet’s Electronic Composition and Digital Audio & Sound Design courses as well as those in Jon Bellona’s Data Sonification course will use the Pacarana farm for the 2021 winter term (beginning 4 January).

At Indiana University, Professor Chi (“Iris”) Wang has two Pacaranas that she has set up for hybrid online and in-person access for her undergraduate and graduate courses in COMPUTER MUSIC: DESIGN and PERFORMANCE.

At New York University (NYU), Professor Joel Chadabe has set up two Pacas online for students in his Creating with Interactive Media: Kyma course for spring semester 2021 (classes start at the end of January). Chadabe’s course will be structured around the history, composing philosophy, and ideas presented on his site:

At Dankook University in Cheonan (Seoul), Professor Kiyoung Lee is using a Kyma/Pacarana system for his courses on Advanced Sound Design-Kyma System, Electronic Music Ensemble, Computer Music Composition. During his 2021 sabbatical, he is finishing a book on Kyma.

Wave terrain on Lines

Ben Phenix (aka wave.terrains) has a tutorial on Lines taking you step by step through how to create a granular engine from scratch in Kyma

Summer course at SPLICE Institute

SPLICE Institute is an online, week-long, intensive summer program for performers, composers, and composer-performers interested in music that combines live performance and electronics. Applications are now being accepted for SPLICE Institute 2021, which will take place online 28 June – 2 July 2021. This year, SPLICE includes daily workshops with Carla Scaletti on the Kyma system, with remote desktop access to Kyma systems for those who do not already have access to their own systems. Registration is $200 for the week (scholarships available).

Roland Kuit book coming soon…

Roland Kuit is working on a book about Kyma to be finished in time for KISS 2021. In the meantime, there is an outline, loaded with sound examples, on his site.

SSC Vimeo/youtube channels

If you haven’t discovered them yet, check out the Kyma tutorial videos on Vimeo and tutorials by Will Klingenmeier and others on the Symbolic Sound youtube channel.

Opportunities to hear Kyma colleagues’ work:

In desperate times

Jeffrey Stolet’s new work in response to events this summer.

Jim O’Rourke live Steam(room)

Inferential: Sounds produced / processed in Kyma by Jim O’Rourke, recorded at the Steamroom in Japan, November 2020 with a shout-out to the Kata: Alan, Simon, Ian, Pete, Domenico, Ben and Charlie

Robert Jarvis: sonoraV19

Sound artist Robert Jarvis’ interview describing his evolving sound art piece based on numbers of confirmed cases of COVID-19, using Kyma to map the numbers to the amplitudes of harmonics (one per country) to create a slowly evolving timbre. Listen to the (regularly updated) sound here.

Lucretio live stream

On 29 December 2020, Domenico Cipriani (Lucretio) performed a 45-minute live stream using Kyma on Seoul Community Radio. Listen again…

Anne La Berge and the poetics of wind turbines

Site V, new sound art from data & the poetics of wind turbines by Anne La Berge (Flute & Kyma) & Phil Maguire (Doepfer Synth), inspired by Borssele Wind Farm Site V floating wind turbines stationed where water depths are too great for fixed foundations.

Ben Phenix on SoundCloud

On SoundCloud, you can listen to Ben Phenix’s extensions to physical modeling and granular synthesis: “The primary goal was to move beyond the normal per grain controls we see (amplitude, pitch, pan, grain size, etc) and be able to insert other processing at the individual grain level. For example, each grain could have its own filter settings, delay, or wave shaper. At that point, we may be departing from Curtis Road’s classical definitions but that is where the fun is!”

Looking back to move forward: Gualtieri’s BTF Project

Composers and performers have been adapting to the constraints of the pandemic in various ways while inventing new paradigms for live musical performance. Composer Vincenzo Gualtieri has chosen to focus on one of the essential aspects of making music together: attentive and reciprocal listening. Gualtieri’s work can now be heard on a new album: the (BTF) project, released on EMA Vinci Records.

Voicemail spam and Furby

Simon Hutchinson’s Messages from Rachel, for spam voicemails and Symbolic Sound’s Kyma and his Regression 2020 for Circuit-bent Furby sounds processed with Symbolic Sound’s Kyma.

Sonic Story-telling

Mei-ling Lee‘s Doctoral Recital ranges from gun violence to darkly poignant children’s stories.

Matteo Milani: Wasted Planet

Matteo Milani and Giovanni Dettori – Wasted Planet, an album created during the first lockdown, electronic layers synthesized or processed in Kyma, released on Miraloop Records in May 2020.

Fang Wan’s live electronics performances

Listen to Fang Wan‘s portfolio of live electronic performances using Kyma on Youtube.

Spectral Evolver

Will Klingenmeier’s SpectralEvolver channel includes an ever-evolving collection of sounds-of the-day, binaural walks, Kyma tutorials and more!

News from Kyma users:

Silence and a sense of space

Laura Tedeschini Lalli (Università di Roma Tre) presented the keynote lecture “Silence and a sense of space: Rome, Italy during complete lockdown and after” for “Sounds of the Pandemic” virtual conference 16-17 December 2020.

Delora KymaConnect 2.0

Doug Kraul’s KymaConnect 2.0.0 BETA 6 adds support for macOS 11.0 “Big Sur” and includes, for the first time, native operation on Apple Silicon Macs. This release was built with the latest releases of the macOS tools and SDK. The application binary is in Apple’s “Universal Binary” format that places native executables for both Intel and Apple Silicon processors in the same application bundle. macOS will automatically choose the Intel version if your Mac has an Intel processor, or select the Apple Silicon version if you have one of the new Macs with the M1 processor.

Amazon acquires Zoox

Amazon and Zoox announced in June 2020 that they’ve signed an agreement for Amazon to acquire Zoox — the pioneer ride-hailing company dedicated to designing autonomous technology from the ground up. Aicha Evans, Zoox CEO, and Jesse Levinson, Zoox co-founder and CTO, will continue to lead Zoox as a standalone business. Zoox has a very special sound-design team creating a sonic user experience for passengers and pedestrians, and rumor has it that a few of those sounds may have made their way into the backing music for the Zoox 14 December reveal video.

Craig Vear awarded a European Research Council Grant

Congratulations to Craig Vear for being awarded a 5-year European Research Council grant for frontier research into the Digital Score. Of 2506 applicants, 327 researchers received ERC_Research funding for research, to build up their teams & have far-reaching impact. Vear plans to continue to expand upon the foundational work begun in his book The Digital Score: Musicianship, Creativity and Innovation which features interviews with several Kyma practitioners and a photo of Anne La Berge on the cover.

In remembrance of those we have lost in 2020…

With sadness, we remember two friends and colleagues. We feel their absence and we salute them for their contributions to sound and music and the world:

Stanley Cowell (5 May 1941 — 17 December 2020)

A brilliant composer, pianist, and friend, Stanley Cowell’s masterful use of Kyma to enhance and extend the piano in ways that feels both musical and inevitable can be heard on his album Welcome to this New World ( and other recordings. Soft-spoken and deep-thinking, Cowell fervently believed that artists can have an affect on the world: “We are not just artists…we are citizens of the world. In our own personal ways, and when necessary, in unity with others, we should add our ‘fuel’ to the cleansing fire against injustice.”

Eugenio Giordani (21 March 1954 — 4 April 2020)

Eugenio Giordani’s reverberation algorithm (EuVerb) has touched the sounds of nearly every composer/sound designer in the Kyma community. We were saddened earlier this year to hear that Eugenio died of COVID-19 in April 2020. In September and October, there were several concerts held in honor of this polymath engineer/composer/performer And Kyma users will remember Eugenio each time they hear his exquisite, smooth reverberation enhancing their sounds and music.

Thanks to all of you for continuing to create and to give voice to the experiences of our times. We wish you a healthy, creative and productive 2021 filled with new ideas, new energy, and new sounds!

Wittgraf rocks MOXsonic

Mike Wittgraf performed his “Date Night” for various acoustic sound generators and Kyma in the final slot of the last concert of the MOXsonic Festival on Saturday, March 11 2018.

Wittgraf’s lively performance was well received, eliciting whoops and cheers during the performance which finally moved him to stand up, walk away from the computer and finish the performance standing in front of the laptop with the Wiimote. Afterward, some of the other performers commented on the large amounts of realtime processing made possible by Kyma.

A photographer, a composer & a dancer…

What happens when an artist, a composer, an actor, and a dancer meet in an art gallery? Find out next month, when Phil Curtis travels from Los Angeles to London to perform with photographer Kelly Nipper, actor Małgorzata Białek, and dancer Marissa Ruazol in Tessa Pattern Takes a Picture at the South London Gallery. The hour-long piece features  electronic music performed live by Curtis using a combination of Ableton Live and Kyma processing.   Curtis used 24 drawings based on Labanotation  as the inspiration for the score, transforming each page into a two-and-a-half minute segment of music.

Tessa Pattern Takes a Picture explores the spatial, expressive qualities of time when rendered in a photograph or a film.   It touches on the history of photography, the Black Forest, clocks, and the ideas of Rudolf Laban (an early twentieth century movement theorist). The piece opens on Saturday 1 March 2014 at 7 pm in the Main Gallery of the South London Gallery.

In the meantime, back in Los Angeles, Floodsongs, the album Curtis recorded with Anne LeBaron has just been released; it features Kyma-generated electronic sounds on the title track, LeBaron’s piece for vocal ensemble: Floodsongs.

Cristian Vogel’s second hometown

Cristian Vogel is currently composer-in-residence in a small village in Southern Japan called Kimotsuki Town, participating in a Second Home Town, an experimental arts initiative of contemporary dance artist, JOU and audio/visual artist, Mitsuaki Matsumoto.

Photo 16-01-2014 08 44 04

The three artists will work together for two weeks in Kimotsuki Town before traveling to Tokyo to present some of the results of the residency with Cristian performing Kyma, JOU dancing and Mitsu improvising on his own custom-made stringed instrument.

26th Jan  14:30-15:30 (Kawakami, Kimutski Town)
Osumi dancing arts and area information center
-winter artists in residence project-
in Kawakami village, Kimotsuki Town.
Closing event short  performances and concert

28th Jan (Kagoshima city)
croisements kagoshima vol.0
â—‹ sound + â—‹ food + â—‹ dance
open: 19:00 start: 19:30
Hananoki Farm Lab. Sandwich included
venue : tenmonkan area [NPO法人かごしま文化研究所 文学サロン 月の舟 /tsuki-no-fune]
4-6-3F, nakamachi, kagoshima city
1st set: Kubo(piano), Mitsuaki Matsumoto, JOU
2nd set: Cristian Vogel

29th Jan (Tokyo)
Cristian Vogel (solo show) @ super-deluxe, Tokyo

31st Jan – Cristian Vogel solo show and guests (Takasaki)

1st Feb -  Kosmoslane gallery (Tokyo)
experimental music group improvisation and solo show

2nd Feb -  Mitaka Reversible Destiny Lofts
Cristian Vogel, Mitsuaki Matsumoto, JOU
music and dance improvisation

8th Feb. Temple in Kamiya Cho- near to Roppongi
Cristian Vogel (solo) & with JOU

John Paul Jones and the POTUS

John Paul Jones, composer/performer/producer and one of the earliest Kyma-adopters, was awarded a Kennedy Center Honor for his work with Led Zeppelin on December 2, 2012.  The award, for exemplary lifetime achievement in the performing arts, was presented by President Barack Obama who said of the seven honorees (and of all artists):

…each of us can remember a moment when the people on this stage touched our lives. Maybe they didn’t lead us to become performers ourselves. But maybe they inspired us to see things in a new way, to hear things differently, to discover something within us or to appreciate how much beauty there is in the world.

They didn’t just take up their crafts to make a living, they did it because they couldn’t imagine living in any other way…

quux collective

The quux collective, a new music ensemble of classically trained musicians who perform music for saxophones, percussion, bassoon, bass, clarinet, didgeridoo, theremin and Kyma, have three shows coming up:

Saturday, 6 October 2012 at 7:30 pm
Longwood University
Molnar Recital Hall

Friday, 2 November 2012 at 2:30 pm
University of Richmond
Camp Concert Hall

Saturday, 3 November 2012 at 8:00 pm
Virginia Commonwealth University
Vlahcevic Concert Hall
$5 (free for VCU students)

Here’s a sampling of Roland Karnatz’ Kyma work:

Didge III by Roland Karnatz for didgeridoo and Kyma:

Duet I by Roland Karnatz for improvised percussion and Kyma (Peter Martin, percussion):

Di Scipio in the Age of Cage

Agostino Di Scipio “The Age of Cage”, on Friday May 18, 2012 was the final event in an Homage to Cage series organized by the University of Salerno, culminating in Polvere di suono e altri resti (“sound dust and other remains”) a concert curated by Agostino Di Scipio, featuring new music by Di Scipio as well as new realizations of classic Cage works including: a new version of 4’33” with Di Scipio’s Background Noise Study Kyma patch; several Audible Ecosystemics pieces; and the 6 studi for piano & electronics. The concert, technically managed by Silvia Lanzalone and her electronic music students in Salerno, was a big success.

Di Scipio and Longobardi have several upcoming concert dates that will include a new version of Cage’s Electronic Music for Piano (1964). Imagine Cage’s Music for Piano 4-84 played through a network of self-governing feedback circuits (realized in Kyma), using only piezo discs, getting feedback through the metal and wooden parts of the piano! The Stradivarius label is about to issue a 50-minute long version of the new Cage/Di Scipio work on CD at the end of May 2012.  For dates and times, please visit: Di Scipio Upcoming Events