Obtained a trackball! Making pixelart with a trackball increses editing speed by the fator of two, compared to mice or trackpad. “A touchpad is like good shoes. A good mice is like chopsticks. A trackball is like a couch.”
And then there was the interesting question: “How much do you practice?” vs. “What tools do you use?” Most people only ask “What tools do you use?” But the first question might be more interesting for the individual artist.
And: “This moment, when you hear this chiptune for over 30 minutes…”
Landscapes and other explorations.
And then there was the Pico-8. A virtual “fantasy console” with neat limitations and a great, limited 16 colors palette. Expect pico-8 stuff! There is also a printed fanzine going on!
The AbenteuerHallenKalk went 10 years! You might know the place – it is the place, where the Evoke-demoparty is hend since several years. For the 10 year event I had the opportunit for a special VJ-Event. We prepared a VJ-Screen, that served as a ceiling for the dancefloor. The beamer was mounted from above and made this a very special and challenging VJ-event at least for me. I recoded some footage, but haven’t made them ready for the web yet.
Drehkommando at St. Gertrud
Another special opportunity in this month: The Drehkommando played live in a post-war church in Cologne. Because auf the huge amount of reverb inside the church, we must focus on ambient sounds. The performance had a special kind of magic and I love to share the recording with you…! (Also on Grüner Würfel Netlabel, Discogs, Soundcloud)
Evoke 2015 was the 18th evoke demoparty! Wow, what a birthday. We were there and I also contributed to some productions.
First, there is this tile-based piece of pixelart. It was a “fixed palette” compo, so all participants have to work with a handful of colors, that the evoke-organizers selected before the party.
Here is also the same artwork with music from Saga Musix – a track also released on this party. Evoke Demovibes! And a tweet with the artwork.
Then I also made a demo for the PC compo. It features pixelart, tilemap and parallax-scrolling. For consistency I just went with the same fixed palette like the pixelart compo. Here is the demo on pouet.net. Currently there is no video of the demo available online but here is the soundtrack.
During the Platine-Festival in Cologne there was an awesome text-mode exhibition in the Bunker k101.
One extremely hot day gave birth to the project “Onlinehupe“, reflecting my interesting in sample-pads. If you need a signal-horn and you do not have one by your side, there should be one horn online. This is why now the onlinehupe.de exists! (Unfortunately I did not have had the time to polish the site, but’ll do it in the future.)
Went totally nuts again making pictures of forests.
The “Rheinboulevard” in Cologne was opened, ensuring that most pictures form the “Kölner Dom” will be now beautified by minimum 20 percent.
We have a small urban-gardening crew in Köln-Deutz and tried a first event around “playing games at urban sites” called “Bockspringen”. It was a spontaneous, experimental event but lots of people were there. Take away learnings: Urban games are games really at its roots. And the kids later outplayed all the grown ups.
Wild West Coin Toss – The first urban game I designed around tossing coins.
…explaining the rules of Wild West Coin Toss.
Mostly sketches and testing out new things.
Pikachu chopped into a platform in the sea
Demoscene for Goodness
Inspired by the demoscene I put together a mixtape of demoscene-music available on Soundcloud. Get yourself a ticket to spacetravel and press play!
A. Along the way a sketch of the first Arduino-Harware synth. Dubby conquerors.
B. Last not least I suggest this Book “Making Music – Creative Strategies for Electronic Music Producers” by Dennis DeSantis. It is good for music producers – not only for the ones who use Ableton Live.
It was a pleasure for me, to give my new approach of having some sort of “Wildbeaming Engine” a first shot. It’s optimized for goooooood framerates and micromessages. Indeed, it worked better than expected. The next step will be, to make more of pre-prepated “generative” content, that let the video-installation be more autonomous (without an operator sitting all the time on the desk). Learning: “Some careful preparation is better than no at all.” I also made use of some of the Code Simplicity design patterns – a book, that any programmer should read!
Here is a very quick and dirty video from the first evening of the engine in action. Unfortunately I did not captured the second day that much. Next stop for this installation: Evoke 2015!
For the sake of completeness, another neat screenshot:
Music Streaming Compo Outline 2015
At Outline 2015 I released a music contribution. A dub and chip inspired track named “Walkman”. Seventy percent of this track were made at the party and the result is quite substantial. There will come one day, where I remaster that and make it more official – maybe!
Making a partyprod is always some sort of challenge, because if the juices are not flowing, you are totally screwed. What helped in this case was, to quickly abandon meaningless stuff and build upon fresh ideas. I abandoned a complete half-finished track I worked on two or three hours before stepping into this tune. Learnings: “Cut, if it’s not working.”
Work in progresses…
Some progress made on pixelart stuff, but nothing finished yet.
And here a really early work-in-progress of my shooting game “Jazz Planet”.
Demoscene-Party Revision was taking place and it was a real blast again. I made two contribution to the Compos:
1. Gone fishing game (Game Compo)
Gone Fishing is two-player game, inspired by the retro-game-console Interton VC4000. One player plays the fisher-rod, while the other played the fish swarm. I added asymmetric gameplay and strategic depth, while staying flat in its design (though the gfx unfortunatelly didn’t finish in time, that’s while it looks veeery basic…).
2. Sunrays Track (Streaming Music Compo)
I found this track on my harddisk, where I was wondering for a while now what to do with it, release or not? Show is to someone or not? At the Revision 2015 demoparty I decided, that this would be the best place to let that track slip outside…
Heavily inspired by the Revision I decided to take a new step into pixelart. I am especially interested of making artworks, that are totally driven by colors and not that “cliche” tiny pixelart-style, that is most people think of when they hear “pixelart”. Here are some of the first works.
Tapedeck / Walkman
Obtained a tape-deck and my old walkman I used back in the good old days. It’s incredible how good, full and warm music can sound with this vintage technology. I suggest to listen to tape again especially for chipmusic, jazz and techno.
And you might see as well in the picture, that I finally ordered some backup-stuff for tinkering with Arduino, music and custom controllers!
There was an awesome “Bring Your Own Beamer (BYOB) event in Cologne, where I participated as an artists. The event was a huge-success with some people said about 800 – 1000 visitors! I confirmed my recent interest to minimalistic projects, when it comes to videobeamer-art. “Less is more” strikes me more then “much helps much”. Beeing part of an exhibition can bring own work forward by reflecting and setting work in context. I have not figured out the factors yet, when and when not this will happen. Is it the location? The people? Other works shown? Point made by own stuff?
Here are some impressions of the whole exhibition:
Dingfabrik was hosting the “Arduinio Day” again. It is a global action-day because of the birthday of the Arduino-platform. At this day Arduino went 11 and we had lots of hackers-heaven like fun and projects at the Dingfabrik. See some of the music-projects I was more or less involved in.
The same month I stated to get into Circuit Bending. The first steps were easier then exprected. I also learned from some Dingfabrik-memebers, that it could be possible, to make circuit bending Arduino-controlled with the help of “digital potis”. I also learned, that Circuit Bending is a really nice approach of doing sounds. Just open sound-things and mess around!
Oscillot and PureData Stuff
I made some conceptional works and experiments with PureData and Ableton / Oscillot. Influenced by the book “Code Simplicity” I experimented with a “minimal tool” that generated “music patterns” – a patch started to realize in PureData.
Next experiments went into the direction of “opening the music to external parameters” to make some sort of “nature-embedded soundart”. Here for example a PureData-patch, that generates an “alien-voice” directly connected to voice input into microphone.
This is a prototype exploring “complex sound patterns with just two main oscillators”. The thing, that the mouse doing in this video should be later made by sensors. I tried to make rich, complex sonic possibilities with a minimal technical effort. And yes – I had embedded microcontrollers in mind!
Another Oscillot Ambient Drone Session. This piece is dark and sonic with a totally psychic atmosphere. A live-improvisation featuring Ableton Live / Oscillot. It is based around tons of delays and sensitive tweaking of resonance-frequencies. Oscillot helps in making crazy LFO modulations happen.
Still into pixel-art jamming. Here are some results.
This is not a finished track, but more a sketch about exploring some dub-concepts further, that are ongoing in my head right at the moment.
I presented our “Flying Orlov” Media-Art Sculpture at the “Denkwerk Kreatifrühstück”. There should be a video of this talk released on some day in the future.
1. Mobile-radio-band: An excellent concert with self-build, modified and circuit-bended instruments at Opekta-ateliers.
2. I’ve put together a small playlist on YouTube with productions, that are based around “Cologne Netaudio”. We had lots of Netaudio (Creative Commons Music) community-activities in Cologne, with the best days between 2008 and 2012. We had regular meetings, sticked together making a two netaudio-festivals, called the “Cologne Commons”. I thought, this YouTube playlist would be a good idea, to have some sort of “place” for the stuff we made.
February! Once again, shortest month of the year, mixed up with carnival-out-of-the-ordinary state in Cologne. But nevertheless some new stuff!
Just a normal day in Cologne…
Oscillot for Ableton Live
I obtained myself a copy of Oscillot – a modular patch system for Ableton Live realized in Max for Live. The basic design is inspired by the Nord Modular and indeed, it is much fun to patch and combine with with the high quality audio-fx from Ableton Live. I post some patches on YouTube from time to time.
Algorithmic music with PureData and Ableton Live
There was no footage on YouTube showcasing making algorithmic music in PureData with Ableton Live as audio-engine. I had to change this fact and published this video.
Gerhard Kern studio visit
I visited the studio of Gerhard Kern. He build real-world mechanical instruments, that can be controlled by computer or MIDI. Really inspiring and sometimes a little bit creepy as well.