The week in november 2009, I stayed at STEIM, I worked on two different setups.
One is my LiSa-based Live-setup with an aditional old drummachine, the Rythm-Ace, the antecessor of the TR 77, Rolands first drummachine ever. which means, no editing, only presets with a lot of Mambo in it. I use it for goofing around with some kind of semi-serious impropop and later used it live in a duo with Eugene Chadbourne.
For the other setup, I use is a Micro Modular to produce a feedback, that I control with fotoresistors placed in a pizzabox -sized board on a table, with a dimmable lamp over it, there are 12 sensors to control 12 parameters. With my hands I produce shadows on the pizzabox to ‚play’ the feedback. I can just use the dimmer to modulate, I use coins to cover single sensors and as well two small plastic stroboscopes with adjustable speed to produce patterns. Itried to use a drumloop (with a tap-pad) with the stroboscope and quite like it. The sound is rather raw and prickly and the Micro- Modular-patch reacts pretty unpredictable. I put this setup together in search for an electronic instrument, that I can use in a solo performance. There is the good question, if you can improvise solo at all and I find it inspiring to work with material, that is good for unexpected moves.
The fotoresistors are quite interesting. Find something for € 1.98, that is so sensitive! I tried them out on the screne of a TV-set and the result was that they sent a signal, that was pulsating at 5o Hz, which is the frequency of my old telly. On the Mico Modular it played a nice piece of music, unfortunately only one piece, as the result is always the same, whatever happens on the screen.
I tried the sensors on the MM as well with diffrent cheap chinese lightchains for x-mas trees, that have diffrent pulse-programs. Sounds a bit like Terry Riley on a no-input-mixer.
I add a pic of the Micro Modular patch. The (hardware-) Out 1 is connected with the AudioIn Right. The interface between the MM and the fotoresistors is based on a Doepfer ‚Pocket Electronic’ (http://www.doepfer.de/home_e.htm), a small Midi Interface. The sensors are easy to connect (same way like on the Junxion-Box), you find it in the Pocket-Electronic-Manual on the Doepfer page.
The way I built this controllerbox was like the French use to construct cars, start at the bottom and build one thing on top of the other. It has 12 potentiometers and 4 switches, 12 sensor -inputs, that you can switch, meaning, you can either use the sensor or the poti.
The lamp I use is a 300 watt stage light mounted on a microfone-stand with a distance of about 125 cm above the table. I use a suitable dimmer; (http://www.atld.de/Lichttechnik/Lichtsteuerungen/Einzeldimmer/Uni-Lite-1Ch-DimSlide-1000W-and-Analog-0-10V-Output::272.html).
I have used this setup in a soloperformance by now and will go on working it out more, use the stroboscopes and syncronize their actions with drumloops, which is not so easy to handle live. So when I come back for another week at STEIM, I know what to start with.
ss impropop 01
ss impropop 02