Current Birds



Current Birds #s

Current Birds hand 1

I am pleased to announce the arrival of my first solo release under the project name Alphastare. It represents work from a few various sources, some collaboration and solo concoctions, from airy outdoor field recordings to cavernous studio improvisation work with drums. The cover photo of the dove was taken where some of the recording was done, on a ranch in Marin! I also pulled from a studio session with drummer Jon Weiss, there are hours of material from those sessions! It was a blast to make and I hope to make more!

Copies are available via my Bandcamp or click on the top photo!


Alphastare and Infinite Plastic Internal (feat. Jim Ryan) Live in Oakland

I had the honor of sharing the stage this past weekend with good friends and a legend.

Mark Pino and his project INFINITE PLASTIC INTERNAL, this time featuring Jim Ryan on Kalimba/Sax/Flute and DaDa-isms, were kind enough to join me and my project ALPHASTARE for an improvised  session of live noisemaking and general sonic mischief.

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Jim Ryan

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Infinite Plastic Internal got started off with some modular noise action accompanied by abstract Sax. Mark moved over to percussion and drums as Jim switched on and off between Saxophone, Flute with some pedal manipulation and vocal chants here and there that to me resembled German gibberish, though Mark later told me he was speaking DaDa! Later in the set he played some enchanting rhythmic Kalimba, pretty heavily effected, though the bridge broke at one point where he continued to pull some pliers and a wrench out of his bag while instructing Mark to play while he fixed the ‘Machine’, which he eventually did.

Turns out Jim is quite an accomplished player in the abstract underground scene. He spent some time in Paris in the 60’s and at 80 years old, he brought some authentic avant flavour to the evening. It was even entertaining to watch him fix the Kalimba on the spot after which he said into the microphone ‘You have just witnessed a rescue mission’! I hope to see him perform again some time.

One powerful moment during the set was Mark’s spoken interpretation of Nico’s “Julius Ceasar” off of her timeless album ‘Marble Index’. With nothing other than a shaker for accompaniment, he delivered it with raw emotion and you can enjoy it for yourself in the video below after a collage of short bits from the rest of the set, a visual cut-up of sorts. Please enjoy!



Alphastare Storkk

I was feeling a bit anxious for this performance as I recently switched over to a different 4 track player than I have been using. The Tascam 414 MkII is much lighter thus much more portable, though it lacks the range of eq’s that it’s bulkier cousin machine the 424 MkII which is what I have been using exclusively for the past couple years. Despite that and the fact that I also never ran that set up through my Ampeg Bass amp, it all went pretty smoothly. The sound was a bit strange to me but the point is really to be able to adapt in the moment and I used that to my advantage. It was fun exploring that and building up layers to play a little flute to!

I had Jon Weiss on 808 and samples, though he had to bail halfway through the set. Mark jumped up and filled in for the duration which culminated in a nice little hell raiser of a percussion jam.




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Alphastare Storkk (4)

Alphastare Storkk (5)


 Stay Tuned For More!

Sounds from the lab (Audio and Video)

Fruitvale moon
Been busy preparing for a show on Oct 18th. Here are some things that were created in the process.

First up are a series of cassette collages, this will be an ongoing series.If you aleady checked out my previous post “That Beautiful Darkness” then you may have already heard the first tape. There are 5 so far uploaded to Mixcloud.

Cassette Collage 1
Cassette Collage 1

Cassette Collage 2
Cassette Collage 2

Cassette Collage 3
Cassette Collage 3

Cassette Collage 4

Cassette Collage 4

Cassette Collage 5

Cassette Collage 5

CC6Cassette Collage 6

4 videos from a recent session

We got together to get in tune and try out some sounds for a show. We ended up with some nice moments.
Here are 4 youtube videos of some excerpts from the session:
Preparations 1-4


‘That Beautiful Darkness’

Cassette Collage 1

For about a week or so at the end of September and into the first week of October we experienced quite a heat spell here in San Francisco. This is the time of year when our ‘Indian Summer’ generally kicks in, so this is no surprise.

Having grown up in Buffalo where the seasons were clearly defined and came and went with a fairly consistent regularity: vibrant wettish Spring with the slush from the Winter season still lingering and mud colored–>warm and sunny Summer, that despite the stigma of Buffalo being a ‘cold place’ could really get up there in both temperature and humidity–> Fall with it’s lovely array of reds and oranges and yellows of the turning leaves, the refreshing cool temperatures giving relief from the Summer swelter, chestnuts and acorns and pine cones everywhere–> the notorious Winters that we’re known for, with blizzards, sub- freezing temperatures and mountains of snow driven into 8′-10′ foot tall drifts that have been known to bury cars and houses alike.

With that being the cycle for my first 20 years or so, I got used to going with that natural flow of things, Spring and Summer were spent outdoors skateboarding and hanging out etc. Fall and Winter were times spent mostly indoors trying to come up with things to do to entertain ourselves and kill time until we could go back outside. We mostly sat around and listened to music. Eventually I got into making music and one of my favorite things was recording oddball stuff onto tapes. Most portable stereo cassette players back then had built in microphones that you could use to record anything onto a blank cassette tape.Eventually I got a 4 track recorder which allows you to layer and mix things together (up to 4 separate tracks) and that has been, to this day, one of the things I like to do most on dark and gloomy days.

So when our ‘Indian Summer’ broke this year just a few days ago, I had that feeling of the seasons changing and the urge to work out a piece on tape kicked in. Here is the result:

Cassette Collage 1

Here I have layered a bunch of field recordings ,various synth sounds,loops and a bit of audio from a video of Angelo Badalamenti talking about the creation of the Twin Peaks theme music which I then loop and manipulate via Moogerfooger. Angelo talking about how David guided him into ‘That beautiful darkness’ really resonated with me on that particularly gloomy day here in SF. This is a 28 minute mix as you can only record on one side of a cassette using a 4 track recorder, there is no ‘side 2’.

I plan to keep making these as I go. Some of these recorded bits are from other works. I like the sound that tapes give with that analog warmth and bit of hiss that I miss from squeeky clean digital. Since the tracks are all recorded with other pieces in mind, they are all randomly layered and create their own piece when played together. A random experiment every one.

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