Tag Archives: electroacoustic

Touch the Gear 2018


For the second year in a row I was invited to show a few pieces of gear at the Outsound New Music Summit event ‘Touch the Gear” where a space is open free to the public, who have the unique opportunity to play with uncommon instruments and ask questions etc. Represented is a cross section of electronic, as well as acoustic instruments, some manufactured by small companies such as the Eurorack modular gear and tabletop synths. There were also one of a kind DIY custom instruments (the tabletop resonating deconstructed banjo was a highlight) and devices utilising open source programming to design custom interfaces and/or sound sources as well as processing.

This event has a great community vibe and it’s always fun to see young kids get excited about these strange inventions. Look up the artists for more info, some have been deeply involved in the underground avante garde music scene for a long time.

Artists included this year:

• L.J. Altvater – tape-loop/effects-pedals
• Hugh Behm-Steinberg – CD turntable and effects
• Amanda Chaudhary – analog modular synthesizer, theremin
• Andrew of Chopstick – Pro One, modular and homemade synthesizers
• Tom Djll – small electronic devices including mixers, filters, effects, pickups, etc.
• R Duck – synthesizer
• Tom Duff – surprises
• Tammy Duplantis – game boys
• Bart Hopkin – invented instruments
• Jeff Klukowski (Alphastare)- modular synthesizers etc.
• David Leikam – Moog Rogue analog synthesizer
• Dania Luck – laptop with midi-controller running super-collider
• Collette McCaslin – percussion, small instruments
• Andy Puls – homemade synthesizer
• Jess Rowland – cell phones and controller
• Gabby Wen – electronics
• Peter Whitehead – invented instruments

Enjoy these 2 brief videos, which, together give a good sense of the diverse items on hand as well as the creativity and innovation of these artists. The first video was created by Amanda Chaudhary of Catsynth : who did some short interviews:

The second video was compiled from a few clips I took. Some walkthrough footage and a couple of brief demos by a few of this years participants:

Enjoy the wonderful sounds.

Summer Vacay, a Little Work a Little Play


Been off the blog for a spell as I have been enjoying the wonders of our beautiful country. My wife and I decided to take a train ride across the country and it has been the best experience! We left SF for a 4 day ride to NY and it’s just a wonderful way to travel. We spent a week in NYC visiting fam and are now in Buffalo visiting more fam and to top it off I will be performing twice this weekend. I set up 2 Alphastare gigs, 1 in Erie PA this Friday Aug 21st


and another for Saturday the 22nd in my old hometown of Buffalo at Dreamland. Both shows will be supported by Onewayness who I met in SF when we did a show at The Luggage Store Gallery awhile back. Also on both bills is an old friend Aaron Davis who will be performing as Greyscape.

14th Annual Outsound New Music Summit (Final Night)

New Music Summit 14 Chen/Fei/Pontecorvo Q&A
Q&A with Tania Chen, James Fei and Mika Potecorvo

Recently I posted about the 14th Annual Outsound New Music Summit after I attended the ‘Touch the Gear’ expo on July 26th. There were events throughout the week that I unfortunately missed but I did make it to the final show on Saturday. I caught the first 2 sets by Bridge of Crows and Tender Buttons respectively. I’ll let the clips speak for themselves but the theme this evening was ‘Vision Music’ so there was heavy interaction between sound and visual. It was very immersive and great to experience in person.

Below are a few short clips of the first 2 acts.

First up is Bridge of Crows doing “Bedouin Poets of Mars: The Last Poet ” featuring
Mika Pontecorvo, Elijah Pontecorvo, Kersti Abrams, Greg Baker, Mark Pino, Mariko Miyakawa, Bob Marsh.

Bob and Elijah
Bob and Elijah
Mika and Mark
Mika and Mark


New Music Summit 14 Modular set-up

Next is: Tender Buttons featuring Tania Chen, Gino Robair, Tom Djll and Bill Thibault who was responsible for the visual elements and also takes a ‘solo’ at one point!

Bill Theibault
Bill Theibault


If you are craving more, here are full pieces captured by Ann O’Rourke, including the 3rd act which I missed that night. Bill Hsu/James Fei/Gino Robair




I look forward to next year!

14th Annual SF New Music Summit

028Outsound Presents hosted their 14th annual New Music Summit which runs through August 1st. This is the first time I’ve attended and I gotta say I’ve been missing out! I attended the ‘Touch the Gear’ portion of the event where artists set up their gear and let you play around with it and ask questions etc. Really nice folks with an array of gear and it was really cool to see the kids get to mess around with weird synths and some of the more crafted acoustic and electroacoustic instruments.

Modular 1

Modular 2

Modular 3

Check the event page for the rest if the happenings as there are still a few days left to attend if you reside in the Bay Area California.

This is a series of short video clips from the event, including a bit near the beginning of Tom Nunn playing one of his constructions. Also I do an impromptu set with the blessing of Matt Davignon. Thanks for that and I will see you next year!