Monthly Archives: November 2011

8 posts

Roland GR-55 Review

Recent sales of neglected gear have resulted in two purchases. The Korg Electribe ESX and the much lauded Roland GR55 Guitar synth.
Lets take that one now, and the drum-machine later.
I have had the GR55 for about a month now, and due to work and family commitments, I cant really say that I’ve delved very deep with it, but here goes.
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tango film

Just found this on my hard-drive. By Zbigniew Rybczyński, its totally wonderful. made by painting thousands of hand made film mattes, no computers here… I wonder if I get a please remove this film message? Its seems to be rather difficult to find online.
[hdplay id=1]
This film, although a bit boring in truth, seriously influenced me as a young experimental film-maker. The fact that a very complex idea could be carried out, by hand, from start to finish, by one man, was very appealing. It encouraged me to do the same. I could never have completed something as vast as this, but I did spend some time producing film “by hand” That is to say, I shot black and white negative film, developed it by hand in an old Russian dev tank (I still have it) then constructed my own printer out of an old Bolex, where I cut a slot for the negative to enter, shone a light in the lens , and developed the resulting film. THEN applying hand made dyes to it… I did many hours of experiments of this, nothing survives. apart from a tiny bit at the end of Mise en Scene. The Cranes online documentary I made.

About the film Tango. This is snagged from the directors own pages here, I will take it down if he complains.

“Thirty-six characters from different stages of life – representations of different times – interact in one room, moving in loops, observed by a static camera. I had to draw and paint about 16.000 cell-mattes, and make several hundred thousand exposures on an optical printer. It took a full seven months, sixteen hours per day, to make the piece. The miracle is that the negative got through the process with only minor damage, and I made less than one hundred mathematical mistakes out of several hundred thousand possibilities. In the final result, there are plenty of flaws ® black lines are visible around humans, jitters caused by the instability of film material resulting from film perforation and elasticity of celluloid, changes of colour caused by the fluctuation in colour temperature of the projector bulb and, inevitably, dirt, grain and scratches.”

– Zbig Rybczynski –Looking to the Future – Imagining the Truth,” in FranÐois Penz, Maureen Thomas, Cinema& Architecture. Mþliús, Mallet-Stevens, Multimedia, BFI, London, 1997


“In Tango, Rybczynski exploits this concept of the single offscreen space by filling it with a plethora of actions. It soon becomes obvious that such a small space, that of a small room, could not possibly contain all the actions taking place. Rybczynski also makes critical use of off-screen space, exposing it for the artifice it is. Off-screen space is the imaginary area beyond the edge of the screen, and in front of or behind the camera. There are a number of ways through to off-screen space in Tango – a window and a door in the back wall, doors on either side of the room, and cupboard which also has its uses. Rybczynski orchestrates his entrances and exits with great precision.”

– Roger Noake, Animation Techniques, Secaucus, Chartwell Books Inc., 1988.

The Fate of Music in the Age of No Effort

The following article is so close to my own views, I had to reprint it In its entirety.
The original comes from

The Fate of Music in the Age of No Effort
Thursday June 2, 2011

I was talking to a music industry acquaintance on the phone not long ago and he was matter-of-factly moving on, leaving music behind for the world of social media marketing. Music has had its day, said Kevin (not his real name); now it’s over. “No one cares the way they used to,” he said, sounding more pissed off than sorry. “Music isn’t special to people any more.”

This is certainly one conclusion to draw 10-plus years into the download era. And withdrawal is one logical enough reaction, especially from a music industry veteran. Forget all this crap (and boy is there a lot of crap). Find something else to sink your teeth into, find another way to make a living, because there’s no living here, that seems clear.

Kevin is neither a romantic nor a nostalgist. For him it’s reality: music is no longer special to people, deal with it, move on.

But here’s the thing. If the world around us doesn’t think music is special, guess what? The world is wrong. Music is an ancient, mysterious, compelling means of expression. If we’ve arrived at a point in our cultural life cycle at which music is “not special,” this says much more about us than it does about music. Music didn’t become “not special”; we, collectively, have become unable or unwilling to appreciate its specialness.

Which is a development worthy of investigation, actually. How did this come to be?
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Sound of Mu 16th Nov 2011

Here are 3 videos of the show me and Jens did at Sound of Mu.
All was improvised, and made up as we went along. The sound is a bit crap, as the camera is below the speakers, but it was fun… if not partcularly groundbreaking or together…

UStreamed at ANX

Today I sent a UStream of the set by Jon Hegre and Greg Pope, and then Xavier Querel. At ANX in Oslo.

Greg Pope has two projectors with black leader film. As he runs them he attacks the loops with various implements, the sound from the hits is amplified as it the sound that he creates by accidentaly scratching the optical audio track from the film. The piece ends when the film is scratched completely white. The whole sound is mixes, looped and effected by Job Hegre.

Video streaming by Ustream

Pure Genius!

Then later a set from Xavier Querel, who uses the projector in another way. He first runs the projector and csts shadows of it on teh screen, then he plays film the wrong way (at the audience) and onto a tiny screen, and then manipulates the film till it gets stuck and burns, he controls the burning by adjusting the lamp, so it doesnt happen too quickely. Just when you think its all over he works with teh pure white of the projector and lights the whole room, via a mirror. The beam is interupted with lenses and mirrors and the projections are cast in all directions. Working out side the projector, then inside a tiney screen then back out again.
Unfortunately my iPhone ran out of batteries soon after it started.

Video streaming by Ustream

Again Pure Genius!

I bought a GR55!!!

Finally I got the cash together to get me a nice new shiny Git Synth. This is the highly acclaimed Roland GR55.

Now the cool thing about this is that its both a guitar synth (two synth tones) a modelled guitar tone (lots of fake guitars, amps and whatnot) and you normal guitar. All this is mixed together and sounds lovely…
I hope…
I must say the built in guitar patches are all horrible, metal guitar. But Im sure lots is possible. I already made my own patch, a kind of reverby acoustic guitar with a reverse delay.
What I havenet quite got yet is HOW the sounds are routed in regards to the guitar controls. On the good old GR30, I had a 3 pos switch, Synth/Mix/Guitar, but now with the GR55 Im not understanding what comes out where… I think that the normal pickups are routed thru the direct out jack, same as before, but only if I set it to be that… I think thats how I want it, cos the internal modelling guitar probaly needs to come out of the main outputs to get stereo effects on.. but Im a bit confused about that. Im sure Ill suss it out though…
Photo by Nikolas

Ilan Katin show @ ANX

I went to Ilan Katins show at ANX.
Last week, he gave his introduction standing behind a muslin screen, the projection then was very 3 dimensional. But for his piece today he went all out with.. damn I forgot to count them, maybe 20 screens, one in front of another… Really nice. Heres some iPhone films.

[slickr-flickr tag=”IlanKatin”]