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Topics - MarkM

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Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Reactable on the iPod Touch4
« on: October 10, 2010, 05:34:04 PM »
I just downloaded the app for Reactable Mobile, and I am having a blast with it. I love the fact that you can use your own loops with it. It's nice to get away from conventional user interfaces and use a synth that you can carry in your pocket. I created a nice patch while in the waiting room of my doctor's office.


You can also listen to this live on

Here's a live progressive ambient performance I did yesterday with my Voyager doing all the leads. I also used a Korg ESX1 and Yamaha RM1X for beats as well as Ableton Live. Ableton is being controlled by an Akai MPK 49 which also established my midi clock.


My one hour live performance is available for download.  I hope you like it.  I used a Moog Voyager, Korg ESX-1. Ableton Live, and an Akai MPK 49 midi controller. Absynth 5 and Reaktor are used in Ableton.

This performance was part of's internet simulcast with on Jan. 30th.

For those interested I have posted my set.  It was part of E-M's New Year's Eve event. You can listen or download it here, but you will probably have to copy and paste the url in your browser:

It's less than thirty minutes and doesn't take too long to download. I hope you like it.

You can listen to my unedited performance from July 11, 2009. I hope you enjoy it. At the end Jim Combs and I jam for a few minutes.

Performing in Atlanta July 11 are:  Sensitive Chaos, Pink Kodiak, Spy Magnet, & Mark Mahoney
Here are the bios and more about the show:

If you are in the area, please drop by.


This is my unedited live performance 5/9/09 at the City Skies festival in Atlanta, GA.  I hope you all enjoy the music. The last 10 minutes of this performance features Tony Gerber on Native American Flute and Bill Fox on electric guitar.

Photo by Jim Combs

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Handsonic 10
« on: October 21, 2008, 06:03:28 PM »
The other day I purchased a Roland Handsonic 10, and I must say it is a great piece of gear.  I'm not much of a percussionist, but the Handsonic is making me better.  I think it has a lot of useful sounds that can be manipulated on board as well as through any external gear.  I have had it sequencing through my Yamaha RM1X with ease.  Next I will try something like Abelton.  Anyone else have much experience with a Handsonic?

Mahoney & Peck use the live environment to further their music. Existing in the moment, their pieces seem to come into being equally out of hours of conception and preparation as much as from the happy accidents that plague and please such performers. Their CD Starfest 2007 (49'43") features six concert tracks that show this duo to be traveling on the same beam and sharing the same vision. Playing all manner of synthesizers, Mahoney & Peck realize a unique and optimistic style of electronic music. Based on ideas relating to tone and mood they achieve an electronic sound that is remarkable - both in its approach and in the way it is perceived at the listening stage. Spontaneous modulations and weird changes in direction provide a sense of excitement while the more recent addition of synthetic percussion and bouncy sequencer riffs propel tracks forward at a fast clip. Full-throated bold melodies run above shifting synthesizer pads while samples of ancient satellite telemetry mingles with spacey effects and reedy drones. This album touches on many styles of Spacemusic (a byproduct of this duo's multitude of influences) and leads the listener through glowing clouds of digital ambiance, to the darkness of space, and finally to float among the twinkling stars of a strange celestial road.

- Chuck van Zyl/STAR'S END   12 September 2008

We are pretty excited about opening for The Ministry of Inside Things at The Gathering Concert Series Sept. 20.  The Gatherings concerts are held at St. Mary's Hamilton Village on the University of Penn campus in Philadelphia.

Later that night, we will perform live for the third time on Chuck van Zyl's Stars End radio show at WXPN-FM.

If any of you can attend please come up and say hi.

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Electro-Music Festival August 14-16
« on: August 10, 2008, 07:21:42 PM »
The Electro-Music 2008 festival is this week in Kingsport, TN.  More than 40 artists will be performing on two stages. For more info go to

For established artists such as NIN and Radiohead, free (or nearly nearly free) distribution can be a financial advantage for them.  However, can free distribution harm a genre of music, such as ambient, by diluting it?  Would free distribution hurt established artists such as those on the Hypnos label? Obviously it cannot be stopped, but I wonder if the practice is devaluing the genre.  Are some established artists just moving on to something else out of frustration?

Just a reminder for the Electro-Music 08 conference/festival in Kingsport, TN Aug. 14-16: Continuous performances, demos, workshops, jams, and comradery at a great venue.


Here's a list of the performers for the Electro-Music 08 festival:

Acoustic Interloper
Dr. Dale E. Parson, a.k.a. Acoustic Interloper, has been writing music for his finger-picked banjos and guitars for the last 37 years, and has been troubleshooting circuits and programming computers for almost that long. About four years ago he finally decided to unite his interests in music composition and software architecture in exploration of algorithmic composition and electro-acoustic instrumental techniques.
Aligning Minds
Aligning Minds is the unique and captivating collaboration of two producers (Daniel Merrill and Michael Folk) using sound to achieve a mutual vision. Ethereal and dubby, uplifting and haunting, their music winds its way through the imaginative souls of its listeners. offering a deep exploration of subsonic mood and emotional atmosphere. Focused on unifying electronic music through diverse influence, their sound fuses elements of many genres like downtempo, dubstep, breakbeat and idm, but without the need for formulaic restrictions. The Aligning Minds sound is melodic and bass heavy. It's emotionally charged future music that rides on hypnotic breakbeats, infectious basslines, dubby soundscapes, and idm experimentation for one to dance or lounge to.
Azimuth Visuals
Azimuth Visuals is the artistic partnership of Greg and Hong Waltzer. They create video performance art to accompany musical events. Using a combination of computer-generated abstract images, animations, Greg's artwork, Hong's nature photography and video clips, these images are processed and mixed in real time by various effects software and video hardware.  The intent is to provide a colorful and dynamic visual experience that is inspired by and complements the music.
Jeremy Bible and Jason Henry
Ohio based sound artists Jeremy Bible & Jason Henry collaborate to fuse elements of musique concrete, acoustic, avant-garde, and electronic music. By means of conceptual, experimental, modern, and algorithmic recording and processing techniques the duo seek to expose a synergistic relationship between real world found sounds, acoustic instrumentation, and electronic sound design. The end result has been described as "paintings of sound", "the aural equivalent of abstract expressionist and minimalist painting", "music with depth and soft command", and "a consolidation of sound that creates an intimate experience transporting the listener to newly fabricated yet oddly nostalgic destinations". By merging the aesthetics of art and science through modern recording technology the duo examine the relationships between sound, ourselves, and the environment. Through research and experimentation into bioacoustics and the utilization of field recordings alongside traditional instruments and sound design a re-contextualization of everyday sound occurs. The duo's creative amalgamation of these elements have caught the attention of recording labels in Russia, Germany, and the United States with a growing number of albums slated for release. Each of the duo's improvisational live performances bring forth new perspectives on their sound and are complemented by an equally significant visual element of large scale projections in a lights out performance environment described as "subtle patterns of breathing white light".
Bicameral Mind
Bicameral Mind is Bryce Eiman and Shaun Sandor.  We formed in 2007 in North Carolina.  Bryce brings much experience to this project as his career in tape treatments, electro-acoustics, ambient, and noise music spans over 20 years in a wide variety of projects.  I have been performing ambient and electro pieces since 2006 as Promute, using field recordings, homemade junk, homemade gadgets, and somple signal processors.  We appropriately borrowed from Jaynes the idea of the left-brain and right-brain working together to form a single output. We will be featuring a piece that consists of feedback mixing through contact mics, light signal processing, acoustic instruments, homemade gadgets, tape treatment, and sampling.
Cypress Rosewood
Cypress Rosewood in Second Life (SL) is Tony Gerber in “real life”, a space music artist with over 30 recordings available and various music scores for documentary films, most recently the planetarium show, "Nine Planets and Counting" in RL and a soundtrack to the SL science exhibit on "Nanotubes" at Nanotechnology Island.  His group, Spacecraft has scored music for films including "Vanilla Sky" starring Tom Cruise. They have performed live concerts in planetariums around the United States. In Second Life Cypress has been a pioneer of live space and ambient music. He has performed nearly 300 concerts of his special brand of music. His performances create aural vibrations that can aid healing and relaxation. Cypress has also developed a Space Music Museum alongside working on many groundbreaking performance projects in SL. He is also one of the primary designers for the first major music manufacturer on the SL grid, Gibson Music Instruments, building their "Gibson Island"  opened July 16th, 2008. He will talk about making music in the virtual world at his workshop presentation here at Electro Music 2008. He will also perform his magical music solo as he does in the virtual world with Cypress Rosewood and as a Spacecraft member.
Destroyifyer is a musician from Illinois who stresses absolute creative freedom. His music often sounds distant and sublime. Among the list of Destroyifyer's odd musical influences are architecture, industrial plant noise, dreams, occultism, warfare and geometry. Honoring music as a divine art form as opposed to a means for success, Destroyifyer crafted his sound with hundreds upon hundreds of songs before deciding to release music for the first time in 2006.
dRachEmUsiK is the most recent project by international, award winning  electronic musician, sound designer and producer Charles Shriner. The current sound of dRachEmUsiK has been described as Glitch-Groove  Elektronique with a touch of Ambient and Strong Modal Jazz Influence.   Simple melodies swirling in mixed tempos, and undulating textures.  Dense, erotic, evocative, emotional, spontaneous and sometimes noisy. dRachEmUsiK blends improvisation with structure and is performed in real-time. The music is fresh, innovative and eclectic while maintaining enough familiar elements to remain accessible without  compromising creative integrity. Instruments used in performance: Akai EWI 4000s, MacBook Pro, Ableton Live, Reaktor, Kontakt, Reason,  Cube, Terra, Peavy 1600, Behringer and Yamaha Foot Controllers.
Earthgirl is the musical persona of Jeannie Allen, an experimental electronic soundscaper based in Indianapolis, Indiana. She combines analog synthesizers, digital analog modeling, found sounds and field recordings to create a sense of traveling through space and time. Jeannie has always been inspired by musicians who use sound waves to evoke inner feelings and thoughts, and she continues to be inspired by all genres of electronic music. Jeannie is currently working on several ambient and electronica projects, with a focus on raising awareness for the needs of the earth and our fellow travelers here.
Electric Bird Noise
Electric Bird Noise started in 1997 as Brian McKenzie’s experiment with loops & effect pedals. Electric Bird Noise has become more refined over ten years of live shows & three albums (Unleashing the Inner Robot (1998), The Pace (2001), & fragile hearts… fragile minds (2007)) & become guitar & drum machine driven music. The guitar work is often multi-layered & incredibly dense, but not afraid to simultaneously go the minimal route of single notes. While it is music difficult to pigeonhole, the term “cinematic instrumental guitar music” is one that McKenzie has embraced. The music is not exclusively post rock, darkwave, shoegazer, or space rock; but involves elements of all four. Perhaps part of not being so simply defined is the geographic isolation of the deep south from any experimental or art rock scene; allowing the music to be more focused on personal expression than emulating anyone else’s sound. That said, clear nods are made within the music to Kraftwerk, the Cure, Depeche Mode, & Brian Eno. Recorded at his own studio, McKenzie showcases different elements of his music on fragile hearts...fragile minds. “Vestibule Transitoire” showcases a single guitar with loop & reverb in a twenty-six minute long ambient piece built for late night car rides. “We Share More Than My Father’s Last Name” is the first EBN song with vocals (sampled from Michael Wood of Something About Vampires And Sluts) & probably as close to a proper single as EBN will ever come. “Fall of The World Trade Center” on the other hand is minimalist piano & electronics with no guitar at all. Electric Bird Noise has played with bands like Attrition,System of a Down, Fear Factory,Hed Pe,Human Drama, Aarktica, Clang Quartet, Remora, Plumerai, & Bardo Pond giving crowds walls of light & smoke while delivering a larger than life sound from one guitar.

Everything and Nothing / Electro-Music 08 Festival Aug. 14-16
« on: June 24, 2008, 04:38:38 AM »

This is the 4th year for Electro-Music. This year it moves southward to Tennessee. Check the article above, and make sure you see the video from a past festival. Non-stop music performances. Also demos, workshops, and jams.  I hope some of you will be able to make it.

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / A nice video of the Moog Guitar
« on: June 05, 2008, 08:24:29 PM »
For the time being the video is on their front page.  Check out Lou Reed with the guitar.

Here are the specs:

Hopefully they will eventually make a cheaper version in the future.


There are shots of everybody in the Pics section.  What a great festival!

Jonathan will give a free concert this Sat at 11 Central on . I'm looking forward to it.

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