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Mark Fell is one of my favorite artists – his work is the right mix of comfortable and challenging, and his music is truly as good as his ideas about music! As a result, I end up listening to a lot of his work, from the SND material released by Mille Plateaux to his recent experiments with live musicians. I’ve also had the chance to speak with – an…
 
Carl Stone has been a huge influence on me – his work transported me from “Interested in that music tech stuff for making pop tunes” to “Let’s get serious!” His exploration into the nature of sampled sounds – and sampled/mashed/twisted tracks – took some of the ideas explored by Schaeffer, Cage, Reich and others, and gave them a whole new context. …
 
Jeff Rona has fascinated me ever since he first appeared in Keyboard Magazine with his “The Reel World” column. It was a time when music-for-film was becoming interesting for tech-savvy musicians, and his writing fueled a lot of people’s interest in that work. With a background that includes working with Mark Isham and Hans Zimmer, Jeff has been in…
 
Will Kuhn is well-known in the Ableton Live community. He pioneered the use of Ableton in the K-12 classroom, and recently released a new book: Electronic Music School: A Contemporary Approach to Teaching Musical Creativity. I was happy to corner him recently, and we had a great chat about his background, how he approaches teaching, and how he deve…
 
Luke Thornton, one of the three people that make up the band Elder Island, perfectly embodies the self-learning/DIY perspectives that are fueling the exciting edge of current music making. Outfitted with a studio full of interesting gear, a lineup of dedicated friends, and the time to focus on production, Elder Island is producing some gorgeous hou…
 
Lisa Bella Donna is somehow algorithmically connected to me – her work shows up consistently in my social media feeds, the sites that I read cover her work, and (of course) the music really speaks to me. So it’s kind of odd that it has taken so long to get her on the pod. Maybe it’s because she’s pretty laid back about her self-promotion, and maybe…
 
Tim Exile has been involved in the Music Tech world for a long time. As the developer of a number of effects and instruments for Native Instruments (including Flesh - https://www.native-instruments.com/en/products/komplete/synths/flesh/ and The Finger - https://www.native-instruments.com/en/products/komplete/effects/the-finger/), he became well-kno…
 
Recently, the Mute label reached out to me to see if I wanted to interview Alessandro Cortini, I had to chuckle a little to myself. Alessandro and I have had great conversations over the years, and I jumped at the opportunity to talk to him about his newest release: Scuro Chiaro. It’s an amazing work – added to an already amazing body of work. Of c…
 
I’ve been a synth-head for a very long time. As a result, I have these little personal dropping-off points of favorite bits of gear: Ensoniq ESQ-1, Roland JD-800, E-mu Proteus and Morpheus. So imagine my surprise when a recent parcel of Facebook paraded all of my favorite synths. And it was put out there by today’s guest – Drew Schlesinger – who wa…
 
Despite the fact that I feel like I’m ‘dialed in’ to everything going on in the MI (Music Instrument) industry, sometimes I just get whacked in the head by something unexpected. I got an out-of-the-blue contact from some people in Argentina; when I started digging into https://yaeltex.com/, I was kind of blown away by what I saw – a ‘make what you …
 
Gary Chang says it himself: “I've always portrayed myself an obscure electronic music composer, whose side gig is scoring Hollywood movies and tv shows.” I don’t think I could frame his work – or his attitude – any better. He takes an artist’s view of everything he does, whether it is his own music, the music he does for ultra-popular directors (li…
 
As the head of content development for Nonlinear Educating (the home of MacProVideo, Ask.Audio, Ask.Video and more…), Steve Horelick has been in the media tool education game for a long time. He’s had his eyes on music software since Logic was an Emagic product. But he also has a long history as a musician and sound designer, with some pretty impre…
 
KamranV is dedicated to new technology for music. From his work at Interscope New Media, through his work on the Phonocut vinyl lathe, Kamran is pushing envelopes at every turn. One of his on-groing projects is the QUARK plug-in system, which provides and easy-to-assemble toolkit for quad encoding and decoding of tracks. The stuff is ‘cooked’ enoug…
 
For my audience, Anthony Rolando probably needs no introduction. As the product designer at Make Noise Music, his work is found in almost every modular system you’ll run across. From his earliest designs (such as the Maths) to his latest (like the Morphagene), he’s helping to define the future of modular systems. Recently, Make Noise has come out w…
 
Phelan Kane is a force of nature – when he recently signed up for the Max Certified Trainer program, I got a chance to see him in teacher-action, and also got a sense of his writing and presentation styles. Wow! Adept at everything from cogent DSP explanations to crazy Max DSP external development, he blew me away with all of the stuff that he coul…
 
Yay! It finally came together! I’ve been working on getting James McCartney for a while, and it happened! And the chat was as good as I hoped – we got to completely geek out on music/audio programming discussions, he introduced me into a class of new instruments, we talked about the past and the future… It’s what makes this podcast so awesome to pr…
 
Joshua Hodge is someone that is dedicated – dedicated to helping people learn to do what they love. Oh, and to get a job, too! His project – The Audio Programmer (theaudioprogrammer.com) is a central location for learning about how to become an audio programmer, and it combines his passion for music with his love of programming, and teaching. In ou…
 
If you listen to any of the music that I do, you have seen the name of this week’s guest: Taylor Deupree. He is a mastering engineer extraordinaire, but he is also an amazing artist and collaborator, as well as running the 12k label. But for all of this work, Taylor is amazingly laid back, and our discussion was fantastically chilled. During our ta…
 
I doubt that I have to introduce Andrew Huang. His online entries are a strong contender for “YouTube Channel Most Responsible For Music-Making Coolness” (https://www.youtube.com/andrewhuang), and he simultaneously does tutorials, gear demos and production technique tricks/tips. This is one of the few people that I’ve interviewed that all of my kid…
 
Dr. Cecilia Suhr is an amazing individual: academic, performer, installation artist, painter, recording musician – she’s found herself in the midst of so many artforms. When one of my listeners pointed her work out to me, I was fascinated by the breadth of the work – but also the focus on interactivity, and the ‘honoring of the audience’. Whether i…
 
Tlacael Esparza was introduced to me by my friend Dave Hill Jr. – he pointed to Esparza’s Sensory Percussion as an example of the new electronic music instrument industry. This system (which you can check out at https://sunhou.se/) uses a sensitive microphone, combined with bleeding-edge machine learning software, to map a drumhead into multiple pl…
 
Rachel Palmer is originally from my neck of the woods – the Minneapolis area. But she’s now in Cologne, expanding her visuals-for-music practice, and – germane to this interview – promoting her new music release: Antecedent, on Modularfield Records (https://modularfield.io/rachel-palmer-antecedent). It was just released on November 27th, but I had …
 
I was first drawn into the music. The album “Pineapple”, by Grand River, has been part of my playlist for a while, and has embedded itself into my subconscious. The concept behind the One Instrument label jumped out at me, and I was intrigued by everything that I heard. When I reached out about the label, I was blown away to know that I’d be talkin…
 
One of the most enduring record series from the late 90’s and early 00’s is Pole’s 1/2/3 combo. These albums turned people’s heads when they were released, and remain often-mentioned favorites of the introspective ambient/glitch world. Stefan Betke – aka Pole – has just released a new album, Fading (http://mute.com/mute/has-announced-the-brand-new-…
 
In this second of two interview sessions, we talk with Ned Lagin about the compositional process behind his work (including echoes of Renaissance music), his Seastones collaborators, the ups and downs of the Seastones release(s) and his subsequent technical career. Ned Lagin is legendary. As a former performer with the Grateful Dead, he toured with…
 
Ned Lagin is legendary. As a former performer with the Grateful Dead, he toured with a crazy rig that featured both standard keyboards as well as an E-mu modular controlled by a computer system. During the early 70’s (http://spiritcats.com/nedbase.html). Yeah. He also produced an amazing work, called Seastones, that is a ground-breaking electronic …
 
Jean-Baptiste Thiebaut is someone I have had the chance to work with at Cycling, and has been on an amazing journey. JB’s background is quite amazing, combining a background in computer science with advanced research in computer-aided composition. He then entered the MI industry – working at Novation/Focusrite in product development, then directing…
 
As one of the founding members of the band Can, Irmin Schmidt left a permanent mark on the world of music. Since Can’s breakup, Irmin has left his mark on film music, having been credited as composer on more than 40 films and TV shows. Recently, he has released two albums on Mute Records featuring solo prepared piano work, with “Nocturne: Live at t…
 
I'd heard about the artist Strategy from Portland friends in the past, and always appreciated the subtle complexity that threaded throughout his work. When Joshua Clayton opened the door to speak with Paul Dickow - Strategy - I was excited to take the chance. As I prepared for the talk, I was surprised by the number of projects that Paul was involv…
 
Scott Lawlor reached out to me to start a conversation, and after hearing his story, I was anxious to get his story on the podcast. He is part of numerous collaborations, does live performances (including his "isolation concerts" during this COVID lockdown) - but my bell was rung when he mentioned that he'd done around 250 releases. 250 releases! I…
 
I first got to know Ned Rush through some glitch-based sample packs that he made available - a long time ago. He's continued creating - making sample sets, music releases and Max for Live devices, and has also been making interesting videos on his YouTube channel. Now, he's started a remote weekly performance series called "More Kicks Than Friends"…
 
When I first got clued into the A-Mint system, I was very curious: I've not been 'entranced' by AI and ML systems for music, and I tend to be kind of skeptical. But some of the video and audio examples I heard of Alex Braga's A-Mint were quite surprising - especially in their realtime use with other performers. This is something that caught my atte…
 
Roger Neill is living a pretty charmed life. Working on film, TV and game music, he is able to dive deep into music of all styles, and create extended storytelling by working with directors of films like Valley Girl, 20th Century Women and TV work like JJ Villard's Fairy Tales. All of this requires the depth of knowledge that comes from getting an …
 
I love it when I get suggestions from my listeners for something to research. Hearing about "acreil" - and tracking this down to Scott Nordlund - was a lot of fun, mainly because the starting point was on Bandcamp, and his music is so good. I'd learned that he was deep into working with Pure Data, and he had a great collection of releases, so I was…
 
I try not to reveal my super-fandom very often, but Robin Rimbaud (aka Skanner) maps to a critical time in my life. Back when he was putting out the early Scanner stuff, my ears were opening to more adventurous electronic work, and his efforts slammed directly into my interests. I've been a fan ever since, and was blown away to get to talk with him…
 
Talk about a career! Stephan Schmitt started his journey into audio development by making noisy object as a kid, then got into electrical engineering to work on large format consoles (which is where he took on software...), then co-founded Native Instruments, creating Generator/Reaktor. After years with NI (including the development of Spark, Skann…
 
I'm always encouraged when I hear about academics that are battle tested in industry in some way. Doug Bielmeier, a professor at Northeastern University, has that - Doctorate in Education, but also time in a DC-area hip hop studio, and time banging out track in Nashville, Doug has the background that brings weight to his music industry teaching. He…
 
How does a saxophonist become a modular synth head? How does a serial collaborator put out his first solo album? And how does anyone get roped into doing a see-all video like the amazing Surfacing (https://vimeo.com/346031783) film? We learn the answer to these questions - and many more- in this episode with the amazing Ben Carey. From his solo mod…
 
Whether you are talking the Broken20 label, TVO music releases, the Further_in virtual festival or installations under his own name, you would have to admit that Ruaridh Law is dedicated. He's a self-described 'finisher', but also has a head full of ideas, so he's in constant motion. With Further_in in full swing, upcoming releases for the label an…
 
In a way, Jesse Stiles has a career I can really envy. Studying with Pauline Oliveros, traveling India while sitting in on music school classes, working with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company and teaching at Carnegie Mellon. Huh - sounds pretty great, eh? Combine that with an active performing and recording schedule, work on sound art installation…
 
There are lots of conferences that come along - and move along - without making a dent on anyone's attention. Thorsten Sideboard's Algorithmic Art Assembly is *not* one of those; it's first outing, last year, was one of the buzziest conferences I'd heard about. Now with the pandemic, conferences are a little out-of-bounds, but talking with Thorsten…
 
I'm not sure where you go to learn about music industry activities, but I'll bet that CDM (Create Digital Music) - https://cdm.link/ - is one of those places. Run by Peter Kirn, CDM provides long-form narratives on music creation, tools and projects. It's well-managed, and is part of my daily reading routine - and possibly yours, too. So with its c…
 
As I mention at the beginning of the podcast, I feel like I've know Laura Escudé for most of the time that I've spend in the MI industry. She was there in the early days of my NAMM days as one of the demo masters in the Ableton booth. Later, I started seeing her working on live shows around the world, speaking to Laura's professional bona fides. Ev…
 
There are a few record labels that capture my attention and keep it. One of these is Important Records - not because I'm a get-every-release fanboy, but rather because, when I find myself in a great record store, I'll often find myself picking up Imprec releases. There's just something about the artists, the design and the clear quality that speaks…
 
When one of the listeners suggested Omri Cohen for an interview, I had to do a little research. And 'a little' is key - one quick search on YouTube made it clear that this was someone I'd want to talk to. And once we started chatting, we got on a roll - Omri is a great cat, and is so open to sharing, that we got on like brothers. Whether it's talki…
 
I'm on the receiving end of a lot of interesting PR blasts, including those from Mute Records. I received a note about A Quiet Corner In Time, a collaboration between sound artist Simon Fisher Turner and ceramicist Edmund de Waal. This was a curious enough project 'statement' that I had to check it out - and I was charmed. It's a beautiful work wit…
 
Philippe Petit is a whirlwind! He's produced a ton of recordings - and many of them are collaborations, some of them with surprising collaborators (Lydia Lunch and Cosey Fanni Tutti, for example). I describe him as 'fearless' in his approach to music creation: he's willing to use whatever tool is at hand, and dive in 110%. Lately, his main tool has…
 
I got to know Andrea Mazzariello fairly soon after I moved to Northfield Minnesota. I saw him perform his one-man performance project at a local theater, and hung around after to talk. Things led to other things, and we started talking about Max, playing drone bits in his basement and more. This podcast was prodded into action by a release party fo…
 
Robert Rich is one of my favorite musicians in the world, and I'm always happy for the opportunity to have a chat with him. With his current efforts - working with Paul Schreiber of Synthesis Technology - in developing on a new effects platform, it seemed like a chance to talk to my friend about something that is somewhat different. In this case, w…
 
I'm very happy to offer this interview. Matt Black has been at the front lines of a lot of efforts: early cut-up based dance tracks as Coldcut (if you don't know it, you've *got* to check out Doctorin' The House...), some ground-breaking software development to support their live shows (both audio and visuals) and the development of Ninja Jamm and …
 
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