LUIGI MARINO

musician

November sessions (2017)

For digital synth and interactive system


This is a series of improvisations, open in number and duration, but with a fixed and clean interactive dynamic: i play a mono digital synth designed to be quickly reactive to my spontaneous gestures, whereas an interactive system analyzes the sound produced by the synth, and provides a slower and more tangential response.
The approach to the digital synth follows the practical dynamics of instrumental improvisation. Its vocabulay isn't developed through abstract top-down formalization, but through continuous practice and memory. The behaviour of the digital synth is perfeclty controllable in some cases, but it also involves plenty of techniques aimed to create emerget behaviour. Thus, its character is often unstable, flickering, and the performative gestures attempt an intuitive organizaion of a material that is mostly irrational in its premises. The sound of the digital synth is analyzed with an FFT, which is used to generate a slow moving drone in the background.

These recordings are named after the day they were played. They are mostly mono, and there is no post editing: once they are played they are selected or discarded with the rule of thumb and posted exactly as they are perfromed. There is some ambience and stereo imaging for a more natural headphone listening, but they do not check many boxes in terms of production standard. Derek Bailey thought that "recording devices such as reduction, 'presence', compression limiting, filtering and stereo picture, usually serve only to fillet out or disturb important elements." The computer here follows the instrumental practice and there is no reason to treat it differently from another instrument.
The goal isn't the quality of the production, but a satisfying daily practice, where the density of ideas is normalized, and the possibility to over-rationalize is cut at the source. The quantity of the output and the quick creative process don't allow these factors to play a significant role, but encourage emergence, and the reflection about the possibility to use the computer to channel a daily and less mediated flux of consciousness.

This attempt mostly failed because the digital instrumet I developed didn't allow me to improvise everyday and find material I liked for more than a couple of weeks.