Mohr-Fire Studios... meet The Ira Liss Show


The Ira Liss Show
One of my favorite things to do is visit different recording studios and drool (not literally) over all of the channels, preamps, and routing options each studio puts together.  So when I found out my friend Ira Liss would be doing a live studio session, I was very excited to come hear the music and check out the space.  Located in Lafayette, CO, Mohr-Fire Studios was the perfect environment for this intimate concert with Ira, whose style is comedic and witty.

The Ira Liss Show is a combination of Ira's music and poetry slammed into a quirky piano-bar style that is both humorous and witty.  His songs are introspective and are centered around lyrics such as "If it weren't for Adam and Eve" or "...I'd rather be pissed".  His timing and writing are brilliantly intertwined, providing an entertaining show for everyone (mostly adult audiences however).  Ira seems to like to sing about sex a lot, including sex with dinosaurs...  just to give you a glimpse into his sense of humor.  His songs are designed to speak to all of humanity, touching on the topics of God and human existence.  At the same time, his lyrics are filled with puns and word play.  This unique combination creates an exciting, new type of musical entertainment that is rare to find in this day and age.


Sept. Sixth - Nathan Wheeler's performance memoir

Nate's harmonium, laptop, and found objects
This was the first show in the Black Box that I had a chance to see as an audience member.  That being said, I'm really glad it was my good friend Nathan Wheeler's performance piece about the loss of his childhood home in the Four Mile Canyon fire on September Sixth, 2010.  I knew going in that this would be an emotional and powerful piece, and indeed it was.  The Daily Camera did a great review of the work that tells more about the background of the piece.  Nate describes the performance as the progression of his emotional processes.  He used the show for catharsis, as well as to make a product to give back to the community that supported him throughout the ordeal.


DIY is easier when you actually have time to do it yourself...

Customized Electronic Music-Stand
So a tremendous advantage to existing in this liminal period between graduation and the 'real world' is the amount of time I've had to work on projects that I want to do.  Before graduation, I had 8 posts to my blog over the course of two years.  Now, after backBlogging, and with the work I've done this year (17 posts in January so far) I have officially made it to 50 posts (actually the most recent post was #50, but who besides me is really counting?).  Another advantage of all this time is that I've been able to tackle some DIY projects I had been putting off.

Electronic Music-Stand:
Front of Hardware

I have a customized music stand that I made some time back (featured in my article on Scoring for Film).  Instead of just being a music stand, I added some hardware that I harvested from an old flatscreen monitor.  This lets me mount it to the stand.  The clever part of all of this is that there is a release button on the backside of the monitor that would normally be blocked off.  So I drilled a hole for the button so that it can be pushed from the other side of the stand. (Notice I did a lot better job the second time). I can then see what is on my computer screen without being hunched over a laptop... very convenient.  However, when I first built it, I placed it to far off to one side, and the whole stand was very unstable, sometimes threatening to fall over onto some of my other instruments.  


An interesting night at the Mercury Cafe... Janet Feder and EJ?

Janet - Bulb Zoom
Had a really interesting night at the Mercury Cafe in Denver.  I was there to see Janet Feder perform... she's a fellow member of blOrk, and a good friend of mine.  She will be performing in Nate Wheelers show, September Sixth, tonight and tomorrow (01.28/29) alongside Mark McCoin, Michael Theodore, and Curtis Broome.  Also, as part of my resolve to actually use my camera more... I brought it to the cafe to document the concert.  Didn't really think this would be interesting at all, but the universe works in mysterious ways...

I arrived a little early and was disappointed that Janet wasn't there yet... I forgot that she of course had rehearsal for Nate's show.  After grabbing a beer and looking for a good seat, I saw an elderly gentleman at a table and asked to share his table, as it was in a prime location.  I did a double take when he told me, "My name is EJ".  I had found another EJ in the world!  Turns out that Janet and EJ are friends from many years ago, so naturally, I grabbed a picture or two to email to them later.  By the way, EJ is part of a Glacier franchise and caters parties...  oh, and he also works as a professional wine pairer, or as he likes to say the Director of Happiness.

EJ and Janet


Get ready for CMKY11 !

Only 6 weeks till Communikey11!

For those of you who don't know... Communikey is Boulder's yearly electronic art and music festival, and this is our fourth year!  Right now were looking for volunteers for all kinds of different things.  I'm helping out with transportation, so if you want to volunteer to get a free festival pass, click here.

A few of the acts slated to perform at the 4th edition of the Communikey Festival include:

-Ableton developer MONOLAKE 
- MARK MCGUIRE of Emeralds
- DARK DARK DARK performing as themselves and to the film FLOOD TIDE REMIXED 
-Detroit legend MIKE HUCKABY 
-Zizek Record’s CHANCHA VIA CIRCUITO and label head EL G, the audio responsive dynamic lighting installation of AUDIOPIXEL 
-tape loop artist WILLIAM BASINSKI 
-The Bunker’s mastermind returning for a 3rd appearance, SPINOZA
-and my personal favorite GAMELATRON - a fully robotic Gamelan Orchestra!

Of course there will be more to come!  So to whet you're appetite and encourage you to click on the volunteer form... I've attached some pictures from last years festival after the break... Enjoy!


The Arc... and The Future of Music Controllers

monome.org - The Arc  
So, one of the things that I like (but also one of the things that scares me) about technology is how quickly the hardware and software we use changes.  There are many approaches to address this problem, and one is to read as much as possible about what is on the cutting edge.  Recently, on createdigitalmotion.com they featured a new digital music controller made by the same folks at monome


Prepare for LED madness!

So I'm working on an art installation for the communikey11 festival in collaboration with my friend Meg.  It involves lots of LEDs responding to audio.  I'll have more info soon, but you can read about it in this blog in the meantime.

But since were talking about LEDs... here is a project from a little while back.  It is a digital flower using a tri-colored LED to project onto a drawing of a flower.  Coded in MAX/MSP and communication through Arduino.

Tri-LED Flower from EJ Posselius.


C3 showcase at DU

LED globes
I was unexpectedly invited to a new media showcase at the new Digital Media Studies and Electronic Arts, Media, and Design center at the University of Denver.  These are two degrees the university offers.  Their new center "C3" (Center for Creation and Collaboration) had just recently been finished and this was the inaugural gallery event.  I didn't know exactly what kind of work I'd be seeing, other than the work of students and instructors of the various programs.  I was invited by Synthia Payne who might possibly be teaching a Digital Audio and Telematic Music course next semester (if you're intrested, email her).


Playing with cellphone vibrators

Here are some rhythmic experiments with the tiny motors used in cellphone vibrators.  They bounce if you hold them just right.  They're fun, but everything really depends on the quality of the material you're using it against.

In one scene I'm running way too much voltage through a cellphone vibrator. At one point, it broke... not from too much power, but from bouncing so hard the cable snapped.

There's some pretty cool musical things you can do with these... plus they cost like 89 cents. 

Nature by Numbers by Cristóbal Vila

Even if you don't understand the math behind this, the visuals are incredible.  It's amazing how much math there is in nature.  Read more from the artist here.


One of my very first UX designs from 2007

I found this while reworking some of my portfolio things.  I built it in flash... this is probably one of the first user experience things I ever created.   And boy is it crappy... but the loops are fun!

Loops created using the RC20-XL Loop Pedal during 2007:


Balinese Gamelan Documentary

Here is a copy of a short documentary I helped make this past fall. It was created for a course on ritual and media at the University of Colorado, Boulder. It documents the 2010, November 7th Gamelan performance at IMIG music center.

Gamelan is the "why" of life, it is as important as food. I Made Lasmawan instructs the group as well as many other gamelans across Colorado and the US. This film was made in iMovie for simplicity and in collaboration with a group.

Check out the other documentary I made this year The 1996 Ute Mountain Ute Bear Dance.

Obligatory Nightime Exposure


So long exposure shots at night are bread and butter for photography... for whatever reason.  This is a new take on the concept; these are exposure shots from an airplane of the city and runway lights at dusk.  You can click on the pictures for more detail.  Of course I turned off all electronics before takeoff...

Going up?


The Latchkey Kids lost album

Back in high school, me and my (still good) friends started a music project called the "Latchkey Kids".  We wrote a bunch of songs and played at a few venues, but we never did the serious recording we wanted to do.  We tried to organize sessions, but sometimes, its just hard to get it done.  Fortunately, our very first (acceptable) recordings turned out pretty good, if I say so myself.  They were tracked on a Boss BR-1180 before any of us knew what we were doing.  Anyways, have a listen... leave a comment (you can do it on the media player!)... Enjoy!

The songs we never finished... I think they still sound pretty good.

EJ Posselius - Guitar, Bass, Percussion, Piano
Mike Bedard - Guitar, Songwriting
Charlie Ballas - Guitar, Organ, Percussion
Jon Swihart - Guitar, Percussion
Carly Smith - Vocals (LnC)
Laura Stratton - Guitar/Vocals (LnC)

I also added a soundclip to Narcissus, a really interesting flute and electronics piece.

Audio for Narcissus

There is a lot more information about this performance in the original post.


Scoring for Film

Instead of adding this back to the Long Neck Big Heart post, I decided to make a new post about scoring for film.  During the performance, there is a stop-motion video that required music.  As the sound-designer for the show, I decided to try my hand at it.  There are many challenges to scoring for film.  You really have to understand what the picture is saying, and putting that to music is difficult.  This short piece is a dream about a man and his relationship with his blue robe.

The Beast of Dreams from EJ Posselius.


New Blog Direction for 2011

So I haven't been using this blog very effectively. I haven't been updating posts on time, and haven't been devoting enough time to my own projects. That said, I'm going to start posting more of my work in this blog on a frequent basis. (cross fingers). I signed up for a Vimeo account that allows 500 mb/week of video upload. So one of my goals is to meet that limit with quality video projects. I'll also be working on rounding out my portfolio, including adding more media to this blog.

Additionally, I'm going to experiment with sharing interesting articles and books I discover. Hopefully I can share some of the resources I've been able to take advantage of. Of course, I'll continue to talk about events and performances that I attend and am a part of.  I've also added a lot of media to past posts, so it may be worth going back to watch some videos, see some pictures, and listen to some samples.

Here's a little sample of more to come:

Energy Force from EJ Posselius.