My music falls between the extremes of noise and free improvisation using my custom software instruments, and electroacoustic work composed in a studio context.
Here you can find excerpts for things that are released elsewhere, works in progress, and unedited live outtakes. Please see the projects
section for video documentation of performances and installations.
Doug Van Nort and Al Margolis: Live from DLI (Zeromoon, 2011)
This album is a live, unedited recording of an improvised session at the Deep Listening Institute in Kingston, NY on September 21, 2011.
For this duo project, the musicians utilize acoustic materials and capture/transform one another's sound in an endless loop. Both use digital means; Van Nort tends to favor sculpting/stretching from small sound fragments, while Margolis often likes to make collages out of larger sound segments.
Quartet for the end of Space (Pogus, 2011)
A new composition/improvisation project, this quartet convened for two improvisational sessions between February and May of 2010, with Lopez sitting in on a Triple Point recording session and bringing his finely crafted sonic objects-as-instruments, further spanning the electro-acoustic divide that has become Triple Point's calling. The four later re-formed for their debut concert at the Deep Listening Institute in Kingston, NY in September of 2010. These sessions have since become raw material for the individual artists to construct new visions of this shared sonic body through extensive and thorough evolution of the recordings - personal reflections culled from a collective tapestry. This release contains compositions spanning this process. This release may be purchased directly from me - please email me
Sounds Like Now: Improvisation + Technology (MIT Press, 2010)
The 2010 Leonardo Music Journal CD compilation was curated by Tara Rodgers
, and focused on the theme of improvisation with technology. My offering was from two improvisatory explorations of the Gasholder building in Troy, NY. This building, which used to house coal gas, possesses exceptionally idiosyncratic acoustic qualities. In addition to long reverberation, the space presents a variety of sonic effects depending on one's perspective in the space---from phasing to moving slapback echoes and odd filtering. In November 2009 I set out to deeply engage with this space by setting up an array of six microphones at varying distances and placements. I pointed a speaker at this array and proceeded to improvise with my GREIS performance system, with a focus on drawing out out the sound material's inner details---while capturing past sound through a series of feedback delay lines. Beginning with one sound file, I captured the input to the distant microphones as source material and created a feedback looping within the space that mixed each of these alien points in space. This created a situation in which I was improvising within two complex systems---one acoustic and one digital---that each had their own memory and character embedded within the sound field.
The first excerpt is based on a short, high glissando from a violin, which I chose in order to explore the spectral response of the space at the various locations, allowing them to return to me in order to be stretched, scrubbed and transposed. These different tectonic, spectral slabs can be heard to move in the recording, and the gritty dusty floor of the building can be heard within the digital scrub-artifacts that resulted from pieces of dirt obstructing my long, slow Wacom tablet gestures. The second excerpt is based on a short sample of crackling fire embers, which I chose in order to probe the transient response of the space, listening to the different rhythms and articulations that the spatial points added as I looped and mixed the various sources into different modulating delay lines that effectively present a mixture of acoustic effects. At points this sounds like an update on Xenakis's Concret PH, moving toward a more structured and human-shaped experience near the end---a transfer of control from acoustic to musical space. For both excerpts, I attempted to preserve the spatial character of the experience by panning each recorded microphone channel across the stereo spread in the same configuration as they were aligned in the space. The direct source is panned all the way to the left, resulting in moments of hard panning that can then be heard to move "across" the space
duo with Ben Miller (live, 2010)
In May 2010 I met up for the first time with Ben Miller
. A completely improvised duo - me on GREIS and he on his multiphonic guitar setup - at the Albany Sonic Arts Collective series in Albany, NY. Here is an excerpt, recorded on a hand-held H2 placed on the floor. Nothing like being there of course, but it gives its own unique window into this well-received and generally intense performance.
Triple Point featuring Stuart Dempster - Sound Shadows (Deep Listening, 2009)
Triple Point is a trio comprised of Pauline Oliveros (digital accordion), Jonas Braasch (saxophone) and myself (greis). I capture and transform the "acoustic" players on the fly as we three continuously trade sound and gesture. Sometimes source and cause are obvious while other times they are not without careful listening - this is just the sort of interplay we are after as we move between noise and tone, acoustics and electronics. As this is my personal sound website, I chose excerpts where I am very active in the mix. Featured on this recording is Stuart Dempster on trombone, didjeridu, bells and whistles. Pauline also uses her EIS system on the first track. Purchase at the iTunes music store
for a mere $6.
Listening for Music through Community (MIT Press, 2009)
The Leonardo Music Journal CD for 2009 was curated by Pauline Oliveros and focused on works from the Deep Listening community, that reflect the practices of D.L. and said community in a variety of ways. My offering was from a recording of my very first Genetic Orchestra laptop ensemble piece. Follow link for more information and the liner notes.
Exploring the Gasholder, with Tintinnabulate (2009)
In fall 2009, I conducted a space exploration and feedback experiment in the Gasholder building in Troy, NY - well known for its acoustics that produce not only long reverb times but odd phasing effects as one traverses the space. I set up various microphones around this open building and fed this audio back into my greis system, which was then sent back out into the space. I probed the room with sine sweeps, noise and percussive sounds, and encouraged the Tintinnabulate ensemble to slowly fade in and help me excite the feedback loop, playing within this. Maude Hickey, who was our guest for the day, walked around the space with handheld recorder (she can be heard announcing her position at several points).
iEAR PIX (EMPAC, 2008)
For the EMPAC grand opening, the iEAR department of electronic arts sought out media works from faculty, alumni and visiting artists. I contributed an excerpt from a live performance I had done at the Society of Art and Technology in Montreal called "Espace Sono". It was presented in 8.1 with other several other performers on the bill. This excerpt comes from the third movement. I would recommend maybe listening to the end of the second movement (below) first. Last time I checked you could buy this from EMPAC or iEAR for $10.
with Chris Chafe and Jonas Braasch (2008)
During our weekly improvisation sessions, Triple Point often meets with other artists "telematically", and no one more frequently than Chris Chafe, the excellent performer of his own custom-built celleto. This is an excerpt of Chris, Jonas and myself when Chris was in residency at the Banff Arts Centre. As with Triple Point, I captured Jonas' saxophone and Chris' celleto to create new textures and gestures -- resulting in a subtle blend of acoustics/electronics at some points and a wild variation at others.
Live at Espace Sono @ [sat] - end of 2nd movement (2007)
From a live performance I had done at the Society of Art and Technology in Montreal called "Espace Sono". It was presented in 8.1 on a bill including o.blaat, Martin Tetrault, Martijn Tellinga and Nathan McNinch. This excerpt comes from the end of the second movement. It was really designed for 8 channels, but I think that you might get a sense of the "spatial textures" I was creating by listening to the stereo mixdown in headphones.
HMMM Remix Compilation (le-son 666, 2007)
Sound artist Kathy Kennedy invited a group of composers and sound artists to construct pieces based on a recording from one of her regularly-held humming workshops. For my piece, Imbalance, I first improvise with the source material using greis and later sculpt this output using my favorite spectral and temporal transformation methods, letting the form emerge from this process. I later constructed a new multi-channel version (Imbalance 2009) for a sonic installation at the school of architecture at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Please contact me if you would like to purchase this compilation, as I have a new batch of copies at the time of this writing.
realistic voice (live outtakes, 2007 and Vox Novus, 2010)
Another instrument/system I like to utilize is a pair of cheap realistic DJ mixers with the output fed back into the inputs in various cross-configurations. I also tend to place an insensitive dynamic microphone in the path so that it acts as a trigger -- often the feedback will hover just below a threshold and my voice will both feed into and modulate the mix as well as excite the chain of events, so to speak. Often I will then work with my greis system in tandem. Here are two short excerpts from a live set at cafe esperanza in Montreal (now known as the hipster haven le Cagibi) that I have dubbed espereptic, and one odd minimal experiment in loops and stretching that I enjoy for its use of voice as the prime instrument/control mechanism -- at points this can be heard while other times the resultant timbre sounds like system feedback noise. Be forewarned that listening to all of this third piece at high volume might cause a headache.
Klanghausen (.microsound, 2002)
I created a piece (as "dvnt") for the microsound project Klanghausen, which solicited works created from a single impulse file (i.e. a "click"). It was done over the course of a day or two, and was the first time I attempted such an approach - hence my first impulse study. I have since made this an assignment whenever I teach courses in digital audio production.
phonography.org: compositions using field recordings 1 (and/oar, 2002)
prelude:storm (2:16 excerpt)
Dale Lloyd from and/oar solicited pieces from the Phonography group of field recording enthusiast. This was the first in their publication series that focused on compositions derived from field recorded material. The two sources are a long walk around Albany, NY that ended in a rainstorm, and the fourth of July in Cambridge/Boston. I created prelude:storm in July 2002 - an early digital piece for me. I believe this collection is sold out, but I have a few copies that you can purchase from me if you are interested.