mattias petersson – composer

codespira1 live setup

composition, gigs, modular, supercollider

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Last wednesday i played live as codespira1, an alias i use when making more beat based stuff. Here’s a recording from this gig:

 

This was the first test with a new setup consisting of my small Buchla Skylab system controlled by a sequencer patch written in SuperCollider. I really like the idea of a hybrid instrument with digital and analog control of both digital and analog sound sources. Previously i’ve made some performances involving a eurorack modular system controlled from my soundcard by connecting an ADAT expansion that has DC coupled outputs (i.e. allows for sending control voltage). My first version used a  Marian Adcon, modified with an op-amp circuit to get the correct voltages and an added mini jack patch panel for easy interaction within the modular. All fitted inside a Doepfer portable case together with a desecrated Nord Modular G2 Engine for massive modular power. You can check out some pictures of this case on my Flickr. Nowadays i use the fabulous Expert Sleepers modules ES-3 and ES-6 instead for the same things.

While this was (and still is) a very nice system it has some obvious drawbacks for live performance:

1. As any completely analog modular, it has no ability to save stuff. Of course this is often a very nice thing, and indeed one of the main reasons why i want to use modulars at all. But if  you want to perform something that’s more or less composed and should be predictable, you usually need a really long soundcheck to get everything right. And that’s not always possible and causes a lot of stress.

2. The G2 Engine is a very nice virtual modular synth, but it has no visual indication at all on the front. You will always need your laptop to be able to check what’s going on, which patch resides in which slot etc. For me, that tends to limit the way i use it.

3. The case is also quite heavy dragging around.

The Buchla addresses some of those issues since all the 200e modules are digitally controlled and has the ability to store presets. It also weighs less and provides a lot of modular power on a small surface, since Buchla modules in general are very versatile and deep. My current system consist of the 225e MIDI/Preset manager, 266e Source of Uncertainty, 281e Quad Fnnction Generator, 292e Quad Lowpass Gate, 207e Mixer, 261e Complex Waveform Generator, 259e Twisted Waveform Generator, 291e Triple Morphing Filter, the 258v by Mark Verbos and  an FS-1H Haible Frequency Shifter.

I’ve been working on my own take on The Ultimate Sequencing Solution (heh..) for several years, stubbornly refusing to use things like Numerology and Ableton Live for no apparent reason at all, besides i like to code things myself. First i worked in Max and later in SuperCollider. My current version is called Rasterfeld and has 8 channels of complex sequencing possibilities. Each channel can have an arbitrary number of steps and i can select from different reading modes like ‘forward’, ‘backward’, ‘pendulum’, ‘bounce’, ‘random’, ‘klee’ etc. Besides trigging a sample or a synth global to the channel, each step can also trig a local sample buffer, midi event, meta event (like resetting/offsetting another channel etc.)  and/or synth. Every single trigger also has its own probability value that allows for constantly varying patterns. Each channel can also have up to 4 different effects, with individual sends per sequencer step. When performing i normally use a Monome 256 and an iPad running Lemur to control it.

For the live performance i also have a Korg Kaoss Pad 3, which i really like for its “directness”, i have an Eventide Space for adding different kinds of reverb to the Buchla, and a small Mackie 802VLZ mixer that everything passes through. So, this is what my rig looked like this time:

codespira1setup140212

codespira1setup140212

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A nice surprise in the mail.

composition

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Last week i received a very nice surprise in the mail when i got home. I am awarded the Carin Malmlöf-Forsslings composer prize! Awesome. Thanks a lot to The Royal Swedish Academy of Music.

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Hästars anatomi

composition

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Yesterday we had the premiere of a new piece called “Hästars anatomi” (Anatomy of horses). It’s a piece by me and Annika Nyman for 3 actors (Cecilia Larsson, Natalie Sundelin and Rasmus Luthander) and live-electronics musician (myself).
Annika’s brilliant text is about sport as a way to control and tame the parts of our nature and biology that doesn’t fit into our common ideals of civilization. It’s a story about the attempt to surpress violence by exposing the concept of violence.

All the sound material for the piece was made on a Buchla modular system, except for some treated voice sounds. Usually when working with sound material for my music, I tend to favor sounds that are abstract and not very mimetic. However while working with the piece i wanted to explore and actively work with all the associations that immidiately kicks in while playing a certain sound together with spoken words. I find it fascinating that the same sound could be associated with horses breathing in one context, and in another it could turn your mind to cars driving on a freeway.

Both the actors and me relates to a strict score while performing the piece. The actors gets their lines from an mp3-player, and I follow and interact with them via a written score, performed on a Synderphonics Manta controlling a SuperCollider patch. While rehearsing, we worked a lot without the mp3 players to develop the interaction within the ensemble. For me it felt a lot like playing with free impro musicians, and the fascinating thing was that when returning to the score and the mp3 players, some very interesting things had happened with the way we played together.

Rehearsing actually works. Believe it or not..

 

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Anfasia premiere is coming up!

composition, supercollider

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After an intense rehearsal period my new electronic opera Anfasia will be premiered next Saturday, on September 1, 2012. There are obviously some very important rehearsals during the coming week, but the ensemble is fantastic to work with so I’m as cool as one can be one week before a premiere… Right now I’m struggling with some technical details that needs solving. Since the concept and libretto by Hedvig Jalhed, is based on role play, the audience can take active part in the performance, and they can even affect the way things turn out, both dramaturgically and musically. Some scenes also consists of parallel action in different rooms. That means that the audience won’t see everything going on in Anfasia. Or put in another way: they will experience different things. Of course this was a challenge for me as a composer to work with. Being a control freak, I couldn’t really hand over the musical experience to chance, so I tried to create a polyphonic score that could fit both rooms. That way the audience will experience pretty much the same musical functions and drama, but with different action.

The ensemble consists of me playing live-electronics and Pascal Jardry and John Viklund from the electric guitar ensemble KROCK plays electric guitars. And of course the amazing singers Agnes Wästfelt, Karin Andersson, Hedvig JalhedJohn Kinell, David Hornwall.

All of the electronic parts was made in SuperCollider, using the awesome pattern system. The basis for the score was also generated in SC, and then edited in Sibelius. I learned a lot about algorithmic composing using an object oriented language during this process, so this will definitely lead to new ways of working and new music in the future.

It was also quite fun to work with text, voices and melodic lines for a change. It’s been a while since last time.

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The Echophon and Z-DSP

modular

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Here’s my first test with the Soundhack Echophon by MakeNoise and the Broken Silicon Error codes #1 card for the TipTop Audio Z-DSP. A Cwejman BLD and a MakeNoise Wogglebug is also involved. An improvised drone, recorded in one take.

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The ultimate euro-skiff for a Buchla

modular

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Lately I’ve been trying to figure out the ultimate set of modules that should go into my Monorocket Skiff. What I want is to have something that could extend my Buchla’s sonic capabilities. There are some modules that I definitely want in there, like the MakeNoise Echophon and the Z-DSP by TipTop Audio. Besides doing things not possible with Buchla modules, these two are very flexible and a lot of sonic power in a skiff.

What else to put in this skiff is yet to be decided. Right now I’m thinking of the Triple Wavefolder, a matrix mixer (The Harvestman Evin 209, Doepfer A-138m or 4ms VCA matrix (but I think the last one’s way too big)) and a DIY banana plug to jack converter.

 

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Codetest

supercollider

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It’s now possible to post SuperCollider code with correct formatting and colorization here. It’s not perfect yet but close enough.
I’m using the CodeColorer plugin with an sclang script originally made by blackrain.

play{
    SinOsc.ar(
        90+SinOsc.ar(90.9, 0, 900),
        0,
        (EnvGen.kr(
            Env.perc(0, 0.27, 0.9, 1),
            Impulse.kr(4.5),
            timeScale:1.8)*(Klank.ar(`[
                [180, 270, 360, 450, 540, 630, 720, 810],
                nil, [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8].reciprocal
                ], Impulse.ar([9, 9.009])
                )
            )
        )
    )
}; //supercollider

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Welcome

general

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Welcome to my blog and my long awaited web page. Here I will post stuff about my daily work as a composer and electronic musician.

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