pressing forward, left to drown


condition: (as determined by the thirteenth junto project) create something new by using only a recording of wild up performing chamber symphony, op. 110a, by dimitri shostakovich. duration should be between two and seven minutes.

process: original recordings processed through effect pedals, looped live to closed tape loops and recorded down to 4-track open reel tape in three passes.

a very early summer


condition: (as determined by the eleventh junto project) make a field recording of a rhythmic sound. use this recording as the main rhythmic element in your track while adding any additional elements. duration should be between 2-5 minutes.

process: field recording made of the asynchronous rhythms of passing traffic from under a freeway overpass in minneapolis, mn. additional performances of acoustic guitar and violin were added in two passes (one for each instrument), recorded on to 4-track open reel tape.

for field recording, acoustic guitar, violin, spring reverb and tape loops

at a great distance


condition: (as determined by the eighth junto project) you will select a single sentence (or extended, self-contained clause) from chapter 11 in the autobiography of benjamin franklin. you will use that recording as the sole audio source material in your work. at some point, the sentence/clause must be comprehensible to the listener. you will not add any other sounds. duration must be between two and five minutes.

process: selected sentence was read by kara andree and recorded to a dictaphone. the dictaphone was then used for live play back which was processed using electronics and layered on a pair of modified reel to reel recorders with closed tape loops.

suspend, renew


condition: (as determined by the sixth junto project) select one distinct element from each of the three following recordings (1,2,3) and construct something new from them. (do not add any other sounds, though certainly use any sorts of processing that you might choose.) keep your finished piece to between two and five minutes. all three tracks are archival songs originally released on antique edison cylinders in the late 1800s and very early 1900s.

all audio selected from these antique cylinder recordings:

a conversation with the past, in three passes (one for each recording)

for edison cylinder recordings, electronics (effects pedals) and 1/4″ tape.

modified (for quiet)








in creating quiet/subtle sound works there are many times one can run into the problem of stage volume not masking the sound of foot-switches, which can take away from a work. to minimize the noise of switch clicks, i modified a selection of my electro-harmonix pedals (2880 foot controller, stereo memory man with hazarai, cathedral reverb) by installing momentary click-less soft-switches when possible. this modification is an easy drop-in replacement and would be beneficial to anyone using these pedals who desires a lower noise level for recording or live situations. i’m interested in cusack’s tbs2 for replacing noisy 3pdt on/off switches next.

edit: i already had a couple people ask about the toggle on the stereo memory man + cathedral. that was a separate modification allowing you to record/layer or freeze the reverb without having to keep holding the switch down. a post regarding that modification can be found here

a tonal cloud (shō study)




i have always been interested in building up atmospheric drones and have lately become obsessed with the traditional japanese instrument known as a shō. the free reed instrument is powered by breath and uses metal reeds tuned with wax attached to the bottom of 15 bamboo pipes (17 pipes total). the instrument traditionally serves the purpose of ‘freezing’ a melody into a kind of floating cloud for other instruments to occupy.

this audio work attempts to approximate some of the tonal qualities of the shō using a harmonium transitioning between the traditional chords ‘ge’ and ‘otsu.’ once an atmosphere of floating tones was created, improvised violin and acoustic guitar were interwoven using a stereo tape feedback loop and a closed tape loop.