La fressa d'en Glen

Glen’s Rumblings from Barcelona

Immersed in Restoration

res·tor·a·tion [noun] – the return of something to a former or original state. (Canadian Oxford Dictionary, Second Edition) – the process of restoring a building, work of art, etc. to its original condition. (Oxford Dictionary of English, Third Edition) The Legacy Project A few years ago, I was hired as a VR consultant, (initially) to restore the audio for Char Davies’ two pioneering immersive artworks, Osmose (1995) and Ephémère (1998). Read more →

Binaural blast (from the past?)

Recently I was doing more experiments in lightweight binaural spatialization for VR. Using the Ambisonic Toolkit (aka ATK), in SuperCollider, I implemented a binaural mixer for arbitrary number of 3D sources that includes Doppler shift and a faked reverb cue as audio sources move further away. Here’s a quick test, with some spaceship-like sounds whizzing past (mostly from side to side, because the effect is more obvious). Listen with headphones if possible: Read more →

Building M.U.R.S.

I was fortunate to be able to work a few days last fall with Pelayo Méndez. His company was contracted by the Catalan theatre troupe La Fura dels Baus to create interactive visuals for their new “smartshow”, titled M.U.R.S. (murs are walls in Catalan). Pelayo and his team created software for animated visuals, interactive “games” that turned spectators into participants and a networked mobile application that made audience members part of the show. Read more →

Sónar, Take 2

Last year, as a member of the Barcelona Laptop Orchestra, I programmed on various pieces and helped prepare for our performance at Sónar (Barcelona’s annual International Festival of Advanced Music and New Media Art). However, in the end, a wedding in Canada (and “best man” responsibilities) forced me to miss taking part in the show. But this year, fate came calling. More specifically, Sam at l’ull cec came calling, asking for help setting up Daito Manabe’s Sónar show on June 12. Read more →

Teatrillu goes to Hell

Circle “0” - Charon and the ferry across the river Acheron. Eighth Circle (Bolgia 3) - Simony On May 17, we paid a (surprisingly pleasant and handbasket-free) visit to Hell – more specifically, to Dante’s Inferno, as one of the Insectotròpics’ invited guests. Alex “painting” the Teatrillu world with an infrared flashlight. Between May and September of this year, the “Insectos” (a Barcelona-based theatre troupe) are organizing a series of collaborative theatrical/performance events at the old Fabra i Coats textile factory (now art centre), one for each cantica of Dante’s Divina Commedia, in which they invite other artists to participate. Read more →

…then I jumped…

I’ve recently taken on a few more of the Disquiet Junto weekly musical/audio challenges. Last week’s project used a very technical Oulipian-style constraint. Disquiet Junto Project 0097: Ford Madox Ford Page 99 Remix This week’s project takes as its source a comment attributed to the author Ford Madox Ford: “Open the book to page ninety-nine and read, and the quality of the whole will be revealed to you. Read more →

Of gigs and sound bites

After a long span of lots of hard work (more about that in the coming month) but no performances, I had not one but two gigs this week, performing with my co-conspirators from the wú:: Collective, Alex and Roger. Announcement of the WeArt SubverJam. First, on Wednesday, we took part in the SubverJam session (in polite company, referred to as a New Media Art event), as part of the closing of the 2013 WeArt Festival. Read more →

Step on a Crack…

…but try to avoid doing any harm to your mother’s back. For this piece, I took a map showing a small portion of the San Andreas fault, and mapped the fault lines into melodic and harmonic lines. The map was randomly assigned to me (see details of this 73rd Disquiet Junto project below). I programmed the score and instruments in SuperCollider, recorded three complete takes in real time, and finally mixed them together. Read more →

An unusual Mixtur

Josep, Orm and Glen talk during rehearsal, prior to Barcelona Laptop Orchestra’s performance at Festival Mixtur 2013. Last Friday (April 26), the Barcelona Laptop Orchestra performed at the Mixtur Festival, an event featuring musical and sonic art, research and experimentation. The venue was beautiful – inside the renewed industrial space of Fabra i Coats. The space was previously a textile factory, created following the 1903 fusion of Catalan textile producer Fabra y Portabella with the ancient J & P Coats company, with roots in Paisley, Scotland. Read more →

An Auditori experience

Show announcement. Last week was a busy one! After Tuesday’s Moritz/Insectotròpics event, on Thursday I had another concert with the Barcelona Laptop Orchestra – this time at l’Auditori, in Sala 2 (Oriol Martorell). There wasn’t enough advance publicity, and we ended up very (very!) far from filling the 600-seat venue, but it was a great experience nonetheless. It was fun to be behind the scenes at such a large and professionally-run venue. Read more →