Archive for the ‘Photos’ Category

The Cannery Residency: Day 3

May 31, 2019

Wake up at 7am. I put an extra blanket over my sleeping bag, woke up warm and rested, my nose is no longer running continuously.

Today’s ‘Ancient Whacks of Heraclitus’ card is “You can’t step into the same river twice.” The interpretation reads, “A flowing river constantly changes its contents and shape. It may look the same from moment to moment, but it is never the same. It is important to continually update our assumption about what is ‘real’.”

Off to walk the NE Quadrant –

I start at The Cannery, walk north on 175. I passNorthern Bay Market then turn right on a single-lane road leading across the fields toward an old farm. The fields have been mowed within the past year, but now lie fallow. Halfway there, between fields, there’s a collection of old, broken farm equipment.

Mosquitoes and gnats are out. The black flies gave up early this year, thankfully. I walk through the used equipment dump, out the other side, then along the northern edge of another large field. Lots of little white wildflowers in the border between the field and the scrub. Occasionally, a small patch of violets.

I continue east toward Winslow Stream. Out of the corner of my eye, by a bend in the stream, I spot an eagle. Just a quick glimpse as it swoops low over the water, then turns the corner and heads upstream. I arrive at the banks of Winslow Stream.

There are bigger trees along the stream banks, woods on the far side. At this point the stream seems quite wide, I suspect beavers. I sit for awhile by the stream, then follow it back towards the road. I can’t get to close to the water as there’s a mat of soggy grass along the stream. Still soaked from the Spring runoff. I jog around a small stream. On the way back to I find a small, neglected cemetery.

I find the beaver dam and continue scrambling downstream. The stream drops a couple of feet, threads its way through a collection boulders. There are some old concrete pylons tilting off-vertical that were, perhaps, some sort of water management system. I arrive back the road, at The Cannery and turn south on 175 then east on 177. I walk along the road past a couple of houses, past Downeast Yacht Services. There’s scrub forest on either side of the road. Small trees, lot’s of undergrowth, not the original forest. I leave the road and walk into an area that has been recently clear cut. It’s a mess – stumps, dead branches tangled on the ground – nearly impossible to walk through.

I wonder what it would be like to walk through the original forest. The trees were probably taller – hardwoods, spruce and pine. I Google “Maine old growth forests” and get this –

“Old-growth forests provide opportunities to go back in time and experience the character of the land as it may once have been before human disturbance. Generally such forests must be: free of evidence of logging or other disruption, of a sufficient size to constitute a forest, stable in composition and structure, and dominated by climax species of old trees that have attained at least half of their potential longevity.

“Three old-growth forests, surveyed for Maine’s Critical Areas Program, are near the shores of Eagle Lake. The largest is the Eagle Lake Old-Growth Forest (about one-hundred acres) and is near the eastern shore on a ridge opposite the southeast end of Pillsbury island. Here, some white pines are over three feet in diameter and up to one-hundred thirty feet high – among the tallest pine trees in Maine.“

What’s left after logging is, as noted, a sorry mess. After a half-hour of tripping and stumbling, I give up, walk back to The Cannery. I sit on the porch and record traffic sounds. Members of Leslie’s knitting circle begin to arrive. I follow them inside and get to work editing then posting images from yesterday’s walk.

Selfie

Zeke and I and pick up fish sandwiches, onion rings, and Strong Brewery IPA for dinner. After dinner we all watch a Netflix documentary on Lee Morgan. I set my phone to upload images and go to bed.

The Cannery Residency: Day 2

May 30, 2019

Wake up at 7am, my internal alarm clock. It’s still pretty cold, so I stay under the covers until I hear Leslie in the Kitchen. I get up, make tea, clean up the studio workbench, set up my equipment.

I caught Mary Ann’s virus, my nose is running overtime. So a nice cup of tea, bundle up, off to walk the NW Quadrant –

I start at The Cannery aka Leslie Ross Bassoons, the circle on the map, and walk north along Rte 175 toward the town ‘center’. The idea is to the record rhythms, textures and patterns that I encounter along the way. These can natural or man-made. Since I’m on the road into town these are mostly man-made – the cars traveling to and from town at irregular intervals. When two or cars are heading the same direction, one after the other, the pass me at 4 second intervals. Sometime cars pass me in opposite directions, sort of a ‘whoosh-woosh’. The houses are placed at regular intervals along the road. Lots seem to have a standard width or frontage. Too far apart to register as a regular ‘beat’. However the patterns and textures are interesting. The houses are surrounded by a yard, a flat expanse of lawn. Some houses also have trees placed along the road or in the open space around the house. The trees and flower beds are placed deliberately, regularly spaced. The only natural vegetation appears in the drainage ditch alongside the road.

Studio

Workbench

Bedroom

There are couple of ‘open spaces’, the Market parking lot, and a little farther on a contractor yard. Both are graveled, cleared of vegetation. The Market lot is bisected by a sign advertising ‘Lobsters Mussels and Clam Meat’, the contractor’s yard has a series of 3 or 4 stone cairns, regularly spaced along the road. From here to town center are houses, again regularly spaced.

Just before the town center, there are open fields either side of the road. One next to a church, possibly a recreation area. And on my an open field leading down to the water. I leave the road and walk across the field towards the water. This is not a flat, well-manicured lawn. No trees or flower beds beds. In contrast to orderly patterns along the road and around the houses, the vegetation in the field at first seems chaotic. However, as I walk across the field I realize that the vegetation is, in fact, disbursed according to a different set of rules. Then I reach the shoreline!

Open field

Milkweed Pod

Wildflowers

Shoreline

A whole new dynamic, the natural rhythm of the waves, the play of light of the surface of the water, the sounds of waves as they break against the larger boulders lining the shore. Small trees and bushes border the field and the shore. Small pools nestle amongst the boulders. Kelp is draped over the pools. Bleached driftwood is lodged in the clefts between rocks. I clamber up and down along the shore, back towards the road, across a small rest area with a picnic table and a view of the bay, then back along the shoreline. The sounds here are quite different from the road. I can still here the cars going by at irregular intervals but this plays over the regular sound of the waves. I clamber for another 10-15 minutes then turn back towards the road.

Thru the scrub of undeveloped land. small trees and bushes, some with flowers. And bordering the road into an adjoining property I see my first Fiddleheads. Not a real forest, the growth here is a jumble of small trees and bushes, small boulders, and pools of water overgrown with sedge. I arrive back at the road, walk back towards The Cannery.

I turn west, just before The Cannery, walk towards Freethy Point. I’m joined by two neighbors and a big, black dog. Before arriving at the boat ramp, I scramble down to the shore then work my way back along Winslow Creek. Leslie says since they un-damned the creek, fish have returned. A couple of weeks ago there was a shad run and, farther down the bay, the salmon have returned. I’m wondering how the fish manage to swim up the creek, ‘jumping’ up the rapids on their way upstream. I’m sitting thinking about this when I feel a large slobbery tongue on my cheek. The big, black dog says ‘hello’.

Fiddleheads

Back at The Cannery. I join Leslie and Zeke for lunch. In the bookshelf next to the kitchen I find a deck of cards, ‘Ancient Whacks of Heraclitus: A Creativity Tool Based on the Epigrams of Heraclitus’. The top card is titled, “The sun is new each day”. On the back side of the card is the interpretation, “Improvise. If the sun is new each day, why limit yourself to approaches and solutions that you’ve used in the past?”

Time to re-patch the AVSynth, working on birdsongs. Early to bed.

The Cannery Residency: Day 1

May 29, 2019

I pack up my AVSynth, computer, (3) Raspberry Pi’s, video projector, and floor percussion. Pick up the rental car, load out, I’m off by noon. I495N to I95N to Augusta ME, Rte 3E to Belfast, Rte 1N across the Penobscot River, then Rte15S to Rte199, I arrive at The Cannery around 5pm. Leslie is in her garden, picking dandelions and cleaning the roots. I load in.

Dinner with Leslie. we talk about PhDs, residencies and collaboration. Zeke arrives around 9pm, with some new, used books. I’m in bed by 10pm.

Signal Culture Residency: Day 7

October 26, 2017

Yep, same morning routine.

Today I’m heading home, my birthday, and I have a party to attend! Pack up, I’m on the road by 9am, smooth sailing all the way up I88 to Albany, where it starts raining. It rains the rest of the way to Lowell. The good news is I arrive early, at 3pm, plenty of time to unpack and get ready for the party 8^)))


North Avenue, looking north


Packed up, ready to go


Kitchen window and all-important coffee maker


Kitchen door to back porch


Living/dining room & research library


Lab & Hank’s office


Front door


Back in Massachusetts


A nice red tree

All in all, a productive residency, I had planned to –

– work with my Processing sketches
– try to get a descent hires video recording of the AVSynth
– research links to ‘improvisation in hypermedia’
– space notation

I got to the first two, accomplished 50% of my goals and was 50% successful. The Processing sketches turned out nicely, the hires video recording did not. However, I have a lead on a ‘device’ that should do the trick.

Signal Culture Residency: Day 6

October 25, 2017

Habitually up early, coffee, scrambled eggs!

Quote of the day –

“Good morning boring art!”
~ Nam June Paik

Spent the morning on administrivia including email, messages, updating my blog, etc. I’m still processing videos from the day before yesterday, compressing to H.264 takes hours and hours.


Al Margolis

At 11:30am Al Margolis arrives. We tour the facility, a full house, Charlotte Clermont is in the Artists’ Studio, Hank Rudolph and Matt are in the Research/living and dining room. We return to the Toolmakers’ Studio and set up to record a couple tracks as ELKA BONG: Al Margolis – viola, objects, contact mics; Walter Wright – AVSynth –

track 01
track 02

We toured around this time last Fall, the first time the AVSynth went ‘on the road’. Looking forward to touring again soon with the enhanced rig and Processing sketches.

At 1:30pm we go for lunch at the Taqueria, after lunch a short walk along the river, then back to the studio. Al packs up, heads back down Rte17 to Chester.


North Street Re ords


North Street


Taqueria on Front Street


Deck overlooking the Susquehanna River


I ate a whole burrito!


Riverwalk

I’m still processing video, sorting audio files. Listening back. Success, the AVSynth looks and sounds great!

Signal Culture Residency: Day 4

October 23, 2017

Up early, coffee, scrambled eggs!

Started downloading video from last night, takes awhile. Spent the morning on administrivia including email, messages, updating my blog, etc. A routine developing?

After lunch more Projektor sketches, b&w, input to the AVSynth –

– 170605a circles, squares, vertical bars, and horizontal lines
– 170622a Lowell mills, the same images as used in the crossfade
– 170916a Ben Hersey, the same images as used in the color sketch

A new setup, the AVSynth is now ‘in the loop’.


Click for larger image

I named the first sketch ‘Geometry’, 2-D shapes, and some neat timing. This sketch and the ‘Leaves’ video loop work well with the Jones’ MVIP. The shapes change color as they fade. The vertical bars contrast with the horizontal bars generated by the AVSynth.

In this patch the Mikrophonie module controls the Brightness on the MVIP, and the 2 SWOOP modules control Hue 1 and Hue 2. I can match the ‘speed’ of the animation using the 2 SWOOPs, the low frequency oscillator in FOURSES, the Chaos output of the SPROTT, and/or the oscillator on the DENUM module. Some of these can be set directly, by ‘knob-twiddling’, others are more random.

I spend some time tweaking the second sketch, adding layers and, of course, a flicker. Again color and effects change as the images fade.

The third sketch, a portrait of Ben Hersey, just works. Not a finished piece, it’s more of an idea …

Tonight I turn in early, around 1am, I’ll record these sketches tomorrow.

Loup-Garou miniTour, August 2010

August 15, 2010


photo by Setheyny Pen

Loup-Garou: [Werewolf]

Setheyny Pen – toy piano, percussion

Walter Wright – electronics, video

“Loup-Garou [Werewolf] is collaborative group consisting of Setheyny Pen of Ralph Eats Dynamite and Walter Wright of Apocalypso Trio. The pairing of sound sources can at first seem unlikely or perhaps unsettling. The introduction of melody from the damaged primitive sounds of the toy piano jars some peoples idea of free improv sound. The result is playful and disarming at times, conflicting and challenging other moments.” — Josh Baker

Sunday August 1, Sara’s Best Minds show. Mary Ann, Setheyny and I drive to Beverly, MA. We arrive early, unload and check out the art in Sara’s apartment then set up outside in the backyard. Stephanie’s band arrives. The lineup is Psychic Tiger, The Sneaky Mister, Loup-Garou, Stephanie Lak Band and Daijel White.

Up first, Anthony Palocci and Judith Shimer, acoustic. We’re next, outside without a ‘room.’ It’s different. We lose the quiet stuff to the ambient sound of the neighborhood. We lose detail. We play loud (perhaps too loud, hard to tell). Stephanie Lak Band plays a short set. A neighbor complains about the noise. Daijel White start their set. The neighbor calls the police. At 8:30pm the police arrive and shut down the party.

Tuesday August 3, Umbrella Gallery, Fitchburg, MA . We unload as UNUNI start their set. Next up, Ditch Mimes, rock ‘n roll with a mustache. Black Steel Peacock then us. We move downstage nearer the audience. We’re inside, much better. Good set. We toss out miniCDs.

  
pics by Setheyny, UNUNI on the left and Black Steel Peacock on the right.

Located in a storefront on Main Street. Filled with refinished furniture, objects and art on consignment. An office and cafe to the side, performance space in the back, workshop and recording in the basement. The gallery reminds me of Manifesto, Boyd Nutting’s space in Niles MI. Similar look and feel. Thanks Ryan for inviting us and for the 17 BSP CDs!

Thursday August 5, Whitehaus Family Record, Jamaica Plain, MA. There’s a Red Sox game,traffic backed up. We arrive late along with Vic and Steve. A group in the dining room glued to the TV. Setheyny goes out for something to eat and bottle of wine. The audience drifts in.

Ben Bennett plays first followed by Jack Callahan. Both solo, both acoustic using found objects and deconstructed instruments. Both very good! Next up Vic Rawlings and Steve Norton perform Symptomatic, a piece exploring the “simultaneity of disparate languages.” They are very good. Next up us with Steve, on bass clarinet (& a weird drone instrument he found on top of the piano).

Here’s our set, recorded live –

track01
track02
track03

Follow the Whitehaus link. Read a little about their history. A great place to experience creative music, poetry and performance. Thanks Adam!

Friday August 6, The SPACE, Lowell, open mic. With the gallery closed for the month, finally, we get to do this! Mary Ann and I go over early to an opening at WAS [Western Avenue Studios]. The SPACE is a recording studio, decidedly more commercial and mainstream than our usual venues.

I sign up to play early, going to Montreal the next morning. Tim Bergeron featured, it’s vocals and acoustic guitars. We play a short set. The MC likens us to “an acid trip from the ’60’s.” Is this as a compliment?

Saturday August 7, L’Envers, Montreal QC, Mary Ann, Setheyny and I leave at 6:30am. We stop in Vermont for coffee, then lunch. At the border they wave us through. We arrive in Montreal around 2pm, to the Musee d’Art Contemporain. We walk up and down Boulevard St Laurent. We load in at L’Envers then head out for dinner with Ellwood.

Here’s some pics of the space –

  

  

  

  

The show starts late, around 9:30. Ellwood Epps and Emilie Mouchous play first, trumpet and hurdy-gurdy with electronics. A great set. I enjoy the range of sounds produced and, especially, the responsiveness with which they interact. We play next. A good set. The first track is tentative but the second and third take off. Finally all of us play together. We end with Emilie setting fire to her talking statue while I respond, Theremin-like, on the Board Weevil.

  
Pics by Setheyny, Emilie on the left and with Ellwood on the right.

Here’s our set, recorded live –

track01
track02
track03

It was close to midnight. The party starts at the loft then moves on to a bar at 2-3am. They close the bar, return at 4am and move out to the railroad tracks behind the building. By 5am everyone is asleep.

Ellwood, Setheyny and I are up at 9am. We go shopping for bacon, eggs and potatoes. We make breakfast. By 12noon everyone’s up and we are on our way. They wave us through at the border. End of the summer miniTour, thanks Ellwood and Emilie. Let’s do it again this Fall. 8^)

Kit’s Studio, February 2010

April 20, 2010

It’s a nice morning, sunny, not too cold. Mary Ann, Setheyny and I drive to Kit’s Studio in Parsonfield ME. Here’s some pictures –

  

  
From top left, clockwise – view of the backyard from the studio, Ivy’s glass, Kit’s helmet from Sacred & Profane, more of Ivy’s glass.

Loup-Garou plays with Mike Dailey that afternoon. Mike heads back to MA for a gig. We play with Kit that evening. We drink wine and sit around the fire with Ivy and Kit. Here are the sound files –

Loup-Garou: [Werewolf]
Setheyny Pen – drums
Walter Wright – electronics
with
Kit Demos – analog synth
lg_kit.mp3

Loup-Garou: [Werewolf]
Setheyny Pen – toy piano, percussion
Walter Wright – electronics
with
Mike Dailey – guitar
lg_mike.mp3

Next morning we have coffee with Kit and Ivy. We head home, stopping at a diner for breakfast. Nice moose!

  

  
From top left, clockwise – the ‘solarium,’ backyard, Mary Ann & Walter, the diner moose.

Monastery July 17, 2009

August 20, 2009

shayna-walter
photo by Jeff Brussel.

Shayna & I performing at the Monastery in Manchester NH. Also on the bill Birdorgan, Qfwfq Duo, Id m Theft Able, and Crank Sturgeon. The screen is Qfwfq’s the video Shayna’s.