Category Archives: Live

Audio processing from hardware to software, the difficult evolution.

Since I began my musical journey I’ve always been fascinated by the depth of acoustics, sound processing and real time audio manipulation, so much that I feel like I am playing sounds much more than guitar.
I’ve been extensively using rack processors since the end of the eighties.
My setup grew to a point where I felt the need to start reducing it, this was its last “hardware-just” incarnation:

My latest hardware-just sound processing environment, circa 2004. From top Doepfer Fader control, 2 Oberheim Echoplex running in stereo/dual mono, Tc Electronics Fireworx, Eventide Orville, Sound Sculpture Switchblade GL. Not visible are the Mesa Boogie Studio preamp, foot controllers and volume pedal.

Around the end of 2005 I started to substitute looping processors ( two Echoplex Digital Pro from Oberheim) with a pc laptop loaded with Mobius, just a few months later I started investigating the potential of using an audio interface as signal router/splitter/mixer to drop  another piece of hardware, the fantastic Sound Sculpture Switchblade.
This is where the real story began: I started to use a software application as the center of my audio enviromenment, a hybrid between hardware processors: an Eventide Orville ( later a H8000fw) a TC Electronic Fireworx and a Boss VF1, another great processor, often underestimated and plugins running in my laptop.

My hardware-software sound processing environment as it was in 2011. Pc laptop running Audiomulch and Mobius as audio looper, Eventide H8000 fw, Tc Electronics Fireworx, Boss Vf-1 and Rme audio card. On the floor the Gordius midi controller and various pedals. Not visible is the Mesa Boogie Studio preamp.

I installed and checked Bidule, Usine, Max-MSP, Live and Audiomulch.
Checking these amazing software meant to enter into their respective universes, meeting completely different approaches to audio routing, user interface, general settings concepts, languages and internal organization.
Being a non digital native with zero academic training in electronics and computer programming I’ve had the feeling of being exposed to a sort of philosophical challenge.

I checked these fascinating applications keeping my focus on audio routing flexibility, midi control, computing resources, system stability and ease of use.
With these aspects in mind I decided to go for Audiomulch which, since then, has been the environment in which I’ve developed my audio processing system and, basically, the core of my playing: my actual musical instrument.

Audiomulch was a fantastically thought application: essential and deep at the same time, clean and efficient, with a very smart way of connecting modules and plugins; it has been key to allow my approach to audio processing progress and grow up to where it is now.

During all this time I’ve met many idiosyncrasies, bugs and incomprehensible solutions that made me waste a big lot of time and challenged my patience.

In 2016, after more than 10 years of use of Audiomulch I feel that there’s no more reason to live within the restrictions of 32 bits and be limited by single core processing; I feel like I have to move to a more up to date application. This is sad as I would prefer so much to keep using Audiomulch, I still think its concept delivers the best mix between interface/routing/processing/midi mapping out there, at least for the way I use it.

Since March 2016 I’m testing software to find the new host to process my audio.
Max/MSP, Usine, Audiostrom Sound Professor, Plogue Bidule, Cantabile, Ableton Live, Bitwig, Gig Performer and some others I just can’t remember.
All this to find the application to replace Audiomulch.
It is complicate, there are so many weirdness out there, strange visions and sometimes incomprehensible solutions. On the other hand you can easily find many interesting ideas but, unfortunately, not all of them in the same package.
I honestly just hope Audiomulch will show a new breeze of life, just before I do the final move.
Please Ross, let the world enjoy Audiomulch at 64 bit and with multicore support!

Music for sleeping

Following the first experiment of a few months ago, this is going to be the evolution of the previous sleep-concert at Cascina Balocchi.
This time it’s going to be a more immersive situation, with 3 amazing dancers ( for those who haven’t met them before, check this), Simone Lombardi at the piano, Vittorio Guindani at the mixing board and Tiberio Faedi, the mastermind of this project, managing prerecorded sounds in the form of Steve Roach.
Breath.Sleep Concert_full

 

 

5 months in the underground, a deep site-specific

rationabiles_0On January the 28th, 2016, together with Stefano Castagna and under Francesco Fonassi invitation we’ve opened a 5 month sound-installation commissioned by Brescia Musei foundation.

Some informations here, further details on a specific in-depth article soon.

Exploring audio through intuitive sound processing, a personal explorative practice.

audio routing matrix

Software plus hardware routing processing. Using the audio card as a multichannel mixer,router,splitter.

The older I get the more I realise how central deep processing stays through my musical journey.
From the old times of footpedals to the actual combination of software and hardware processing, I’ve always been interested in using guitar as the source of an energy fluxus to excite and move the physical and virtual molecules located in resistors, processors and algorithms.
This has led me to devote much more time to experiment through these tools, which are usually not considered as musical instruments, than exercise my guitar skills and techniques, which have always been very poor and so will stay.
After more than 30 years in doing this I feel like that’s what it should have been.
I feel comfortable in such a fluctuating, unpredictable, deep and stimulant musical environment.
Sound exploration is able to activate many areas of my inner self.
This is what music means to me. Actually, is this really like this or when I’m listening to music I’m actually just looking for that magical, evocative potential that sounds are able to create in me ?

International Architecture Congress about Water and Landscape

Flos has performed for the International Architecture Congress about Water and Landscape that has been held in the amazing San Pietro in Mavino medieval church in Sirmione.
Architect Daniel Vasini has been directing the event.
Our installation has been focused on working on the evolution of waterdrops and has been used as a background of the works and for opening the two sessions.

Italian day of contemporary art. Perfomance with Steve Piccolo in Puegnago del Garda.

On Saturday, October the 10th, I will perform an improvised set as Flos with Stefano Castagna together with Steve Piccolo.

It will be an authentic first time: even if I know Steve since a long time and we’ve always thought about doing something together, this is going to be our first time ever. Not a single note will be rehearsed. More a performance than a gig, for sure.

There are going to be more reasons to make me happy: I’ll be in the beautiful Leonesia art foundation, there’ll be many great artists and friends with me ( included the deep Albano Morandi, unconscious sparkle for the idea of the sound board) and I’ll have the pleasure to spend some time with Radu Dragomirescu. Radu is an intense man, who has been working and sharing time and creativity with two artists who I deeplu love and admire: Paul Celan and Emil Cioran.
I feel blessed to have the chance to cross their halos through this man.
I remember when I had the same opportunity with Jorge-Luis Borges many years ago, while having a tea in a remote town in Spain.

Site-specific installation in Santa Giulia Monastery – Brescia – Oct. the 3rd

Thanks to the adventourous attitude of Brescia Musei, we have been asked to set up a site-specific sound installation in the occasion of Brescia’s might of the culture.

The event wil happen on Saturday, Oct. the 3rd in the magical atmosphere of Brescia’s most ancient Monastery’s heart: San Salvatore.

The sound installation will reveal itself through three layers of time, sound and position.

Me and Stefano Castagna ( as Flos) will have the plasure to perform with Agustina Mosca ( didgeridoo) and Laurie Amat ( voice).

Two consecutive sets are scheduled: 9 pm and 10,30 pm. If interested please get in touch with info@bresciamusei.com to book your seat

SenderFlos on its way to Flussi

Being invFlussi_2015_logo_webited to play at Flussi for the second time in three years is a deep pleasure, connected to both the human and musical sides of myself.

Flussi is certainly one of the major music and media arts festival in Europe; 36 Artists from all over the world performing on three different stages, workshops, installations, lectures and more; all being hosted by an amazing organization made possible thanks to the sensitivity and care of a very active and generous group of lovely humans.

Through them Avellino town is able to express an impressive uniqueness.

Senderflos is headlining the first day of the festival, opened by the amazing Herman Kolgen, from Canada.