Future Directions: Telesound 2020

2020 has well and truly untethered itself from the lethargy of the Christmas break, but before announcing future plans, a re-cap of 2019 is in order.

My book, Tele-improvisation: Intercultural Interaction in the Online Global Music Jam Session published last year, has continued to develop an expanding audience of interdisciplinary practitioners and researchers interested in understanding the nuances of displaced creative interaction.

I’m also really excited about the number of citations I’m receiving from authors referencing ideas from various chapters. It continues what I felt was a great reception to the ideas in the book from students and researchers I met during my author talks in Europe, March / April 2019. Many were experts in fields such as HCI, musical human interaction, interaction design, musicology, ethnomusicology, and educationalists.  There were many light bulb moments in the audience’s questions and responses, particularly to the pedagogical necessity of networked music-making in tertiary music courses.

This perspective is one that I explore in a chapter for a new publication, Musical practices, and virtual spaces, edited by Busch, T., Moormann, P. & Zielinski, W. for the publisher Kopaed: Munich. In this new chapter (currently in process), I outline a case study of networked music-making between degree students at the University of Technology, Sydney. (UTS), and Western Australian Academy of Performing arts (WAAPA), Edith Cowan University, Perth. It relates to the development of curriculum I pursued while I convened the subject, Contemporary Music 1, on the Sound and Music Design program, UTS 2010-2013. I feel strongly, that the deficit of networked music-making in Australian tertiary music courses is a real disservice to students, given the profession of music, will, in part, be a networked, global industry, in which musicians collaborate online with directors and editors in the US, UK, Europe and beyond. It is crucial that music students are provided with the requisite technical and experiential knowledge of remote, online interaction to fully prepare them for a future in which they will be required to interact and collaborate across international borders, times zones and cultures.

Rant over, one of the aspects of finally publishing my book was that I could once again focus on performing and creating music again, most of which was taken up in recording sessions, and editing the Ethernet Orchestra album Oceans between Sound. The album has finally been mastered; thanks to the talents of my co-producer Chris Vine, and we have handed it over to the Chilean netlabel Pueblo Nuevo, who is currently finalising the download page and links for a March release.

Oceans-Thumbnail-700x700.jpg

Thanks to Caroline Meyers for the sleeve design and artist Patsy Farrar for doing such fantastic artwork, which was inspired by painting and drawing directly to the music. Check out Patsy’s long-form design ideas as seen in the clip below.

Patsy has also suggested a novel collaboration in which she paints live to our improvisations, which is seen by online audiences. We think this is a great idea, so watch this space for future live tele-improvisatory music and painting! More about Patsy’s art and thinking can be found in her blog here.

Listen to an excerpt from the album below.

The launch of Oceans between Sound will run in parallel to a special performance we are doing with visiting artist, academic and Ethernet Orchestra keyboard player,  Holger Deuter. The performance, Aquatic Movements will be staged at the UTS Data Arena on March 5th and will feature guitarist, Chris Vine, performing from his home in Londrina, Brazil with myself and Holger in the Data Arena.

AQUATICIMAGE.jpg

I originally composed the sound design for the premiere of the work last year, but in this rendition, Ethernet Orchestra will perform a live score. The performance will also include an excerpt from our previous work Homage to Wassily Kandinsky as part of the Bauhaus anniversary last year. This event will also coincide with an author talk I am doing at the University of New South Wales, 4-5:30pm Tuesday, March 3rd, which will be the first on home turf. It will be chaired by Dr. Adam Hulbert and I’m hoping for some lively discussion.

While we have been keeping this under wraps, we will also launch a new collaboration with Thomas Park, a sound artist exploring generative music and sound. In this piece, Thomas has built an engine that randomly selects audio segments from our album Oceans between Sound and re-forms them into an ongoing generative soundscape that accompanies a video of the oceans and waterways from which the track titles take their names.

OBSGEN.jpg

The generative mix engine can be set as a default browser page so that it acts as a screen saver, providing endless permutations of the album and relaxing images of water and scenery! It will go live in the second-week of March, so again, watch this space for the launch of this extraordinary project!

Finally, I am pleased to announce that I have become the project lead for a community music research project called Net Diasporas. The project is a collaboration with IHOM (Iranian House of Music), Sydney that enables Persian migrant musicians in interstate, urban and regional areas to collaborate and perform together online. Using SoundJack  (Internet audio technology), the project aims to provide opportunities for geographically dispersed musicians and audiences to reconnect with and develop social and cultural practices through sustainable online musical collaborations and real-world performances. The project seeks to understand the ways in which Internet music performance can provide new avenues of cultural expression to diasporic musicians and audiences and how the network may shape the development of culture-specific musical repertoires online.

Improfest Performance: November 2019

Improfest-Festival is a festival of improvisation being held at the Hacienda – Arte & Tecnologia club in São Paulo, Brazil on the 26th of November 2019. I will be performing from Sydney in a live online improvisation with fellow Ethernet Orchestra guitarist Chris Vine and guitarist Brasilian Paulo Hartman.

73357296_2473798482699470_4898411240470085632_n.jpgWatch this space for further details about streaming the live audiovisual feed!

Music beyond the Rim of Time: A 10 hour radio feature on Minimalist composer Lamonte Young

‘Music beyond the Rim of Time’ – a 10-hour net radio feature about La Monte Young and his music on KKUP radio, California.

Sunday, October 13th, 2019. 08:00 – 18:00 Pacific Daylight Time

International times: 02:00- 10:00 Sydney AEDT, 16:00-02:00 GMT 17:00-03:00 Berlin

This is a great opportunity to listen and absorb the slowly evolving sounds of seminal minimalist composer La Monte Young in this day-long special. Add to that the temporal displacement of listening to it in the meridian future of the Southern Hemisphere, and it really will be, music beyond time!

Listen hereLa-Monte-Young-2.png

Recent Telesound Activities

It’s been a little quiet on telesound in recent months since the end of my European author talks and performance tour. I’m glad to say that the performances and book presentations were very well received and I was delighted that Neural Magazine gave my book a great little review.  For those of you reading this blog for the first time, I have just published a book called Tele-Improvisation: Intercultural Interaction in the Online Globa Jam Session. While brief, what is great about the review, is the way that it highlights the importance of the book’s investigation into networked musical perception and cognition. It is these characteristics that fascinate me the most, and while there are phenomenological differences between colocated and networked performance, I often think the two share many similarities. Particularly, the performer’s ability to transcend virtual and real spaces via musical sound.

Talking of all things telematic sound; work on the new Ethernet Orchestra album is also picking up a pace with some stunning mixes being mastered as I write. The album is a compilation of live performances and online jam sessions the ensemble has recorded since 2015 to the present. I think the material really explores the breadth of our sonic and musical pallette and the outer territories of multi-idiomatic improvised music.  We strive for intercultural interaction and exchange combining traditional and electronic instruments and processing. The following clip is a short excerpt of one of the tracks as a teaser 🙂

This track features guitarist Chris Vine performing from his home in Londrina, Brazil, keyboard player Holger Deuter playing in Speyer, Germany and myself on trumpet here in Sydney. Stay tuned for the label and release dates!

LICHT_redux by tranSTURM Collective Sydney Fringe Festival 5-8th September 2019 Bay 43 (Circular Quay), The Rocks, Sydney.

69521230_10157860041221807_6913129572380704768_n.jpg

I have also enjoyed producing the sound score for a new tranSTURM work LICHT_redux, which premiered at the Sydney Fringe Festival in early September. It is a mixed-media installation of light and sound that includes animations projected onto a metal, glass, mirror, and perspex mechanism. The following clip is an excerpt I took on my mobile phone and captures four minutes of this fourty-minute soundtrack. There will be further documentation to come.

LICHT_redux emerges from earlier tranSTURM collaborations and residencies at Sydney Olympic Park and exhibitions in VIVID 2016 & 2019. The sound score includes sound produced, in, and around, the Armory at Sydney Olympic Park, and its environs.  A lot of time was spent in Building 20, a munitions bunker made up of three large cylindrical concrete tunnels that generate a large space echo when noise is sounded in them.  Drones, impulse responses and field recordings produced in these spaces capture both the internal and external acoustics of the park. Situated on Sydney’s Parramatta River, I also had the opportunity to drop a pair of hydrophones (underwater microphones) into the water at the Armory wharf. The microphones revealed the multiple activities that occur beneath the surface of the river; snapping shrimps and the occasional motorboat propeller or ferry engine all produced unique sonic events in the recordings. These recordings were then granulated and time-stretched to create site-specific soundscapes that flicker, bubble and spit in sync with the animations. Underscoring this sound is processed trumpet drones and percussive instrumental techniques, which give the soundtrack, I hope, a sense of flowing movement that occurs in waves.

Ethernet Orchestra Homage to Wassili Kandinsky

60339942_1217740661733488_1939291847130087424_o.jpgEthernet Orchestra has been commissioned to perform a homage to Wassily Kandinski for the 100th Anniversary of the Bauhaus School at the  University of Applied Sciences in Kaiserslautern, Germany.

The performance is Friday 17th May and features:

Holger Deuter (DE) (keyboards and synths) from Campus Kammgarn, Kaiserslautern.

Roger Mills (AU) (processed trumpets and electronics),  Sydney, Australia and guitarist

Chris Vine (BR) (guitars, Sas, and electronics), Londrina, Brazil

We will be interpreting four of Kandinski’s ‘Improvisation’ series paintings as graphic scores to guide the online ensemble’s online tele-improvisation.

Improvisation 26 (rowing).jpgimprovisation 30 (cannons).jpgImprovisation 34.jpgImprovisation.jpg

Kandinski argued that improvisation reflected the “inner thoughts and feelings” of an artist and this idea is something that resonates very strongly in the paintings, and, I hope, our musical and sonic interpretations of them. They were painted before, and between, the first and second world wars, and very much reflect the anxiety of this period in European history. As someone who was entranced by the Bauhaus at an early age, albeit well after the school closed, this project has been a really interesting and delightful one to work on for me!

Rehearsals have been going well and it is interesting how the paintings pull the improvisation together in distinct timbral and harmonic structures. Most noticeable to me is how the abstract lines and colours of the paintings begin to merge and become definable shapes and entities as we focus on them.

My set up in Sydney below. I’m processing my horn through Ableton and we are using the SoundJack network interface (centre) for connecting online. I have each painting on an additional monitor (left).

20190512_195808.jpg

Chris Vine in Londrina Brazil, performing on his Saz

60000236_386762438585390_153379131885617152_n.jpg

Holger Deuter in his studio in Speyer, Germany

thumbnail_20190513_011854.jpg

The performance in Kaiserslautern is part of the closing ceremony of the visit of the touring Bauhaus bus exhibit, which is touring the world finishing in Hong Kong.

0f064c0de05989ac7e5312f806a9c89c.jpg

 

Tele-Sonus#1 – The University of Cologne Talk and Ethernet Orchestra Performance

After a great book talk and brilliant few days in Speyer and Kaiserslautern University of Applied Sciences, I have finally arrived in Cologne.  I am now preparing my talk and Ethernet Orchestra performance at the Institute of Music Education.  Event details below. This concert is the only performance of my tour and I’m very much looking forward to performing with local bassist Achim Tang, as well as regular Ethernet Orchestra ensemble members Hervé Perez and Chris Vine, who will be performing from their respective cities of  Sheffield, UK, and Londrina, Brazil. I have enjoyed meeting Dr. Thomas Busch, who is hosting me, as well as editing the book Musical practices and virtual spaces, which I have contributed a chapter. The book is soon to be published by Kopaed: Munich. I have found many kindred spirits among the staff here because of a recognition that tertiary music education courses should be teaching telematic music-making as part of the curriculum. This perspective is also what I argue in my book, namely that we should be preparing music students for a future in which tele-collaborative work will be a central component of their profession.

TelesonusPlakat copy.jpg

Building no. 216, 3rd floor, “Musiksaal” (room 336)
University of Cologne, Institute of Music Education
Gronewaldstr. 2
50931 Köln-Lindenthal

 

German leg of my book tour is on!

I have now been Speyer, Germany for a few days and very much rested after a hectic few days in Bristol and London. My talk at Kaiserslautern University of Applied Sciences is tonight and I will be speaking to a large group of undergraduate students from the Virtual Reality Studio. Thanks to Prof’s. Holger Deuter and Christian CJ Schmachtenberg for hosting my talk.

RogerMillsPoster.jpg

I attended the open day they had at the university on Saturday and I was very impressed with the quality of student work. I was also able to experience Holger Deuter’s Aquatic Movements animation that I did the sound design for. The work was originally designed in stereoscopy for the UTS Data Arena and it was interesting to see how it transferred to a virtual reality application using Oculus Rift.

56464310_10157335365062806_5732042642909298688_n.jpg

European Book Talk and Performance Tour

I have just spent a wonderful 10 days in the UK giving author talks on my new book Tele-Improvisation: Intercultural Interaction in the Online Global Music Jam Session. My tour has so far taken me to Queen Mary University, London, Bath Spa University, and the University of Bristol. I finished off the UK leg yesterday with a lovely book launch at Furtherfield Commons, Finsbury Park, London followed by dinner with friends and collaborators I hadn’t seen for a while!

56675156_10157327925537806_482510481597136896_n.jpg

56369801_10156284820621200_4053311218788597760_n.jpg55559446_10157308804462806_7371203403755552768_n.jpg

56517149_10157327925677806_3196262555139964928_n.jpg

I have very engaged audiences for each session and I hope I am generating interest in the need for tertiary music schools to smell the coffee and start teaching students how to perform online to prepare them for the jobs of the future.

While in the UK I also had the good fortune to be hosted by Mac Dunlop and Annie Lovejoy of the Falmouth Independent School of Art. This visit resulted in a great afternoon of improvisation with pianist Mac Dunlop. Listen to an excerpt of the session here

Next stop Germany!

Aquatic Species Collaboration

Over the last couple of weeks, I have been working with fellow tranSTURM artist  Holger Deuter, composing the music and sound for his stereoscopic animation Aquatic Species. The work was premiered on Friday 1st March at the UTS Data Arena. Watch excerpts from his presentation below.

This low definition video of the work was recorded on my iPad during his presentation but it gives a sense of what it is like. 3D glasses recommended.

I’m looking forward to meeting up with Holger again during my forthcoming book and performance tour of the UK and Germany. The plan is to stay with him for a few days in Speyer to discuss developing the work further. He has also adapted for Oculus Rift and it will be interesting to see how a stereoscopic work translates to a VR experience!

My new book has just been published!

I am pleased to announce that my new book,  Tele-Improvisation: Intercultural Interaction in the Online Global Music Jam Session has just been published in the Springer Series on Cultural Computing.

IMG_3779.jpgThe book explores the ways in which musicians of different cultures improvise music together online. It describes case studies of intercultural networked music making examining performer interaction and experience from different cultural perspectives. It highlights how cross-cultural musicians negotiate spatial and temporal dislocation, distributed agency, as well as the unfamiliar musical, cultural and phenomenological characteristics of telematic interaction.

It draws on practice-based research and performances with my Internet music ensemble, Ethernet Orchestra, as well as interviews with leading practitioners in the field. The book also includes an inspiring Forward by the pioneer of telematic art and music, Randall Packer, who sets the context for many of the ideas it considers.

Thanks to all the artists and musicians who participated in various conversations about how we do, what we do, when we perform online. These generous people include Annie Abrahams, Randall Packer, Marc Garrett, Ruth Catlow, Helen Varley-Jamieson, Daniel Pinheiro, Ken Fields, Syneme Telemusic, Ivan Zavada, Doug van Nort, Ian Whalley, Nela Brown, Shaun Premnath, Peyman Sayyadi, Chris Vine, Martin Slawig, Elke Utermöhlen, Herve Perez, Michael Hanlon and Ethernet Orchestra collaborators.

I will also be doing a book talking tour of the UK and Germany throughout March and April 2019, which will include performances byEthernet Orchestra.  Watch this space for reflections and photos along the way!

To order the book for your institution, please visit the publisher’s website