It is excruciatingly difficult for me to put into English what I “do” with my time. So, of course, a podcast recorded two years ago and released this week manages to say it all. Dan Derks lovingly assembles each episode of Sound + Process. They are a some kind of techno-bodhisattva; adept at holding cyberspace, carrying the torch of hope, and passing around the love. I look up to them very much.
if you’ve spent any time here in the last two years, the guests of this episode are likely already known to you
in july of 2020,
@tylerettersput out a request for contributions to start a project for norns named Dronecaster. the proposed script’s mission was simple:
cast drones for hours, send it out to your gear and
.wavwhatever beauty returns
he found his first collaborator in
@license, who helped build a SuperCollider template which not only deployed Tyler’s initial vision, but made it easy for others to contribute as well. among those was
@infinitedigits, whose norns scripts Blndr and Barcode were already instant classics among y’all
the energy exchanged between these three artists, all collaborating remotely in the early days of the pandemic, helped establish a lines-centric chapter for the polymyth of Northern Information, which has become home to a growing group of musicians and developers navigating the late stages of the Anthropocene.
this episode is comprised of separate but dovetailing conversations with tyler, ryan and zack — each recorded almost two years ago. in the time since, lines and the community surrounding norns have gone through immense changes — and as i revisited this audio, i was struck by how much possibility was still latent in these reflections. their perspectives remain incredibly energizing + inspiring and i’m so humbled to be able to share them as the 23rd episode of this project.
Ryan and Zack are two finest travel companions one could ever hope for. I’m holding back tears just thinking about their kindness, artistry, and tenacity. Everything we do is open source so consider this is a standing invitation for you to join us.
llllllll community has become the sangra I didn’t know I needed, but always yearned for. And please know, or already understand, I do not invoke spiritual terms like “sangra” or “bodhisattva” lightly. Music is my religion. I’m proud to work at a company where Gregg, the CEO, is known to say things like, “Concerts are my church.”
sound machines for
the exploration of time
I ascribe to the philosophy that music is actually defined by silence. The passage of time between each note of a melody is where the magic happens. And I think of my work (my art, my music, this very blog) as an extension of this philosophy. One of the reasons I struggle with English as a medium is its inherent “violence against silence.” I’m drawn to punctuation like the venerable
;, the distinguished
—, and her kid-brother
- because (to the sensitive reader) they can actually manipulate time.
+ Process, they call it.
Hearing my two-years-younger self is quite trippy. What a silence. What a melody.
Sound and Process…
I don’t blog on regular cycles. I don’t do “content” with the aim of growth-hacking some algorithm. I don’t measure success by how many followers I have on Mastodon or whatever is in vogue today.
So, under normal circumstances, two years is a “pretty long” time. But under the ravages of the 21st century anxiety-matrix it represents epochs. Kingdoms have risen and fallen. This episode became something of a running joke between us, a mythical whale. Would it ever get released? Is it still relevant? Does it still ring true?
Emphatically, to all questions: yes.