tom moody

"Anemone Would"

"Anemone Would" [6.1 MB .mp3]

A melange of modular synth (1/200th of the size of Venetian Snares'), Ableton presets, and, cough, archival sampling. At approximately :16, tunes emerge.

Update: Shortened, tweaked, reposted.

- tom moody

April 15th, 2016 at 9:02 am

Posted in music - tm



drawn with Linux MyPaint and Krita
from my residency last month

- tom moody

April 15th, 2016 at 7:54 am

mean youtube comment of the week

In response to Venetian Snares showing off his exorbitant modular synth setup for a live demo [YouTube], commenter lukas vojir asks:

Did your fruityloops trial period run out?


- tom moody

April 15th, 2016 at 7:48 am

Posted in general

grisey on music's perceptible value

Another excerpt from Curtis Roads' recently-published book, Composing Electronic Music: A New Aesthetic (Oxford, 2015):

[Gérard] Grisey based his rhythmic theory on perception, rejecting approaches based purely on simple mathematical abstractions such as prime numbers, Fibonacci series, and so on. He did not reject mathematics, but he felt that algorithms needed to take perception into account. As he pointed out, in Stockhausen’s Gruppen (1957) for three orchestras, the work’s rhythmic structure is highly organized in terms of tempi but unfathomable to the listener:

The tempi have great structural importance. Who perceives them?
—GRISEY (1987)

Grisey took issue with rhythmic abstractions promoted by the integral serialists, who were strongly influenced by Messiaen’s book Technique de mon langage musicale (1944). One of the techniques described by Messiaen was non-retrogradable rhythm, or rhythmic palindrome (figure 6.4). He defined these as follows:

Whether one reads them from right to left or from left to right, the order of their values remains the same.

[illustration omitted]

Messiaen’s student Pierre Boulez experimented with related methods of generating symmetric and asymmetric rhythmic figures by transformation of rhythmic cells. For example, he created figures that were the rhythmic inverse of another figure (i.e., notes replaced by rests and vice-versa).
As Grisey (1987) pointed out, these kinds of rhythmic abstractions (i.e., permutational and symmetrical note relations) make absurd assumptions about perception:

Such a distinction, whatever its operational value, has no perceptible value. . . . What a utopia this spatial and static [notion] of time was, a veritable straight line at the center of which the listener sits implicitly, possessing not only a memory but also a prescience that allows him to apprehend the symmetrical moment at the time it occurs! Unless, of course, our superman were gifted with a memory that enabled him to reconstruct the entirety of the durations so that he could, a posteriori, classify them as symmetrical or not!

- tom moody

April 12th, 2016 at 4:26 pm

Posted in general

roy edroso's zinger re: a. sullivan

From Edroso's Village Voice column on "rightbloggers":

It is something to consider how completely [Andrew] Sullivan flipped on Bush; in 2003 he was comparing him to Winston Churchill, and by 2007 he was comparing him to Neville Chamberlain. In the interval Bush himself hadn’t changed in any appreciable way, but a stink of failure did come upon him, which would be anathema to any careerist in his vicinity.


- tom moody

April 11th, 2016 at 4:34 pm

Posted in general

prints available

Plug: three of my drawings can be purchased in the Gazelli Art House online shop. Am very pleased to be rubbing retail shoulders with Archigram, Laura Brothers, and others.


- tom moody

April 11th, 2016 at 8:48 am

Posted in art - tm

"Nursery Rot"

"Nursery Rot" [3.6 MB .mp3]

The main synth voice here is a bit obnoxious -- like a Casio version of a someone's approximation of a ring-modulated trumpet. I just "went with it" and tried to build a short song around this timbre. The "lead" sounds are from sampler modules. A background theme running throughout is a sine and square wave "interleaved" and "bit-rotted" using the Segoh "bit rot" chip for Tiptop Audio's Z-DSP digital processing module. The drums are from various MIDI groove and sample kits in Linplug's RMV drum sampler (recently discontinued so now it's "vintage").

- tom moody

April 11th, 2016 at 8:26 am

Posted in music - tm

"Downsampled Rave Stomp"

"Downsampled Rave Stomp" [5.5 MB .mp3]

This tune uses a couple of hardware sampler modules. Many of the sounds are reduced from a CD-quality 16 bit depth/44.100 sample rate to 8 bits and/or a 22.050 Khz sample rate, in order to be playable in the modules. When the samples are triggered at different pitches they lose some further sound quality. But then they are recorded and mixed with other sounds in Ableton at "32 bit float" (that is, high quality). Ableton changes the speeds again so they conform with the pitch and bpm of the project. Then the samples are saved back down to mp3. Small wonder some of these "stabs" are the audio equivalent of passed-around, screenshotted Instagrams (note topical reference).

- tom moody

April 6th, 2016 at 11:41 am

Posted in music - tm

social media detoxing with Travis Hallenbeck

Travis Hallenbeck just concluded a web residency [link may hang but it will load] where he spent a month away from social media and tried to reconnect with the old world of just following links around the web and finding stuff. The concepts are discussed in an interview titled A Disillusioned Netizen. Worth a read.

Hallenbeck said that when you stop posting on Facebook they hit you with emails saying "we love you, come back and visit [names of your friends]." Not an exact quote, but yuck.

- tom moody

April 4th, 2016 at 7:35 am

Posted in computers-R-stupid

The Art Guys, Situation Sculpture #4: Designated Natural Area

More wonderfully deadpan quasi-Earth Art from Houston's Art Guys. An ordinary median strip is designated as a "natural area," with documentation photos of flora (patches of dead grass), fauna (bird feathers), artifacts (discarded candy wrappers), and "wayfinding" (spraypainted utility markings).


A previous Situation Sculpture was The Flying Stump (no longer flying).

- tom moody

April 2nd, 2016 at 9:00 am

Posted in art - others