Across the Transom: June 2023

A sustainable artistic practice, Casual Luke, patchbay layout

Gahlord Dewald :: 7/01/23 :: Honolulu


"Stop Writing Dead Programs" by Jack Rusher (Strange Loop 2022)


I have internet connectivity once every 4 or 5 days for half of the year, and if the totality of the future of computing is built on rent-a-software products that rely on constant internet access, my impression of the future at this time, is that it will be mostly out of my reach, stuff that I hear about from time to time, but won’t get to interact with much at all.

I already get invited to events where not a single product being demonstrated on stage works offline. The future of software looks like a 404 page to me right now.

Devine Lu Linvega in forum reply on the topic "Future of contemporary software design"


A sustainable artistic practice is one that can support itself—financially, emotionally, communally—and fosters its own community, putting that value back into the space it inhabits.

Rene Gannon-O’Gara in an Internet forum post outlining thoughts on forward-looking film creation.


Anku’s Theory of African Rhythm, video


A documentary about Jamaica's Studio One covering the development of reggae.


Then Luke excused himself to go back to the lifeguard tower, where he finished his shift, staying until the crowds had left and the sun had set.

Gabriella Paiella's "Casual Luke Rides the Big Wave" in GQ


Louis Johnson slap bass video lesson, Larry Graham slap bass video lesson.


As a music critic for the Village Voice in the 70s, he was one of the very first people to refer to “minimalism” in music. As he sees it, he told me back in 2013, there is not one minimalist music – but five different kinds: repetitive music, drone music, music of limited means, music of minimal differences, and silent music.

Robert Barry's "<sub>LIVE REPORT</sub>: Deep Minimalism 2.0" in The Quietus

'I only have one trick' Éliane Radigue told me a few years ago. 'It is the cross-fade!' She pulled her fingers apart as if stretching taffy and laughed.

Sasha Frere-Jones's "Unsettling the Score" in Artforum


And it’s because, in part, because, as you said, no one’s making money on streaming.

"The State of Ambient Music" in Pitchfork Review


What I hadn’t realized as a teenager is that the most exciting music is connected by invisible threads that snake across time and place and genre and language; that there are frequencies and curiosities that great artists can tune into, and that to opt out of this kind of curiosity is a massive limitation. Sakamoto taught me that music isn’t a flow chart; it’s the longest-running flirtation in history.

Jen Monroe in "Ryuichi Sakamoto, 1952–2023." The Baffler


it encourages us to find meaning in the signifiers we attribute to ourselves, to build our sense of self around external forces. when we are in pursuit of meaning purely through shallow, aesthetic symbolism, said signifiers never actually connect with the action they imply. they remain an echo of an intent which is never materially fulfilled.

From Honor Ash's "acting from integrity vs acting as performance"


On reviewing someone's patchbay layout

Typically patch bays are set up to follow signal flow, with instruments/sources on the left, then computer I/O, then effects/processors. When it’s your patchbay though, you can of course lay it out however you like.

Re: Normalling/Halfnormalling: There’s kind of no reason to use full normal. If you really want to block stuff going through you can put a patch cable in and just let it dangle to cut the input. If, for example, you want to run your stereo mix into your PCM recorder/reel-to-reel/archival device and listen on your monitors to the computer output you’ll wish you had it set up half-normal.

I might also just hardwire the monitors to the interface and skip the patchbay for that part as you’re going to invite some nasty pops and cracks as you plug/unplug stuff there. There’s other stuff that you might be able to do there but I don’t know the I/O capabilities of your AD/DA converter.

I absolutely would have as many outputs and inputs on the patchbay as possible because that’s how you’ll engage and route the signal to your analog hardware. It’s why you have a patchbay in the first place.

If you have routings you use regularly (i.e. normally), set your patchbay up to take advantage of that with half-normalling. Even if that means “misaligning” the gear in the patchbay.

For example, if you always record in with a Prophet and OB6 go ahead and set them up to half-normal into your interface inputs. Or if you always run part of your mix through the Valley People (I know I would if I had one) then go ahead and half-normal some interface outs to the In of the Valley People. And I’d do this for full chains as well, so if you always go from the Prophet to the Gatex to the computer then I would line up the patchbay signal path with half-normals so it doesn’t require any patch cables.

If it was me laying this out, I’d put the synths on the left out row, half-normalled into the interface ins on the left ins row. Then I’d run the interface outs on the out row half-normalled into the whatever their usual things were (looks like maybe you have some key inputs or something, I’m not familiar with the Gatex or DS201). Last I’d put any fun gear that isn’t usually patched with their outs above their ins and isolated/de-normalled/“through”.


Your activity as an artist, upsetting the ordinary ethology of the insect, seems to me to be the same thing as introducing a noise, complicating its umwelt and producing a response. In your diversion of the caddis worm’s behavior, in your artistic manipulation, the effect is twofold. From a biological viewpoint, a random event triggers self-organization. From a human viewpoint, the experimenter’s intent produces this effect.

From "Artist Project / Trichopterae" in Cabinet


With the help of his long-time business manager Alton Abraham, Sun Ra created his own record label in 1956, Saturn, to release Arkestra recordings. The albums, which were usually pressed in very small batches, were sold exclusively at live shows and through a tiny smattering of hand-picked record stores.

Jim Knipfel's "Angels and Demons at Play," The Believer via


Scientists generally believe that ceremonial burial indicates a sophisticated culture comfortable with abstract ideas. Art, meanwhile, is an example of the sort of symbolic thinking that some believe to be a precursor to language and high-level cognition.

"A tiny, ancient hominin may have been surprisingly clever" in The Economist


Even some of the products of the boom, those nifty, bespoke little shows that played to small but fervently devoted audiences, are starting to go bye-bye as well, and in the post–physical media era, that means they’ve effectively been deleted from the world.

Sam Adams's "Peak TV Is Over. Welcome to Trough TV" in Slate


Fire bans were effective tools of control because fire is often central to traditional food systems. Historically and around the world, many peoples have used fire to sustainably tend vegetation, enrich soil, and create verdant ecosystems that attract animals for hunting. The day that Arrillaga banned fire, he effectively criminalized the economic system of the Native Chumash peoples and tethered the Indigenous populations to the emerging ranching and plantation economies of the Spanish Empire.

Jordan Thomas's "A Note from the Fireline" in The Drift


'Everybody I know is watching Swarm, but then my mom and my in-laws and my young and cool brother-in-law don’t even realize it exists. So then you ask yourself, Why do I know that this show exists? TV has become very artisanal.'

Damon Lindelof quoted in Josef Adalian and Lane Brown's "The Binge Purge," Vulture


A traditional granular synthesis approach is to consider all parameters modulatable over time, and these modulations are left up to the composer or performer. In Correlated Granular Synthesis, time is just another grain parameter, and if a non-time parameter “modulates” it’s really a special case of statistical correlation. An important implication is that Correlated Granular Synthesis is a more or less offline sequencer where all grains have to be planned out in advance, although the synthesis itself can be in real time.

Nathan Ho's "Correlated Granular Synthesis"


It disappears because we don’t design it, don’t build it, we only post into prepared forms.

Olia Lialina's "It Looks Like Fun, But it is a Sad Exhibition," in One Terabyte of Kilobyte Age