In this workshop we will explore some principles I have been using over the years in instrument design on a computer. These principles are mainly for instruments that I have been using in ensemble settings, where I improvise with musicians who play more conventional acoustic or electric instruments. These principles are about silence, leaving space, “breathing”, placing the instrument in a certain frequency spectrum, deciding which aspects/parameters of the instrument to control in real-time. We will also talk about the use of controllers. Most important of all, we will discuss one of the biggest pitfalls of electronic music: focus on process versus focus on output, which, in my experience, is a masculine/feminine divide in approaching the computer as a sound-making machine.
We will not focus on that or any other specific software environment in the workshop, but only talk about the general principles. The workshop participants are free to use whichever software or hardware they feel comfortable with. This could range from a computer running commercial software to a circuit-bent toy. If there is interest, we can also talk about live processing.
The workshop will be at least two hours long and will continue further if there is interest in some applied work. Participants are highly encouraged to bring their desired electronic tool for music making. No prior knowledge of programming is required, but creativity and open minds are very welcome.