Preparing for Tonight’s Show at The Lab

I have been busily preparing for tonight’s solo set at The Lab here in San Francisco. As usually happens, I initially plan to simplify the setup, but then as I work on the set musically, more instruments and equipment end up part of the rig. And this one may be one of the largest to date.

In addition to the Nord Stage (aka “The Big Red Keyboard”), there is the newly reconfigured modular synth, the Prophet 12, the Moog Mother 32, Casio SK-1, and iPad. The modular path features multiple voices, including some processing external audio from the Nord and the SK-1, respectively.

Why so big? Well, it comes out the current musical direction, which mixes jazz and funk with experimental electronics. That means a full-size keyboard is always present. And the electronics has to provide rhythmic and harmonic support in addition to timbral support. This always adds significant complexity, but provides for a richer musical experience.


Here are the details on the show, including the other acts. I am excited to have a group improv with my friends Joshua Marshall, Jaroba, and Christina Stanley. And the evening will begin with an orchestra of invented instruments from Pet The Tiger (David Samas, Tom Nunn et al.) with dance by Christina Braun. If you are in the Bay Area tonight, please consider joining us.

Thursday, June 22, 8PM
The Lab
2948 16th St SF

A special evening of funky and noisy sounds, invented instruments, whimsy, and more 😺 🎶

8:00PM Pet The Tiger Inventors Collective performs Arc Weld
8:40PM Amanda Chaudhary solo. Funky and experimental electronics
9:20PM Amanda Chaudhary with collaborators Joshua Marshall, Jaroba, and Christina Stanley

door: $5-10

Additional info on BayImproviser.

CatSynth Pic: Black Cat and Korg MS-20

Black cat and MS-20

Another from our friends at Eevo Lute Music & Technology, via Instagram and Facebook. You can see their previous contributions here. This one features their black cat with a Korg MS-20 synthesizer and sundry household items.

Synthesizers, vacuum cleaner, cat and washing machine. #neveradullmoment #housekeeping #musicstudio #blackcats

While many readers are undoubtedly familiar with the MS-20, those who are not can learn more here.

CatSynth Video: Roland re-201 space echo + iPad fugue machine + electric violin

From abertronic on YouTube, via matrixsynth.

“Another one of my restored space echo’s now for sale on ebay.

Ive got an iPad with the app ‘Fugue Machine’ playing through one input and live electric violin on another. Just a quick jam showing that this space echo is working as it should.

My cat loves the space echo… unfortunately she cannot be left alone with it because she’ll chew up the tapes!

ROLAND Re-201 Space Echo $899USD
Its just been cleaned, serviced and checked. Cosmetically very good condition!
Internally and externally cleaned. Pots cleaned and lubricated with contact cleaner.
Serial number: 653577
PLUS! 1 tape installed and 5 spare tape loops!!! (new loops)

Pinch roller and tape heads are in excellent condition. Sounds great , with minimum wow and flutter.
Very nice unit!
Full service has been done on this unit including polished tape heads.
youtube demo coming soon…
SHIPPING
$145US SAL economy Air (approx 1-2weeks) .
This item is 100v 50/60hz you may need a power converter depending on your country.”

Luna’s 12th Gotcha Day (in memoriam)

Today would have been Luna’s 12th Gotcha Day, 12 years since I first brought her home. And a little over 7 months since she left us.

As with any deep loss, one starts to dwell less upon it over time. Sam Sam’s presence has played a strong role in that. But I did catch myself saying “Luna” to try and get her attention the other day. It doesn’t happen often, but I notice when it does.

I want to celebrate her life and the many years we had together. She was a constant presence, a soulmate, and of course a fine feline model full of grace and elegance. So please indulge me in this series of photos.





But emotions work in strange ways. Sitting down to write this, opening up the editor and typing, has caused my heart to sink and my eyes to water up. I would say this is healthy, given the deepness of our relationship and the magnitude of the loss. There is a very specific sadness associated with grief. It builds slowly and lingers for quite a while, and then can suddenly burst forth, usually in response to another’s emotions or sympathy. I expect that process will play out again today. I am grateful for the many good things that have unfolded in life since she passed, but I still miss her so much.

Wayne Shorter Quartet at SFJAZZ

This spring the Wayne Shorter Quartet returned to the SFJAZZ center, and we at CatSynth returned to see them.


[Wayne Shorter Quartet at SFJAZZ. Photo by Bill Evans. Via SFJAZZ on Instagram]

In addition to Mr Shorter, the quartet included Danilo Perez on piano and John Patitucci on bass. Terri Lyne Carrington sat in on drums in place of Brian Blade. Carrington is a longtime collaborator with Shorter, but she brought a very different energy to the quartet than Blade did when we saw them in 2015. The result was a more lush and melodic rhythm line that was in sharp contrast to Blade’s more minimalist rhythms. It was, however, Perez who shown brightest on this particular night with a virtuosic and athletic piano performance throughout. Perez’s long fast runs contrasted with Shorter’s very spare and minimal style as they danced around both classic and new tunes, never really presenting the heads in their entirety but hinting at them enough for many of us in the audience to pick up on what was happening. More than one tune was completely framed by Perez’s piano solos. Nonetheless, it was still Wayne Shorter holding court in the middle of the stage, each spare note from his instruments placed carefully.

Not surprisingly, it was a full house at the Miner Auditorium that evening; and the audience got what they came for in seeing a living legend of jazz but also experiencing new music at the same time. As in 2015, the quartet played new compositions in addition to older well-known tunes. It’s great to see someone of Wayne Shorter’s stature and long career continuing to break new musical ground in live performances.

CatSynth Video: Cat In Modular Synthesizer

Happy #caturday 😻🎛 #synthcat #catsynth 🔊

A post shared by Matt Levy (@machew) on

From Matt Levy (machew) on Instagram. Watch the full video for the cat 😸.

A lot of familiar modules in this modular synth, including Make Noise Rene and Tempi, some TipTop audio, and more.