CatSynth pic: Sweet Spot (Arturia MiniBrute)

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Cat with MiniBrute

Submitted by ⓉⒺⒸⒽℕ⌽▃ⒾⒹ●⒞⒪⒨ via Twitter.

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CatSynth pic: Jam Session Cat

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Jam session cat

Not strictly a cat-and-synth picture, but definitely a cat and musical instruments :). Submitted by ⓉⒺⒸⒽℕ⌽▃ⒾⒹ●⒞⒪⒨ via Twitter @catsynth.

“Ready to go for the jam session …”

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Weekend Cat Blogging with Luna: Documenting Art

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We have a lot going on at CatSynth HQ this extended holiday weekend. Here we see Luna supervising the process of documenting artwork.

Luna and cartoons

It’s actually not my artwork, or Luna’s; but it is a series of great cartoons by a very close friend of ours, many of which are part of a series called the Mensa Cats. I am using both a portrait (fixed) lens and a zoom lens to get the best photos possible. This impromptu photo featuring Luna was done with the portrait lens, which sometimes blurs a bit.

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CatSynth pic: Rico with Rhodes, Minimoog, Putney and modular

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ricoplaysthemoogsm.1

Via matrixsynth. This one is a true blast from the past, posted there only a week after CatSynth was founded :)

This one in via Michael. “Attached photo: Rico the cat playing a solo lead line while accompanying self on Rhodes. He hasn’t yet got the hang of the (unfinished) modular, but my other cat has opposable thumbs and is a fast learner. Putney and Minimoog on loan from Reed.”

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Cat-and-music pic: Oliver and his albums

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Oliver

Submitted by Damien Olsen via our Facebook page.

“I am Oliver, I appreciate any form of Art but my favorite one is probably music..”

We think Oliver has excellent taste in music!

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Wordless Wednesday: Which Way?

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20140601-IMG_1043

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CatSynth Pic: Kimball Collins with Roland V-Synth XT

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Kimball Collins

From an eBay auction, via matrixsynth.

“The ultimate FSU rack sampler/synth. Includes vocal processor & D-50 modes. Comes with PCMCIA-to-CompactFlash adapter and 512MB CF card loaded with waveforms for synthesis exploration. Useful as an external effects processor, too. Clean condition, smoke free home, minimal rack rash on included ears.”

“The cat’s name is Kimball Collins (after the DJ).”

While not much interest per se in this specific synth, I have been a bit curious about the Roland D50/D550, mostly because I like the partials. If you have opinions about either the Roland V-Synth XT or the D50/550, please let us know in the comments :)

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CatSynth pic: Synth cat cartoon!

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synth cat, by JB

Submitted by Jason Berry of the band Vacuum Tree Head via our Facebook page. More of these, please :)

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Outsound New Music Summit: Jill Burton Trio, Obstreperous Doves, Emergency String (X)tet

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The 2014 Outsound New Music Summit concluded with a night of improvising ensembles, including a couple of very memorable performances.

The evening being with the Obstreperous Doves, a project by Bill Noertker that brought together Nava Dunkelman, Christina Stanley, Karl Evangelista, and Dave Mihaly in an exploration of assertive and complex improvisation.

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[Photo: PeterBKaars.com.]

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[Photos by Michael Zelner]

Besides giving us a chance to use the word “obstreperous” – and it is indeed a fine word – the ensemble allowed the talents of all five artists to blend while still letting them each have a voice. Christina Stanley provided noisy and harmonic violin sounds as well as her voice, including a strange but amusing story layered on top of pieces. Nava Dunkelman offered up a wealth of percussive sounds that also sang at times. Karl Evangelista was in usual form with his intense and intricate guitar playing. The group lived up to its name with lots of noisy percussive sections, but also moments of more harmonic jazz phrases, and quiet instances as well.

The Obstreperous Doves were followed by the Bob Marsh’s ensemble the Emergency String (X)tet. They premiered a Terrascore by Marsh composed for his 70th birthday.

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[Photo: PeterBKaars.com.]

A terrascore is “a musical geobiographic representation of an individual.” In this case it focused on locations significant to Marsh’s artistic life: his home town of Detroit, Chicago, Berkeley and San Francisco. The ensemble improvised with Marsh conducting from a score based on geographical information from these places, along with field recordings that he made. I’m pretty sure I recognized the one that represented the area around the Luggage Store Gallery in San Francisco. The other members of the ensemble included Mia Bella D’Augelli, Jeff Hobbs,
Christina Stanley (pulling double-duty on this night), David Michalak, Doug Carroll, and Kanoko Nishi-Smith.

The final performance was a trio that brought together vocalist Jill Burton with Tim Perkis on electronics and Doug Carroll (also pulling double-duty) on cello. This was a first-time collaboration by the three of them. The result very captivating performance. It started with a very mysterious and haunting solo by Jill Burton, who then demonstrated the range of her extended vocal techniques blending with Perkis’ liquidy electronic sounds and Carroll’s scratchy percussive cello. It was also a theatrical performance, with expressive gestures and movement by Burton coupled with Carroll’s cello antics, sometimes turning the instrument backwards or upside down. But all along with a sonically beautiful and varied experience, that contained the right amount of silence amidst the energy of the sounds.

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[Photo by Michael Zelnzer]

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[Photo: PeterBKaars.com.]

It was a very strong finale to this year’s summit, and it was interesting to compare and contrast the book ends of the Jill Burton trio with Pitta of the Mind from the opening. It was probably among the best years overall since I started attending this event in 2008; and I look forward to what comes next year.

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Wordless Wednesday: Luna in Black and White

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Luna lounging, black and white photo

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