Charlotte the cat contemplates the horror that is a circuit-bent Big Mouth Billy Bass. From Ok Housecat on YouTube.
I was often sardonically amused by this fishy contraption since the commercials in the 1990s. But now I am genuinely intrigued by its circuit-bending possibilities. At the very least, it could make for a fun CatSynth TV episode. I found at least one set of instructions here, but it might be even more fun to just take it aport and just explore with alligator cables.
The Horror…The Horror…
From Ok Housecat. Visit their website okhousecat.com, where you can see an amazing array of circuit-bent and other custom electronic instruments. We at CatSynth are going to spend some more time exploring the video demos 😻
Purim is the “most synthesizer-y” of Jewish holidays, given that one of it’s central rituals is noisemaking. This year we created a synthesizer demo running sounds from a gragger through several modules.
The demo uses a mixture of pre-recorded gragger on the QuBit Nebulae and live sound via the Mikrophonie and Make Noise Echophon. The full list of modules used in the Purim demo is:
Make Noise Echophon
Qu-Bit Nebulae (v1)
Rossum Electro-Music Morpheus
Make Noise Maths
Make Noise Tempi
Malekko Heavy Industry Noisering
I do wish I already had a Qu-bit Nebulae v2 for this project. You can see our review of v2 from NAMM 2018 here.
Purim is a holiday that commemorates the saving of the Jewish people in the ancient Persian Empire from the king’s wicked advisor Haman, as told in the book of Esther. Traditionally, the gragger is used to mask the name of Haman when said out loud during readings.
You can hear her sweet but demanding voice, and see how our little girl spends a typical afternoon. It’s a pretty envious existence if I say so myself 😺. One can also see her rather unique way of walking up and down stairs.
It’s Boxing Day. And Sam Sam wants to celebrate with one of her favorite activities: boxing!
While our friends in the UK, Canada and elsewhere in the former British Empire actually celebrate the holiday, we at CatSynth in the United States just love the name. But we have long been curious about its significance and origin. From Wikipedia:
There are competing theories for the origins of the term, none of which are definitive. The Oxford English Dictionary gives the earliest attestations from Britain in the 1830s, defining it as “the first week-day after Christmas-day, observed as a holiday on which post-men, errand-boys, and servants of various kinds expect to receive a Christmas-box”.
The term “Christmas-box” dates back to the 17th century, and among other things meant:
A present or gratuity given at Christmas: in Great Britain, usually confined to gratuities given to those who are supposed to have a vague claim upon the donor for services rendered to him as one of the general public by whom they are employed and paid, or as a customer of their legal employer; the undefined theory being that as they have done offices for this person, for which he has not directly paid them, some direct acknowledgement is becoming at Christmas.
From Andor Polgar on YouTube, via matrixsynth. Rhodes, Make Noise Morphagene and cat, what is not to love?
Things used in the video: vegan sausage for taming the cat (that’s her favorite), Make Noise Morphagene eurorack module, Rhodes Mark I electric piano, Expert Sleepers Disting mk4 for the reverb effect.
It may be time to experiment again here at HQ with the Nord and some Make Noise modules…
Our latest CatSynth TV documents yesterday’s edition of inWooble, a monthly synthesizer meetup and jam session at LinkedIn’s offices in downtown San Francisco. I had the opportunity to join this time, and had a good time performing with everyone – I particularly enjoyed the time where we were rhythmically together or forming complex contrapuntal textures across the six modular-synthesizer setups. And the views of downtown SF out the window were pretty cool, too.
Hosts: Franck Martin Juan Rosales Bryan Levay
Participants: M.0 (Maurice Jackson) Amanda Chaudhary Chris Otchy
Written & directed by Mariusz Wasilewski
Girl #1 – Daria Cieniak
Girl #2 – Iwona Szylin
Boy #1 – Konrad Domaszewski
Boy #2 – Jakub Gryzowski
Cyborg cat #1 – Kamila Górka-Czarska
Cyborg cat #2 – Ilona Baran
Cat – Szarik cat
Camera operators: Stanisław Patejko, Mariusz Wasilewski, Marcin Czerwienny, Tomasz Kowal, Artur Tymański
Edited by Mariusz Wasilewski
Music performed by KATOD(Mariusz Wasilewski) – “Haunted” track from upcoming album (2018)
Make up & stylist, Catering & drinks – Sylvia Katarzyna, Kamila Górka-Czarska
Mateusz Raginia (Fiat 125p owner), Sebastian Tawgien (VW Golf 1 owner), Krzysztof Grudziński (Taxi driver & help)
Produced by Mariusz Wasilewski
There is definitely a 1980s theme in the aesthetic as well as the instrumentation 😺
Far Out Gallery in the Sunset district of San Francisco is currently hosting a solo exhibition of works by Anne Herbst, and we were on hand to see it and cover it on CatSynth TV.
Of course, the cat-imagery particularly caught my eye, but there are many layers beyond that. Even in the cats, one can see some of the other elements that permeate Herbst’s art, including undulating lines and traces of her body that are used both as textures and bounding elements.
There are also the frequent connections to her personal history in the inclusion of faces and hints of other people. The connection to blood comes up both in the use of color, imagery, and the context of a couple of the paintings. It features in a self portrait as well as a piece for her father’s 90th birthday, both of which are featured in the video.
Herbst took the personal history to a new level for this exhibition by re-imagining childhood drawings with her current artistic style and practice.
We see the lines, shapes, and character of her current work brought to the original cat figure from the drawing. One can also notice the blood-like elements and color in this piece.
Creatures of all sorts abound throughout. In addition to the cats, the turtle seems to be a recurring animal, and was featured prominently in the work we most associated with the exhibition title “Ripples.”
Far Out Gallery has been a great discovery for us, a place connecting us more deeply to that sometimes remote western edge of San Francisco. We are happy to have been there for both Anne Herbst’s show and Kasper Rodenborn’s earlier this season. We hope to see more in the future.