Sequences

 

In 1994, I moved to CacaNada to a 19 room farmhouse that had been turned into a private installation museum of sorts. I was invited there by the artist whose family owned it, Laura Kikauka. She'd dubbed the place the "Funny Farm" & the installations in it were ones that she'd made for other places 1st & then relocated to the farm + ones that'd probably originated there. It was located approximately 100 miles NorthWest of Toronto in fairly isolated famring country. It might've been on a 300 acre plot of land that the Bruce Trail went through. I moved there with a 25 foot truck full of gear, including many musical instruments. During the 14 months I stayed there I was very poor & isolated.

This was the beginning of my time to familiarize myself with some of the electronic instruments I'd accumulated in recent years: a Yamaha DX27S Digital Programmable Algorithm Synthesizer, 2 Kawai K1m Wave Table Synthesizers, an Ensoniq Mirage 8 bit Sampler/Sequencer, & a MultiVerb effects unit. I also typically used 2 cheap Radio Shack 4 channel mixers. At some point, I acquired a MIDI-Patcher, I don't remember when but I must've had it for at least some, if not all, of this time.

The equipment was somewhat limited, note my mentioning that the Mirage was only 8 bit & the limit of its sequencer was 333 notes, but I was determined to use it to its fullest. I began programming voices & creating sequences - all with live performance in mind. The performances that grew out of this were vaguely under the category of "Triple-S Variety Shows" with the 3 "S"s being: Synthesizers, Sampler, Sequencer. Often the creation of new voice would lead to its exploitation in a sequence. In some cases, in 1995, I deliberately overextended the sequencer's capability by doing things like having a note-bend as note 333 to trigger unpredictable break-downs - something that I've since read referred to more recently as "black noise".

From late July, 1994, to Late September, 1995, I lived at the Funny Farm. During this time, I probably (d) composed the 1st 67 of these sequences. By the time I moved onto other modes of sound production, at the end of 1997, I'd (d) composed a total of 124. Most or all of these weren't intended to be stand-alone pieces. Instead they were meant to be modular components within the Triple-S Variety Shows. Nonetheless, I do like them as separate (d) compositions & have made some of them publicly available, mostly on the Internet Archive.

Knowing that the equipment that these works were specifically for would eventually cease to work & that my memory of how they were made & what their special features were would fade away, I tried to document them after they were most of them were done. The following is a scan of the 39 page text that I probably made the majority of in 1996 using a Mac SE (that was given to me by my composer friend James "Sarmad" Brody when I was still at the Funny Farm in 1994 or 1995) & a dot-matrix printer.

In the unlikely event that a true scholar ever studies my work, this document will be very valuable. Otherwise, perhaps a few geeks will find it of passing interest. There're other documents that would further explicate matters such as my DX27S Voice/Function Data sheets explaining voices I programmed + the floppy discs that the samples are stored on, etc, but I doubt that I'll ever go to the extreme of making them available online.

I now call Middle C "C4" & the lowest note on my 61 key controller keyboard "C2".

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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