snwv studies the music of the sine wave.
snwv started as my project to create ambient environments from finely tuned software-generated sine waves. Now it includes those, other kinds of oscillators, processors for live inputs (guitar, other instruments, ambient microphones, feedback). Some patches are focused on the oscillators, some on delays, some on controlled amounts of randomness. Results range from gentle ambience to chaos.
Since mid-March 2020 and the beginning of social isolation/lockdown, I've been performing an ambient improvisation with guitar and Max/MSP, every Monday at 8PM EDT, and streaming it live at https://www.twitch.tv/onezeromusic.
Archives of past performances are available to stream here, and can be purchased or downloaded for free at bandcamp:
6/24/17: A live over-the-internet performance of the Max/MSP patch and Bastl Kastle synth for the Memphis Concrète festival--includes dynamic signal degradation, and a first time for streaming from the home studio.
3/19/17: The third annual Oscillate: Pittsburgh synthesis festival included a short snwv set, again with Moog guitar, and introducing the Bastl Kastle synth into the setup.
2/18/17: A long and very ambient Moog guitar + Max/MSP + microphone set by the indoor swimming pool at PRF Thundersnow 2017, in Escanaba, MI:
1/28/17: A house show at Evaton Technologies headquarters offered an opportunity to burn in the new snwv Max/MSP patch--includes Moog guitar, wah pedal, and Reuss RF-01 Repeater Fuzz.
8/9/16: snwv performed again at the Black Forge Coffeehouse, in a set opening for Duluth's Tim Kaiser. A newly debugged Pd patch sounds rather different here:
5/19/16: snwv feedback performance at the appropriately-named Howlers.
1/2/16: snwv feedback performance at the Black Forge.
An unpleasant-to-perform set turns out to be worth listening to, especially at reduced speed:
I've returned to snwv live performance with another set of microphone feedback through the dynamic, randomized pitch-and-delay processor:
I performed live with the multiple-parameter-randomization patch on July 27, 2014, and the set is now available here:
And because anything worth listening to is worth listening to more slowly, here it is at 1/4-speed. All kinds of detail comes out, and events that happen too quickly in the regular version can be detected. There are even melodies.
I installed a temporary piece at the 2014 International Conference on Deep Listening, in a hallway during the poster session. Two microphones went into a Pure Data patch of six ring modulators and six pitch shifters, all the parameters of which were randomized within ranges, and the time between the updates were also randomized within ranges.
I had two snwv installations during the First International Conference on Deep Listening July 12-14, at EMPAC at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, organized by Pauline Oliveros and the Deep Listening Institute. This one was a bit of a challenge--the pieces were scheduled for installation in a mastering studio, which was well designed to prevent obvious resonant frequencies through angled windows, sound absorption material, and the like. Even so, I was able to find enough resonance to make the pieces work. The first version uses the resonances of the longer dimension of the room; the second uses the shorter.
Impulse, an interactive piece at the third NOISE event in Pittsburgh on April 7, 2013. The piece was installed in a room covered in bubble wrap. I used four room mics into a Pure Data patch that processed each mic with a pitch shifter, panning algorithm (in quad), and two time delays. All parameters (transposition, chunk size, pitch shift delay, pan, 2-bus delay, regeneration, delay level) were set randomly by the system, at intervals that were themselves updated randomly. At times, the system would tip into oscillation. Here's an interview in which I discuss the piece.
There was a snwv installation (Wave Space) at the Ingenuity Festival in Cleveland, OH, from September 16, 2011, through September 18, 2011, in Space 33, on the East side of the bridge, near the W. Superior Ave./West 9th St. entrance. The space was a former subway station restroom, rectangular and highly reflective, and the sound source disappeared--sound appeared to come from all over the room, and the installation was experienced by hundreds of people during the festival.
The first public snwv performance was at the 2011 PRFBBQ in Chicago, IL on Saturday, June 25, playing interstitial sound structures between performances.
The first official collection of snwv work is available for download from snwv.bandcamp.com. Download for free, or pay what you will as a gesture of support.
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