Author Archives: Clay

Interview on the Mike Watt from Pedro Show

Watt from Pedro

Heather Lockie and I went on Mike Watt’s Watt from Pedro Show on Tuesday, December 20th for an interview and to play tracks from the upcoming Marshweed album called Marshweed in the Garden. We also improvised on viola and synth with “Brother Matt” who performs a mashup of tunes each week on the show in a segment called the Spin Cycle. You can listen to the podcast episode here.

Bitpanic at REDCAT

Bitpanic at REDCAT

Bitpanic, the computer music ensemble that I am in will peform at REDCAT on Saturday, December 3rd for a concert of Mark Trayle’s music. We are sharing the bill with The Hub and are performing two of Mark’s pieces and an improvisation. Here is the information from the REDCAT site:

The superbly imaginative, sonically expansive work of composer and sound artist Mark Trayle (1955–2015) is the subject of this tribute by friends, colleagues and former students in The Hub and Bitpanic. Co-founded by Trayle in 1986, The Hub emerged out of the Mills College scene to become the most influential improvising electronic ensemble since Musica Elettronica Viva (MEV). Known for using networked electronic and digital systems of its own devising, the Bay Area group currently consists of John Bischoff, Chris Brown, Tim Perkis, Scot Gresham-Lancaster, Phil Stone and Matt Ingalls. Adding to the computer music lineage pioneered by The Hub is the recently formed collective Bitpanic. Based in Los Angeles, it comprises Casey Anderson, Scott Cazan, Clay Chaplin, David Paha and Stephanie Smith—all one-time students of Trayle at CalArts.

Tickets and information can be found on the REDCAT website.

For Bunita Marcus at Boston Court

For Bunita Marcus at Boston Court

I will be providing live-visuals for pianist Vicki Ray’s performance of Morton Feldman’s For Bunita Marcus on Friday, July 8th at Boston Court in Pasadena, CA. Vicki and I originally collaborated on a similar performance of For Bunita Marcus in 1998 using a primitive live video setup and one of the first live-video software programs called Imagine created at STEIM in Amsterdam. The technical setup in 1998 used an analog video camera processed at low resolution using a bulky Power Mac 8500 and a dedicated video card. For this performance I’ll just bring my laptop running Jitter and a pan-tilt-zoom HD video camera to create 1080p live visuals!

Performance at the VU Symposium

VU Symposium

I will be performing a set of improvised computer music featuring my piece, Old Raney, as a part of the first annual VU Symposium on experimental, electronic, and improvised music. The festival will be held in Park City Utah from July 5-7th, 2016. Here is a snippet about the symposium from the VU organizers:

The theme for our first symposium is quite broad. We invite scholars, performers, ensembles, composers, critics, and anyone and everyone interested in experimental, improvised, and/or electronic music to present papers, pieces, curated concerts, ideas, half-ideas, lectures, performance pieces, improvisations, or installations that ask, answer, or critique the following question: “What happened, what’s happening now, and what could happen?”

Field Recording Concert at DogStar Festival

field recording concert at Dog Star Festival

I am organizing a concert of new field recording works to be presented as a part of the 2016 Dog Star Orchestra concerts. The concert will be titled Dog Star from the Fields and will feature new works by local Los Angeles composers including myself, Scott Cazan, Ryan Gaston, David Paha, Sepand Shahab, Stephanie Smith and Colin Wamsgans.

Dogstar from the Fields
Thursday, June 16th
Roy O. Disney Concert Hall at CalArts, 8pm
24700 McBean Parkway, Valencia, CA 91355

Old Raney

Old Raney

Old Raney is a computer-based improvisation using field recordings from the Alan Lomax archive as source material. The field recordings I chose for this piece are significantly filled with pops, clicks, and scrapes from the acetate disc recording media used in the 1930s and 1940s. The recording media mistakes are a framework for the improvisation and are blended with the voices and sounds of the musicians being recorded. The result is a tapestry of noise, processed musical instruments, and processed voices of the characters Alan Lomax encountered creating a sonic world that is a blend of processed computer-based sounds and old analog disc sounds.

Listen to a studio version of Old Raney

Listen to a live performance of Old Raney

Performance in memory of Mark Trayle at Mills College

Saturday, February 13th 2016 – Mills College

A tribute to composer and sound artist Mark Trayle, featuring his solo compositions and works for network bands performed by his musical friends, colleagues, and students associated with Mills and Cal Arts: Casey Anderson, John Bischoff, Chris Brown, Scott Cazan, Clay Chaplin, Scot Gresham-Lancaster, Matt Ingalls, David Paha, Tim Perkis, Sara Roberts, Zachary Mariano, and Phil Stone. Pieces include Unstable Trombone, Paper, In My Room, Pins & Splits, and Simple Degradation.

Performance at The Wulf

I will perform a new improvised work at The Wulf on Saturday, February 6th, 2016 starting at 8pm or so. I am happily sharing the bill with Jon Leidecker (aka Wobbly) and Tania Chen. I will premiere a computer-based improvisation that uses tracks from the Alan Lomax archive as source material.

Potential Artifact at ICMC

Potential Artifact

I will be premiering a new piece called Potential Artifact on Monday, September 28th at the ICMC conference in Denton, Texas. The piece is a structured improvisation for viola and computer. I will be using a new custom-made, Raspberry Pi based synthesizer for the performance.

Raspberry Pi Synthesizer

Raspberry Pi Synthesizer

This summer I’ve been working on a prototype for a low-cost, Raspberry Pi synthesizer that is completely self-contained and ready for performance. The prototype uses a Raspberry Pi B+ computer and the built-in GPIO pins to provide controller inputs. No external micro-controller is necessary. Pure Data is the software engine behind the instrument which provides a never ending array of sonic possibilities. The goal of the project is to provide an updated instrument for my own performances and to provide an update to the system I’ve been using in my Networked Music Performance class at CalArts. For now I’ve been focussing on creating an audio synthesizer but a video synthesizer that uses the same hardware is also in the works. One goal for the project is to basically create a hardware “shell” that can be flashed with different software configurations for audio (Pure Data) and video (Python, PiCamera). The hardware, 16 buttons, 8 knobs and 8 sliders, will be installed in a custom case that will house the Raspberry Pi, provide a stereo audio connector and access to the USB ports for WiFi connectivity and battery operation possibilities.