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Posts related to sound and music.

Mixtape 002

Recorded over a few months in 2012 and 2013 by occasionally capturing the output of my laptop into a cassette deck. I usually hit record when something caught my attention and I wanted to save it.

Everything was recording from Youtube with an emphasis on people demonstrating electronic musical instruments.

Materials: Laptop, Stereo Cassette Deck, Youtube
Download: Mixtape-001.mp3.zip

Mixtape 001

Recorded over a few months in mid 2012 by occasionally capturing the output of my laptop into a cassette deck. I usually hit record when something caught my attention or I wanted to save it. Not to be taken seriously, but maybe you'll enjoy it? It sounds a bit like channel surfing a radio since there aren't usually breaks between 'songs'. And sometimes the levels are pretty uneven, but there are some gems... though I can't recall where it all originated.

Materials: Laptop, Stereo Cassette Deck
Download: Mixtape-002.mp3.zip

Spencer Owen Timeshare

Pictured Above: Spencer Owen (center), Richard Caceres (me, left), Eugene Marder (right)

In February 2012 Spencer Owen put together a band to perform his music. I am the keyboardist for this band. Catch us live in the Bay Area, on one of our Tours, or live on the radio.

Here's some info about Spencer Owen.

"Driven by inspirations such as Prince, Laurie Anderson, Gilberto Gil and Todd Rundgren -- among many, many others [even some current musicians! -ed.] -- Spencer Owen (b. Los Angeles/1984, r. Oakland) is a musical polymath, interpreting his interests and influences with careful, passionate abandon. Unafraid of eclecticism both sonic and stylistic (not to mention his own powerful, unexpected falsetto), he supplements his particular approach to melody and arrangement with restless aesthetic creativity in action.

Over the years, he and/or the Timeshare have shared stages with the aforementioned Ariel Pink, Wooden Wand, Raven Fenbahn, Josephine Foster, Whysp, SAFE, Ava Mendoza, Dominique Leone, Cloud Becomes Your Hand, Emma Ruth Rundle (the Nocturnes; the Headless Prince of Zolpidem), Foxtails Brigade, Bells Atlas, Once & Future Band, Wildbirds & Peacedrums, Denny Denny Breakfast, Jackie-O Motherfucker, and, needless to say, more. His live shows are not, in any respect, to be missed. (Source)

Website: http://www.thespencerowen.com/

Music School

In September of 2011 I enrolled at College of San Mateo and began working on an Associates of Arts degree in Music. At the time I had taken up classical piano lessons again, but I felt that meeting for one hour a week did not satisfy me. Also, my main goal was to ultimately develop as a jazz musician, and CSM provided an avenue for that.

Over the next three years, I completed many classes but have not finished the degree yet.

Here's a list of the classes I completed.
- Harmony 1 - 3
- Musicianship 1 - 3
- Advanced Piano workshop - 2 semesters
- Jazz Big Band (piano) - 2 semesters
- Jazz Combos (piano) - 3 semesters

College of San Mateo has an excellent music program, and I would recommended it. Professor Jane Jackson is talented pianist and dedicated classical theory teacher. Professor Mike Galisatus is well regarded in the bay area jazz community. He encouraged me to play and has inspired myself and countless other musicians to develop their jazz abilities. Professor Chuck Mackinnon is a NY transplant and contains wealth of knowledge for aspiring jazz combo performer.

Finally, at CSM I met many other musicians who have become friends and musical comrades.

The B152's

DESMA 152B was a freeform class was led by Professor Chandler McWilliams. The premise was make something using alternative computer interfaces. I took a leadership role and guided the class in the direction towards creating musical instruments and forming a group to perform with our inventions. I developed a conducting language could be used for improvised group performances. Gestures could signal individual performers to navigate in a predetermined musical set of possibilities. At the senior show, I took the role of conductor, while Professor Chandler McWiliams performed on my Photokoto. Our conducting language was influenced by Walter Thompson's "Sound Painting" language. It was also influenced by my experience performing with Synthia Payne.

Links:
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soundpainting
- Class website http://classes.dma.ucla.edu/Spring09/152BC/?cat=13

Additional Files:
- Guidelines.pdf
- Video (coming soon)

Final performance on June 4, 2009

Press Me

Press Me is a sculpture, which is interactive by definition, because it has a button. Its shape marks the spot to press the button, and hear a dazzling sound demonstration. The context for the piece however, was for a exhibition of self-portraits. Press Me is medium between me and the viewer. It asks for their participation in the simplest sense. It brings up the question of why is this asking to be pressed and what do both parties gain by this interaction. It deals with the simple fact that no one cares and the vulnerability of putting yourself out there. It deals with the irony that most interactive media is created alone when it is suppose to be social. Programmers are people, too.

The individual handmade synths were created by myself and classmates as part of a workshop led by Brian Crabtree, the creator of the Monome.

Video:

Audio Recordings:
- Audio Recording 1
- Audio Recording 2

Materials: Microcontrollers, Ardunio, Synthesized Audio, Wood, Momentary switch
June 2009

Blinky Chanty Box

Step 1 - One person chants
Step 2 - Match the Leader's Pitch, Sustain as long as you can
Step 3 - If you get tired, pass the mic to a friend
Step 4 - Watch amazing spirits dance in a blinky spectacle of light!
Step 5 - Attain spiritual enLIGHTenment (and inner peace)

A game created in collaboration with Madeleine Gallagher

More Images

Links:
http://games.ucla.edu/game/blinky-chanty-box/

Additional Files:
blinky-instructions-2-25.pdf

Materials: Microphones, LED's, Arduino, Processing

2009

Interactive Choir

Arranged and conducted by Richard Caceres

Performed by V. Bianqui, M. Daalder, Y. Holzworth, M. Miller, G. Michael-Brower, T. Westhaus, D. Wu, R. York

Performed on May 13, 2009

Using a make-shift audio setup, discrete audio signals were routed and mixed in real-time to eight performers who were instructed to reproduce, as accurately as possible with their voice, the sounds they heard in their headphones. The performance lasted thirty minutes.

The sounds were a mixture of pre-recorded loops and live recordings. The content included spoken poetry, industrial noises, farm sounds, musical harmonies, and more. The choir was made up of new and old friends.

The performance was a made possible through the UCLA Hillel Center and student curators.

Download Full Audio: Download
Materials: USB Audio Interfaces, Eight Pairs of Headphones, Ableton Live
Performed on May 13, 2009

Myoo-Zick

Myoo-Zick is a music app for kids. It allows for drag-and-drop creation of music and encourages playfulness and experimentation.

This is a video demonstrating the core functionality and musical capabilities of Myoo-Zick version 1, a music composing program for children. Myoo-Zick is pronounced however you can read it, but it sounds sort-of like "music".


Original idea

A musical sequencer / composer / performer / programmer.

It can be both deterministic and aleatoric.
It can also be automatic with respect to musical rules or theory.

I imagine it as a sort-of Scratch meets Max meets Electro Plankton meets Experiments in Musical Intelligence (EMI) meets Ableton Live.

The intention is to create an easy-to-use application for experimenting with and learning about electronic music composition. The interface also encourages eccentric thinking.

The interface will consist of a palette of musical modules and a canvas. There will be three types of modules: generators, modifiers, and outputs. These will lock into place so that no mistakes can be made. They can be modified or interacted with in real-time to effectively compose. Compositions can be saved and reloaded. Finally, there will be global settings for scale and tempo.

See Original Storyboard: http://classes.dma.ucla.edu/Winter09/152A/projects/richardcaceres/Richard%20Caceres%20-Projectstoryboard.PDF


Download: Download Link
Materials: Processing
March 2009

NES MIDI Interface

As a kid growing up, my favorite video games were multiplayer games. Having spent so much time playing them, it is no surprise that I still desire multiplayer experiences. This NES controller to MIDI converter is another exploration of the connections between sound/music and play/games. It is an interface for sonic collaboration and entertainment.

The device was exhibited at the UCLA Design Media Arts Undergraduate Exhibition in 2008.

When performed solo the interaction takes on a whole new direction. The performer finds ways to use all the controllers at once. This can be done with the feet, elbows, palms, head, etc.

The controllers as instruments can be used to trigger anything from sonic explosions to calm meditation.

Two arpeggiated mbiras with kettle noises and door squeaks:
http://richard-c.com/touch/nes-midi/NES MBIRA ARP KETTLE NOISE.mp3

Improvisational duet with melodious second half:
http://richard-c.com/touch/nes-midi/NES With Madre Edited.mp3

Noisy upright bass and kitchen noises:
http://richard-c.com/touch/nes-midi/NES improv 2 for Video.mp3

Materials: Custom electronics, Arduino, Nintendo controllers, MIDI, Audio
August 2008