This is a piece from this past spring that uses live processing in Supercollider. It was premiered at The Luggage Store Gallery in San Francisco. The amplified violin becomes the springboard for a changing interplay between electronic processing and a confined set of acoustic material. The electronic parameters can be controlled live through a foot pedal (I’m using the Keith McMillen Softstep and their firmware, which used to be awful but has improved, to send OSC messages to Supercollider). the volume of the violin has the biggest effect on the processing, but it’s also possible to create instant changes to the electronics using pedal triggers. Using pitch triggers and pre-recorded audio from voices and field recordings is something to explore with my next piece in this series.


Video from the premiere of my one-act chamber opera at Mills College’s Signal Flow Festival, 8 March 2014


(Source: Spotify)

"My girlfriend called bullshit on the highlight reel of my childhood. I didn’t believe half this stuff either, but I believed some of it. That is, I wanted the option in my early 20s of believing it some nights, to lie in bed after a lame day as a secretary and revel in my secret specialness that had not yet been recognized by the world. Doubting the myths of your childhood can be more destabilizing than reading you’re a finalist for a prize you didn’t apply for. Our parents are the historians of our lives. We want to think we have a coherent identity that stretches back to birth, and for the first time I stared back and saw what looked an awful lot like nothing."

— Christopher Wall analyzes the destructive effect of praise on children, self-image, and self-esteem in his essay, A Curmudgeon’s Guide to Praise. Continue reading here. (via lareviewofbooks)

"A Vonnegut book is not cute or precious. It is literally awful, for Vonnegut is one of the few writers able to lift the lid of the garbage can, and dispassionately examine the contents."

In honor of #BannedBooksWeek, our original review of Slaughterhouse Five (by Michael Crichton!)  (via thenewrepublic)


Jonathan Franzen has a new essay discussing the great satirist Karl Kraus. He ends with this:

"The experience of each succeeding generation is so different from that of the previous one that there will always be people to whom it seems that any connection of the key values of the past have been lost. As long as modernity lasts, all days will feel to someone like the last days of humanity.”

Malcolm Harris responds with an internet-style takedown, a superficial “fact-check.” Let me review his smug nonsense.

- Harris uses a Clive James quote about Kraus being “a blogger before the fact” in response to Franzen saying Kraus “probably would have hated blogs.” A couple paragraphs later, Franzen says Die Fackel has “a bloglike feel” - Harris is pretending to expose Franzen when James says nothing in his quote that Franzen would particularly disagree with. This doesn’t quite get to the basic absurdity of Harris’ venture - it is not a fact-check to call out one cultural critic by quoting another cultural critic with possibly opposing views.

- Pointing out that the word “cool” was used in the O.E.D. in 1933 doesn’t invalidate Franzen saying that “the concept of coolness” wasn’t prevalent in Kraus’ time, particularly considering his most productive and influential years fall within a decade on either side of World War I. Also, English and German are different languages - why quote the OED at all?

- Sure there is overnight free shipping - it’s a pretty common promotional technique. 

- Living past average age expectancy is an acceptable hypothetical when you’re discussing living in 1159. 

I could go on. There are plenty of valid critiques to be made and arguments to be had over Franzen’s essay, including his tone of casual condescension and the strained Mac:PC :: Romantic:Germanic metaphor. But this sort of lazy, internet-friendly, intellectually-dishonest takedown just contributes to the absolutely legitimate criticisms that Franzen makes of the internet’s many corporate-friendly and vapid elements. 


Malcolm Harris fact-checks Jonathan Franzen using the internet. 


In this article Jon Franzen makes a lot of claims, many of them about the Internet. Here’s some claims the Internet might have helped him think through a little deeper.


Kraus would probably have hated blogs”

"The risk run by the aphorist is that people will grow restless between…



Congratulations to Anthony Braxton, Keith Jarrett, Jamey Aebersold and Richard Davis on receiving receiving the NEA Jazz Masters award!

Hear Anthony Braxton’s 65th-birthday concert from Le Poisson Rouge and Keith Jarrett in an intimate Piano Jazz set with Marian McPartland.

Braxton photo: Peter Gannushkin/