April started with the release of the latest Tone Science compilation, which I’m part of. I then headed off for a nice mini-tour of Arizona and Southern California, and attended the NAMM show. When I got back home, I recorded the studio version of my new track Nightfall, Kyiv for my next album, as well as some hand percussion overdubs for a pair of tracks. And as I type this, I’m getting ready to head to Europe for a couple of weeks, including attending the Superbooth show in Berlin. No rest for the wicked! But before I leave, here are some more details about what I’ve been up to:

  • featured articleThere were few modular makers at NAMM, but there was still some new (or new-to-me) modules to look check out. Plus, I’m starting to educate myself on immersive audio.
  • Alias Zone updatesA video of me performing my latest piece Nightfall, Kyiv – including the story behind it.
  • Learning Modular updatesA post about how I created and processed the thunder effects in my Tone Science track, Tempestarius.
  • Patreon updatesA pair of posts about getting my modular case ready for my latest tour, plus a summary of my previous detailed articles on how I created my Tone Science submission.
  • upcoming eventsIt looks like I will be playing in Santa Fe New Mexico in June, plus a series of dates in North Carolina in October. Plus, I will be attending Superbooth in Berlin in May!

Alias Zone Updates

I had three performances in the first half of April, which I used to premiere and “road test” a new composition called Nightfall, Kyiv. A video of my third performance of it is above.

The idea for this piece came when Maks Histibe of Mask Movement in Kyiv, Ukraine contacted me. As part of the invasion of Ukraine, their power grid is often knocked offline, and he was looking to raise money for solar panels and batteries to keep his studio operating. To do this, he created a series of field recordings of the war and life during wartime in Ukraine, and crafted them into a virtual instrument called Swords to Ploughshares. I gladly purchased it, and used it as the basis for this song, which flows from the realities of life during wartime to attempting to lead a normal, happy life…only for the war to intrude and drag people back in. When I got back home, I recorded a studio version of it to appear on my next album, Eastern Front.

Learning Modular Updates

I am proud to have a track – Tempestarius – included on Ian Boddy and DiN Records’ latest Tone Science modular synth compilation. The image above shows the patch I performed this piece on.

The Tempestarii were wizards who could summon or disperse storms at will. With that idea as its basis, thunder effects were a large part of this piece, including processing them through the Instruō Arbhar granular effects device, Mutable Instruments Rings resonator, Happy Nerding FX Aid in shimmer reverb mode, and more. Click here to read a now-public Patreon post I wrote detailing how I created those effects, with just the thunder track soloed so you can hear it in more detail. 

Patreon Updates

Despite traveling for half the month (and then recording a new track as soon as I got home), I still created a few new posts for my Patreon subscribers:

For those who are not already subscribers, the +5v level – $5/month – gets you immediate access to a library of literally hundreds of posts as well as new ones each month, while $12/month also adds access to my Eurorack-focused online modular synthesis courses. If you’re serious about improving your modular patching, composition, performance, and recording skills, subscribing to my Patreon channel and catching up on all the content already up there is a cost-effective way to go about it.

Upcoming Events

I have several performances currently in the planning stages for later this year. It looks all but certain that I will be performing in Santa Fe in June, while the other dates have verbal commitments but are not set in stone yet:

When those become certain (or fall apart), I’ll let you know.

Also, I will be attending the Superbooth show in Berlin this month (May 2023). I will be popping in and out of the Bjooks booth (#0115), including possibly doing a book signing for Patch & Tweak plus a live interview. If you see me at the show, please feel free to say Hi, and let me know what you’ve seen that’s interesting!

Thankfully, NAMM being so close to Superbooth this year is just a one-year fluke (NAMM moves back to January in 2024). My feet and back have barely recovered from one before I head off to the other. Despite that, I look forward to seeing many of my modular friends in Berlin, as well as what new goodies that will become available for us to make music with. 

no rest for the wicked –