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NorthWest CyberArtists

Einar's articles from the NWCA Newsletter.

Important Note: These articles are history, dude, and all references to upcoming meetings and contact addresses and phone numbers and other things that change with time should be ignored. I decided to leave them in for readability.

Hello my Cyber friends! - March 1994

Itís been about four months since I disappeared into the Submarine, and so much has changed. I am happy to hear that the group has been growing and I am excited about the collaborations that you have all been getting involved with.

There are probably new members who donít know me, so to them I say hi and warn them that I am not a professional artist nor engineer nor technologist. I have a pretty standard day job, and have a passion for music at night (when the kids are asleep!).

The last time I was here in print, I wrote about getting my solo electronic music act out of the basement and into those wonderful downtown Seattle clubs. I wrote about building drum triggers and alternative MIDI controllers using MIDItools from PAVO.

I still build instruments, and I still play live. The latest instuments are called "Speaking Orbs". I salvaged some 1970ís style track lighting which consisted of bowling ball sized-chromed steel balls in black U shaped housings. I stripped the electical connections out of the lights, leaving each ball with a small hole in the back side opposite the larger, fist sized opening for the light. Into the holes I siliconed photo-resistors. The interior of each ball was already black, which turned out to be helpful in keeping stray light from activating my switches. I built twelve of these orbs. In a live show they are placed around the stage and in the audience. Flashlights are made available to the audience. When a light shines directly into an orb it triggers a note on my sampler. Currently I like to use spoken words in my sampler, so the name "Speaking Orb" was given to these devices. I have to say they are the "coolest" looking things Iíve come up with.

I have recently gotten back in touch with two friends from years ago who make music in the "experimental" field.

Eric Muhs performs both solo and under the name Metal Men with John Hawkley. Eric builds the most interesting instruments I have ever seen. He uses electic motors and parts found in thrift shops and dumpsters to make machines that take your breath away. Eric has a CD out called NOTOCHORD. It is fascinating. His music is made through the use of tape loops.

Rob Angus has recently returned to Seattle. He performs a thought provoking kind of music that really canít be categorized. Using harsh sounds to make rhythm, he layers softer, long tones on top. He has a CD out with Jeff Greinke called "Crossing Ngoli" that is available at several shops around town. Listen carefully to both of these recordings.

I will be doing a show with these fellows this week. To quote the advertisement: "On Friday, March 4th, in a loft which you can enter through Cafe Capella, located @ the corner of Eastlake & Republican, you may have the chance to observe: Rob Angus, Metal Men, The Same, Richter Scale, and Project W". It should be a very long and engaging evening. Call me at 481-3483 if you need more info.

The NEC, (Northwest Elektro-Industrial Coalition) has been doing well. We are a smaller group than NW CyberArtisits, so the workload for each member is a bit higher to keep things running, but finally we are receiving some press locally and nationally. It helps us gain access to some of the clubs in Seattle that prefer to have mainstream, traditional bands. Most of the NEC bands are electronic and industrial, (you guessed that already, didnít you?) but no two bands sound alike. We have different approaches and certainly different artistic goals.

The NEC has been great for me because I have a lot in common with the other guys when it comes to the equipment we use. I could B.S. about keyboards and the like all night. But I miss meeting people who have talents and equipment from the other "cyber" fields. If you have ideas about multimedia electronic productions, any one of the NEC bands might be looking for a collaborator. We know music, but computer generated visuals, etc. weíre always wanting to learn about. Like all the other "art" bands around, we can promise NO MONEY. Exposure, a few laughs and comaradarie is all we can deliver.

If anyone is interested in this local industrial scene, you can contact them at http://www.nec.org/

By the way, I got my CompuServe magazine today and found this publication listed with Steveís name under the category of "Cyber things you can download."

Check it out!

See ya,
Einar

Enough! Back to einar.com!

Einar Ask / einar@einar.com