BLOG (March 2006 - March 2009)


July 27, 2008

Mini-disc redux

The other weekend I realised that my neglected mini-disc player still works perfectly fine. I've been making some quiet filed recordings since then with the intention of doing something with them eventually. But in the meantime it's nice to be out and about listening closely to windmills, rain and a multitude of drones.

July 25, 2008

The scraps of an ink trio for SALA

July 19, 2008

recording "cale" (aka mimi #2)

I'm currently recording another collection of turntable tracks working under the title of 'cale'. I envision that a 'silent' Tascam 424 might make an appearance.

The set-up.

The patch

The patch - unwrapped.

July 15, 2008

Mimi - six works for turntable and computer

I have uploaded Mimi for download. The bundle comes with 128 kps mp3s, artwork and liner notes.

A hard copy format will accompany my performance at Felt Space on the 8th of August.

Download here. (20.2 MB)


1. The Drop
2. Farewell Mimi
3. Ear To Air
4. Oceanic Lonliness
5. Radio Glory
6. A Room For Departure

Mimi - liner notes

Some thoughts on Mimi

Of the recordable mediums, there's something fascinating about vinyl. Aside from the nostalgic and aesthetic elements attached to vinyl, the physicality of the medium itself - its shape and size, fragility, and operation lend to its curiosity and mystique as a medium of sound reproduction. It is a compositional medium probably more commonly associated with commercial music, though was explored in an experimental fashion earlier in the 20th Century by artists such as John Cage (Imaginary Landscape #1) and Pierre Schaefer (see Musique Concrete.) The medium as art object was practically
exhausted over the course of the last century until there was nothing left but a hiss and a crackle in its last decade.

This is where my interest in the medium becomes apparent.

The hiss and crackle of vinyl is what defines it as a medium – they are the soundmarks of its fragility and apparent failure. Since 2005 I've been engaged in what Kim Cascone defines as the aesthetics of failure - the inherent glitches and faults of a given technology which establish its identity. As digital recording lossy took dominance over the analog format at the close of the last century, artists such as Cascone started using the latest
technologies on both a microscopic and manipulative level, exposing the apparent 'weaknesses' of the medium and utilising them as a compositional device. Whilst this trend has continued up to the present day, some artists went in the other direction, recalling superseded technologies as their instrument of choice. In terms of vinyl, this is no more apparent than in the work of Philip Jeck, whose focus on the hiss and crackle of vinyl has not only characterised Jeck's approach to composition, but has opened a new realm of possibilities in working with the medium of vinyl. In May 2008, I witnessed a live performance by Jeck as he built up layer upon layer of crackle fused with an occasional flutter of piano and chunk of guitar riffage, accumulating and expertly positioning sounds to form rich textures of sound which could be augmented and stripped away in a seamless fashion. Not your average DJ.

The tracks which make up Mimi are my first attempts at working with vinyl as a compositional medium, and are very obviously influenced by the work of Jeck. I recorded the tracks over a weekend in July 2008 using a Sound Research 1600
turntable and a custom built Max/MSP patch capable of processing the incoming signal from the turntable. A biquad filter and comb filter are used to shape and manipulate the original sounds of the vinyl record, a tap delay is used in consort with these filters to create layers and textures of sound. If there is an underlying theme to Mimi, it is associated with the beauty of small objects and their internal operation, their fragility and their breakdown and decay. Mimi is dedicated to Debra Carthie, a close friend who passed away in the week preceding these recordings.

Tristan Louth-Robins
July 2008

July 14, 2008

Upcoming live performance: 8th August 2008

I will be playing a set at the Felt Space on the 8th of August 2008. Jason Sweeney and Melbourne duo ii are also performing. The much vaunted turntable will make its first public appearance and I will be performing tracks from an upcoming mini-release Mimi.

More details to follow shortly.

July 07, 2008

Nice pictures from the Jade Monkey show

Photos courtesy of the resplendent Lauren Playfair.

July 06, 2008

Jade Monkey

In most arty-musical situations feedback is my friend, but last night it was a cruel beast that marred part of my set at the Jade Monkey. I opened with an untitled bit of real-time peppercorning which worked reasonably well, but the said feedback became too omnipresent and kind blew the structure and feel of the piece. It's a shame because I had it worked out to a tee at home when I was rehearsing - it sounded really good. The second piece was redux of a Jade Monkey favourite, The Sky Is Falling which (realised with Max) turned out quite well, aside from the glitches at the start.

Dan Varricchio and Rafael Torale also played impressive sets.

Thanks to everybody who came along, some more exciting photos are on the way.

intrepid visitors since 25/1/08