It’s a great privilege to be involved with participatory youth program called QUADwrangle over the next two weeks. I’m working with a bunch of young sound artists from the College of the Arts (VCA), to create an interactive sound sculpture that will reside at Arts Centre Melbourne’s Fairfax theatre August 13-16.

The intention is to create an immersive and fun piece with this awesome crew of artists and musicians. We’re going to explore new processes together, and develop a work that will invite and engage the audience to get involved an collaborate with one another to make music.

All too often these sort of interactive works run the risk of having too much happening when lots of people are interacting with it. The challenge for us is going to be to get this sculpture to become more musical, more harmonious and more inviting the more people who are playing with it.

These themes are intended to mirror Shaun Parker’s The Yard, a contemporary dance piece that is running concurrently at the Fairfax theatre, which tackles the cultural divide within the school yard.

Today we spent the day creating original sounds, that evoke a school yard of nostalgia of sampling old primary school xylophones into my Teenage Engineering OP-1, creating Drum Racks of clunking rulers, tearing paper and textas, as well as manipulating field recordings into soundscapes within Ableton live.

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This is a post for the Ableton Live nerds out there…

I’ve discovered a way to provide dedicated visual feedback functionality for the looper device using the Push User page.

First you need to set up the preferences so Live is sending note information to Push’s user port, and that Push’s user port is set up to send remote messages. This way, Push can remote control Looper, and it also allows for visual feedback in user mode.

Instead of just a regular audio input, I like to group the external instrument rack within a drum rack so I can get visual feedback as to where I am in a 4 bar phrase in native Push mode.

The added benefit with using the external instrument, is that you are able to use a midi clip to send note and velocity information to the push user port channel 1, which then will light up the pads in User Mode.

The ascending notes in the midi clip, send messages to light up push’s top 4 rows, just the same as the drum rack does, with one row representing one bar.

I’ve also created a set of 8 buttons in the bottom left hand side that each correspond to a function I want to map to the looper device, overdub, play, stop, undo, clear, etc…

You can download the Live Set I’m using in the video here.

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