The Foogestra

New tracks! https://soundcloud.com/the-foogestra

Instrumentation: semi-modular analogue synthesizer components called "Moogerfoogers", manufactured by Moog Music. Sound is generated by connecting the modules in various ways. Audible and inaudible frequencies can affect each other. No performance can be exactly reproduced or notated, and different sound generation techniques give rise to widely varying results. An enormous number of sound permutations are possible.

This project investigates the way mechanical complexity can give rise to apparently organic results. In a similar way to that in which John Conway's "Game of life" makes use of simple binary rules at the micro-level to create moving, even apparently "living" entities, these electronic components use simple elements to create complexity that often sounds organic.

Cycles operating below the range of human hearing are not themselves usually used as sound sources, but they can be used to affect another signal: the rising and falling of the waveform is applied to a different destination, such as pitch, rate or timbre. As these cycles are combined, complex waveforms are generated which interact in unpredictable ways. This mechanical complexity itself interacts with the musical decisions of the performer, who steers the sounds in whichever direction he pleases, while never having absolute control over the sonic results.

This project is a natural extension of my earlier experiments with prime number-based structures in algorithmic composition for acoustic instruments as a student of Morten Eide Pedersen at Griegakademiet 2008-12. The combination of cycles giving pseudo-random results is the common factor, but the instrumentation, and the subsequent range of available sounds, are quite new elements.

The tracks are recorded live, with no overdubbing or effects added afterwards.