I have a small digital and cassette label called Ubanu Tarasa over on Bandcamp: https://ubanutarasa.bandcamp.com All the music on Ubanu Tarasa has been created using a digital instrument I made a few years ago, either by me or by myself and collaborating artist whom I invited to share sounds for me to work with. Because the music is driven partly by the performer at the desk and partly by algorithmic procedures, every composition, performance or installation is different, inasmuch as a computer is capable of randomness
The impetus for the project came from a desire to find new ways of articulating and presenting field recordings. There’s another story to be told about that. I wanted more than a basic laptop playback performance so I taught myself how to use max/msp and designed the instrument to do what I wanted. It and to be able to work well not only as an installation, compositional or performance tool but also as a more extended collaborative project.
It probably makes more sense to listen to than explain but basically the software takes folders of audio files and, using ‘objects’ such as random generators and looping tools, generates four stereo channels of an ever-changing sound field. The files are in folders of up to eight files of the the same duration, of wither 1,2, 3 or 5 minutes. This gives me a spectrum of sounds from the more textural to the more textural. It affords enough complexity to avoid sounding like a simple looping device. The audio stream exits the computer digitally into a A/D interface, then out of there as eight channels of sound and finally into the desk and speakers. At that point I can either let it do its own thing or I can mix live what comes at me. I call it the particulate articulator (or vice-versa). In my work over the years I’ve recorded anything and everything so I generate the audio from a wide range of material - studio recordings of objects, devices, processes, conventional and hand-built instruments, voice(s), field recordings and found recordings. However the primary purpose of the instrument was to repurpose field recordings, mainly of natural environments.
I’m working just now with ways of extending the original sounds by re-articulating them through resonant objects such as bowls and boxes which will make for a more interesting extended performance as I wander about fiddling with ‘things’ instead of sitting behind a car boot sale table.