By Sound + Process

About this podcast   English    United States

Sound + Process deconstructs new electronic and experimental works through conversations with their composers. These artists all belong to the online community lines (, the forum of grid instrument and eurorack module maker monome (
April 6, 2018
Sound + Process # 13 features musician, designer, programmer and teacher Meng Qi. A pioneering interface theorist, Meng Qi is perhaps best known for opening new dimensions of control and interaction with Peter Blasser’s Ciat-Lonbarde circuits. His earliest module, Voltage Memory, is the first synth module to have ever been both designed and manufactured in China. Over the years, Meng Qi has released a wide spectrum of music with these and other instruments. His experiments with feedback and frequency modulation are only enhanced by explorations of tonality — the resulting songs are uniquely beautiful in both timbre and emotion. Since Meng Qi’s audiences span many countries and languages, I’ve chosen to present his episode in two different formats — one is a transcript annotated with audio at and the other is a standalone album with a downloadable document on Visit one, visit both, but as always feel free to join the conversation on lines — Before we part ways, this track ends with a short live performance that Meng Qi treated me to during our conversation. I hope you enjoy it. Thank you so much for listening.
Feb. 20, 2018
"Ezra Buchla is from California. He has played in bands." While not inaccurate, Ezra’s official bio belies the depth of his work. From his most well-known bands (Mae Shi and Gowns) to the backlog of live performances and sketches on his rarely updated website, Ezra has an uncanny ability to break your fucking heart in less than 45 seconds. No matter the instrument — viola, oscillators, a laptop or his own voice — he finds ways to blend his classical training with an agility in software programming to stunning effect. Over the course of this episode Ezra reflects on composition and the function of scores, the relationship between humans and their instruments, the haute couture of music tech, his intentions for the Aleph, and handling other people’s relationships with his father (artist and inventor Don Buchla, 1937 – 2016) while planning the Don Buchla Memorial Concerts. For a listing of the featured music, which includes selections from Ezra's collaborations, bands and solo work, visit As always, Sound + Process explores the artists of lines ( Come join the conversation.
Dec. 23, 2017
At the tail end of last month, Gohan Tapes ( released ‘Spring’ — a new full length album from Joshua Saddler, who records as ioflow. On ‘Spring’, Josh combines field recordings, modular synthesis, and piano improvisations to capture memories like aural photographs. The sparse arrangements interplay with sounds of wildlife from the California landscape. This is an essential album, especially if you live somewhere that's cold right now. Much of his compositional technique is rooted in blind recording, a process he discovered through his participation in Marc Weidenbaum's Disquiet Junto. If you're unfamiliar, the Junto is an incredible project — a weekly assignment which challenges artists to explore new techniques and workflows. ‘Spring’ is additionally unique because it was made during the most physically painful phase of Josh’s struggles with congenital hearing loss and neural degradation. Faith is important to him and it's obvious that he shares his work as a celebration of life and in gratitude for his own. This episode is structured a little differently. I’ve removed the interview elements and chosen to focus solely on Josh’s reflections. He’s underscored by selections from ‘Spring’, available on Bandcamp at
Nov. 22, 2017
There’s something about Marcus Fischer’s music that fits this season. Last year, a lot of listeners shared how the snowstorms they were homebound by were the perfect backdrop to Marcus’s reflections. As another year closes, I am so excited to share another conversation with this wonderful artist. This isn’t something I expected, but Marcus has been really giving of his time and it was his suggestion to do a follow-up. In the spirit of the season, I’m very thankful to have gotten to know him better. Since episode 5, Marcus has been for lack of a much better word, busy. He completed the Rauschenberg Residency and released the follow-up to 2010’s 'Monocoastal' — 'Loss', which is absolutely stunning. He established an experimental power trio with Paul Dickow and William Selman called Wild Card, which toured with High Plains at the end of this past summer. He’s been performing with Lisa Schonberg’s Secret Drum Band. He recorded another collaboration with 12k’s Taylor Deupree called 'Lowlands'. And I’m sure I’m missing something. This episode digs beyond his output as an artist to explore the internal processes that inform his approach, especially as an improviser. As always, the music from each of these projects and partnerships weaves throughout the episode, which can all be purchased as digital or characteristically breathtaking physical objects on Bandcamp. Grab a warm cup of tea and dive in. 'Loss' on 12k: 'Lowlands' on IIKKI: Marcus Fischer's back catalog: Secret Drum Band: Wild Card:
Oct. 19, 2017
My guest for this episode is Karl Fousek, an improviser who has spent the last five years crafting an incredible archive of live modular performances and studio albums. As a deeply devoted fan of experimental and electronic music and by dedicating himself to the mastery of his tools as a single instrument, Karl has developed a compositional agility which helps him explore new directions of form. His latest release, ‘Two Pieces For a Contemporary Connection’, is an inspiring hybrid of live improvisations and rehearsal recordings. Beyond his work as a solo synthesist, Fousek also plays with Devon Hansen and Roger Tellier-Craig — a partnership which bore the very well-received ‘No Sound Without A Misunderstanding’ and most recently, ‘No Image In Particular’. I’m so excited to share this episode. Through our conversation, Karl covers everything from his approaches to longform performances, building patches that are mutable yet structured, learning a modular system as an instrument, collaborating with others, and how he navigates uncanny sounds.
Sept. 3, 2017
The first time I heard Emily Sprague’s music was on lines. Somebody posted a video of hers, 'Three Sisters + Harmonic Oscillator', that had captured their attention as a high watermark...and it’s easy to understand how. The straightforward and earnest exploration of a beautiful module, through a looped melody you could listen to for hours, seemed the work of a seasoned pro. Somebody else commented, revealing that the synthesist was Emily Sprague from the band Florist. While they brought up that Emily had just started working with modular synths in the last year, digging deeper revealed that the video was actually made in her second week. Beyond the quality of her music, which has only swelled over the last year, what’s fascinating about Emily’s work is how public her process has been. While most whittle away for months, releasing new work only after long incubation, Emily seems to revel in sharing each step of her growth in realtime — a direct response to the trajectory of her own self-education. If you’re new to modular synthesis, this is the episode for you. If you’re deeply settled, this is the episode for you. Emily has retained a beginner’s mind while leveraging her rich decade-long background as a musician, producer and engineer to create music that is playful and emotional, while remaining technically impressive. As you’ll notice, there are more music breaks in this episode than previous ones — due to my own fandom and Emily’s generosity, you’re the first to hear the demos that will make up her much-anticipated modular album. Beyond her talents, Emily is an insightful and passionate addition to the lines community and personally, I hope that her reflections help anyone who feels that their voice is un or under-represented in this field to join the conversation at
June 2, 2017
Prior to March 2015, lines (, the online community this podcast explores) didn’t exist. In its place simply stood the monome forum. As you’ll hear in the episode, it held much of the same energy in those early days as lines does now. One of the hallmarks of this spirit was MCRP, a project rooted in musical collaboration between these original members. A loose process was formed: users would submit samples which formed the only raw material able to be used in the final songs. Over the course of 18 volumes -- including two holiday iterations, an Earthquake Disaster relief compilation and a memorial for user VGAForest who passed away from complications related to leukemia -- the unique care and respect these strangers on the internet had for each other found manifestation. After the lines migration, it took little time before this project was rebranded as LCRP, the lines community remix project. The latest, titled ‘New Noise’, is one of the most packed community remix project albums in a long time — its contributors range from decade-old members to lurkers who joined just to participate. This episode of SOUND + PROCESS features reflections from many of the creators, discussing their unique approaches to working with the same samples. Every piece of music featured is from the resulting album, which can be freely downloaded or affordably purchased at Featuring: Simeon Smith ( Thorsten Vieth ermina Duncan (GoneCaving) Evan Hartzell / abalone ( Michael Hetrick ( Anton Hörnquist / jah pauk glia ( + SteveOath Alessandro Bonino ( Zedkah
March 9, 2017
My guest for this episode is Piotr Szyhalski, a Polish-born artist who creates multimedia works under the name Labor Camp. His early pieces, large-scale Internet installations which defy the constraints of late 90’s technology, captured the attention of the New York Times, MTV, and the National Endowment of the Arts. Soon after, he began composing music with Max/MSP and modular synths, eventually merging his talents for both visual and aural art to create immersive performance environments. Piotr is also a Visual Arts professor at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, where he collaborates with students past and present -- most notably, Pramila Vasudevan’s multidisciplinary group Anicca Arts. archive | instagram | facebook | sound cloud | monome | lines | To download this episode and receive sneak previews of future conversations, tape copies and Field Notes, please consider contributing to the S+P Patron at
Jan. 6, 2017
Marcus Fischer has been a staple figure in modern ambient and experimental music for the better part of the last decade. Characterized by his masterful use of tape loops, Fischer's works also build space and emotion through layers of baritone guitar and modular synths. His solo debut, 'Monocoastal', was released on 12k in 2010 to international acclaim. Over the course of his career, he has partnered with several artists: Matt Jones (as Unrecognizable Now), Ted Laderas/The OO-Ray, Simon Scott, Devin Underwood. His collaborations with Taylor Deupree, with whom Fischer released 'Twine' in 2015, are masterclasses in shared voice and restraint. Fischer is a longstanding member of lines (, the online community that surrounds Eurorack module and instrument maker monome. To explore and support Fischer's work, please visit: To support future development of SOUND + PROCESS, please consider becoming a contributing listener at: Special support for this episode came from: Jason Wehmhoener, Evan Hartzell, Thorsten Vieth, Nick Sanborn, Rodrigo Constanzo, Brian Anderson, Robert Pitts, and Brian Crabtree Photo credit: Brian Young
Oct. 25, 2016
This episode features the brilliant and buoyant Angela Guyton, whose recent work explores the intersection of sound, light and self. Through the use of biofeedback and Max patches, Angela uses her body and breathing to generate and manipulate visually arresting color sequences. Her website,, showcases her depth of thought and command of curiosity as a writer while housing the majority of her art. As a multidisciplinary artist, Angela has a long list of collaborators -- her longest, perhaps, with her parter Rodrigo Constanzo. Both Angie and Rod are members of the online community 'lines', the forum for instrument and eurorack module-maker monome. Learn more about Angie's work: Learn more about 'lines':
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