Two days of talks and two nights of live music, focused on algorithmic tools and processes.
Gray Area, San Francisco
March 22-23rd 2019
Jon Leidecker
Jon Leidecker

United Feedback

The seemingly recent interests in generative music and creative machine learning in fact stem back to the earliest electronic music studio in the United States, run by Louis and Bebe Barron. Their statements of purpose, encompassing cybernetics and self-playing circuits, place feedback as the defining idiomatic voice of the medium, and the central organizing principle of a live performance method. This lecture traces commonalities in the works of the Barrons, Ussachevsky, David Tudor, the members of the Sonic Arts Union, Eliane Radigue and Roland Kayn.

Jon Leidecker has been engaged with the medium of electronic music since the mid 1980’s, with an emphasis on live performance and collaboration. Early works utilized sonic collage & musical appropriation, growing out of a series of appearances on Negativland’s live-mix radio program Over The Edge – improvising with recorded sounds to produce music which inherently resists the act of being recorded. Recent work investigates the history and musical aesthetics implied by the physics of acoustic and electrical feedback, research into the technology and creative workflow required for immersive sound diffusion (including five years of work as a member of the engineering team for Dolby’s 3D sound format Atmos), and the use of mobile devices and their built-in microphones as cybernetic improvising partners.

In 2008, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Barcelona commissioned the podcast ‘Variations’, a nine hour musicological tour through the history of collage & the practice of ‘sampling’ through the 20th century – charting how the definition of composition changed, as the site of the ‘finished work’ migrated from written musical notation to the capturable (and increasingly manipulable) sonic recording.

Wobbly’s live and studio collaborations include work with Negativland, Dieter Moebius, Tim Story, Matmos, People Like Us, Fred Frith, Zeena Parkins, Carl Stone, John Oswald, Thomas Dimuzio, Huun-Huur-Tu, and Sagan. In 2015 he inherited Negativland’s long-running Over The Edge radio collage program, which continues to be broadcast twice a month on Berkeley’s KPFA FM.