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Media Workshops Archive

The Media Workshop Series is designed for independent sound artists & musicians.

NEXMAP's Media Workshops and Clinics are led by experienced instructors who share their knowledge in a collaborative and supportive environment. These events are yet another occasion for NEXMAP to pursue its mission: to create a forum of exchange between artists, professionals and the public and to explore emergent forms of expression and their connection with new technologies and artistic mastery. The cost to the participants is kept as low as possible in order to promote this important exchange of knowledge, ideas and artistic experiences.


CREATIVE INNOVATION WITH MAX FOR LIVE

Alec Ness
May 15, 2014
Center for New Music, San Francisco

An in depth look at Max for Live, a virtually limitless creative tool and library of devices to extend the capabilities of Ableton Live. Using devices from a community of developers to break down creative walls and inspire the artist.

This workshop will approach both creating and transforming audio content, to utilize high quality and unique sounds in any genre of music. Fit for anyone interested in or using Ableton Live, looking to expand their creative process. All experience levels are welcome. Participants should come with their personal laptops.

Alec Ness is a music producer and educator from San Francisco, CA. As an artist, Alec is predominantly an electronic musician. A classically trained percussionist and former student of composition at McNally Smith College of Music, he began producing with Ableton Live in 2005. Subsequently he became an Ableton Certified Trainer in 2013. As an educator Alec specializes in the instruction of music composition and music software, primarily Ableton Live.


SoundWORK

Pamela Z's Sound and Performance Workshop
August 17, 21, 24 & 28, 2011

Come explore with one of Bay Area’s pioneers experimental singer/composer/performer and media artist: Pamela Z who will conduct a sound and performance workshop exploring experimental music, audio art, and interdisciplinary performance practices through four group meetings and one private tutoring session.

Pamela Z is a San Francisco-based composer/performer and media artist who works primarily with voice, live electronic processing, sampling technology, and video. A pioneer of live digital looping techniques, she creates solo works combining experimental extended vocal techniques, operatic bel canto, found objects, text, digital processing, and MIDI controllers that allow her to manipulate sound with physical gestures. In addition to her solo work, she has composed and recorded scores for dance, theatre, film, and new music chamber ensembles.

Her large-scale multi-media works have been presented at venues including Theater Artaud and ODC in SanFrancisco, and The Kitchen in New York, and her media works have been presented in exhibitions at the Whitney Museum (NY) , the Diözesanmuseum (Cologne), and the Krannert Art Museum (IL). Her multi-media opera Wunderkabinet – inspired by the Museum of Jurassic Technology (co-composed with Matthew Brubeck) has been presented at The LAB Gallery (San Francisco), REDCAT (Disney Hall, Los Angeles), and Open Ears Festival, Toronto.

Pamela Z has toured extensively throughout the US, Europe, and Japan. She has performed in numerous festivals including Bang on a Can at Lincoln Center (New York), Interlink (Japan), Other Minds (San Francisco), La Biennale di Venezia (Italy), and Pina Bausch Tanztheater Festival (Wuppertal, Germany).

She is the recipient of numerous awards including a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Creative Capital Fund, the CalArts Alpert Award in the Arts, The MAP Fund, the ASCAP Music Award, an Ars Electronica honorable mention, and the NEA and Japan/US Friendship Commission Fellowship. She holds a music degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder.


BASIC SENSORS & INTERFACES

Brendan Aanes
November 3 & 4, 2010

Basic Sensors and Interfaces for Artists and Musicians. An introduction to various sensors and the techniques of interfacing them with computers.

Recently, advances in technology and manufacturing have brought a plethora of inexpensive sensors and microcontrollers into the hands of artists. It is easier than ever before to build interactive arts on a low budget. This workshop will focus on how to connect available sensors to a microcontroller, and then in turn connect this to a computer for use with Max/MSP or other software. Basic Max knowledge is helpful but not mandatory. It is recommended to download the Max/MSP software before the workshop; you can use the runtime version for the workshop. The instructor will distribute some basic patches to the class members. Once these technical details are covered, time will also be spent in approaches to processing and using the data presented by various sensors. Overall, the workshop’s focus will be on hands-on simple projects during the workshop.

Topics:

  • Introduction to circuits: power, ground, and data connections, as well as how to make a voltage divider.
  • Types of sensors, their uses and applications: 
  • Potentiometers, Photocells, Thermistors, IR, Ultrasound, FSR, etc.
  • Microcontrollers: we will focus on Arduino and Make Controller
  • Sampling and smoothing data
  • Ways to map sensor data to musical or artistic processes.
  • Conceptualizing interactive art
  • Further microcontroller programming

Materials:

Each student will need to bring a laptop and microcontroller: 
Make Controller (http://makezine.com/controller) or
Arduino (http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=666).

Brendan Aanes is a sound and video artist working with the synaesthetic possibilities of media technology to transform and represent the world into unexpected dimensions. Recent work has focused mostly on interactive video-based installations, utilizing video tracking to examine such phenomena as the moving human eye and the small variations in handwritten text. Brendan has also composed music for award-winning modern dance performances, and designed lighting and sound for theatrical performances of varying genres. In the past, Brendan has performed as a violinist in premieres of compositions of various genres, as well as his own solo sets which utilize a handmade violin extended with a set of accelerometer motion sensors. Brendan holds an MFA in Electronic Music from Mills College in Oakland, where he worked with James Fei, Chris Brown, Pauline Oliveros, and others.


MAX/MSP CLINIC

Aram Shelton
February 10, 2010
The LAB, San Francisco

Part of our ongoing clinic series, a 3 hour session with Aram Shelton & Ben Bracken, of Cycling '74, focusing on developing patching skills and troubleshooting. Each session begins with a short demonstration on a core aspect of patcher building.

MAX/MSP Clinic focus on troubleshooting and correcting problems found in participants’ patches. Participants are invited to email the instructor, Aram Shelton with any questions and/or topics to be covered: workshops@nexmap.org

Suggested Materials: Laptop with MAX/MSP and Headphones / MIDI controller / Pencil and Paper

This ongoing clinic is open to all levels and gives the opportunity for feedback and troubleshooting in a supportive environment with an experienced technician. The Clinic will be structured with a brief opening presentation on the development, customization and user control of patches built in Max / MSP, followed by question and answers by the participants or the remainder of the session. Artists will be invited to present their projects to the entire group for a back and forth exchange of ideas.

Examples of techniques explored:

  • audio routing: flexible routing schemes with simplified controls
  • patch management: the effective use of sub-patches
  • performance optimization: avoiding crashes and audio metering
  • user interaction: midi controllers
  • plug-in building: creating standalone devices to use in DAWs
  • rewire support: using Max with other programs such as Ableton, Reason, etc.

Aram Shelton is a multi-instrumentalist on saxophones and clarinets, a composer & improviser, and creates electro-acoustic music through computer-based electronics. While the music he makes is spread across a variety of aesthetic lines, it is related by the importance of improvisation to develop material and express musical individuality.

When making electro-acoustic music Shelton primarily uses custom built patchers in MAX/MSP that focus on live sampling. Shelton's electro-acoustic compositions focus on a technique called phrase modification, where written phrases played by orchestral instruments are recorded in real time, rearranged, modified and reintroduced to the composition.

Settled is Shelton's electro-acoustic solo project. The music invokes moods through a cinematic style inspired by solitary walks, rainstorms with no thunder, fog & mist, the coast, empty city streets, the woods, books & coffee, bourbon & ice, and long afternoons. For the music of Settled, a bed of sounds is created using a combination of pre-recorded material, field recordings and found sounds. Live playing and processing of wind instruments interact with this material, and melodies evolve from existing tones found within the structure. www.aramshelton.com/electro.html


ABLETON LIVE WORKSHOP FEATURING MAX FOR LIVE

Aram Shelton
January 26 & 28, 2010
The LAB, San Francisco

A two-day beginning and intermediate level workshop that explores the flexibility and versatility of Ableton Live with an overview of MAX for LIVE, recently co-developed by Ableton and Cycling '74. This workshop will be custom designed to address the needs and interests of participants, illustrating a myriad of music making methods to suit various scenarios and purposes.

This workshop will serve as both an introduction to and build on participant's knowledge of Ableton Live through demonstrations, question-and-answer, and troubleshooting. Previous knowledge of MAX is not necessary. Participants will be invited to explore new ways of engaging their creative process. A take-home project will be assigned after the first session to further demonstrate possible techniques.

Special student pricing for Ableton Live and Max for Live will be offered for participants of this workshop. LIVE topics explored:

session & arrangement view:

  • browser setup / file structure / sound file analysis
  • etting up the session for real time composition & performance

clip view techniques:

  • warp control & markers
  • envelope types & styles
  • ollow methods & automation

recording technique:

  • live sound input, routing & real time looping

user interaction:

  • midi & keyboard mapping strategies

effects:

  • overview of LIVE FX
  • integration of VST / AU
  • uniting your mix through universal effects including reverb and limiting

MAX for LIVE overview:

  • MAX patcher integration into LIVE
  • LIVE objects for MAX
  • control of LIVE sessions from MAX

MAX/MSP CLINIC

Taught by Aram Shelton and Ben Bracken
November 11, 2009
The LAB, San Francisco

This month's MAX/MSP Clinic will begin with a presentation by Ben Bracken of Cycling '74. He'll be discussing integrating pattr into patchers. Followed will be a general question & answer session, with the remainder of the clinic focused on patcher troubleshooting.

MAX/MSP Clinic focus on troubleshooting and correcting problems found in participants’ patches. Participants are invited to email the instructor, Aram Shelton with any questions and/or topics to be covered: workshops@nexmap.org

This ongoing clinic is open to all levels and gives the opportunity for feedback and troubleshooting in a supportive environment with an experienced technician. The Clinic will be structured with a brief opening presentation on the development, customization and user control of patches built in Max / MSP, followed by question and answers by the participants or the remainder of the session. Artists will be invited to present their projects to the entire group for a back and forth exchange of ideas.

Examples of techniques explored:

  • audio routing: flexible routing schemes with simplified controls
  • patch management: the effective use of sub-patches
  • performance optimization: avoiding crashes and audio metering
  • user interaction: midi controllers
  • plug-in building: creating standalone devices to use in DAWs
  • rewire support: using Max with other programs such as Ableton, Reason, etc.

Suggested Materials: Laptop with MAX/MSP / headphones / MIDI controller / pencil and paper.

For the past 15 years, Ben Bracken has slowly been creating a unique sonic language utilizing electronics, acoustic sound sources (guitar, cymbal, bells, found objects, etc), electric guitar, and field recordings.

Primarily interested in the possibilities of a kind of echo-relocation that exists with sound based art, his work has oscillated from performance to installation, often blurring the lines between the two. In both, the location of the event becomes an active participant, intimately shaping the nature and direction of each work.

After finishing a graduate degree in Electronic Music at Mills College in Oakland, CA, Ben moved on to his current technical support position at Cycling '74, the developers of Max/MSP, which he utilizes as one of many tools in his live performances. Ben also curated the Totally Intense Fractal Mindgaze Hut, a performance space in West Oakland, CA.

Some previous or current musical groups include Crystal Village (With Gregg Kowalsky), Flashpapr, Tiny Lights, Remote Viewing Ensemble, Duo with Luis Maurette, Duo with Zach Wallace, Bones (with Jacqueline Gordon).

Ben has improvised with Le-Quan Ninh, Brent Guetzeit, Kevin Drumm, Peter Kowald, Chris Cutler, Phil Minton, Rhodri Davies, Werner Dafeldecker, Fred Van Hove, Johannes Bauer, among others.


ABELTON LIVE CLINIC

Aram Shelton
October 20 & 22, 2009
The LAB, San Francisco

A two-day beginning and intermediate level workshop that explores the flexibility and versatility of Ableton Live. This workshop will include examples of techniques unique to Ableton and will be custom designed to address the interests and on-going projects of participants, illustrating a variety of music making methods to suit various scenarios and purposes.

Techniques explored:

  • audio processing: audio effects, time/pitch warping, and remapping
  • computer-generated material: midi instruments, synthesis
  • recording technique: looping real-time with live sound input
  • user interaction: midi controllers
  • master effects: uniting your mix through universal effects including reverb and limiting

Ableton Live Workshop will build on participant's knowledge of Ableton Live with demonstrations and hands-on exercises. Participating artists will be invited to explore new ways of engaging their creative process. A take-home project will be assigned after the first session to further develop explored techniques.

Participants are invited to email the instructor, Aram Shelton, beforehand with any particular questions and/or topics to be covered. Contact Aram at workshops@nexmap.org

Suggested Materials: Laptop with Ableton Live and Headphones / MIDI Controller / Pencil and Paper


MAX/MSP CLINIC

Aram Shelton and Ben Bracken
October 14, 2009
The LAB, San Francisco

MAX/MSP Clinic focus on troubleshooting and correcting problems found in participants’ patches. Participants are invited to email the instructor, Aram Shelton with any questions and/or topics to be covered: workshops@nexmap.org

Suggested Materials: Laptop with MAX/MSP and Headphones / MIDI controller / Pencil and Paper

This ongoing clinic is open to all levels and gives the opportunity for feedback and troubleshooting in a supportive environment with an experienced technician. The Clinic will be structured with a brief opening presentation on the development, customization and user control of patches built in Max / MSP, followed by question and answers by the participants or the remainder of the session. Artists will be invited to present their projects to the entire group for a back and forth exchange of ideas.

Examples of techniques explored:

  • audio routing: flexible routing schemes with simplified controls
  • patch management: the effective use of sub-patches
  • performance optimization: avoiding crashes and audio metering
  • user interaction: midi controllers
  • plug-in building: creating standalone devices to use in DAWs
  • rewire support: using Max with other programs such as Ableton, Reason, etc.

BUILDING SOUND WORKSHOP II

Luis Maurette
January 29, 2009
Meridian Gallery, San Francisco

with Youth Participants from the Meridian Internship Program (MIP)