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Listening to art. Playing with audio. Sounding out technology. Composing in code. Rewinding the soundscape.

Live Improvisation with Buddha Machine (Zither Edition)

The third generation of the Buddha Machine, pictured above, suggests itself as the least amenable to adoption by musicians, electronic or otherwise, for the simple fact of its content.

Whereas its two predecessors contained loops that hewed mostly to a drone or drone-like composure, edging occasionally toward rhythmic, the third generation, named Chan Fang (禅房), contains the sounds of the Chinese zither, a string instrument. So whereas the previous two were of a type with electronic music, and lent themselves naturally to use as both sound source and backing/foundation material, the new one is by nature foreground material. But Dave Seidel, aka Mysterybear, dispenses with any concerns about the third FM3 Buddha Machine with a pair of live solo improvisations in which the device plays a central role, abetted by the second-generation edition and other tools (for the initiated: Auduino, Memory Man delay box, MoogerFooger ring modulator). Titled “Following a Line,” the piece is an extended (almost 15 minute) romance for the zither, the looping samples of which frequently appear center-stage, either adorned by or interacting with a variety of meditative sounds:

And just this morning he posted a second piece in the series:

More on the device at fm3buddhamachine.com. More on Seidel/Mysterybear at mysterybear.net. Tracks originally posted at Seidel’s soundcloud.com/mysterybear account.

Update: As it turns out, the music is now the first installment of Seidel’s new mysterbear netlabel: mysterybear.net and archive.org.

(Image from boomkat.com, one of the many distributors carrying the Buddha Machine.)

By Marc Weidenbaum

Tags: , , / Comments: 2 ]

2 Comments

  1. Dave Seidel
    [ Posted January 15, 2011, at 7:56 am ]

    Thanks, Marc!

  2. Natx
    [ Posted January 20, 2011, at 5:12 pm ]

    Congrats Dave, very nice!! :)

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  • Marc Weidenbaum founded the website Disquiet.com in 1996 at the intersection of sound, art, and technology, and since 2012 has moderated the Disquiet Junto, an active online community of weekly music/sonic projects. He has written for Nature, Boing Boing, The Wire, Pitchfork, and NewMusicBox, among other periodicals. He is the author of the 33 1⁄3 book on Aphex Twin’s classic album Selected Ambient Works Volume II. Read more about his sonic consultancy, teaching, sound art, and work in film, comics, and other media

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