Looking for ways to play with audio software and my cello simultaneously without losing touch of my instrument I have developed “Fello” at STEIM since 2005.
In the recent version this system consists of one Nunchuck sensor (a part of the WiiMote) attached to the frog of my bow, one MIDI controller and one computer. The sensor’s movement data is translated to MIDI through junXion and allows for manipulation of an audio delay setup in Ableton Live (using six copies of the fantastic OhmBoyz Delay) and LiSa.
The general approach is to record the cello sound into the buffer and play it back immediately, while the x and y movements of the bow control delay feedback and time.
In my studio compositions I have always looked out for sounds like drum rolls, made of any other sound material. Playing sounds like drawing dots and lines, for the creation of beat structures. With “Fello” these kinds sounds can be played directly. It’s fun and inspiration!
Additionally to the accelerometer sensor on the bow I use a BCR2000 MIDI controller plus two foot switches to choose the midi channel(s) on which the bow data shall be sent. The function of the bow interface can change through a quick touch of a button or pedal.
Last year I have played “Fello” in the dance performance “()else” by Victoria Hauke from Hamburg, which has taken me even to a dance festival in India in November. There I met with DJ Prashanth from Hyderabad, who plays traditional Indian percussion sounds through a turntable/ laptop setup. For late 2010 we are planning a tour through India and Sri Lanka with support of the Goethe Institute.
As preparation for this tour, I spent some time re-working my junXion configuration. It’s clean and stable now, simpler than before but with a few more options: Robert helped me taking a closer look at LiSa and using it additionally to Ableton, which works well and sounds really good. Thanks Robert!
Byung-Jun Kwon made a backup sensor for me, very beautiful! Jun is great support. His advice is to switch to another sensor-system in the near future, as the WiiMote’s accelerometer can be unreliable when too much bluetooth is around. We’ll hopefully do this in summer.
For the last three days of my residency, Axel Kochmeier (DJ akaak) joined me in the studio.
We will play a duo show called “Sutsche & Fello” in Berlin’s awesome Berghain Club on April 14th. He plays and mixes Techno Maxis pitched down to 33rpm. Here’s a video snippet of our rehearsal:
And here’s a two minute track which I composed only with “Fello” and a metal pipe:
(For previous ideas and versions of “Fello” – made in PD together with Florian Grote – look here).