Michael Barker > March 2007 "embarker"

Well, it hasn’t been quite a year yet. But in the past 9 months i have suffered through 3 ear infections and 2 ruptured ear drums (same ear drum, twice). Needless to say this put a bit of a damper on sound making for the past 9 months.
Sorry for my blogging delay…..
I initially went to STEIM to work with sensors for a dance / sound collaboration that I have been involved with for the past 8 years or so, the Pima Group. At the time I was on the fence about incorporating laptop into live performance do to just how boring, sterile, and canned it can come off, so I was hoping my visit to STEIM could help me overcome this hangup. After working (jet lagged) in my studio with the Junxion Box for a few days, i began to see the potential for using movement to control parameters of sound for performance.
Though a few problems arose.
1. I had no dancer or context to practice this potential.
2. I was unable to obtain a Junxion Box for the long term! I came home without being able to purchase one, make one, ect
(Perhaps i was not loud enough in my interest but it led me to another place all together)
After Frank’s demonstration with touch screens and Junxion i had a better idea of incorporating laptop back into my live set up without the added stigma of the normal, boring, email checking laptop performance.
When i returned to philadelphia, i purchased 2 – 6 inch usb touch screens from a car electronics outlet and began experimenting.
I had a friend build me a custom case for the touch screens, which actually came out quite solid. I have been incorporating the laptop with a circuit bent drum machine i built as well as a couple of homemade / bent pedals and voice. I have been using Junxion to control Spongefork and most of the material used is from these homemade pedals, drum machines, and sometimes double bass.
The result has been documented on a few short run releases under the name “embarker” in a variety of formats on heat retention records, deep fried tapes, breathmint records, and soon, malleable records.
I intend to work on a few installations using Junxion and HID’s in 2008 and possibly a few tours. (hopefully returning to STEIM at some point)


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