Played a nice ambient set last night at The Electric Maid Collective in the Tacoma neighborhood of DC (directly adjoining Tacoma Park) as a part of an ensemble show curated by the Baltimore SDIY Group (thanks, Logan!).
Instrumentation was as simple as I could get—an iPad Mini 2 running the amazing Shoom and Loopy HD apps, manipulated live with a Novation Launch Control knob controller, with an iPod Touch (6th gen) used to switch apps in Audiobus via Bluetooth.
I was using a five-tone equal temperament tuning, which is a tuning that, instead of dividing the octave into twelve equal steps, divides it into five steps. It’s a really lush harmonic landscape for drones and massed sounds, with a sort of exotic feel, but not necessarily one tied to any particular ethnic tradition. Amusingly, I got started with alternative tunings back in college, when I wanted to take some independent study sessions in the music department, but didn’t want my professors to know that I’m absolutely pig ignorant of traditional music theory. Work in 5-TET or 7-TET or another off-the-beaten-track tuning and you’re freed from the mass of conventional theory on how tonality is supposed to work. And yes, that is absolutely cheating, but key and chords and all that related stuff make my head spin.
Nothing prerecorded—everything was composed on the fly.
Listen, preferably with the volume lowish and speakers with some bass:
© 2016 Joe Belknap Wall, aka Kantoendrato