By Josh, 2016年 10月 13日
This time last year, pangbianr was hosting Bob Ostertag in China for a tour and mini-residency of sorts. Bob gave three remarkable performances in Beijing, including a rendition of his emotionally wrenching composition Sooner or Later and a group improvisation with Soviet Pop and Vavabond, both part of last year’s Beijing Electronic Music Encounter (BEME IV). He also traveled for shows in Xi’an, Hangzhou, and Shanghai; you can read some of his (typically nuanced and incisive) reflections from that leg of his 2015-2016 world tour here.
Bob Ostertag at fRUITYSHOP, Beijing, October 2015 (photo by Live Beijing Music)
One year on, Bob has just released Wish You Were Here, a 40-minute collage of live snippets from his “a-year-a-month-and-a-day world tour”, which in addition to China and Taiwan touched down in the US, western and eastern Europe, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, South America, Central America, and Mexico.
The music is played an the Aalto virtual modular synthesizer by Randy Jones and Madrona Labs. But unlike my previous release, Bob Ostertag Plays the Aalto, in which I left the synthesizer in various states and simply let it run, in this new music I play the synthesizer quite actively using a standard gamepad. I use the Max programming environment to create what might be called virtual topographies of the synthesizer through which I can explore and wander with the buttons and joysticks.
With the development of this instrument, I feel like I have finally found a way to play a modular synthesizer in a manner both musical and constantly surprising, something I have been dreaming of since I first began playing modular synths in the mid-1970s.
Like most of Bob Ostertag’s recent releases, Wish You Were Here is download only, pay what you like, no minimum. Find it here.
And stay tuned to pangbianr for forthcoming details on our stripped-down, fifth-anniversary-edition BEME, which will happen sometime in mid-November over a few days at fRUITYSPACE. Sinotronics management is deliberating on this very topic on Saturday, should have some info next week.