Last Full Moon Broadcast of 2022

This coming Wednesday, December 7 from 10 am to noon, you can hear the last Waves of Gratitude Full Moon Broadcast for 2022. Each month since January, I have streamed a 2 hour radio broadcast of iBoD/dejacusse pre-recorded soundscapes and LIVE Eurorack Synth improvs during the Zenith of the Full Moon. These broadcasts have been special times for me to share with whomever might be listening all that is in my heart. The improvisations involve deep listening and attunement and responsiveness in the moment! The pre-recorded soundscapes, sound sculptures and paintings are where I get to play with co-horts and co-create in The Field, or put together a more musical composition in Ableton Live. All of this sound activity sparks joy within me! I am deeply grateful to Eleanor Mills and Jim Kellough for their avid listening, playful company and interest in growing their ears. All of the soundscape for Waves of Gratitude 2023 came from recordings of our Tuesday afternoon sessions.

The cycles of the moon have always been important to me. From a young age, I knew I did not want to have children, so when my period came along, it was basically a monthly annoyance! Then in graduate school I explored Wiccan spirituality, which lead me to use the moon cycles to track my menstrual cycles, and I embraced that which had been annoying. All of this to say- in 2023 there will be a Full Moon Broadcast AND a New Moon Broadcast each month. I feel a sense of joyful nostalgia in once again attending to these anchoring phases of the moon that were so much of part of the middle years of this life.

This Wednesday morning broadcast will feature Waves of Gratitude 2021 and 2022, the full album Audiorigami: Meditations on The Fold, Carnatic Water Music, and other soundscapes. The time is 10 am to noon est. Here is the link:

https://www.radiomast.io/station/ffa9c47f-f6bd-4eb9-ad61-c2c636ca88ca/pwa/app

Stop by and have a listen, a move, a vocalization! Improvise like no one else cares!!

Cardinal Points/The Hinge @ NC Botanical Gardens Annual Sculpture in The Gardens Show

The Cardinal is one of the most recognized birds in America. Named for their color like the robes of Catholic Bishops, Cardinalis Cardinalis is the state bird of seven US states including North Carolina. Having lived in four of those states, the Cardinal has been my state bird most of my life. So I enjoyed collaborating with Debbie Cohen, visual artist, and Bruce Edwards, woodwork artist, on the multi-media sculpture Cardinal Points/The Hinge.

The inspiration for the piece sprang from a years long friendship forged in creative play! Each Fall season, Debbie invited me to see the Sculpture in the Garden at the NC Botanical Gardens. She and her mother, Joan Cohen, have exhibited pieces in the show in previous years. One year, we sang Debbie’s brilliant song Tick Tock Time while engaging with the their sculptures and with the gardens. Last year, I wondered aloud about a sonic component to a sculpture, and off we went!

Our first inspirations were lofty – a ceramic perch for hawks with a sound sculpture of the calls of all the hawks of North Carolina. The perch would serve as an amplifier for a small speaker in the bottom playing the hawk calls. We realized that the regular calling out of many predators might be potentially aggravating for the smaller birds around the garden. This brings up an interesting design aspect of sound sculpting – how to present sculpted sound in a particular space so the audience is engaged and not irritated. This issue came up later in our working on this piece.

Then we were inspired by the Cardinal! First, the word Cardinal with its Latin/Catholic Church underpinnings and all its varied uses – Cardinal Numbers, Cardinal Directions, Cardinal Points, the last of which became the title for the piece! The physical sculpture was a group collaboration with input from Debbie’s mother, Joan, local artist/dancer Marty Broda, and others. Debbie, Bruce and I co-created the sculpture, which evolved over time but was always conceived as a tryptych. Debbie created four abstract Cardinal sculptures that are mounted in three different settings. One setting is a gorgeous piece of driftwood we obtained from Marty’s collection. I did not think much of it, as I got excited finding a perfect piece of white birch about 3.5 inches in diameter and perfect bark with interesting markings!! What is more iconic than a Cardinal on a white birch limb! So the birch limb is one setting.

Back to the driftwood- one day we intentionally broke the piece, reassembled it in an interesting way, and glued it into a new shape, which is a nest-like configuration. Debbie sanded and poly-ed that piece of wood into a gorgeous wood sculpture on which 2 of the ceramic birds are mounted. This piece is the anchor for the tryptych, and, thanks to the way Bruce mounted it on the fence at The Gardens, it appears to be floating!!

The third piece brings us back to the how to engage the audience with the sound sculpture. The first idea for this was to have the sound sculpture in an amplifier that would be triggered by motion! I commissioned Mark Boyd to design and build a box for this purpose. The box is beautiful and works great, but the curators for the show rejected this aspect due to possibly being an irritant to staff who might be triggering it over and over while working in the garden. I was disappointed and understanding of their position. The sound box was no longer a part of the physical sculpture. Bruce had designed and built a small shelf for the sound box and bird, so what what could replace the sound box? Debbie found two empty bird nests which she carefully wove together to create the third piece – a Cardinal on a nest.

We were pleased that Cardinal Points was accepted, and wondering how to bring The Hinge in, when friend Shana Adams suggested linking the sound sculpture to a QR Code so folks viewing Cardinal Points could listen to the sound sculpture via their phone! This turned out to be the perfect solution to the presentation issue in this case. The curators agreed, and we have the QR Code on the informational plaque for Cardinal Points. The QR code can be scanned by the camera on your phone! A website will come up on the phone, tap it and this will take you to my blog, where the sound sculpture now lives! You will see a web player with a playbutton. Make sure the sound on the phone is at least 75% full volume, tap play and listen!

The inspiration underlying The Hinge came from several spiritual traditions that believe the Cardinal is a messenger who moves between the spirit and material worlds. The word Cardinal is from the Latin cardo meaning “hinge”, so the birds are the hinges on the doorway between realms bringing messages to and from deceased loved ones. This is the inspiration for the sound sculpture, which sonically creates this movement between worlds in 45 seconds. First we hear the familiar “what-cheer” that is so recognizable as the Cardinal’s song! After several iterations, the call shimmers, breaks apart and feathers out into a kind of out breath. I invite folks engaging with the sculpture at NC Botanical Gardens to see the beautiful visual, remember a beloved and send love with the sonic outbreath.

The show runs from September 18 to December 4, 2022. For more about the show go to https://ncbg.unc.edu/visit/exhibits/sculpture-in-the-garden/

Dear Annie Dillard

Who introduced us? One of the loveliest, dearest people I have known. Reading Pilgrim at Tinker Creek in my early 30s, I was swept up into the way you see The World, so I devoted myself to reading all of your writings. (You lost me with The Living, I must admit). In youth, I loved your passionate witnessing of spirit writ large in nature, how easily you are astonished by the details and the vastness of creation, and your aloof, succinct judgements of other beings. You are unapologetic, yet aware of the economic privilege of your life, but seem mostly oblivious to the subjugations suffered by many female voices seeking publication. (Aristotle wrote us off as “birth defects” and Ari’s influence is proving tough to shake!)

Now, coming into my seventh decade, I am rereading you with less reverence and more astonished laughter – you crack me up over and over again. I appreciate our synchronous presence on the planet. You were dismissed by your elders as a “girl of the Twentieth Century”, which acknowledges you as a Voice of Our Time. I feel you as a sister and twin flame: much of what reverberates you, reverberates me as well. You are very like an older sister in that I don’t think you would like me as a companion, while I would adore you as one. Lucky me – you are there in your writings, and I only have to suffer your disdain when it clearly applies to me.

You see, I go easy, light, effortless and you go hard, dense and high-minded! So.

I have an interesting relationship to your book For the Time Being. I read it four times, and each time I picked it up I thought I had not finished it. Which, given what you write about in that book, makes me laugh. In the summer of 2021, I paid attention and realized when I finished For the Time Being.

The tree with the lights on it! I see lights on trees all the time, but not as enflamed as the ones the girl with her new eyes saw! And the robin dropping straight down off the roof- just stepping off and dropping. The clothes spread out and drying way up on huge trees! The frog slowly dropping its form like a cloak on the water. On and on- you just WoW me!!

So I carry these amazing and inspirational experiences with me from you and your lived experience. Terwiliger bunts one! I say it all the time, it is so fun and slips off the tongue. Your adventures growing up resonated deeply with me, although my parents were not wealthy or quite as adventurous as yours. But they were very lovely and caring. I, too, dissected frogs and worms in the basement. Occasionally I would try to gather a group to explore and create, but it was hard to really engage with others, so working alone suits me alright (to this day).

Holy the Firm is a prose poem with its vivid yet obscure descriptions of the vast beauty and horrific tragedies that make up The World exemplified in one burnt little girl. You rail at and commisserate with God as you wander a small corner of the world where you find yourself at a particular point in its time. I, too, am a burnt little girl. An accident (caused by me, which has always seemed so mysterious), I was about four: I was playing in the kitchen while Mom was making dinner. I pulled open the door of a freestanding cabinet, leaned over the top and lifted my feet to swing on the door. The cabinet tipped, and the french fryer grease came raining down on me and my brother. I didn’t know much about physics then! My Dad put vaseline on me, and they rushed us to the hospital. Interestingly, putting vaseline on a severe burn was NOT the correct procedure at the time, but is now seen as an appropriate healing move. So glad my Dad followed his instincts and not the medical party line of the day.

The burns all healed well. I had a skin graft to my face when I was seven, but the graft location left a bad scar. Seems I scar easily. Only recently have I thought about what it must have been like for my family. They probably had to be questioned by some authority from a government institution. I am sure they felt incredible chagrin, pain and remorse. We rarely talked about it. I found the french fryer in the basement of the last house my parents lived in. It was a bit jarring and curious that it had traveled with us all these years. I do not remember it being used again.So your Holy the Firm brings me face to face with a forgotten part of myself, which is some of your point here.

When I reread An American Childhood last year, it triggered that strange and oh so familiar spark of limerence. Your vividly bold descriptions of how it feels to be a child opened up a place of longing and recognition. Longing and recognition seem to be the roots of limerence. Limerence fueled my lived experience, made life exciting and miserable, and comodified love for me. You understand the giddy rush when meeting a limerent object. You edify the experience so well! My current situation is one of limited limerence and loads of awareness. I have traded highs and lows/ups and downs for expanding/contracting into a vast and singular Presence. You, too, indicate “enough said” on your website contact information page with a picture of yourself with two bandaids over your mouth!!

Thank you for doing the incredibly difficult work of illuminating The World with a delighted reverence and acerbic whimsy. You are a most wondrous traveling companion!

Full Moon Broadcast May 15 11pm-1am

I am creating a juicy ocean wave sound for Waves of Gratitude 2022. Yesterday the Behringer Nuetron gave up a sound like when a wave wumphs and then fades into a hiss. Pretty cool! And I got some gorgeous hissy wet ebb and flow from the Make Noise Strega (Thank you, Christopher Skully-Thurston for access to the Strega) In addition to sculpted sounds from The Field, the ocean wave soundscape for 2022 is a blend of sounds from numerous water sources including the Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, Eno River, several outdoor fountains, and our home indoor fountain along with the sound of running water. Now those are sources to be grateful for and I am!

The Waves of Gratitude Full Moon Broadcast for May will stream as the Zenith and a total lunar eclipse occur nearly simultaneously. There is so much love here for us all! This is one of those moments when it is flowing in! To celebrate and lend voice to the flow, the soundscape Shadow/Doubt will debut. This piece emerged from the sound pieces I created for Libby Lynn’s 250 Degree encaustic art show in the Fall of 2013. I worked on Shadow/Doubt over the years since then, and now it is complete. The soundscape evokes in me a deep longing, and a sad satisfaction with that longing. The voices argue with what is, they try to explain, they try to understand. Interwoven throughout is a voice of comfort. This is a place I am familiar with, but do not visit as often as I did in my youth.

My first version of Ableton Lite Digital Audio Workstation was purchased in 2009, so I have been soundscaping for over a decade. I have lots of soundscapes to share with you! In April’s Full Moon Broadcast, I released a 30 minute set of completed soundscapes. Most of these pieces were composed in the Ableton Live DAW with the intention that they would accompany something else – like a dance or a film. They are soundtrack soundscapes- each one contains a story, actually many stories just waiting to be brought out by the proper pairing. They all stand on their own as well.

And there will be LIVE IMPROVISATION from The Field. The Field is my modular synth configuration, which I am privileged to sculpt and play with. Feel free to play along with whatever instrument you have available! And remember to stay out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing – just listen and play!

Here is the link to the webplayer which will be live from 11pm May 15 to 1am May 16. The Zenith is at 12:14am and the eclipse is 12:11am:

https://www.radiomast.io/station/ffa9c47f-f6bd-4eb9-ad61-c2c636ca88ca/pwa/app

As Waves of Gratitude 2022 Evolves…

Three rivers of sound are coming together to create Waves of Gratitude 2022. First, the living Control Voltages that trigger, modulate and end waveforms in vast timbral washes that display the harmonic patterns of the very life force which they embody. These building blocks of sound are available in modular and semi-modular synthesizers. Within this sound context of synthesizers interacting, iBoD practices “conversational interactions” which involve presence, deep listening and responsibility (intentionally exercising our innate ability for dialogic response). Second stream is the voices- people sharing gratitudes, sharings sounds they are grateful for, and in particular expressing what gratitude feels like. This is the question I am asking now in 2022: What does gratitude feel like to you? Take the question wherever you want! Third stream is the sound of Waves – I loved the ocean wave container from last year and want to take that sound and swell it up a bit. The Waves need more water! So I begin here!

And, at this point, I have much material in the “conversational interactions” context. Jim Kellough and Eleanor Mills come over every Tuesday and play within and around the synths. We have an array of sounds, from reedy melodica to bright sparkly recorders and Native American flutes to growling digital horn!! The synths set the table with rhythmic tones and unusual harmonic smears which can be maddeningly stable to giddily hither and yon. The smallest turn of a knob opens up whole new vistas of sonic relationships. Then the three of us engage with the synths and each other in an exchange that changes over time. A few weeks ago we played for an hour and 20 minutes. WoW!

Every Full Moon this year, 2022, Waves of Gratitude is transmitting vibrational appreciation via streaming radio broadcast. These vibrations are shared one hour before and one hour after the Zenith of the Full Moon. The Zenith is when the moon reaches its highest point in the sky above the observer. This time is like the sun at noon, and seems energetically auspicious to me. During the broadcast, we will listen to Waves of Gratitude 2021, to Waves of Gratitude 2022 as it evolves, and to live improvisations with Nuet, Moogie and OC! In addition to this, dejacusse and iBoD (idiosyncratic beats of dejacusse) have a back catalogue of soundscapes and other tunes which will be highlighted during the broadcast. Maybe the 2022 WoG will be an album!

As I have lamented in the recent posts, the voices speaking gratitude is not happening. I have not even recorded myself, so what can I expect of others. I am going to answer the question “How does gratitude feel to me?” and start the Wave! If you are inspired it is sooo easy to do. First, if you know how to record yourself on your phone or other device, record your answer to “How does gratitude feel to me?” and then send it via email to ibodgwave@gmail.com! If we are friends on Facebook, you can send me an audio Messenger message. Go to the space where you would normally type your message, tap on the space. You should see a microphone icon, give it a tap and start talking, when you are done talking, tap the send arrow like you would if you had typed in text. I will have your audio gratitude for The Wave! Thank you for sharing yourself with me and with listeners all over the world.

Waves of Gratitude for April will broadcast from 2 pm to 4 pm Eastern Time Zone on Saturday April 16th. This Wave will begin with the first 15 minutes of WoG 2021. If you are curious as to how your audio gratitude might sound in The Wave, tune in at the top of each hour for WoG 2021. WoG 2022 will actually get started during this broadcast with a recent iBoD recording from our Sun Ra Room Sessions mixed in with this year’s Wave sculpture! There will also be live improvisations on the synthesizers! I hope you will join me!

https://www.radiomast.io/station/ffa9c47f-f6bd-4eb9-ad61-c2c636ca88ca/pwa/app

One Lunation

An astroscientist took 2,000,000 pictures of The Moon as it moves through its Lunar Day. Part of what draws him to The Moon is a desire to colonize it! When we will learn that we are here to deeply appreciate (which he obviously does!!) and not turn that appreciation into limerent objects for pursuit and possession!!

We do agree that The Moon is a magnificent presence!!

I just don’t need or desire owning it, living off of it, subjecting it to my whims.

Being present with The Moon is enough!

youtu.be/6IIyGcrInjQ

“Timebral Artifacts” Soundscape for Busker’s Day

Studying the effects of waveforms in a sonic environment and transmitting those waveforms to audio cortices is a mission of iBoD. To that end, we have partnered with three synthesizers to explore the ways of waveforms. First came the Behringer Nuetron, which is a puzzle and a playful soundshaper. My first challenge was (and continues to be) getting sound out of it (VCA Bias and Overdrive Level knobs need to be wide open.) Nuet has lots of internal routings and moveable parameters including blending between oscillator waveform shapes, and multiple LFOs and VCFs. Next came the Moog SubHarmonicon, which is extremely fun and responsive and more intuitive. These two are “tied” together by the Make Noise O-Control, which serves as a sequencer for Nuet, and receives clock from Moogie. So that is my crew for this event: Nuet, Moogie, OC and me.

Using internal and external routings, iBoD explores the shifts in timbre and rhythm presented by the synthesizers. These instruments make sound from oscillating frequencies shaped by waveforms and envelopes, which are the basic building blocks for timbre (and EVERYTHING, but THAT is another story, which can be read in the links below). All of the action is triggered, directed, and massaged by control voltages. Sparks of electricity drive the whole show, which makes for alot of unpredictability and maleability.

A friend asked me “What is timbre?” Yes, we are all familiar with rhythm and melody, but timbre is a kind of behind the scenes aspect of musical sound which isn’t as easily apprehended because it is so essential. Timbre is the “dna” of sound presented in harmonic code. Our brains decipher these codes so we can discern a foghorn from a racing engine from a baby crying. Please read these previous posts where I offer my understanding of timbre:

The Law of the Octave

Nature’s Chord

So that is what I will be playing with on Saturday. Since my favorite part of symphony concerts is the settling in and tuning that the orchestra does before they start the program, Timebral Artifacts will begin with some tuning and retuning of parts, followed by propagation and meanderings until an undercurrent of structure appears. When this happens, I will play Native American flute in call and response play with the synths.

iBoD will play from 2-2:45 pm. See map of Sculpture Garden for exact location (2a)

I hope you will come and listen!

Waking Life, Waves of Gratitude!

Richard Linklater’s animated film Waking Life relieved me of a heavy life-long burden. Up to the time of seeing Waking Life, I was attempting to fit my living experience into and around Aristotlean dramatic arcs and The Game of Life linear narratives, which were presented to me as the “norm”. People around me spoke of and STROVE for “normal lives” in “The Real World”. Human beings seemed to feel passionately about their life circumstances and relations. They believed in and lived out a story of life through these dramatic arcs and linear narratives. My family was more into easiness and getting along with each other, so the drama was subtler, filtered by a kind of controlled kindness. Yet, I was curious about the “Real World” and for much of my life I was guided by beautiful, loving, trusted adults and peers who would point things out to me in that exploration. I often noticed inconsistencies between what I was taught, and what was actually happening, still I wanted to find a way into the drama of life.

So I studied the forms and tried to fit my experience into them. This focus in itself allowed me to participate but I did not feel fully present in these experiences. My awareness was divided and expansive. Perhaps I was overly present, who knows? l have vivid memories of both waking and dreaming life from childhood to Now! When I tried to live the normal linear life, I got distracted by all the rockets of desire and all the curious patterns of Samsara. As a child, a part of me was always standing outside and watching with an appreciative wonder or an apprehensive stillness as events unfolded, then later on, as a young adult sitting in a theatre, watching. Then directing the action of the dramas so beautifully sculpted by Williams, Miller, Albee. In graduate school, all of literature became reflections of the drama of human’s deeply identifying with their experiences. AND, I was introduced to metaworlds. Knowing of metaworlds brought my personal living experience into clearer focus. I have been pursuing that focus ever since.

Then I saw Waking Life, and realized that the form of my life is like a patchwork quilt of deeply intimate moments, of creative activities with many wonderful, specific people as we float through time. These magnificent occurences are bright and colorful moments that arise out of the oscillations between stillness and sound, between love and fear, between lies and truths, between righteous anger and personal responsibility, between ideas of who I am and the wonders of the Universe. So many moments that touched deeply, conveying love and care in spite of the undercurrents of fear and insecurities. I learned so much from you all, so very much.

Waves of Gratitude is my soundling tribute to all of these bright and colorful moments! If you remember even one moment we shared as I described above, I hope you will listen as The Wave grows, and when you are so moved you will lend your voice to Waves of Gratitude.

Remember when we were poets, playwrights, watercolorists, actors, singers, curators, and co-creators?!?

Remember when we studied, wondered and laughed, played games, talked late into the night, got lost in the woods, wrote poems and created performances!

Together!?

Remember…?

I do!

I love us and I am grateful for it all!

How Data Was Used in Sourdough Sketches

The data used in RISE: Sonic Sketches of Sourdough Cultures is depicted in the graph you see below. This is the Optical Density growth profile over a 48 hour period for the 8 most prevalent strains of yeasts and lactic acid bacteria (LAB) found in The Sourdough Project’s 500 starter samples. Using these data defined shapes was suggested by their similarity to the motifs of Terry Riley’s In C, a piece that continually shapes and sharpens my appreciation of timbre and harmonics.

This data set turned out to be less important in the great scheme of the final Sourdough Project paper, however by assigning chromatic pitches to the OD levels from the lowest measured amount (.0867) to the highest amount (.8816) among all 8 taxa, a unique motif emerges for each one. The intervals between sampling points/tones reveal the growth rate and expansiveness of each taxa. The notes at each sampling point when strung together create a pentatonic pattern spread out over four octaves that will be the sonic profile of each strain of yeast and LAB. Here is an example of the motif for L Sanfrancisensis, a lactic acid bacteria common to sourdough starters.

There were 40 density amounts over 4 octaves, so 10 notes were needed in each octave and two notes had to go. Leaving out C and F in a scale with G as the fundamental pushed the scale toward more dissonance, which helps to create the “sour” part of the sound. The chromatic scale runs from G0 to G5 (the scale runs from G0 to F#4, and then jumps to G5. G5 is heard only in W. Anomalus). Here is the piece that introduces the yeast voices and pattern profiles –  String of Yeasts

The LAB voices are horn, synth, brass and a plucked resonant instrument. LAB do not reach levels higher than .5 on the OD scale thus are lower in pitch class range overall. Several of the yeasts soar into the 4th octave, but the LAB all stay in the 0-3 octaves as they grow slower and less abundantly.

And then there are the Acetic Acid Bacteria that have not received much attention in previous research. One of the findings of the Sourdough Project is that highly variable abundances of AAB are a key driver of functional diversity across the 500 starters in the study. The AAB also contribute heavily to starter aroma. In the soundscape AAB will take the form of sculpted noise- mixing various shades of noise with audio of watery bubbling sounds. And since AAB are drivers, percussion will be used as well. The primary AAB, Acetobactor Malorum, is represented by a polyrythmic frame drum statement.

The Yeast and LAB sonification profiles are what I call “data-driven” in that specific data points have been used to depict each Yeast and LAB voice. The AAB sonification is “data-derived” in that the use of percussion as a driver, of burbling, watery sounds as fermentation, and of post-soundscape frequency artifacts as VOCs were all suggested by descriptions of AAB in the published paper.

Three individual starters were sonified for the album. SD_522 was chosen because it may demonstrate the impact of Acetobacter Malorum on functional diversity in starter microbiomes. This starter had 6 of the 8 articulated taxa in measurable amounts and Acetobacter Malorum as the primary AAB. SD_131 contained Acetobacter Malorum and hit 4 of the 6 aromatic notes, so the last 30 seconds of the soundscape are the audio artifacts representing volatile organic compounds (VOC). SD_299 was chosen because it is mostly LAB and DOES NOT have any S Cerevisiae and very little AAB. This allowed me to play with a very different sonic pallette from SD_522 and _131.

The album is available March 30, 2021 on Bandcamp, and within the month on all other music platforms! Thank you for your support!