Gestures for 3 iPads in 36 tone equal temperament

Here's a video made for a concert presentation Oct 13, 2017 at the Glitterbox Theater in Pittsburgh, PA, to celebrate the launching of the new CD "MM76 Amusical Music, Atheatrical Theatre," produced by tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE. The piece involves me playing live on 3 iOS devices, all with the same patch on them: ChordPolyPad playing arpeggiated hexachords, MF Randomizer scrambling the output of the ChordPolyPad, and the piano sounds are made by the UVI Ravenscroft 275 piano app. The pianos on the three iOS devices are each detuned by 1/3 of a semitone, making a total tuning for the piece of 36 tones per octave equal temperament. Many many thanks to tENT for organizing the CD, and then, organizing the launch, and asking me to be part of it!  And of course, many many thanks to Catherine Schieve for yet more video work documenting things! 


UPDATE November 12:  I just got an email from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE, that he has now made and posted on-line, 3 videos of the October 13 performance.  Here's what he wrote:

"I made 3 movies of the MM 76 CD RELEASE event at the Glitter Box Theater & these are all online now: 

"MM 76 RELEASE" (1:28:38):
"MM 76 RELEASE (medium rare)" (39:33): 
"MM 76 RELEASE (well done)" (12:24): 
You'll note that each version gets progressively shorter so there're options depending upon your attention span."  
The videos each feature performances on the night from Noah Rechtenwald, myself, Ben Opie, tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE (with Meg Graham, vocals); How Things Are Made and Michael Boyd.  The (well done) 12:24 version gives you a very good and quick overview of what looks like was a very fun event.  Enjoy.




NOW AND THEN, a 2 weekend festival of electronic music, presented by Astra

Coming up very soon, a 6 concert festival of electronic, electro-acoustic, and instrument and electronics pieces presented by ASTRA, from Friday Sept 1, through Sunday Sept 10.  Here's a schedule:

Concert 3 - six events
Friday 1 September, 8:00 pm- Church of All Nations, cnr. Palmerston & Drummond Streets, Carlton
Sunday 3 September, 5:00 pm - Church of All Nations, cnr. Palmerston & Drummond Streets, Carlton
Saturday 9 September, 3:00 pm - Eleventh Hour Theatre, 170 Leicester Street, Fitzroy
Saturday 9 September, 5:00 pm - Eleventh Hour Theatre, 170 Leicester Street, Fitzroy
Saturday 9 September, 8:00 pm - Eleventh Hour Theatre, 170 Leicester Street, Fitzroy
Sunday 10 September, 5:00 pm - Church of All Nations, cnr. Palmerston & Drummond Streets, Carlton
A full rundown of events at

Some points of interest - Fri Sept 1 - Simone de Haan plays WB's "Responses and Compressions" for Trombone and Cassette - first performance in about 30 years!

Saturday 9 September - 3 pm - classic fixed media pieces including "Harbour Symphony" by Catherine Schieve, recorded in 2006 in St John's Harbour, Newfoundland.

Saturday 9 September - 5 pm - new pieces by former composition students at Box Hill Institute.  I've heard them all, and they're all really interesting.  Congratulations, guys!

Saturday 9 September - 8 pm - premier of the full 8 channel version of WB's "Mosaics and Transparencies" for multiple recordings, live mixed and diffused.

I hope to see some of you at some of these events.  I think it will be a blast.


For those interested, spreadsheets containing listings of the La Trobe University Music Department Archives (1975-1999)

Through a strange series of circumstances, Box Hill Institute Music Department has come into possession of a substantial portion of the archives of the La Trobe University Music Department.  The La Trobe Department, which existed from 1975-1999, was one of the most far-reaching and radical departments in Australia, and one of the leading music departments in the world.  Now, it turns out, La Trobe University finally has a proper archive, with proper storage and access facilities, and we are currently in negotiations to have these materials returned to them to become part of a larger La Trobe University Music Department collection.  For the moment though, the archive is still in storage at Box Hill Institute Music Department.  For those interested, here are 2 spreadsheets of the contents of the archive - one for recorded material, mostly reel to reel tapes, and one of print materials, which consists of a large portion of course outlines, correspondence, educational materials etc, spanning the complete history of the Department.  If this sort of thing floats your boat, we here make these spreadsheets available.  La Trobe University Music Department Archive Spreadsheets, download here.


Catherine Schieve's Repentistas (2003) updated

Way  back in 2003, Catherine wrote a piece called Repentistas, which was her homage to the troubadours of the Northeast of Brazil, of the same name.  The original piece was for our reconstruction of the Percy Grainger / Burnett Cross "Electric Eye Tone Tool," organ, toy piano, and any stringed instrument, in this case, violin.  A few months ago, I realized that with advances in technology, it might be possible to redo the electronics part so that it could be played on an iPad using the Virtual ANS app, which itself is a reconstruction of the Soviet ANS synthesizer, like the Electric Eye Tone Tool, another early light controlled synthesizer.  This proved to be possible, and Catherine proposed that I learn the stringed instrument part on viola (I only barely play viola), and we get a toy piano player to do that part.  Eventually, we also realized the idea of the original organ part as another Virtual ANS patch, this one on an iPhone.  So the final result was performed on July 24 2017, as the opening act on the Undue Noise 15th Anniversary Festival, held in the Old Fire Station venue that is part of the Bendigo Arts Complex.  The performance was organized by Jacques Soddell, Mr. Undue Noise, to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the series that he's been curating for all that time.  The performers were Catherine Schieve, iPhone and iPad, Ian Parsons, toy piano, and myself, Warren Burt, on viola.  Here are some documents from the day.

First, the original score for the Electric Eye Tone Tool - which is about 90 cm by about 1.2 meters:

And here is the score after I processed it so that it would work in the Virtual ANS app:

Herre is the score for the reconstituted organ part, now reconceived for iPhone:

And here I am, with my viola, performing the part for the stringed instrument, which is on the table in front of me (this photo is by Jacques Soddell - thanks Jacques!):

Catherine pointed out that the orignal piece had her moving with large sweeping gestures, moving the large score on the even larger Electric Eye Tone Tool back and forth in large sweeping gestures.  Now, she was constrained to the small surface of the iPad, performing with tiny gestures with the fingertips.  The sound is still pretty big, though, as you can hear.




Or, if that Flash Player doesn't work for you, you can download the mp3 of Catherine, Ian and me playing Repentistas (2017) here.  Enjoy!



Two Issues Worth of Soundbytes Articles!

I've been remiss in keeping this website up to date in the past couple of months, so here are some links to the articles I wrote for the last two issues of

First of all, from the May 2017 issue, I concluded my 2 part review of the Spitfire Symphony Orchestra sound set:

Also in the May 2017 issue, I reviewed the newly released Audiobus3, along with a number of interesting MIDI processors which were designed for AB3: 

In the July 2017 issue, I reviewed three things:  First, the marvelous Mitosynth app from the British firm Wooji Juice:

I also reviewed a number of interesting sample sets from Impact Soundworks: Bansuri, Pan Flutes, Koron: Instruments of Iran, Sonic Forest and Sonic Ocean:

And finally, I reviewed the version 6 update of the amazing granulator Crusher X:

I hope you enjoy these reviews and find some of the info in them useful!