Microtonal Design Unconference 2011

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Oddmusic Urbana-Champaign and the School for Designing a Society present


Tuesday April 19 - Saturday April 23, 2011 at the Independent Media Center in Urbana, Illinois

See public description of event here.

This wiki page, editable by anyone, will serve as a nexus for designing the Microtonal Unconference. If you would like to be among the participants in this event, add your name below. State in what capacity you are interested in being involved, what you would like to bring (things, activities, wisdoms), how folks can get in touch with you, and anything else you desire that is relevant to the event.


Andrew Heathwaite - organizer, contact person, in Urbana all week and weeks prior as well. I want to facilitate collaboration and fruitful connection-making. Contact: gtrpkt at yahoo dot com; (217)365-0313.

Jacob Barton - organizer, contact person, residing in Urbana. Hopes to organize an Udderbot event during the weekend, among other things. udderbot at gmail dot com, two eight one seven five five two two six zero. . .

X. J. Scott - guest, visiting from out of town. Bringing an Axis-64. May attempt to get something with 88cET going on. nonoctave at gmail.

Chris Vaisvil - guest visiting from out of town - to perform Thurday April 21, 2011 a TBD microtonal improvisation (probably solo microtonal guitar and approximately 10 minutes in length). Willing to collaborate / jam with other performers on stage. If you want to arrange something specific contact me at chrisvaisvil at gmail dot com.

Rob Scott - I could offer to share some of my research on cymbal geneology. What might be particularly interesting would be to bring multiple cymbals, and invite people to generate descriptors. I could share the existing vocabulary for describing cymbals, demonstrate some sounds that have been gained and lost, invite discussion on the sound potentials. (More microtimbral than microtonal.)

I understand that this page is for organizing things among participants, is that right? I am not sure how that is supposed to work exactly, I suppose I will just try typing and see if there is any response.

@Rob - I am very interested in timbre, and although no expert at all, am aware of things such as the enormous difference between real cymbals and sampled ones with just velocity control rather than the timbre control you get from the different locations to strike, ways of striking and different materials to strike with. Sampled drums have lost a lot. I've never had a chance to talk about this stuff so I have no language for any of it. Definitely interested in learning more about your insights into the detailed inner architecture of cymbal timbre.

I find things like gesture and interactions with instruments to be interesting, particularly ethnic instruments and modern ones (and not stuff like piano, dull). Things like Carlo's ribbon controller as an instrument, or the Continuum. Hopefully we might have some informal discussions about these things, and seeing how people work and interact with pitch for example. I mean beyond fixed preset tunings. Jacob squeezes the teats of his udders, for example and that can be any pitch he likes. I'd also look forward to hearing Andrew's cumbus work close up. - xjscott Mar 26, 2011

@XJ: The Continuum was invented by Lippold Haken, who happens to live in Champaign. We have a friend Mark Smart who plays a Continuum and has attended some of our events. Perhaps we can get some Continuum action in here. --xenjacob

Hi everyone. Philipp Blume here (U of Illinois) - I don't have a lot of time but I would like to be around when there's a discussion of theory. I've been working with traditional instruments and score-based microtonal shenanigans, not with new instruments... though my last piece was for 19-division trumpet and electronic percussion and I'm happy to talk about that with others. Here's an intro to the 19-div trumpet itself: http://www.microtonaltrumpet.com/videos/19-div-Trumpet-2.swf

The first event of the Microtonal Design UnConference is coming up this Tuesday 4/19. We're having a Meet and Greet at the Independent Media Center (202 S. Broadway St, Urbana, IL) starting at 8 p.m. This is an opportunity to meet the other participants and make a schedule for the week. Please come if you can, and tell your friends! If you want to be involved later but can't make it to the Meet and Greet, get in touch through this wiki. ~Andrew