The Null Device

This afternoon I went to Synæsthesia to catch the in-store performance by laptop electronica guru Keith Whitman (better known as his alter ego, Hrvatski). He was seated behind the counter, holding an electric guitar (a Yamaha Strat-clone, from the look of it); in front of him was a Titanium PowerBook with a USB audio box hooked up to it.

He played a set which went for half an hour or so, in which he alternated between plucking notes on the guitar and changing settings on the laptop with a mouse. The software on the laptop (which was a MAX patch) took the sound of the guitar and put it through various delays, ring modulators and other things, making out of it textures of various types of noise. Parts of it were the usual sort of abstract experimental-electronic sound-art, slowly evolving between different tectures; though towards the end he played a rather nice melodic bit on the guitar.

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