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Video and Photos from My 9 Box AudioCube Mountain Oasis 2013 Adventure with the Bob Moog Foundation

Wow, the Mountain Oasis 2013 festival was simply epic! As I mentioned in a recent post, I was that there at the invitation of the Bob Moog Foundation. I brought my "9 Box" installation / instrument to be part of Dr. Bob's Interactive Sonic Experience. In this post I’ll offer some photos and videos from my time at the fest.

9 Box as Part of Dr. Bob's Interactive Sonic Experience

Wireless FX Cube with receiver and 2 sender cubes in the background

For those not familiar with the 9 Box, it’s part collaborative instrument, part interactive installation -- the 9 Box allows up to six casual players to instantly make music and shape sound by manipulating blocks called AudioCubes.

AudioCubes, made by California based Percussa (http://www.percussa.us), are smart wireless cubes capable of sensing each other's location and orientation as well as distance to your hands, fingers and other objects. They also emit feedback in the form of light as you interact with them.
Ultimately this hands-on approach allows players to manipulate sets of sounds in 3x3 grids -- hence the name 9 Box. The 9 Box supports also supports user creatable "refills" allowing for unique and endless sonic possibilities.


So I devised the method, player’s guides and stickers, Percussa MIDI Bridge template, and Ableton Live templates and refill system.

SicImages was there and took this photo and made the comment

"These blocks were really something crazy. Infrared sensors and wireless proximity based effects manipulation into ableton....whatttt!”

The 9 Box ran for 18 hours over 3 days and was played by 100s of festival goers of all ages and went over really well.  This embedded video offers a taste of what it was like to be at the 9 Box section of the booth area. It was so rewarding see people's reactions to the 9 Box and to hear their creations throughout the weekend.

Flickr Photo Set of Overall Festival Experience

Of course besides the booth time which ran from noon to seven each day I also was able to experience performances. Highlights for me were Gary Numan, Nine Inch Nails, Tara Busch, and Alan Howarth (co-composer of the soundtracks to all those great John Carpenter horror movies, and sound designer for films like the Star Trek franchise.

Below is a flickr set which offers some photos of my adventure including photos of the 9 Box plus some concert photos. I added captions to each photo so if you view the set on flicker itself you can see these descriptions - http://www.flickr.com/photos/markmosher/10647036556/in/set-72157637262339674.

Festival Notes

Mountain Oasis exceed my expectations in every way. There probably around 7,000 people there which was a large enough number of attendees to make Asheville feel vibrant but not overrun. I felt the festival was well organized and there was a nice mix of artists. The Arena was perfect for bigger acts like NIN and Gary Numan. The 500 seat Diana Wortham was great for more intimate performances by Tara Busch and Alan Howarth. The Orange Peel housed more beat driven shows like Laurel Halo. Moving between venues was in itself interesting as people were in costumes and there were lots of talented street musicians playing.

3 days was the perfect length as by the end I was worn out – but in a good way. After experiencing Mountain Oasis it’s clear that AC Entertainment has hit their stride with this event and Moog Inc’s lack of participation and the name change didn’t phase them. I’d definitely go back.

Thank You!

Mountain Oasis Festival was just an incredible experience all the way around. One of the coolest music-related trips ever!!! HUGE thanks to:

------

Mark Mosher
Electronic Musician | Composer | Sound Designer | Performer
Boulder, CO


"9 Box" AudioCubes Interactive Installation will be at Mountain Oasis Festival 2013 at Dr. Bob’s Interactive Sonic Experience

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HUGE news! I’ll be helping out the awesome The Bob Moog Foundation at the Mountain Oasis Electronic Music Summit. I’ll be flying out to bring my multi-player "9 Box" Percussa AudioCubes casual instrument/interactive installation to be a part of the “expanded Dr. Bob’s Interactive Sonic Experience”. What an honor! I can’t wait. If you'll be at the fest come say hi.

http://mountainoasisfestival.com/dr-bobs-interactive-sonic-experience/.

The Bob Moog Foundation brings sonic inspiration, engagement and education to Mountain Oasis Electronic Music Summit with an expanded Dr. Bob’s Interactive Sonic Experience. Featuring an array of synthesizers, theremins, effects, oscilloscopes and more, the Interactive Sonic Experience will be open to all ages from 12:00-6:00pm each day of the festival in the lobby of the Diana Wortham Theatre. The community is invited to explore the sonic universe and learn about the fundamentals of synthesis through hands-on interaction with a range of incredible electronic musical instruments. Marc Doty, Education Specialist for the Bob Moog Foundation and highly esteemed synth demonstrator with over 5 million views on YouTube, will be present throughout the festival to guide attendees through the Interactive Sonic Experience.

New to this year’s set-up will be Boulder-based electronic musician and performer Mark Mosher who will be bringing his multi-player “9 Box” to Dr. Bob’s Interactive Sonic Experience. 
Part collaborative instrument, part interactive installation – the 9 Box allows up to four casual players to instantly make music and shape sound using smart wireless sensor cubes called AudioCubes made by California-based Percussa. In addition to being a source of musical inspiration, the 9 Box and AudioCubes are becoming popular as a teaching solution in STEM schools.

Diana Wortham Theatre
2 N Pack Square
Asheville, NC 28801

More on the 9 Box at http://9box.modualtethis.com.
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9 Box AudioCube Casual Music Instrument Turns 1

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One year ago I announced the 9 Box on Modulate This. The long name for the system is “9 Box is a Method for performance, improvisation, and spontaneous tribal jams with music, sound, and light”. In short, the 9 Box is a casual music instrument based a method and set of template patches for Percussa AudioCubes and Ableton Live.

Below is a photo of the system featuring one of my cats sitting in “Player 4” position. The FX Audio Cube is detecting his position and translating this to “Bit Crushing” strength. As you can see the the system can easily fit in a backpack as it’s basically a computer, a powered hub and 6 AudioCubes (minimum of three cubes is required).DSC02822

More details here…

Highlights From the Last Year

Videos

Here are a few videos showing the system in action.

Video from a jam at Electro-Music 2011

The system is also being used as the basis for music and science labs in schools. Here is a video the system at the STEM Magnet Lab School at Metro Denver. The Lab is mentioned at 8:13. It’s so exciting for me to see the 9 Box being used to inspire students – especially k-6! Watch embedded video.

9 Box AudioCube Drone Jam at Skyline High School in Longmont, CO

 

Plans for the Next Year

  • AudioCube workshop and jam featuring the 9 Box at the Mountain-Skies festival in Asheville, NC
  • More videos showing the system used as a DJ system and for coordinated performances
  • More videos on how to setup, play, and refill the system
  • More refills
  • More templates with more FX options for sensor cubes
  • More schools, more jams, more music and sound…

Links

Mark Mosher
Electronic Music Artist, Boulder, CO
www.ModulateThis.com
Official Web Site: www.MarkMosherMusic.com
Listen/Download Albums: www.MarkMosherMusic.com/music.html


I'm Returning to Electro-Music 2011 Festival to Play, Talk, and Jam with the 9 Box

I’ve been officially accepted to play a set and do a talk at Electro-Music 2011 in NY. The festival takes place from September 9-11. More links at the bottom of the post.

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Looking Back at Electro-Music 2010

I had a great time at the festival last year and I’m really looking forward to returning so I thought I’d share some photos and video from last year, and offer some info on the festival in case you were considering going.

Here is a photo and video and from my show last year taken by Jeremy DePrisco.

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Watch embedded video

Here is a shot of the groovy shirt from the festival which also shows a list of artist who performed last year.

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Quick Overview

Once again the festival will be at the remote and beautiful Greenkill Retreat Center in Huguenot, New York.Checkout my detailed review of the 2010 Festival here.

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Just to give you a feel I’ll share an excerpt from my review:

Vibe
Because the festival was in a more remote location than in past years there was little opportunity for walk-in spectators. The upside of this is that most of the attendees were experts. By expert, I mean seasoned artists with over 10,000 hours of experience and in some cases decades of energy put into their craft. As a result the vibe was amazing. Have you ever seen the SciFi channel show Eureka? It was like that for electronic music. It didn’t seem intimidating for newer artists either, as everyone was also very open and willing to share ideas and talk in depth about their work. There was a huge diversity in styles, performance, and approach and a whole lot of passion!

More Themed Jams in 2011

I’ve been checking in ever few weeks to see how the schedule is shaping up. I noticed on a recent update that they will have many themed jams this year. So far they have: space jam, open jam, noise jam, technicolor jam, DIY jam (following the DIY and circuit bending workshop), and AudioCube jam.

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9 Box at Electro-Music 2011

I’ll be bringing along a 9 Box System for performance, improvisation, and spontaneous tribal jams with music, sound, and light and I know at least one other artist is bringing his AudioCubes along for the AudioCube jam.

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Hope to See Your There

I met a lot of great people last year and saw some amazing performances and I’m looking forward to meeting more Modulate This readers face-to-face this year.

Links

Mark Mosher
Electronic Music Artist, Boulder, CO
Synthesist | Composer | Keyboardist | Performer

www.ModualteThis.com
Official Web Site: www.MarkMosherMusic.com
Listen/Download Albums: www.MarkMosherMusic.com/music.html


Announcing 9 Box Method for Performance, Improvisation, and Spontaneous Tribal Jams with Music, Sound, and Light

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Announcing “9 Box" Method
I’ve been working away at a big project I call “9 Box”.  9 Box is a Method for performance, improvisation, and spontaneous tribal jams with music, sound, and light. 9 box offers a consistent and transportable method that overlays commercially available components such as Ableton Live, Percussa AudioCubes, and Novation Launchpad. It's also a set of templates and patches that will allow players to spend more time making music and sound than configuring hardware and software.

OPEN KNOWLEDGE
I'm sharing this information under Creative Commons  so that others can adopt and extend these concepts. I soft-launched a microsite on all this earlier this week at http://9box.modulatethis.com where I started posting some some behind-the-scenes development notes, documentation, and kits. I’ll offer a brief summary of the project below but if you want to follow along as things progress you subscribe to the microsite here.

9 Box
"9 Box" refers to a 3x3 matrix of 9 clips - hence the "9 Box". Why 9 clips? After much research I've concluded that 9 is a perfect number of clips for mapping to a single AudioCube and a small enough number of clips that it's easy to keep track of the different musical or sound phrases. This number also works very well with Launchpad.

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First Template – AudioCubes Edition
The first edition of 9 Box is be based on 6 Percussa AudioCubes and I just posted the beta kit tonight!

1-4    Players
The method is intended for applications in social musical jams, music education, music therapy, installations, and festivals  and supports 1-4 players per instance. Without changing any settings, or having to reconfigure controllers,  the system can organically scale from 1-4 players. Players simply decide what role they will take and re-arrange the cubes accordingly.

9 box players

A Backpack-Ready Laptop Based Near Infra-structureless Jam Station
The system is very light on the infrastructure side and only requires a laptop (MAC or PAC) running the latest version of Ableton Live and - for the first edition - 3-6 Percussa AudioCubes, a few free APPs and a powered USB hub. So backpack ready. Once you understand the system, you can set it up in about 5 minutes.

Adaptable, Extensible, Endless
The 9 box system makes it easy to change the sounds and musical phrases on-the-fly by dragging refills to a 9 Box. This happens  without stopping the music making this an endless musical system with no limits other than your imagination. In my first template, I'm arranging 9 box clips so each box has a specific role, one for Tone, one for Rhythm. Clips get more complex as you move from 1-9. I've designed the 9 Boxes this way to support clear user roles for those learning the system. You are not locked into this structure of course, and can do anything you like with the 9 clips. Light Refills are also in the works.

More Info
As I mentioned, I’ve been posting a lot of raw info out to http://9box.modulatethis.com including posts on how all this work.  I’ll get more formal about the documentation as things progress.

Performance Videos Coming Soon…
I hope to record some new performance videos soon and will post some highlights here on Modulate This actual in the near future.

Mark Mosher
Electronic Music Artist, Boulder, CO
www.ModulateThis.com

patchlab.modulatethis.com
www.MarkMosherMusic.com