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
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.
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.
Mountain Oasis Festival was just an incredible experience all the way around. One of the coolest music-related trips ever!!! HUGE thanks to:
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.
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
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.
I’ll be flying up from Boulder to Seattle next weekend for the Pacific Northwest Synthfest on March 16th. I’m playing my Dark SciFi Controllerism set with original songs from my albums along with some unreleased material. I’ll be debuting my new 2013 show with interactive visuals with live camera input (teaser photos here) and will perform a 45 minute set with Q&A at 11am. I’m really looking forward to hanging out with fellow synth enthusiasts in Seattle – woot!
The event is FREE and you can find more details on their Facebook page. Here is a summary of the event.
The Petting Zoo: Show off your gear. See other people show off their gear. Touch it. Pet it. Love it.
The Performance / Telepresentation Room for performances and presentations that run throughout the day.
The Trade Show Room where manufacturers will be able to give demos on their gear. This is similar to The Petting Zoo but will likely be a quieter setting where you can go one on one with individual manufacturers.
Jam Session Room. This room will be one big day-long jam session that you can join and leave as you please. Everyone welcome!
For those that live in the Boulder & Denver – or for those passing through this month – October is loaded with synthesizer related events. I’m hosting the monthly Boulder Synthesizer meetup which will have a Halloween Theremin theme with performances and talks by myself, Rick Reid, and Victoria Lundy who is the thereminist with the Inactivists.
A big congrats to Thomas Dolby who won the Moog Innovation Award award this year. Past winners were DEVO in 2010 and Brian Eno in 2011.
Dolby is a self made man, synth pioneer, and mad scientist. Like Bob Moog, Thomas Dolby’s quest for knowledge and desire to sculpt the world around him led him to the world of electronics, where he designed his own synths, founded his own software company, and charged head long through the world of pop music and into America’s consciousness. To say he was blinded by science would be doing him a disservice, for science has been his guiding light, and technology his namesake. For expanding the sonic boundaries of the new wave movement and for fearlessly embracing the future, Moog is proud to present Thomas Dolby with a custom Minimoog Voyager XL, in honor of being the 2012 Moog Innovation Award winner.
He’ll receive the award at Moogfest this year which is October 26th & 27th. I won’t be there so if you end up going take some photos :^).
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