This is my first time at MoogFest (and I’ve been dying to go since I first heard about it a few years back). This year is the first year that it is downtown Durham, and they are doing it up right! I ended up getting the VIP Engineer setup, so I can make my own Synthesizer tomorrow (more to come on that – probably Saturday), they had a check in at The Durham Hotel and I picked up my Swag Bag. The nice thing is, it is a tote bag, especially since I can’t carry my backpack into events after 6pm. I started the day checking out the spaces, and ended up over at the Full Frame Film location. This was the presentation of Beats and Star Wars. While I didn’t really pay attention to the write up, it was a great presentation on a local space and the work of a UNC Chapel Hill professor, who is going around the world helping people get into producing music with everything you can carry in one backpack.
They just launched a KickStarter for BlackSpace – I highly recommend you check it out, especially if you want to support the creative community in Durham.
I checked out the modular marketplace, where a bunch of synth companies are setup to show off cool kit. I spent some time playing with the Artiphon – which was pretty amazing. I had checked out their Kickstarter a while back, but never thought it would really work. But, work it does! (In my best Yoda voice). You can bend the strings, change instruments, and shift the pitch up and down… With amazing ease. The device is $399, which is a bit rich for me, but anyone who actually plays music should find this to be completely within the range for a good instrument. If you are in town, and ever wanted to see what this thing could be, go check them out!
I spent the afternoon in a session called The Code of Music, the session was a workshop where we tested out a bunch of apps, to get a feel for how music could be made. We then designed our own musical experience based on design principles. I came up with an idea loosely based on a combination of “The 5000 Fingers of Dr. T”, The “Top Secret” Drum Corp, and the App Fugue Machine. The basic idea is a performance piece where you have up to 1,000 kids on a stadium field. Each kid has a keyboard for use with one hand, a wearable sensor, and a simple arpeggio that they play. As the move around the field, the sensors in the wearable will adjust the pitch of the keyboard. At a pre described distance from other kids, it will be in harmony. As they get closer, it gets more and more into dissident sound, as the pitches start bending towards each other. Finally as the kids touch, it becomes the same notes. So they get to a clear and perfect pitch. Crazy idea, I know, but would be pretty awesome to see!!
I then walked around and found that I could pick up all three live albums (signed) by Gary Numan from his UK Tour of his classic albums. These are the same three albums he’s going to be playing at MoogFest! So I picked them up. Can’t wait to hear them after the shows here in Durham! Here’s a pic: