the Higgs whatever - Miller Puckette and Kerry Hagan
Long-time friends, Puckette and Hagan began focused collaborations on academic and musical projects in 2014. Together their duo has performed in North America and Europe. They have introduced novel synthesis algorithms through new performances. Their work explores timbre, spatialization, real-time computer processes, algorithms, interaction design, performance practice, and performance systems.
Miller Puckette
MSP photo credit: Daryl Feehely
Kerry Hagan
KLH photo credit: KLH
Cover Fire
Cover Fire is a live DJ set, curated in real time, paying tribute to Johnny Cash's most iconic work. We use EEGs, LEAP controllers and face tracking software to gather real-time data. Then we apply a bespoke artisanal transfer function.
remnant is an installation by Kerry Hagan and Miller Puckette written for MISE-EN_PLACE Bushwick and members of ensemble mise-en. It was premiered on July 20, 2018.
The sound and music installation explores presence and absence by revealing the acoustic disturbances caused in an interior space when bodies occupy it. Through sound alone, we can sense the presence of others by the subtle changes their bodies make to the environment. In this work, we use those sonic disturbances to make an oblique statement of presence and absence, making the absent bodies themselves audible as acoustic reflections and shadows. The work is primarily an installation intended for MISE-EN_PLACE Bushwick. However, its construction allows it to be transported to other locations, making MISE-EN_PLACE Bushwick present in other places. It also enables members of ensemble mise-en to perform with their own shadows.
The instrumental recordings were made by Kelley Barnett (Alto Flute), Mark Broschinsky (Trombone), Josh Perry (Percussion) and Yumi Suehiro (Piano). Impulse responses were recorded from Kelley Barnett, Mark Broschinsky and Josh Perry. We would like to gratefully acknowledge the time and effort on the part of the musicians. We would also like to thank Moon Young Ha, Jordann Davis and Kelley Barnett for all their help during our residency at MISE-EN_PLACE Bushwick.
The score, patches and instructions for remnant can be downloaded for installation from Dropbox (.zip). Warning: the archive is 587.4MB.
Hack Lumps
Hack Lumps, by Kerry Hagan and Miller Puckette, had its first performance at the Electroacoustic Improvisation Summit (EIS), New York City College of Technology, February 24, 2017. In this piece, Puckette is the sound source and Hagan is the real-time composer. Puckette's task is to generate as provocative a trail of sound as he can, which Hagan records and tries to recombine in real time to give it a meaningful musical form after the fact.
Puckette's instrument is a LEAP controller (a cheap off-the-shelf game controller that tracks hand movements) whose output modifies an unstable, largely unpredictable feedback network. Hagan uses an off-the-shelf MIDI controller to parametrize three stochastic granular synthesis processes whose grains are taken from Puckette's output.
Who Was That Timbre I Saw You With?
Using LEAP controllers, 57-tuples of joint locations to millimeter accuracy control synthesis. Considered as a set, this is an entirely inadequate dimensionality to span the complexity of timbre, but is nonetheless much richer than what could be traversed quickly using a Cartesian slider bank. Our approach is based on serendipity and surprise. To remove the possibility of planning and mastery, Puckette and Hagan swap a digit or two so that neither can completely control any one sound. A new synthesis method was designed to produce a wide variety of possible sounds with a certain capacity for chance within some boundaries.
After a conversation about Markov chains, Puckette proposed a new take on stochastic processes: maximally uniform sequences. After experimentation, Puckette and Hagan used the z12 algorithm generating these sequences for sound synthesis. z12 was premiered in Cubic Zirconia. Hagan continues to use z12 in other works.
Coupled Oscillators
Fascinated with the unpredictability of coupled feedback oscillators, Puckette gave Hagan a dual, coupled-oscillator synthesizer that can span a range of timbres by adjusting a few parameters. Hagan explored the timbral world of the oscillators. She created s/d using these oscillators. Using z12 as a trigger for impulses to activate the oscillators, s/d represents ongoing interchange between concepts and applications.
the Higgs whatever at ISSTA 2019
Publications on Collaborative Projects
Miller Puckette
Puckette, M. 2015. "Maximally uniform sequences from stochastic processes." Online Proceedings, Seamus Conference.
Puckette, M. 2015. "The Sampling Theorem and its Discontents." Keynote Presentation, ICMC 2015.
Puckette, M. 2017. "The Oscillator as a Dynamical System." Proceedings of Korean Electro-Acoustic Music Society's 2017 Annual Conference.
Kerry Hagan
Miller and Kerry
Puckette, M. and Hagan, K. 2019. "remnant: exploring presence and absence through acoustic disturbances in space." Proceedings, ICMC 2019.
Puckette, M. and Hagan, K. 2020. "Hand gesture to timbre converter." Proceedings, ICMC 2020. (In publication)
Puckette, M. and Hagan, K. eds. 2020. Between the Tracks: Musicians on Selected Electronic Music. Cambridge: MIT Press.
Puckette and Hagan at EIS 2017.
Stay tuned for news here.
April 25, 2021, 12:30 EDT (UTC-4): All You Need Is Lunch, the Higgs whatever at the SEAMUS Digital Conference.
Nov 6, 2020, 19:34 EST: Your microphone appears to be noisy!, the Higgs whatever at the Electroacoustic Barn Dance 2020 (watch on Facebook).
October 31, 2019: Cover Fire, the Higgs whatever at ISSTA 2019.
March 8-9, 2019: Cover Fire, the Higgs whatever at Moxsonic, Warrensburg, Missouri.
May 2-4, 2019: remnant by Puckette and Hagan, created at MISE-EN_PLACE, will be installed at BEAST FEaST, Birmingham, UK.
November 10, 2018: Cover Fire, the Higgs whatever at the Electroacoustic Barn Dance, Jacksonville, Florida.
July 12-21, 2018: Residency at MISE-EN_PLACE, Brooklyn, NY.
July 16-22, 2018: Who Was That Timbre I Saw You With?: Performance at NYCEMF 2018.
July 6, 2018: Who Was That Timbre I Saw You With?: Lecture/recital at Timbre is a Many-Splendored Thing, the 2018 McGill Music conference.
June, 2018. NIME, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia: Who Was That Timbre I Saw You With?
December, 2017. Hochschule für Musik und Theater, Hamburg, Germany: s/d.
December, 2017. Hochschule für Musik Angewandte Wissenschaften, Hamburg, Germany: s/d.
October, 2017. Sonologie Discussie Concert, Koninklijk Conservatorium, The Hague, NL: s/d.
April 3, 2017. Ormston House, Limerick, Ireland: Hocket Pagan: A concert of music by Puckette and Hagan including Back Talk (Hagan), Ringbat (Puckette), Hack Lumps (the Higgs whatever), ...of pulses and times... (Hagan), Come at me you fascist loofa faced shitgibbon (Puckette), Tarts and Tripes for Afters (the Higgs whatever).
February 24, 2017. Voorhees Theater, NYC College of Technology, Brooklyn, NY: Hack Lumps.
February 23, 2017. EME, Doudna Fine Arts Center, Eastern Illinois University, Charleston, IL: s/d.
October, 2016. Electronic Music Midwest, Romeoville, IL: Cubic Zirconia.
September, 2016. ISSTC, Derry, Northern Ireland: s/d.
August, 2016. TIES, Toronto, Canada: Cubic Zirconia.
June, 2016. "peform | listen | compose" Dublin, Ireland: s/d.
September, 2015. ICMC2015. Denton, Texas: s/d.
July, 2015. SMC, Maynooth, Ireland: Cubic Zirconia.
June, 2015. Pd Mini-con. Dublin, Ireland: s/d.
March, 2015. SEAMUS, Blacksburg, VA: Cubic Zirconia.
Miller during Cover Fire at ISSTA 2019
Miller Puckette
Email: msp(at)ucsd(dot)edu
Kerry Hagan
Email: kerry(dot)hagan(at)ul(dot)ie