WORKS / Ghosts in the Machines
Technology: Modular system exclusively
After my first encounter and use of a modular system, I felt lost. Not technically speaking. Not artistically speaking.
I felt lost, buried by the amount of idea, by the rate of flow of ideas.
Modular system are not modular synthesizers. The terms are wrong and terms are important. Indeed, a lot of “users” are only using them as synthesizers. But this is only a small part of what these machines can do. Actually, modular systems bring to us the very usual but powerful concept of audio & control signals. Each signal can be heard (as a result) or can control (as a process). So modular systems can be defined as “system of elements able to communicate between each other and providing a way to change the whole logic and flow from the trigger to the sound”. Complex or less complex routing, using conditions, using live patching, can drive to very powerful and evolving trigger systems. Triggers can be converted to long continuous evolving envelopes controlling other signals, themselves controlling others and why not feeding back the whole system with them, driving to complex and non-linear behaviors.
I started to compose by building patches in live as a way of understanding, testing, knowing better, digging each module I have but considered as a part of the whole. This global approach was disruptive for me. Usually, I wanted to learn each bit, I wanted to know A & C before to even come closer to B. And the change appeared.
Modular systems challenge me from the beginning and my own whole creative process has changed. Not only when I’m patching, or when I touch tangible machines, but also in the computer work. I’m not patching, or considering building a project today as I did before. The global approach completely shaked my way of thinking.
These small or less small studies are selected daily works. I used to work each day with the modular, early in the morning, as a personal and artistic ritual. Each patch have been built, played and recorded live. I have no schematics or trace of each one of these patches. Only memories, which are becoming progressively new habits.