Autumn Ate Everything
Experiments in Ableton Live and Minecraft
Project Gallery (click on titles for full descriptions)
Ableton Live (with the help of Max for Live and Clyphx Pro) listens to 30 seconds of audio input and creates a new piece of indeterminate length, tempo, texture, rhythm, and general character. Participants can sing, play instruments, speak, grunt, clap, and basically produce any sounds they can imagine. The resulting Surprise Symphony movement will be different every time.
Ramon Castillo has developed the Art of the Loop as a flexible and expansive concert program for the last several years. The program utilizes numerous technologies to move live looping from simple effect-oriented performance to a robust platform for composition, improvisation, and stage performance. These looping protocols allow for users to automate every parameter of a looped composition: loop length, loop volume, effects amounts and parameter levels, tempo (for loops or global), pitch, direction, start and stop times, and outboard gear parameters. This allows for a much enhanced degree of musical expression (dynamics, polyrhythm, asymmetry, etc.)
Maximillian features a DIY electrified drum set aptly named “Maximillian.” The kit consists of an orange leather Maximillian suitcase with other ad hoc drums permanently attached with various pickups for each sound. Each of the drums on the kit are connected to an audio interface for individual processing.
I (Ramon Castillo) perform complex music with no pre-recorded tracks. Many performances feature highly automated looping made possible by an extensive array of programming. The system, built in Ableton Live, Max for Live, and Clyphx Pro can create layers and effects that a standard looping environment can’t.
The concepts and techniques were born from a series of experiments in 2011.
I perform primarily on guitar, keyboard, and grid controller, but since late 2020, I have begun performing music on Minecraft in-game.
My compositional and creative career relies on Ableton Live, Max, and arrays of hardware. I have developed many live performance techniques involving custom software interfaces, DIY hardware, and high levels of automation including asymmetric loop triggers and audio quantization.
I have composed music for PUBLIQuartet, Gamelan Galak Tika, Alea III, Ensemble Robot, The Loud Objects, and various other ensembles and festivals. I have performed with artists such as the Kronos Quartet, Signal Ensemble, Wu Man, Terry Riley and Gamelan Galak Tika. I formed and developed numerous projects for the Bleep Blop electroacoustic ensemble and Art of the Loop.
As full time faculty and Associate Chair of the music department at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell, I teach musicianship, music business, composition, and music technology. There, I direct the highly experimental Contemporary Electronic Ensemble.