Pom-Poms and Other Power Objects

Captured on March 3, 2018,
Maxwell Citron plays the shakuhachi flute, utilizing amplified feedback to create rich sound sculptures in the East Village of Manhattan at the Planeta studio.

Curated by award-winning designer Mark Tallowin, they present a joint installation featuring Tallowin's leather scapular and wool pom-poms alongside an interactive sculpture stitching a sound transducer into tensioned hand-scraped parchment from the Pergamena tannery based in Montgomery, New York.

TALLOWIN was founded by award-winning designer Mark Tallowin and is dedicated to creating the finest hand-stitched handbags available. Originally set up in London in 2012, the label moved to New York in 2019.

Maxwell Citron is a mastering engineer,
sound artist and designer based in Chicago, IL. 

He is a founder of enigma media company HOMHOMHOM and recycled apparel brand EVERYWHERE 👁️

Planeta is a product studio focused on sound and virtual media. They develop creative tools, unique VR/AR experiences, and hardware products. 

Their sister entity, OONI, is a virtual reality studio with expertise in photography and concepart.  And their Space in the East Village of Manhattan is an active performance venue.

Pergamena heralds from a generations-old family of tanners dating back to Germany in the 1400s, specializes in handmade parchment and leather in a simple, traditional, and environmentally-friendly method.

Utilizing local sources of animal skins, Pergamena manufactures all of its raw materials in a small facility in the scenic Hudson Valley, 60 miles north of New York City.

Please enjoy this sound playlist from Pom-Poms and Other Power Objects
curated by HOMHOMHOM’s Black Sun

Track List

Laurie Speigel - The Unquestioned Answer (Unseen Worlds)
Maxwell Citron - Bottomless Desire E
The Variable Why - I Can Barely See You (Patient Sounds)
Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe - Yawneb Pt. 1 (More Than Human)
emacs - Night Blooming Planet (Felix Onyx)
Seth Cluett - Ringing Rocks (LINE)
Andra McCartney - Swimming the Reef (For Patrick) (CEC Presence 1)
DJ Rashad - Reverb (Ghettophiles)
Aki Onda - Toward a place in the sun (Softl Music)
Hiroshi Yoshimura - Clouds (Light In The Attic Records)
Julianna Barwick & Ikue Mori - Rain and Shine at the Lotus Pond (RVNG Intl.)
Marina Rosenfeld - In F (Room40)
Else Marie Pade - III Fausts & Magrethes Kærlighed (The Love of Faust & Margrethe) (Dacapo Records)
Fennesz & Ryuichi Sakamoto - 0419 (Touch UK)
Christina Vantzou - Valley Drone (kranky)
Kevin Drumm - Cloudy (Editions Mego)
Marc Jensen - Patterns of Living And Sounding (Leonardo Music Journal)
Harish Sunkari - I Need Her
Kara-Lis Coverdale - Touch Me & Die (Sacred Phases)

Grace Leslie performs processed flute affected by her brainwaves over an unfolding drone of directly synthesized EEG brain data.

Vessels is a brain-body performance practice that combines flute and electronics improvisation with EEG (electroencephalogram brainwave data) sonification.  In this piece, I record raw electroencephalogram (EEG), electrodermal activity (EDA) and electrocardiogram (ECG) signals and use them actuate sound samples recorded from my flute and voice.

Slow impulse trains generated by my physiology become a series of finger snaps that reveal this static virtual space over time, while faster ones become a wet finger running along the rim of a glass, activating a virtual resonant enclosure. 

My natural inclination was to improvise on the flute while using this sonification system, and I quickly learned to pare down my playing, and limit any overt physical expression or gross musical gestures, as the muscle artifacts produced would flood the “vessels” with unwanted noise.

The music that emerged from this practice, enabled by interactive electronics, allows slow breathing and long tones to bloom into massive sound structures.  Through a daily practice of improvising with this system I have developed a paradoxical form of “introspective expression” that was enabled by training my body and perceptual mechanism with custom-engineered, musical biofeedback.

In “Vessels,” the sonic material is an almost static, digital and virtual space, and the musical narrative slowly emerges through an unfolding of cognitive and affective states.

Vessels was originally conceived in 2015 and has evolved over almost 2 years of performances over several countries and continents.  This documention comes from a site-specific recording project that took place in September 2016.  The selection here presents one continuous take from these recording sessions.  Max Citron engineered this recording in the Eero Saarinen Chapel at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, MA, USA, where I hold a position as a Visiting Scientist.

“Using equipment that monitors the electrical activity of her brain, changes in her heart rate and subtle shifts in the conductance of her skin, she is creating music from the signals produced by her own body while on stage.

Leslie plays these signals through an electronic synthesiser to produce ambient sounds that reflect what is going on in her body. She can also filter the sounds from musical instruments, like a flute, with the signals from her body to mix them together in a computer. . .

. . .Ultimately, Leslie believes this innovative form of musical expression could be used to help those who have difficulty interacting with the world, such as those with autism.”
- Richard Gray, BBC Future Dec 9, 2016

Limited edition of 88 foil imprinted cassettes.

Featured on Sounds of the Dawn (NTS Radio), Vessel No. 1 was recorded at Noh Place while Grace Leslie was a researcher at The MIT Media Lab.⁣⁣⁣

Aleph Eris
Live at Mount Chicago
January 8th,  2020

Aleph Eris performs songs from his 2018 release The Sleep Whose Dreams Are Life live at Mount Chicago.  Turok delivers his moral and vocal support from a sunny spot on the rug.

Polaroid photo of Turok    Polaroid photo of Aleph Eris & Turok

Stegosaurus spitting out a DNA stream from its mouth.

Maxwell Citron

Ted Isla

RECORDED WITH Samar 37A Pearlman TM-LE Sound Devices MixPre-10 ii