Monday, August 18, 2008

Summit Recap Post 2 - Visual Recital Notes

In many ways this was the most important thing I went to throughout all of Summit.

Hugh Sung is head of the accompanist dept. at Curtis, and does a few other things there as well, he's also a huge tech guy who loves learning and has come up with this amazing system that basically took a piece out of my brain.

Essentially what it is, is he plays on piano, and has four mics set-up, which are hooked up to a visualization engine on a computer ... he also has 2 foot pedals - one to trigger the next visualization "sequence", the other to turn pages on his tablet pc (he uses this instead of traditional sheet music - it's incredibly cool, and basically a better version of the music pad pro idea...)

So anyway, he played Vernacular Dances by Charles Griffin, which was a very cool set of pieces & he did all sorts of stuff ... including using camera ... it's basically a lot of stuff similar to what DT does, though I think that DT probably just has pre-programmed video & just has someone control it and go on to the next clip ... maybe I'm wrong though ... I'm gonna pay more attention to how it seems to work in the future...

He did a lot of programming with OpenGL & then sync'd that up with Pure Data ... the beginning of the workshop was all about how technology affects what we do in classical music ... also
I'm also gonna try and get this guy in touch w/ Jordan Rudess, b/c I think they'll have a lot in common/really interest each other...

The Software he used included:
Pure Data - an OSS version of Max MSP basically
Liquid Media - a more powerful version of Powerpoint

He gave me some links: - his youtube - his website for Visual Recital

Some of his equipment was made by RL Engineering & PI engineering

I feel like I should be writing better about this, but it's just not coming out ... I need to check out his website & get in touch w/ him ... I suggest you check it out too...


Gottagopractice said...

Don't forget his blog. The older posts go into some detail about the technology he uses. The tablet pc and pdf markup program are very cool.

Hugh Sung said...

Hi Mike! It was great meeting you up at Summit! Thanks so much for writing about my VR experiment - just a couple points of clarification:
1. The visuals were actually ALL programmed within Pure Data/GEM. I had previously used Liquid Media with my older shows (a beefed up alternative to PowerPoint), then recently evolved to a primitive pairing of Pure Data (to make a simple audio analysis engine, outputting corresponding keystrokes) with Liquid Media. For the Summit Festival, i held my nose, foresook LM, took the plunge and tried reprogramming entirely in GEM (the visual component to PD). Still lots more for me to learn and explore with this new environment, but already i see how superior it is to my previous methods!
2. The footswitch was made by P.I. Engineering, called the X-Keys. I wanted to actually use another USB footswitch by Delcom Engineering, but i discovered much to my frustration that it doesn't talk nicely to Vista 64-bit (grrr...) The X-Keys is a bit awkward, but hey, it did the job...
3. Certain particle video clips were actually created with particleIllusion. Here again, there are ways of actually creating "live" particle effects within GEM instead of relying of triggering pre-made video clips - the final red "starburst" in the 1st dance was an example of replacing an old vid clip with live particles.

I'll try to get around to posting some clips of these new VR versions, along with more detailed explanations as to how everything was put together - not everything went as well as planned, but it's a learning process and the possibilities are just too exciting!

Hope to keep in touch with you!

Mike Lunapiena said...

Great meeting you as well! How on earth did you come across my blog??

Great to hear from you, and thanks so much for the clarifications ... the problem w/ taking notes & not immediately typing them up afterwards is that memory fades & things get mixed up, so thank you for the clarifications.

by the way, I'm still working on settling back into normal life, but once I do that, I'll definitely see what I can do about putting you in touch w/ Jordan Rudess

Talk to ya soon!