PPIG 2019 - 30th Annual Workshop
Cognitive Dimensions of Modular Noise Improvisation
James Noble
Abstract: The availability, affordability, and portability of Eurorack format modular synthesizers has lead to an increase in their use in live, improvised performance. Decreasing prices and physical size, coupled with increasing reliability has meant modulars are finally leaving the studio and appearing on stage. While modular synthesizers are typically prepatched (configured at leisure) ahead of time, contemporary synthesists are adopting livepatching—wiring up a modular—as an integral part of their performance practice. This paper uses the cognitive dimensions framework to analyse the programmatic content of modular livepatching, in the context of the author’s experience with modular synthesizers for performing improvised noise.