My Octatrack turns three this week. In taking a moment to look back over these years I'm blown away at how transformative this instrument has been for me. It has become THE most used instrument and workflow in my rig second to Ableton Live.
The Octatrack was also the catalyst for my journey into the improvisational side of electronic and experimental music. A big thanks to Darwin Grosse who encouraged me to dig deep with the Octatrack and offered his mentorship along this journey. Also thanks to live-sampling pioneer Dino J.A. Deane who offered insight and inspiration into this world. Thanks to all my friends and fellow artists who I drug into Octatrack sessions in the early days while I was getting my chops together – especially Mike Bryant. Lastly, thanks to Victoria Lundy and Thomas Lundy for throwing me into the deep end of the musique concrète pool using the Octatrack as my flotation device :^)
The Octatrack is extremely difficult to master (and I still learn new things about it each week) but offers very unique capabilities and expressive possibilities that I've rarely found in instruments over the last 30 years. It is one of the few instruments I've used that allows me to create, switch, and morph between complex "states" on-the-fly without a computer.
My work with the Octatrack has offered experiences creating music and sound in real-time I never thought possible. More importantly, it has opened doors to incredible improvisational opportunities – both solo and in ensembles. Before the Octatrack I was on no ensembles orduos and now I'm in four – The Carbon Dioxide Ensemble (Concréte Mixer concert series) , (no)poem, A.I. Winter, and the Denver Synth_Drone Collective. It's also allowed me play in ad-hoc ensembles while at festivals like Electro-Music Asheville and NY.
I'll be taking a walk down memory lane and posting out some audio and video recordings of past work with the Octatrack out on Twitter @markmosher and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/markmoshermusic.
To kick things off, here is some live concert footage from January 30th, 2015 at Concréte Mixer IV concert in Denver https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qlKOg8Nu-3k . In this clip I'm performing as part of the Carbon Dioxide Ensemble. I am live-sampling a big copper heart which is being played with dry ice by Thomas Lundy (don't try this at home kids) with accompaniment by Victoria Lundy on Theremin. The only audio source for Octatrack other than drum samples is the input from a contact mic on the copper heart routed into the Octatrack.
More adventures to come!
Composer, Synthesist, Electronic Musician & Multimedia Artist | Sr. Systems Analyst | Founder of the Rocky Mountain Synthesizer Meetup