Ancient Grains

Ancient Grains is a software environment for live music performance consisting of several different modules (granular synthesizer, 3 audio playback buffers, effects, matrix mixer, sequencer). My initial goal was to build a granular synthesizer capable of capturing live audio and granulating it on the fly. Heavily inspired by Keith Fullerton Whitman's Playthroughs framework, I continued expanding the system to include other modules that would allow me a richer experience playing it live, eventually allowing for full performances using just this system (and the instruments played into it). Eventually I integrated it with a Monome Grid (used as a sequencer for external synthesizers) and an iPad, which I developed a UI for and use as the main control surface (see pictures).

Ancient Grains is one way I've attempted to answer the questions: "How do I want to perform live electronic music? What kind of systems and frameworks can I build that allow for a spontaneous, embodied live electronic music performance? How do I create the potential for surprise and mystery in a system governed by logic and rigor?"

Ancient Grains was created in Max/MSP, making heavy use of its gen~ environment, as well as Max's compatibility with JavaScript. A lot of the DSP and UI features wouldn't have been possible using Max/MSP alone. The system is tailored very specifically to my set of needs and interests, but if you're intrerested in checking out the repo, you can do so here .

Audio examples: