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    Ken Heitmueller is using Kyma to prepare the audio tracks for a sound installation at Eastern State Penitentary in New York: Heitmueller is also planning a live performance for the opening of the exhibit planned for September 1998 as the first live appearance for his Kyma Suit.

    What is a Kyma Suit? Well, between playing in his band Suddenly Tammy and helping to organize the Tibetan Freedom Concert, bass player/Kyma composer Ken Heitmueller has somehow managed to find some time to work on what he calls his "Kyma Suit". Using a video/cinematographer's battery belt pack (weighing 9 pounds) and a DC/AC power inverter from Radio Shack, he has so far managed to successfully power his Capybara from the batteries for longer than his laptop will operate on a full charge. Now all that remains is to get his amp (12 V car power amp) and speakers (Infinity car speakers from his old Caddy), and he will be ready to pursue his dream of playing Kyma-processed electric bass on New York subway platforms.

    Composer Diane Thome, winner of the 1998 ICMA Commission Award, used Kyma in the creation of her new piece UnfoldEntwine which is to be premiered in Ann Arbor Michigan on Saturday, October 3 1998 at 8 pm as part of a dance concert. She describes the work as "a mysterious, slowly-unfolding journey with an astonishing, even magical, destination. The processes of unfolding, disclosing, interleaving and entwining which characterize the architecture of the work also suggested its title"

    Kyma also played a part in some other music to be heard at ICMC concerts in Ann Arbor in October 1998, including dinergy 2 a piece for Sho processed live through the Capybara (composed and performed by Tamami Tono Ito), and tape pieces by Larry Fritts, Dennis Miller, and others.

    Yoichi Nagashima has designed and built a new breath control sensor for the SHO (a Japanese traditional instrument). The sensor will be used by composer Tamami Tono who will be performing her composition for SHO and Kyma system at the ICMC98 in Ann Arbor Michigan at the beginning of October 1-6, 1998. At the same conference, Nagashima will be presenting a demonstration paper on the design of his controller. To see jpeg photos of how he built the device, visit

    Nagashima has already written three new pieces with Kyma, all of which were performed in March 1998 in Japan, and he is now working on a fourth piece to be performed on the 19th of September 1998 in Kobe Japan with Tamami Tono using the SHO and other sensors designed by Nagashima to control sounds, live generated graphics, and timing as well as processing the live SHO sounds through Kyma.

    Stephen David Beck's Echoes of Accidental Music, a new work for harp and Kyma system, had its world premiere on Friday, June 12, 1998 at the American Harp Society's National Conference in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. New Orleans-based harpist Rebecca Todaro performed the work.

    Phil Winsor's Abe and Andy Along the Potomac a tape piece based on intermingled quotations from Abraham Lincoln's speeches and Andy Warhol's diaries of expenses kept track of for the IRS, was performed in Stuttgart Germany on the 4th of July 1998. Winsor used Kyma to process the instrumental parts played on sheng (a Chinese mouth organ with pipes) and ku-ch'in, a Chinese instrument related to the zither.

    On 3 July, Agostino Di Scipio's tape work Dissequentia will be played at the House of Radio Culture, ORF in Vienna. The piece was made last year (and premiered in L'Aquila) using Eva Martelli's voice reading a poem ("Sequentia") by Edoardo Sanguineti (the poem in turn was based on Berio's works titled "Sequenze").

    Brian Belet will be performing his live Kyma piece MUTE[ations] on two concerts: first on April 5 in Santa Fe, New Mexico as part of the 2nd Annual Santa Fe International Festival of Electro-Acoustic Music (SFIFEM) (on a concert that may also include some Kyma pieces from the Frog Peak CD based on Chris Mann's poetry), and then again two days later in another concert on April 7 in San Jose, California. For details on the Santa Fe festival, contact Steven M. Miller and for details on San Jose, contact Brian Belet.

    David Mooney's WorkPayObey will be performed at 8 pm on 7 April at the Frick Fine Arts Auditorium in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. For more details on the concert, send email to David. For background information on David and his music, visit his website.

    In Pescara Italy on May 5th, Agostino Di Scipio's 2 pezzi muti su Hans Richter (2 silent pieces on Hans Richter) will be performed along with a digitally reproduced film created by experimental film maker Hans Richter in 1928. For details contact Di Scipio at

    Stanley Cowell performed with his quartet on February 6, 1998 at Columbia University's Miller Theatre in New York City, using Kyma 4.5 for live processing and synthesis.

    Kelvin Russell and Jeff Koepper performed as Pure Gamma on the Star's End Gathering XI on May 2, 1997 at Houston Hall in Philadelphia on the University of Pennsylvania campus (along with Chapman Stick player Paul Miimlitsch). Pure Gamma perform regularly around the Baltimore area and have also released a four track 12" on Defective Records.

    Eric Lyon's band Psychedelic Bumpo (with Kyma drum machine) toured Germany doing concerts with live electronics during summer 1997. He is currently building a website for the band, and you can see some photos from the German performances at

    Yasushi Yoshida, composer, guitarist, and freelance sound designer who does work for NHK, performed his new composition "Live Wire" for guitar processed through Kyma system on 24 November at 1 pm at Xebec Cafe Kobe as part of the Computer Music Independent Vol. 2 concert. Another Kyma composer, Kazuo Uehara, was the master of ceremonies for the concert.

    Stanley Cowell conducted Displace, his new composition for chamber orchestra, soprano sax (played by Jane Ira Bloom), and Kyma for an enthusiastic and completely sold-out audience as part of the Fall Jazz Series at John Addison Concert Hall in Fort Washington Maryland, on December 6 at 8 pm. Cowell and Bloom also gave a Kyma workshop/demonstration the previous afternoon (5 December at 1 pm), also at John Addison Concert Hall.

    Joran Rudi's new music video Concrete Net which he describes as "traffic noise transformed into large orchestral structures" was premiered in Thessaloniki Greece at the International Computer Music Conference in September 1997. Rudi used Kyma to generate granular synthesis sounds for the video animation (produced using POV-Ray).

    Stephen David Beck's new composition Shadows of a Former Self for alto saxophone processed through Kyma was performed live on Sunday, November 23, 1997 at the Staller Center Recital Hall at SUNY Stony Brook, New York. Saxophone virtuoso Griffin Campbell was the performer. After the concert, Daria Semegen said of the piece, "This music is all about the sound--not some abstract process that no one can hear."

    Brian Belet and Antonio Barata co-produced two concerts and a panel discussion on November 12 and 13 1997 in San Jose, California as part of SEAMUS' Electro-Acoustic Music Week. Belet used Kyma in his Computer Etudes, two tape studies utilizing excerpts from a sound poem reading by Chris Mann. Compositions by Doug Michael and Mickey Helms, former students of Belet, also made use of Kyma.


    In May 1997, Federico Placidi of Quadrivium used Kyma to cross-synthesize his bass with a fire sample (and also to do pitch-shifting) in his piece Tra i 2 Silenzi on La Festa della Musica 97. Placidi described the processing algorithms as, "very easy but impressive."

    In October 1997, on a concert called Proggetto Musica 97, Placidi used Kyma in his composition Il Canto della Memoria to execute a more complex processing algorithm, which he describes as follows:

    I used some VocoderChannelBanks to built a sort of resonance filter for the clarinet.A Memory Writer captured what the clarinet was playing.With a second microphone, the violin was able to trigger and control the stored clarinet sample applying it's own amplitude and frequency envelope and performing granulation on it.

    Gianluigi Antonaci's BLUE CHATTERBOX, an experimental composition for voice, guitar, percussion, Kyma-Capybara live digital processing, and samples triggered with a MIDI controller (Yamaha SY77) was performed on the 7th of June at the Conservatory of Bari, "N. Piccinni" - Italy and on the 16th of June at the University of Lecce - Italy. Voice and instruments were processed live using granulation, waveshaping, and ring modulation.

    Agostino Di Scipio produced the premier of his Caliban, to the future audience, the last episode of the Sound & Fury project, on November 12th 1997 at Goethe Institute in Rome. This is a piece for voice, more off-screen voices, percussion and taped sounds synthesized with iterated function synthesis on Kyma. Texts are drawn from Wynstan Auden's"Mirror and the sea" (the chapter called Caliban to the audience). The work was a commission of Centro Ricerche Musicali (Michelangelo Lupone), and was broadcast on the national radio by the end of the week, with a short interview of the composer.

    Several other Di Scipio compositions involving Kyma received performances recently, among them:

  • Three (for female voice, 2 doublebass recorder and Kyma-generated tape) in Zurich and in Milan during September 1997
  • Sound & Fury II, Dalla muta distesa delle cose...(6 studies of piano & interactive processing with Kyma), 4 variazioni sul ritmo del vento (the doublebass recorder and Kyma piece) in Cordoba, Argentina in October 1997.
  • September 3rd 1997 premiere of Dissequentia, a quasi-theatrical work with an actress, electroacoustic equipment, slide projection and tape (generated with Kyma) as part of the Corpi del suono Festival in L'Aquila Italy.
  • 5 piccoli ritmi (taped guitar sounds processed with Kyma): Bourges, 2 June 1997
  • The Sound & Fury Project Documentation (a demo/installation/performance from Sound & Fury III and IV): Rome, 22 June 1997
  • 5 piccollil ritmi: ICMC September 1997, Thessaloniki Greece

    Di Scipio & Prignano: Sound & Fury IV: Interactive Island--Sounds and Colors of the Sea

    Dick Robinson used Kyma on several recent projects including:

    Emanuele Pappalardo used sampled sounds elaborated by Kyma in Audi Filia for 5 voices and tape, performed onn the 5th of July 1997 by the vocal Ensemble Kantores conducted by Giacomo Bonifacio Baroffio The idea of the concert at Collegiata S.Maria Assunta Revello (Cuneo) Italy was to alternate ancient gregorian chant with new electroacoustic compositions based on the same chants.

    Minute Variations, a tape piece by Larry Fritts that was realized entirely in Kyma, has had several recent performances:

    Upcoming performances of the piece will occur:

    Thought Forms, Fritts' latest Kyma piece, was just premiered in Iowa City in December 1997.

    On the 15th of July 1997, Eugenio Giordani used Kyma in one of a series of concerts entitled Sipario Ducale which took place in Cagli ( a little medieval town near Pesaro Italy). The concert was held in a medieval building and mixed actors, light and electronic sounds. Texts were from Roberto Vecchiarelli e Augusto Spadoni with Eugenio Giordani and David Monacchi providing the live electronic music.

    Daniel Jones' as yet untitled piece for cello tape was premiered in London during June 1997 in a concert performed by Hannah Marshall who commissioned the piece.

    Prior to starting on the piece, Jones had invited Marshall down to Bristol to explore some possible cello techniques and tricks that they could use. They recorded some "skim" tones which he enhanced using a harmonic resonator to produce some of the backing tape.

    The rest of the backing tape was produced by a single modulated algorithm which tracked the course of the entire piece. The modulation algorithm is what Jones calls a "pitch cascade", or feeding back a signal in pitch transposition. The source sound for this feedback loop was a simple FM pair. If you adjust the relevant frequency values - feedback, carrier modulator some very beautiful shimmering tones can be produced. Altering the feedback amount and the modulation amount provide further sources of modulation.

    The premiere was well-received, and the audience commented that the tape sounds varied between bell-like and organ-like, which was apt since it was performed in a church. The organ-sounds were as if you could continously change stops and mixtures over time, the bell as if it were changing shape and size.

    New CDs

    Greg Hunter used Kyma to process the audio on one of the tracks for his band Alien Soap Opera's new album Second Wave, due out in September 1998 under the Electric Melt label. Greg is now working on another new album using recordings made of the Himba tribe in Namibia. The Himba are under dire threat due to a proposed dam, which, if it goes ahead will basically wipe them out, and he is hoping that this album will raise awareness of their situation. When not travelling between Capetown and London or working with his band, Greg relaxes with his new hobby--welding (perhaps because it reminds him of constructing new sounds in Kyma?)

    Composer Atom Heart has a new album coming out entitled dsp holiday by the hat project (Haruomi Hosono, Tetsu Inoue and Atom Heart) on the daisyworld label in Japan (and includes a mention of Kyma on the cover(!)

    Heart also contributed an exclusive title called funny programming for general midi, sgt.pepper & major tom to a copyright-free CD-ROM published by the Japanese company, A/R. Other artists on this CD-ROM include Haruomi Hosono, Tetsu Inoue, Miharu Koshi, Pacific 231 and others.

    For details, visit Atom Heart's website:

    John Dunn and Mary Anne Clark used Kyma to help realize an entire CD of music based (no pun intended) on DNA sequences! Featured proteins include beta-globin sequences from human, whale, bat and echidna, the protein in spider's silk, lysozyme C from human, echinidna, mouse and green monkey, and collagen. Ranging in style from a quasi-renaissance motet with a woman's voice chanting the names of amino acids, to a complex imaginary landscape based on Collagen, this well-engineered CD can be heard for free in real audio on the web or purchased as a one-off CD-R signed by the two composers at

    Collaborations, a soon-to-be-released double CD from Frog Peak features several cuts that were created using Kyma. To produce this CD in honor of poet Chris Mann, Larry Polansky put samples of Mann reading his own poetry up at an FTP site and invited composers to create a short piece using Mann's voice as the only source material. Kyma-warped examples that made it onto the CD include:

    For more information, contact Frog Peak at

    Larry Fritts' Minute Variations is now available on Sonic Circuits V from Innova Recordings, number 114. For ordering info, contact: or visit

    Otto Laske's compositionTreelink (based on the composer's text and Kyma-processed voices) is now available on a Neuma CD #450-92.

    Brian Belet used Kyma on a new version of his piece [MUTE]ation on a soon to be released compilation CD in the CDCM Computer Music Series :Volume 26: CREAM..

    In Print

    Electric Sound : The Past and Promise of Electronic Music
    by Joel Chadabe
    Published by Prentice Hall

    Rather than pursuing a strictly linear chronology, Joel Chadabe, quite rightly, sees the history of electronic music as a complex system of many parallel and interconnected stories from musicians, composers, engineers, researchers, performers, and entrepreneurs. He provides us with a strong framework for organizing these stories: the story of electronic instruments, the liberation of sound, the revolution of the sound object, the history of musical automata, music on general-purpose computers, the issues of control and interaction, the synthesizer, MIDI, and a final chapter to summarize and speculate as to where we might be going next. This framework is one of the things that make the book unique; it is unusual for such recent history to be organized by higher level concepts rather than by chronological dates, and it is this higher level organization that makes it more than just a story book; it leads you to speculate about where things fit in the larger scheme, it shows you the live interconnections between artists, scientists, and entrepreneurs, and it draws you into solving the mystery of what, logically, might come next.

    Electric Sound could almost be described as an "oral history" of electronic music; the abundance of quotes, photographs, and amusing anectdotes from primary sources make this book as entertaining as it is enlightening. Chadabe personally interviewed over 150 sources for this book, and it should be noted that his own story--as a composer, performer, educator, entrepreneur, and chronicler/commentator--is an important and influential thread in the history of electronic music in its own right. Since he knows so many of the primary sources and participated in much of this young field's short history, there is an immediacy and intensity to the stories reflecting his own personal interest in how it is all going to turn out. This curiosity is infectious and, once you start reading these stories, you really care how it is all going to turn out.

    It is published by a major house (Prentice Hall), so you should be able to get your favorite bookstore to order one (and suggest that they get a few extra to put on the shelves for browsers to discover). Also, word has it that the author will sign any copies that are ordered directly from the Electronic Music Foundation website (if you request it when you order).

    Computer Music Journal (Spring 98, V22,N1) includes an article by Lippold Haken who used Kyma in his research on developing a continuous keyboard called, appropriately enough, the Continuum.



    Composer/violinist Dick Robinson (who happens to own the very first Kyma system ever sold in the US) received a scholarship from the band, REM, for a residency at the Hammige Arts Center in Georgia. Robinson also received another grant to do the sound for a collaborative piece with fibre-sculptor Edith Kelman in which slides of deep space taken from the Hubble Telescope will be projected on curtains of silver threads that are perturbed by air currents--giving a sense of three-dimensionality.

    Festivals and Conferences

    Composer Agostino Di Scipio presented a talk entitled "The Composer as Noise Generator" at the von Karajan Centrum in Vienna on 1 July 1998. These talks were moderated by Denis Smalley and were part of the ElektroKomplex forum celebrating 50 years of Musique Concrete.

    Professor HWANG Sung Ho is the organizer of a Computer Music Festival in Seoul Korea which is to take place from November 26 to 28 1998 at the Seoul Arts Center. The Festival provides a public performance of Electro-Acoustic Music (tape alone or tape + live instrument), Live Electronic Music and Music Video.

    Workshops & Lectures

    Vance Galloway gave a lecture demonstration of the live performance/spatialization environment that he has put together for himself using off-the-shelf technology including: Kyma, a Yamaha O3D controlled by Logic Audio, some reverb units, and a 4 channel speaker system. Vance also uses this as his live guitar rig for performances in the San Francisco Bay Area. The talk was at CNMAT in Berkeley California on Saturday 25 April, 1998.

    On 5 December 1997 at 1 pm in the John Addison Concert Hall in Fort Washington Maryland, Stanley Cowell and saxophonist Jane Ira Bloom will present a workshop/demonstration providing both a general explanation of Kyma and specific examples of how they used it in a new piece for chamber orchestra and soprano sax written by Cowell which will be performed for the first time on a concert the following evening.

    For more information, call the John Addison Concert Hall at +1-301-292-8331