Photo courtesy Droid Behavior from a previous year.

In Anaheim this week, the music manufacturer trade gather to show their wares. But 8pm – 4am Friday night, we party.

“Wham Bam Thank You NAMM” has become an annual tradition, an unofficial afterparty of sorts for the first two days of the trade show.

This year’s lineup: John Tejada, Richard Devine, Flashbulb, Deru, Laura Escude, Scott Pagano, CPU, DJ Kero, Acid Circus, Derek Michael, Baseck, Eezir, Trifonic, DJ G Ov, Moldover, Henry Strange, and myself, among others.

Escaping from the Anaheim Convention Center doldrums, the event is held in the lovely, artistically-blossoming Los Angeles downtown. The Downtown Independent is a gorgeous space with a movie theater and rooftop for full audiovisual-party immersion. This year, we have a couple of new features with which I’m assisting on behalf of CDM. There’s a VIP lounge / “industry room” which will be filled with music toys. You need a NAMM badge to get in, but inside you’ll find some unusual sonic toys you can’t find on the NAMM floor.

Also in the spirit of going beyond NAMM, I’m moderating a panel on how people are using computers in performance, and how we can all make the future of music tech shinier, sooner. When you’re living in a cool-sounding year like “2010,” there’s really no excuse not to take matters into your own hands (oh, yeah, and maybe I want to make sure I’m on the same side as the evil robots when the bad s*** starts going down):

2010: It’s gonna be the future soon
A conversation on live electronic performance technique, and how to make music tech better

There’s no need to dream of futuristic, expressive live performance on computers. It’s here. And there’s no reason to wait for technology to improve: let’s talk about how to make it happen. Moderated by Create Digital Music’s PETER KIRN, this conversation with some of the artists at the edge of sound and live electronic music provides a glimpse into the ways people are working in 2010, and an open discussion about what we can do this year to extend our technique and make technology work better.

JUSTIN BORETA and edIT (Glitch Mob, etc.)
RICHARD DEVINE (Schematic/Warp), DSP mad scientist and composer
LAURA ESCUDE, violinist and music technologist
FLIPMU, the duo of Owen Vallis and Jordan Hochenbaum
MOLDOVER, Mojo controller creator, musical supervillian
DERU, composer and musician (Ghostly, etc.), recent Paris Opera Ballet score
BRIAN TRIFON (TRIFONIC), electronic musician and sound designer (Avatar)

and other guests

Hands-on "snap" demos of live rigs + topics of discussion:


Glitch Mob performing live on the JazzMutant Lemur touchscreen – and exploding the tame, ambient stereotype of said device. (‘Bout time.) Catch them working with their Lemurs and Live 3PM Thursday at NAMM’s Ableton booth. Then see them join us to talk about ushering in the future of music tech and performance in downtown LA Friday night. Photo courtesy The Glitch Mob, by chenardphotography.com 

Unusual interfaces, including graphical, touch, gestural, and multi-touch interfaces
Monome, Arduinome, MidiDuino and the Minicommand
Max/Max for Live, Reaktor, Pd, Processing, and other tools
Collaboration, synchronization, and open control
New Year’s Resolutions for making technology and performance practice better
…topics to be continued online
Followed by live performances kicking off a night-long party

Presented by Electronic Creatives, Dubspot and Create Digital Music



Photos courtesy Droid Behavior.

When: Friday, January 15, 2010, 8pm – 4am

Where: The Downtown Independent, downtownindependent.com

251 S. Main Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012 [Map]

What: Wham Bam Thank You NAMM [official site/artist bios]

Cost: $20; $10 discounted (21+)

RSVP: droidbehavior@gmail.com Information: 213-915-6120 Facebook: Event page

Note on NAMM badges: the NAMM badge gets you into the “industry room” and a discount on admission, but you do NOT need a NAMM badge to get into this party! It is 21+, though – sorry about that.

View Larger Map

Major kudos to the wizards of Electronic Creatives who’ve been a huge part of making the whole evening happen (whereas I largely get to just show up). That includes in particular the talented violinist, composer, technologist, educator, and creative mind Laura Escudé, who has worked with everyone from Cirque du Soleil to Carmen Rizzo; I hope we get to introduce more of her work.

Electronic Creatives “produces events centered around Ableton Live and new music technology coupled with envelope-pushing performances.” (I’m going to try to make sure not to interpret that last phrase as “making my laptop crash onstage,” okay?)

  • Can't wait for Friday night. It should be a great time. Interesting music and interesting music tech. What more could you ask for?

  • This would be fantastic – if only I didn't live in Sydney!! If there is any footage taken of the panel discussion I'd be really interested to see it – what a great line up I'd love to hear what everyone has to say…

  • Actually, I've been thinking about just that… maybe it's not a bad idea to start a little mini-blog or something. I expect that whatever conversations we start won't get resolved (cough, cough) in one evening, and us participants also live in different places. (Jordan and Owen head all the way back to New Zealand.) So putting some chatter online is absolutely ideal. And I'm all about online, as you know. 😉 Suggestions welcome…

  • Kyrceck

    is this 21+? i sure hope not, what to do after namm?

  • Yes! A mini-blog would be fantastic for sure. If there was footage/audio/transcripts of the discussions this would most certainly provide a 'kicking off' point for readers/listeners across the globe to get involved in the conversation. Looking forward to hearing more about it Peter.

  • ehdyn

    Going to be so much fun!

    I had a chance to see Laura demo LIVE @ audiomidi = Mindblown, shes's so friggin smart and talented.

    Can't wait to see all of your performances!!!!!!

  • simon

    +1 on online coverage of the panel, I'm freezing my ass in Montreal and would hate to miss this talk. You don't necessarily need a whole other blog for this, a siezable post on CDM is alright 🙂

  • As a resident of Southern California pretty much my whole life I find your comment about "Escaping from the Anaheim doldrums" & "artistically-blossoming Los Angeles downtown" kinda offensive. The OC might have it's faults and while there's SOME truth to both your comments I would only say that ole Downtown LA has a pretty damn big doledrum, it's called Skid Row…

    I know you didn't mean anything by it other than to support your event but I really hate seeing people dismiss the OC just because it has a couple crappy shows based around it and people outside California buying into whatever anyone from LA says about the OC(which usually is someone who just moved to LA so..). Again, while there is SOME truth to both of those little comments there are LOTS of talented and interesting artists and musicians in Orange County, CA. Too bad we'll never get any respect for anything we do because if we were really anything we'd be in LA, right?

    Pfft, meh maybe I'm just being crabby today. Sorry… LOL.

  • Oh, I love this site and your reporting though Peter! Keep up the awesome work! 😉

  • Oh, I have no idea what Anaheim and the OC themselves are like. I mean Anaheim the trade show, which tends to get… well, trade show-y. There are artists gathered from all around, and we need to get away from the trade show to a proper musical setting that's not a hotel room or exhibitor booth or the lobby of the Hilton.

    I had always assumed that in the sphere of Los Angeles, downtown has only recently begun this artistic revival, and particularly in electronic music terms with the scene around Brainfeeder, etc. That's not intended to be a slam of Orange County; I'm fully aware downtown has been fighting to claim a role. I'd no more expect to judge Anaheim by the Anaheim Convention Center than I'd expect you to get a feel for my town NYC's vibe based on the Javitz Center.

    I'll edit accordingly.

  • Also, since we are trying to convince people to drive from Anaheim to LA — I can assure folks this isn't skid row; I was there in November and it's a nice spot. I've also done the Anaheim – to – LA drive and it's not so bad, especially at night as the traffic starts to slow down. We'll make it worth your while.

  • Oh, I defn. agree there are some nicer spots in Downtown LA. An that convention center you speak of DOES wear on ones soul if you stay too long LOL.

    Heck I may try and find a killer deal on a suit in the garment district and then check out the event. 😉

    As far as things in Anaheim there's some interesting stuff um, downtown heh. But Orange County is weird and spread out with stuff in Costa Mesa, Santa Ana, Newport Beach, etc. Hard to say there's one place for everything like Sunset in Hollywood or something. Find an OC local and they should know where to take ya! 🙂

  • Well, and I resent convention centers for being filled with interesting people, but walled off from interesting places.

    And absolutely, I can't say I know the LA area well, but at least I've been there long enough to get a strong taste for its decentralization. There's fantastic people in Santa Monica/Venice, downtown, in Silverlake, in OC, and in drives away like Santa Barbara and even San Diego. Then again, I think people don't realize how true this has become around NYC. You really have to get to know not only the outer boroughs, but the amazing talent in remote parts of NJ, LI, CT, Westchester and the Hudson Valley. I suppose it's true anywhere, even if it's doubly true in the geography of southern California.

  • Sam_K

    The girl near the front of the 4th photo in the pink and black is totally hot.

  • @Sam_K: It's a computer music lineup, so all the boys and girls are all always totally hot. All of the artists, too. You knew that, right? Best-kept secret of the trade. 😉

  • Findletron

    Any suggestions as to where a guy could get his grubby paws on a namm badge last minute?

    Stupid lack-of-preparedness. Sounds like an awesome night!

  • db

    Here in OC we have lots of people who do electronic music full time including Uberzone, Simply Jeff, skylab2000, and many touring DJs including people like Frankie Bones and (until recently) Donald Glaude. Los Angeles has a whole *different* electronic music scene, which is what your event is all about. Good stuff in all cases.

    Should be a good night, and for those making the trip, not that far, and in a decent area of downtown.

  • J. Phoenix

    Ah, wish I was there. Its 2010, and still no teleportation.

  • Zevin Hill


    It's quite a drive from Porto (Portugal) to Anaheim, otherwise I'd definitely go!!


    Hope you guys have a terrific time!!!

  • Roland Ragi

    Any site, blog, discussions/videos/interviews/livesets/ANYTHING would be great!!

    I'm in Lebanon!!!!

    Thanks : )

  • PooPoo the Korruptah

    =1 to an aussie blog in the vein of CDM…i sure dont have the time, but big support and bigger kudos to who ever does.

    Theres some truly great and inspiring artists down here. Im on the west coast and maybe its the isolation, but every second person i know is a muso or engineer or both,most of whom are creating really forward material. Not having alot of "scene" or influence around makes for a real melting pot of noises. Lots of stuff coming out of bedrooms and no real place to show it.

    Im ranting….

  • Mark Kunoff

    Hey Peter – perhaps you can re invigorate some discussions regarding syncing computers and gear together for live performance. I hope I'm not sounding like a broken record, but the more data mining on this issue the better imo. Btw, I noticed the noisepage on this topic has come to a virtual stand still. I guess I can't complain though – I'm just not as technically savvy as some other heads who have contributed to the discussions. Btw, Pat and I are working on a video demonstrating the working methods for syncing our macbooks.

  • Well, just for the record, this crew is not all from LA County. 😉 I'm in NY. Jordan and Owen on my panel are now in NZ. Richard Devine is from Atlanta. John Tejada is from Vienna. Trifonic and Moldover are in San Francisco (Moldover until recently was here in NYC).

    @PooPoo — well, believe it or not, Jaymis who works on CDM with me is in Australia, and we have a couple of contributors there if they'd (cough) finish some stories. (They know who they are.)

    I think what you're describing, though, is true just about anywhere, including the US – even NYC. It's all global, it's all coming out of bedrooms, and it's all a melting pot, and no one seems to feel they have enough outlets, which may even be healthy.

    Roland, given the opportunity, I'd come to Lebanon. I think I probably have Abu-Shaheen relatives in Bechmizzine. In the meantime, yes, electronically!

  • I'll be there as well doing visuals and we will have a table setup to demo our controllers. This should be great, especially in comparison to the annoying riffs that go on all day on the show floor.

  • I don't know, Jay, maybe after a few drinks you and I can try to improvise annoying riffs that go on all day on the show floor at the party.

    Ha… actually, I should see if I can do some NAMM sampling for my set, huh? 😉

  • Good idea, need to get some shreds in the mix. Now we are expecting to see that in your set Peter 😉

  • Sam_K

    @PooPoo Yeah what's in the water over there in Perth??? So much amazing stuff has come out of there in the last few years. (Farking love Karnivool)

    Sydney has a quarter of the population of Australia and is a barren wasteland creatively.

  • PooPoo the Korruptah

    @Peter and Jaymis: Oh, cool. Well I'll just think of CDM as an expat second cousin. But we could really use an on to it blog here connecting all these happening crew in Oz. Apart from Teknoscape and an other(is there another) theres not a whole lot. Esp in the vein of where CDM is coming from. Death to the Sasha Tietso Superstar mediocre blandwagon.

    @Sam K: as for whats in the water, id love to know, cos im sure its doing bad things to my liver and teeth.

  • D. Prouny

    Sure make a humorous comment about boobs and get censored. I'm pretty sure its one of your groupy girlfriends i commented on and i didn't mean any harm so sorry about the off color comment anyhow.

  • D. Prouny

    On the other hand I'm not sure that pining for a nonexistent photo of some jugs at a music show deserves censoring we all know know no-one is in music for the girls. If your looking for family values why don't you censor ideletemyself when he says "Damn" and "crappy" and whines like an OC kid. All I basically said was unholster some jugs and let the vinyl spin …. uhm or mp3s.

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  • Nice! I happen to be in LA at the moment – going to see if I can make it down to this event to kick it with y'all.

    I happen to be traveling around with a portable installation of WiiWhorld (among other things) – is there room to add some last-minute renegade visuals to the mix, or would it be more trouble than it's worth? Either way, I hope to see you all there.


    j e f f

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  • Aleikum

    Lots of gipsys here..

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  • sic_beats

    On sunday there is an EPIC beat battle going down in chinatown, 8 different beatmaker crews are going to battle for a seven inch record deal. check out the website. there are going to be like a million drum machines at this show, it's going to be crazy: http://aeco.tv/posseup