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.

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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?)