Wish You Were Here

by Bob Ostertag

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1.

about

I played this music during my a-year-a-month-and-a-day world tour from March 2015 through April 2016.

When preparing for my year on the road, I set a goal of traveling with four concert-length sets of music played with instruments that could fit in carry-on luggage along with my clothes and toothbrush, and that would be improvisational and “live” enough to keep me interested in playing them for year.

The music herein is from various performances of one of the four sets I traveled with. My instrument was the Aalto virtual modular synthesizer, which I played with a standard gamepad. making a very portable instrument requiring only a laptop and a gamepad for hardware. I used the Max programming environment to scale and route the gestures from the gamepad to the synthesizer in precise and complex ways, creating a series of what might be called topographies of the synthesizer.

With this combination of gamepad and gestural topographies, I have finally found a way to play a modular synthesizer in a manner both musical and constantly surprising, something I have been dreaming of since I first began playing modular synths in the mid-1970s.

The recording includes parts of concerts in Malang and Surabaya (Indonesia), Lima (Peru), Montevideo (Uruguay), Beirut (Lebanon) and New York City.

Thirteen months on the road took me to the US, western and eastern Europe, the Middle East, China and Taiwan, Southeast Asia, South America, Central America, and Mexico. My travels relied on the support of many wonderful people, far too many to thank here by name. Here, for all of you, is an entirely insufficient THANK YOU.

credits

released October 12, 2016

Music created and performed by Bob Ostertag

Aalto synthesizer by Randy Jones and Madrona Labs

Cover art by Rutger Zuydervelt

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Bob Ostertag San Francisco, California

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