“… Xuan began a series of complex and crucial performances in the creative music community, guided by a self-imposed rule to never repeat the same setup.”— Boomkat
Comprovisation is a showreel showcasing excerpts from four of my audiovisual compositions and solo improvised performances. These four pieces are selected from over 60 recordings and improvisation sets from 2016 to 2021 that are guided by one instruction: “never repeat the same setup.” In these works, I experimented with various means of sound-making, developing my extended techniques and improvising with these tools, including but not limited to voice and body movement, prepared piano and guitar, found objects and various amplification methods, analog synthesizers and DIY electronics. The aesthetics and the audiovisual interests reflected in this showreel are the most in line with my current directions in speech, vocal performance and audiovisual synthesis.
This video contains light flashes that could trigger discomfort for people with visual sensitivities.
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Descriptions of individual work are as follows.
In composing this piece, I experimented with text and sound through layers of transcoding — between digital formats and between human and machine as a remixing strategy of abstraction. I used browser text-to-speech API to record news texts into sounds; I wrote a Python script to transcode speech into MIDI signals; in Ableton Live, I performed with the MIDI data, recorded the performance and then transcoded into MIDI again.
@djxenoyoga (2017 ongoing) performs live and also exists as an automated performance/composition system. Derived from common techniques of DJ as a trope, @djxenoyoga samples and mixes textual, sonic, and visual internet readymades into cyborgian spells and entropic chants of discursive mashups. The audiovisual works attempt to remediate/alienate the mis/disinformative realities of post-truth mediascape as a hacking ritual that works as and against ideological hypnosis. XENOYOGA(((TROLL THE SCROLL))) in part translates tweets of CNN breaking news into melodies and speech voices as samples.
Ableton Live set with PUSH & a SM58
Full version: https://v10.pureapparat.us/all-tomorrows-oceans/
The contradictory connotation of the title lies in that the ocean is an idea beyond individual human experiences and spacetime. “All Tomorrow’s” expresses a timeless vision of symbiosis with nature, from the past to the present, and an ultimate nostalgia towards the ocean.
I scraped images that were found by searching the keywords “ocean” in commercial stock photograph archives and, later, the database of ocean images through an artificial intelligence algorithm. The machine-generated morphing pixels bear a visual resemblance to sea waters. It is the idea of “ocean” or the “oceanic desire” that is controlled by the representational power and cultural authority of the stock image ecosystem, while the bio-political control is compounded by the algorithmic economy.
The final installation is sound reactive, featuring a generative composition which was later evolved into an improvised audio-visual performance where I mimic whale vocalization with my own voice and sequence the sounds in recursive rhythmic patterns that are common in humpback whale songs.
Through a Max/MSP patch that is essentially an aleatoric drum machine, I composed this piece with a pre-recorded set of samples where I practiced extended vocal techniques.