About a 6 weeks ago, I was messaged on a synth forum (muffwiggler.com) asking if I’d like to play live at a monthly event called “Synthestesia” in San Francisco. The guy (who organizes and plays at these events) said he had seen one of my YouTube videos, Umbriel and he thought it would work well at the event. The next event was just under two weeks away. To be honest, my initial thought was “no way!” The idea made me quite anxious, and I started to write a response to the organizer explaining why I wouldn’t be able to accept. But as I composed the reply, I realized I’d be more sad that I turned this opportunity down than I would anxious about saying yes. So I accepted.
At that moment, the modular was totally unpatched. I literally had nothing prepared, so I set about tearing apart my system to condense it into a more portable live rig. That took about a day, and right away I started to patch. The format at Synthestesia is 3 artists take turns playing until each has played 3 tracks. I’d never done a patch like that before. Normally, I build a patch with one track in mind, so I had to really stretch my thinking to consider how to create three distinct pieces, using fewer modules than I normally do (since I had downsized to a portable setup).
It took some doing, and a lot of preparation, a lot of working through doubt that I could get it together. But after hours and hours of furious patching and then practicing, I came up with three things to play.
When the night finally came, I arrived at Amnesia in SF where the event was. I met some of the other Synthestesia crew, who were really great and helped me feel at ease. I was really very nervous, and my mind raced a lot while I started to perform, but I think overall it went really well. I had some good friends who showed up that night and that was very nice. One of my friends took some photos. Another of the performers, Tasho, took another pic of me.
I was invited to play again at a future Synthestesia. Not firm date yet, but I will definitely be back.