Bob Ostertag | Like a Melody, No Bitterness: Bob Ostertag Solo Volume 1

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Like a Melody, No Bitterness: Bob Ostertag Solo Volume 1

by Bob Ostertag

Bob Ostertag's first CD of live solo improvisations on an Ensoniq ASR sampler. Virtuosic sonic mayhem.
Genre: Electronic: Experimental
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1. Like a Melody, No Bitterness: Bob Ostertag Solo Volume 1
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Recorded in 1997 in Sydney, Australia. This was my "goodbye" CD to Ensoniq samplers. I had been using various Ensoniq samplers for a decade (EPS, EPS-16, ASR-10). After this, I began using a laptop running my own software. Before leaving the Ensoniq behind, I decided to document my improvisational work on the instrument. The source audio was culled from the sound palette I had been using for improvised concerts in the previous period, including the guitar playing of Fred Frith (used for several minutes about two-thirds of the way through), the sax playing of John Zorn (used for a few seconds), and a whole bunch of other stuff. All of it twisted beyond recognition.

This actually is improvised in real time on a keyboard sampler, though I am not using the keyboard in any sort of conventional sense. Rather, I am making extensive use of polyphonic key pressure, which I route to different musical variables. The routing to different variables is one of the parameters which I determine on the fly. For many years, Ensoniq was the only company making instruments that implement the polyphonic key pressure part of the MIDI spec. Pianos and organs don't have it, so keyboard players generally make no use of it. Since it adds considerable expense to the making of the keyboard, manufactures quickly dropped it. For my part, I thought having a note-specific variable, intuitively available through the pressure on each finger, was the most interesting part of the MIDI spec.

In the years since 1997, there has been considerable interest in developing "multi-touch multi-pressure" controllers as the ideal form of MIDI or OSC controller. Most people have forgotten that, at the outset of MIDI, there was a brief period in which manufacturers actually made "multi-touch multi-pressure" in the form of keyboards with polyphonic aftertouch.


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