Kamelmauz – Requiem No. 1b

Silver Palace Queue #1 (work-in-progress)
Silver Palace Queue #1

Surprising myself, I fired up some synthesizers, designed a sequence, and let ‘er fly. My purpose was to track a musical sketch as the background for a short video showing me working on photographing still lifes in the backyard studio. What I came up with was terrible, in the (so-called) ‘last analysis.’ Yet, while producing, I spotted a folder with some tracks set down in 2015.

I relistened to the older tracks and stitched together this demo, and uploaded it to the Kamelmauz endless album.

ambient orchestral drone, sequenced and improvised on an iPad, tracked into Logic.

Reverb and Patterns

Cistern from Claudia Esslinger on Vimeo.

The Old School II (2016)
The Old School II (2016)

My art and image making have gobbled all my creative time for a year. (This puts the couple of hundred or so hours of recording activity in 2014 in bittersweet relief.) At the moment the only way to join the two creative urges are to contemplate their meta-integration at the one counterintuitive spot that a bridge is possible.

The bridge, existing right now as a vague complex archetype, integrates reverberation and symmetric pattern.

This Kamelmauz track from 2014 captures what I’m dreaming.

Piscina Mirabilis – Salvatore Carannante in Spare Parts Sound Project. from Salvatore Carannante on Vimeo.

Last year the blog visited The Tank

Zimoun «Sculpting Sound» : The Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota, USA, 2011/2012 from ZIMOUN on Vimeo.

musical table & pendulum sound machine live at pola museum annex from kyouei design on Vimeo.

Aspiration and Visualization from kevinballon on Vimeo.

Kamelmauz envisions this bridge in 2012:

Kamelmauz: Glori Selects the Sounds of Kamelmauz

2015 has not been the greatest year for Kamelmauz and his experiments in sound. Two factors have overwhelmed his sonic muse: one, shifting priorities toward challenges in the human sphere, and, two, a very dedicated effort by his alter-ego, Stephen, to finish one hundred visual experiments–fine art–for a virtual show sometime in the next six months.

Everything substantial, such as new complete releases, have been pushed back. However, Duty Free Records has stepped into the breech and pushed back with this new compilation of old music, arranged in tasty medleys, and aimed to bring into sound play the accessible Kamelmauz.

Free until September 1, 2015

liner notes:

(2001) Ancient Sanabad 4:29
(2009) Heldonsket 6:10
(2011) Come Over 2:12
(2011) And Over 2:15
(2012) Wunderbare Momente 8:30
(2000) Turquoise 5:06
(2009) Moon Cave 5:38
(2013) Although Others Weigh In 3:41
(2013) Still Not Final 4:36
(2010) Poor-City 9:56
(2001) No One Knows the Weaver’s Dreams (excerpt 2014) 11:47
Come Over|And Over dedicated to Roger McGuinn
Poor City for Ken
No One Knows the Weaver’s Dreams for Deborah
Kamelmauz: compositions, improvisations, sound design pedal steel guitar, lap steel guitar, synthesizers, keyboards, percussion, sampler, small instruments
This recording is dedicated to Kenneth Warren, 1953-2015
“Kamelmauz is sounding the audible id of Lake Erie’s depths and surroundings.”
Producer: Stephen Calhoun
Produced at noguts noglory studios, Cleveland Heights, Ohio | Cover Design: Hippie Goat
hat tip to Apple Computer, Native Instruments, Leo Fender, Gestrument, Moog Synthesizers,
and all the other audio design toolmakers – KAMELMAUZ.BANDCAMP.COM
special thanks to, as always, Susan

Limits and Creative TIme

Mythic Figure | Come to the Mardi Gras
Mythic Figure | Come to the Mardi Gras

For the first time in fourteen years, I have gone a month without laying down any music (or sounds) at all.

Why? All my creative time and energies have been focused on preparing two art works of mine for an auction of Modern, Post_war and Contemporary Art on May 6th. [Link]

I’ll have to go find Kamelmauz and ask him what he is up to, and what he plans to be up to!

Kamelmauz: Naked Lightning Rod

Kamelmauz: sound design, synthesizer, sequencing, composition, improv

from Infinity track released 13 March 2015
Recorded at noguts noglory studios, Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Produced by Stephen Calhoun

Note – I’m jazzed about the Enzyme Synthesizer from Humanoid Soundsystems. It’s in the same camp as my beloved and abandoned (by its developers) Alchemy. It is simpler, and more raucous in the way it handles samples.

Kamelmauz: Hairy Deep

Late last week one of my go-to iPad music app developers, Igor Vasiliev, released Soundscaper. I have recently being using his Altispace Reverb a bunch–after plugging into its library 325 convolution wave files from my own vast collection. Nowadays, I don’t pull the trigger on every intriguing music making app that gets released. Soundscaper had already earned a preview from Doug at The Soundtest Room. I’m not a big fan of the 8 bit, lo-fi ethos and even though I am an ambient-oriented, deep listening, slow music, (sure) soundscaper, I held off on Igor’s new app.

I also knew the usual suspects would soon enough weigh in. Tim Webb provided an amusing look at Soundscaper the effect–that isn’t an effect–and Doug did one of his breathless half hour in depth videos.

The review at musicappblog turned a phrase, And, like the difference between a blindfold, inexperienced potter with some lumps of clay and a spinning wheel, and an expert pot maker who can craft something beautiful with their eyes closed, mastering SoundScaper’s control set is going to take a little time…, and I pulled the trigger.

I started out with one of my raw drones in the first oscillator slot and approached Soundscaper as a performance interface. Instead of hearing its goal to be the result of the oscillator, instead I intuited that its goal is to perform the sample using manipulations of its interface. Soundscaper is not a synth, it’s a multi faceted means for manipulating a sample in real time.

Top IOS Music-making Apps, for Kamelmauz, for 2014

Three track live-in-studio; iPad based: (1) TC-Data controlling AlchemyPro mobile synthesizer (2) “C” controlling Mitosynth (3) eBow processing pedal steel guitar [July 2014]

1. Alchemy Mobile Pro
2. Mitosynth
3. Animoog
4. Photophore
5. Gestrument (sf2 synthesizer)

1. Gestrument
2. Xynthesizer
3. TC-Data
4. ChordPolyPad
5. SP Electro

1. AUFX:Space
2. Crystalline
3. Ultra Phaser
4. Audio Reverb
5. AUFX:Dub

During 2014, for the most part, Kamelmauz improvised in the studio in little mini-sessions during small slices of time. There was no point after January that he would focus obsessively on particular recording ambitions.

Kamelmauz: “The trick was sliding into the player’s chair ready to go with two iPads set to go, one as a synthesizer station featuring Alchemy Mobile Pro, Animoog, Mitosynth, and an iPad MIDI controller, and, the other iPad set up as a MIDI controller via wifi for an plug-in synth or sampler in Logic. This allowed me to quickly render two track recordings somewhat on the fly.

I heavily leveraged MIDI controllers to trigger composed sequences and improvs. On the iPad, the excellent Xynthesizer, ChordPolyPad, and, at the end of the year, SP Electro, all could be employed to design melodic progressions. I especially like Xynthesizer‘s random boxes which can be shaped as a generative elememt inside its equivalent of a piano roll. For improvising and ambient sound design in real time, Gestrument was my main tool for a second year. TC-Data proved to be good for recording intuitive hits and stabs.

On the laptop side, using the iPad as a controller really refreshed my approach to using go-to AudioUnit tools in Logic. Although my long-in-the-tooth MacBook sometimes balked at real time two track live recording, once I removed the iConnectMIDI aggregate device and went back to routing audio individually from the iPads into the laptop’s Focusrite I/O interface, everything worked much more smoothly. The other mode I used was recording audio from one iPad and using the other to control via wifi MIDI my favorite software synths, Alchemy, Absynth and the sampler Kontakt. This was a completely successful workaround to any direct recording overload, with clock set by the Focusrite interface.

It is easy to overwhelm processing bandwidth on an iPad. I did a lot of tinkering. For me, Audiobus is nifty for recording to the iPad Air, but, I do not load up the signal/effect chains. I found InterAppAudio to have better overhead, so, by the end of the year I was using Audioshare as my down-and-dirty iPad recorder. In the aforementioned two track set-up, besides recording to a bus, I would usually use effects in Logic rather than on the iPad.

The biggest fault of the iPad is inconsistent levels at the output of the interfaces I use, the Behringer UCA222 and the Line6 Sonic Port. The former does have a level wheel, whereas the otherwise solid Sonic Port does not. My sense is the configuration of gain in the IOS Audiocore is tied to hardware considerations because I have found it usually advantageous to back off the internal gain by one increment.

My hope is 2015 will provide me with some obsessive washes of studio time to start to deal with approximately 200 hours of raw recordings, recordings that were the fruits of many a ‘short late night session.’

Kamelmauz: Mercy, Whom I Have Never Met (new recording)

What I term workshop tracks get uploaded to the never-ending album, Infinity, at Kamelmaus-soundz.bandcamp.com. This new track didn’t need to be pieced together. It’s a slightly contracted version of a nine minute improv using Xynthesizer as a controller and means for intervention, and, using it then to control (play) the new flocking synthesizer Photophore and Alchemy Mobile Pro. Both are in Audiobus and run through the Crystalline effect (from Holderness Media.) The audio stream was captured in Logic on a laptop, re-panned and lightly mastered using Native Instrument’s new delay Replika, and my go-to reverb, 2C Audio Aether.

Mercy, Whom I Have Never Met is in a minimalist vein I have been spending little slices of free time wandering within, so-to-speak.

Grabbing little moments to do audio experiments means that at the end of 2014, I’ve got two workflow modes I can deploy quickly. The basic Kamelmauz workflow is either in the “A” mode, where both iPad are piped into Logic on the laptop. The most complex array I manage at once involves setting one iPad up to execute a composition translated to MIDI or otherwise programmed into an iPad MIDI controller–such as the superb Xynthesizer–and then this controls one or two synthesizers slotted into Audiobus. The other iPad then is used to be the live, or performance, foil. I usually use Gestrument, my go-to controller for the past two years, to control either an iPad synthesizer or to control a software synthesizer or sampler in Logic (DAW.)

I spent the first half of the year trying to get iConnectMIDI4+, an audio I/O and audio and MIDI router, to consistently work as an aggregate device in Logic, but I have given up. I’m back to charging the iPads to 100% and running the older one through a Behringer UCA-222, and the newer Air through a Line6 Sonic Port, then routing iPad audio with direct 1/4″ stereo connections to a Focusrite Saffire audio I/O,then into Logic.

In A Mode I improvise on one iPad against my own compositions being played via MIDI on the other iPad. This is equal to a live set-up were I playing out.

B Mode is so simple I use it to sometimes play myself to sleep, late at night with the iPad Air on my chest. Here I just take the composer’s set-up in A Mode, and much more actively intervene to play the controller controlling iPad synthesizers in Audiobus, and recording the playing and interventions using Audioshare or Multitrack DAW. Audioshare gives easy access to Inter-App-Audio, so a full chain can look like this, for example,

TC-Data (MIDI controller) –> [AUDIOBUS] Alchemy Pro Mobile->AUFX:Space (reverb)->Audioshare [IAA]->Ultraphaser
Gestrument (MIDI controller) set-up to execute a drone –> [AUDIOBUS] Animoog->AUFX:Space->Audioshare [IAA]->Ultraphaser

Although MIDI routing is crude within CORE MIDI on iPads, all one needs to differentiate controller streams is the ability to designate the different MIDI channels, and, so it is easy enough to do so if you choose capable partners such as TC-Data, Gestrument, Alchemy and Animoog. Xynthesizer makes this easy too, and so it’s also straight-forward to get a composition going while stabbing against it using Gestrument.

In Mode B, all audio is being processed by the iPad. Later, I export it to the laptop. I don’t have any hangups about quality because it is on a par with what my regular Focusrite I/O can render using digital synths as a source.

Kamelmauz & Duty Free Records Update


Rainbringer (with guitars) and Naked Strands (no guitars) would have been both completed this year if I had not spent the lion’s share of my creative time doing visual experiments. The last two months I’ve been preparing pieces to be printed in very large formats on canvas.

I still take over little slices of time to document sonic experiments, recently on the new iPad synthesizer, Photophore, and have been spending most of my soundwise time with that synth and Gestrument, Alchemy, and then I’ve taken to some great iPad MIDI controllers, Xynthesizer, TC-Data, Gestrument, and deployed those to play via wi-fi, Kontakt and Absynth on the laptop.

Alas, Naked Strands and Rainbringer are delayed until the summer.

Naked Update

Duty Free Records Updates get captured here. The most recent update pushes anticipated new music releases farther into the near and distant future. I call this the Kamelmauz Cascade.

The short of it is, is that the ambient ep Naked Strands has just been activated as a current project. This means I am reviewing hours and hours of raw recordings from the last year, and trying to get a handle on what sonic planet the recording is going to visit.

But, the reason for the delay is I am still working on visual art projects, and, gardening!

Kamelmauz: Midavi

Latest add-on track to the endless album, Infinity.

Live two track ambient improv utilizes instances of Alchemy MP and Gestrument on iPad. Alchemy is used to key Alchemy on the laptop and Gestrument is used as a gestural sampler and plays a customized soundfont.

Video: Deep Blue Signal (for Gestrument and eBow prepared Steel Guitar) by Kamelmauz

Deep Blue Signal from Stephen Calhoun on Vimeo.

demonstration of 2xGestrument performance workflow.

Gestrument is a gestural/generative sampler and synthesizer for iPad/IPhone.

Performed by Kamelmauz (kamelmauz.bandcamp.com)

Produced by Stephen Calhoun at noguts noglory studios, Cleveland Heights, Ohio

Here’s the video posted two weeks ago at the new Gestrument web site. It provides a demonstration and some explanation about the live (in the studio) moment showcasing the superb gestural/generative sampler/synth I have been using the past year. Swedish composer Jesper Nordin issued the invite and I was first shocked to be sharing featured space with Jordan Rudess and Richard Devine and several others, and, then really pleased to be described as an “IOS Music Pioneer.”

As far as I know at this point, the two recordings issued on Duty Free Free Records in December, Apparently There’s More, and Apparently Suite remain the only primarily Gestrument-driven recordings. No doubt this will change. Gestrument is is totally congruent with my aesthetic as a composer, im proviser, sound designer, and ambient audionaut.

Kamelmauz Rearranges the Shack

Kamelmauz Infinity

Kamelmauz-soundz at Bandcamp used to just be the net that captured sonics tossed over the rail. However, following from a brilliant idea by Dave Stafford, I’m now sticking the strays into a single recording that will continue to grow as long as I send some of my children its way.

The endless recording is titled: Infinity. $2. Forever. Kamelmauz-soundz

Unity, on the other hand, collects together the strays once scatters about kamelmauz-soundz. It also is the sixth Kamelmauz recording.

Then there’s a Kamelmauz on Soundcloud, that puts there odds and ends taken from various recordings, and stuff always also available on Bandcamp, either at soundz or the main site. At Soundcloud the emphasis will be on recordings that use the iPad/IOS music-making paradigm.

Kamelmauz Featured On New Gestrument Site

KAmelmauz at Gestrument

 At the end of last year one if the developers of the remarkable gestural synthesizer/controller/sampler Jesper Nordin invited me by email to be a featured artist on the new, redesigned Gestrument web site. I thought about it for half a nano-second and told Jesper, 


Last week I learned who the other featured artists were, enabling me to figure out roughly how out of their league I was; and it is a fairly large amount out of the league of Jordan Rudess of Dream Theatre and techno master Richard Devine I be! 

Today the web site was rolled out. 

The Kamelmauz page features a three track video I made featuring Gestrument as sampler, Gestrument as controller, and Kamelmauz as pedal steel guitar cosmonaut. On my page are samples from Soundcloud and patches (presets) I designed. And, to my amazement the patches are also included in the new update of Gestrument.

The essay on the Kamelmauz page explains much, but I’ll add that I’ve been working with Gestrument for over a year, yet I’ve just scratched the surface. It’s such a deep instrument that I’ve focused on but a subset of its capabilities. There are lots of video demos on the new web site that show what Gestrument can do. 

For the moment I’m the only sound artist using Gestrument with pedal steel guitar. Video.

Not at all incidentally, the two most recent Kamelmauz recordings solely feature Gestrument as a sound source.

is a mix of the short tracks from this:

The Kamelmauz Soundcloud account is all Gestrument at the moment.