Can you tell a bit about yourself, how and why you got into music, a bit about your history?
I was born into a musical family and started with piano lessons when I was 6 years old. When I got to college, an opportunity came up to help a group of friends, they needed a keyboard player. This was in 1995-96, and I had just discovered Aphex Twin's "I Care Because You Do" and Autechre's "Amber", along with The Orb, Squarepusher, and Orbital. I ended up playing in various bands in and around New York City, including BB King's and The Bitter End, but didn't really start to have a lot of fun with music until I discovered live looping. The first Dub FX videos blew me away. I also found an Imogen Heap video, an capella version of "Just For Now" she did with a looper Electrix, and I started to see how solo artists can perform without backing tracks. Beardyman's videos blasted me out of my chair. Such an incredibly talented musician and performer. I also discovered Tim Exile's video "YouTube Killed the Now Wave Star" and I was blown away again.
I was hooked, and wanted to do something simillar but geared more for keyboards and synths. Live looping is the most fun I've ever had with music, and I could do it every day.
How did you discover Liine's controller apps?
I discovered Liine by accident while researching the JazzMutant hardware, I had no idea Lemur was on iPad. I bought my first iPad solely to run Lemur. I then discovered Griid and thought it would be interesting to film a video creating a song from scratch using all wireless iOS devices, while maintaining the ability to capture loops in realtime in the APC/Launchpad format I was used to. It worked out great, and I'd like to try it again now that I'm more used to touchscreens.
Why did you choose to use it above other products on the market?
I chose Lemur because I had a difficult time finding a hardware controller I liked. The idea of being able to create a control surface with the exact amount of knobs or faders, exactly where I want them, is very appealing. On top of that, the graphics remind me of Tron, which I thought was awesome. The physics engine also makes it stand out, and I saw this as a great way to add some subtle evolving changes to parameters on synths like NI's Massive. Lemur is a steal for what it does.
What would you like to see in future updates?
I honestly can't ask for anything more since it does so much already, but if I was forced to pick something, an object which reacts to the various stages of Ableton's looper plugin (record, overdub, playback, stop, undo) would be awesome. I notice folks want more of a Novation Launchpad / Akai APC emulation with objects reacting to the state of the clip slots with amber, green, and red indicators, but I personally think Griid and Mu already address those needs.
How important is the visual aspect of your performance?
I think it helps to set the mood and aids the listener to get sucked-in to the music. I also think it's interesting for people to see something like a knob get turned on a synth or a fader swiped on an iPad and actually hear the result immediately. I started adding more lights to the studio to make the vids a little more interesting to look at, instead of me just standing there. I try to show as much of the gear and iPads as possible so people can see what I'm doing.
What are your plans or projects for the near future?
I would love to do festivals, something like Electric Zoo in NYC. I really feel like I'm just getting warmed up here, and I know I still have a lot to learn. I have no intentions of slowing things down and really want to see this project grow, and also collaborate with as many talented and forward-thinking people as I can. I would love to do a show with Beardyman, Tim Exile, and Imogen Heap since they've had such a huge influence on me.
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