FLO at PQ2015

Turns out, doing a performance at Klang 2015 in Durham was a ‘piece of cake’ compared to the Sound Kitchen 2015 performance, FLO team flew out to do a few weeks later, as part of PQ2015 in Prague. Long story short …

Testing Day 1: Butt software does not recognise Alesis iO2 audio interface … erm … whaaaa?!?!? Shelly tried to ‘persuade’ Butt to ‘play nicely’ by nudging some settings through the terminal without success, so around 10 o’clock in the evening we started pinging messages to find out if anyone had an audio interface we could borrow.

Testing Day 2: 6.34 am, things started to look more promising when Karen Lauke (an amazing sound artist and curator of Sound Kitchen 2015) texted back saying we can use her Edirol FA-66. Phew, what a relief! Shelly tested it with her Butt settings whilst Nela ventured out to find an Apple store, buy the Firewire 800 to Thunderbolt adapter (to connect the new interface to her MacBook Pro retina) and do some soundscape recordings of Prague along the way to use in the performance. Testing the network went ok, we watched some awesome performances at Sound Kitchen whilst Shelly tinkered with adding more functionality to her SuperCollider patch so we can hear the processed cello in the speakers as well as sending it out via IceCast. On the way back to the apartment, we stopped off at Havelská Koruna to have some  nice traditional Czech food for dinner at before continuing testing the new interface with Magda’s live cello input (turns out the beauty parlour underneath the apartment closed early, hence no complaints from the residents :-).

Testing Day 3: FLO team arrived at Národní divadlo (Sound Kitchen 2015 venue) at 8.25. We plugged everything in to test the multi-chanel set-up and audio streaming than around 8.40 Shelly’s laptop broke down (you know, black screen and all that jazz! Cue in Joe Pino (an amazing sound designer and the head of OISTAT Sound Design Group) with SuperCollider and PD already installed on his laptop (he’s good that way!) and the longest 6 hours in the history (of remote networked performance), during which Shelly had to reinstall all the bits she needed for her SuperCollider set-up to work on Joe’s computer together with all the rest of the audio streaming software. Whilst this was going on at the side of the main stage, Nela made some more audio recordings to use in performance and Magda made sure Shelly has a steady supply of food and beverage to keep her going 🙂 Around 17.05, FLO set-up was ready to be rolled out on the d&b equipment trunk to the front of the stage (unplugging stuff to set-up properly was a definite no-no at this point, as was to get another screen hooked up to project IRC channel!) and with a quick speakers + cello mic test (done by the wonderfully resourceful Robin Whittaker, who spent 3 days helping everyone get their set-ups going as well as demonstrating the amazing TiMax!) we were ready to go!

The performance had to be cut to 15 minutes so we can do a quick get-out (and allow Národní divadlo tech team to prepare the space for the evening event), few of the ladies could not join us remotely due to the 6 hours delay and the intermittent SuperCollider network drop-out created some interesting (if not worrying) spatialised effects at the end of the performance, but regardless of all this, the audience seemed to enjoy the performance giving us a big round of applause at the end!

Shelly had to fly off to Glasgow for a conference straight after the performance so couldn’t join us (and the rest of the Sound Kitchen team) for a nice glass of unfiltered dark beer followed by the ‘best pizza in town’ (at Pizzeria Kmotra), but we will rectify this next time the three of us are at the same georgaphic location 🙂

A HUGE THANK YOU to our remote collaborators who waited patiently to join us after a 6 hours delay, amazingly calm and super resourceful Sound Kitchen 2015 team (Karen, Joe, Robin, Barbora, Patrick and Brad), enthusiastic PQ2015 volunteers and the inspirational Sound Kitchen 2015 performers!

This is the best gig in town! Roll on Sound Kitchen 2019!

ps dear John, please could we borrow d&b gear again, as it’s just not gonna be the same without it (or without you!)

Two down, more to go!

Photos say it all!

Testing ...
Magda practicing cello whilst Shelly is testing SuperCollider at our lovely Prague apartment …
testing ...
Shelly testing Edirol FA-66 during Sound Kitchen 2015 break at Národní divadlo
Scheduled to perform at 11.05
FLO was scheduled to perform at 11:05 🙂
Joe and Shelly installing stuff
but at 10:29 Shelly and Joe just started installing software on Joe’s laptop
14.23 no, not yet ...
by 16:03 the performance started to look like a possibility so Robin and Magda discussed options for amplifying and spatialising cello …
are we ready yet ?
at 16:10 we all took a quick coffee break
ok we are ready !
at 17:05 Shelly introduced the performance telling the audience  few anecdotes from the 3 days of testing!
last minute tweak
a good pair of headphones is needed for adjusting software parameters …
and sometimes you need to close your eyes and listen to the other audio streams ...
whilst a good pair of ears is needed to listen to the audio streams sent by remote performers …
FLO team posing for the after-performance photo (Barbora checking the time and Robin getting congrats for pulling it all off in the last minute!)
FLO team (Shelly, Nela and Magda) posing for the after-performance photo, with Barbora (on the right) checking we have enough time to do the get-out, and Robin (on the left) getting congrats for magically pulling it all off at the very last minute!
Magda, Karen, Nela and Patrick
A “notwork” (aka network not working) moment: Magda, Karen, Nela and Patrick


A well deserved beer with the Sound Kitchen 2015 team
A well deserved post-performance beer with the Sound Kitchen 2015 team (whilst Shelly was enjoying a large piece of cake and a beer at the airport!). Starting on the left: Nela Brown, Magdalena Chudy, John Taylor (d&b), Joe Pino, Karen Lauke, Barbora Papírníková, Roger Alsop, Brad Ward, Ralf Zuleeg (d&b), Robin Whittaker and Patrick Lauke
Navigating our way around Prague
Shelly and Magda consulting a map of Prague …
to a traditional Czech kitchen (where we almost got into trouble when Nela tried to pay with Balarusian Ruble)
to find a way to the traditional Czech kitchen, where we almost got into trouble when Nela tried to pay with two 500 Balarusian Ruble notes she naively swapped for one 1000 Czech Koruna note with a nice (con) man on the street! (fyi 1000 BYR = 2.01 CZK!)
Salad for breakfast ...
FLO PQ2015 diet plan: salad for breakfast …
Sausage, beer and ...
followed by sausage, beer and …
pizza for dinner :-)
pizza for dinner (yes we seem to be ‘falling off the wagon’ with our ‘no gluten’ rules as the day progressed lol!)






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