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sonomorphology and transdimensional perception machines powered by intent

Experiments in using sonic forms to instantiate hyperspace architecture. Read More

How to design a wireless 3d printed digital musical interface

A friend asked me if I could give her some pointers on how to start designing a 3d printed digital musical interface. realizing that the answer would be more than a few paragraphs I decided to write a blog post on the topic, for posterity. Read More

What would CYBORG mean if the word were invented today?

Part 1 of 3 Read More

Bitcoin, Art and Thermodynamics

The first of a series of notes and thoughts on the evolution of self realization through sonic pattern creation and feedback.(2 of 3) Read More

A 21st Century Musicians Guide to Busking-Free Ebook

Ever thought about performing in public with electronic gear? I wrote an ebook on the subject which is available for free download. click this link and happy busking! Read More


A playlist of all the TED and TEDx talks Ive done over the last few years Read More

Through the looking glass...
"I am a guy i thought up when i was a kid..."

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Sonic Fractal Matrix-Mystery school:What, why, how, where and when

In ancient Egypt, all of the knowledge of the ancient world was taught and learned at the Mystery schools. the "mystery" was the wholistic integration of the measurable and the immeasurable into a cohesive framework. science, art, philosophy,music, math, religion, were all part of a well structured construction of mind.

I chose the term "mystery school" very specifically for these references. it is not the goal of this project to create another makerspace or become a fulltime teacher in the currently accepted definition of the word, but to share a very interesting revelation about the nature of the "now" we find ourselves embedded in. we have inherited the exponential now. this NOW is a fast evolving, global organism. this NOW has a technological nervous system through which flows oceans of ideas and memes which can choose to remain intangible or can corporealize into forms that simply didnt exist 10 years ago. this NOW encompasses a historical database that itself is a lifeform which is currently cutting its own umbilical connection to time and seeking to correct itself for its own valditiy and longevity.

no one is in control.

the change we are experiencing is so fast and so resonant that even the most powerful entities within the human species can only watch or swim but no one is going to build a damn which can hold it back or control it. welcome to "the" future.

of course there is no such thing as "the" future. the future doesnt exist in that way. futures are models created by quantum minds. predictions intermingling with action and intent. the ability to create futures is our birthright. collections of resonant futures are what create "the" future. this capability gets misused. groupings of people give away their birthright and begin to believe that "the" future is some monolithic moment that we are all collectively barreling toward, because the movies or the news told them so and this is a problem. we need as many futures as possible so we can "surf" them and construct the vibrant sustainable scenarios neccessary for the unfoldment of the next (st)age.

over the last 4 years, the combination of readily available internet access, open source information sharing, software and hardware, and 3d printing has allowed me to do and create things i had no concept of when i began the project to create "the most amazing live music performance system ever!", as was the title of my first crowdfunding campaign. with the tools i have access to and/or have created, i can investigate any topic i want and then design and create models based on what i studied. this allows for a new kind of dense multidimensional model learning and expression. if i, for instance, get into robotics, i have the tools to design, print, program any kind of robot i want. or, say, the exo-footware. spend time studying biomechanics online, make some sketches, print some test pieces then print out wearable footware (although that process took about 2 years total).

there is almost nothing i can not do with this cheap/free-ish toolchain. open source tools are evolving so fast that there is something new to interact with almost everyday. and when that new thing pops up, it can be interacted with using the tools and techniques used to build the exo-voice system. the exo-voice is a node in a network of individuals using compatible versions of the Beatjazz system. this network is called a Sonic Fractal Matrix. the exo-voice itself is a tool for programming ones self using sound patterns called sonomorphs. a sonomorph is similar to music but less for entertainment and more for self-neuromodulation. why? because spoken language isnt granular enough to form the thought patterns neccessay to interact with the next age. language will have to evolve to be relevant. programming environments express this. games and VR express this. spoken language could be seen as the nursery rhyme precursors of the languages that are emerging right now. (i believe spoken language will sound more like rap music/poetry in the next age, but that is another blog post). psycho-cymatic, sono-synaptic reconfiguration will allow the mind to form patterns neccessary to interact with and mold the next age.

so as you can perceive from the above paragraphs, there is a chunky stew of theory, science, art, marinating in an esoteric broth. the idea of the mystery school is to create to possibilty space that births the sonic fractal matrix. the things that must be grasped are:

  • the ability to vision: lucid dreaming and day dreaming as design modalities.
  • basic sketching and mindmapping
  • basic CAD design
  • basic electronics
  • programming with pure data
  • 3d printing
  • basic music theory
  • performance (sonomorph theory and gestural dynamics)

from these basics, combined with community interaction, comes a holographic idea womb. the ability to program, first in ones mind(dreaming, mindmapping sketching), then the form (CAD), the functions (electronics), the protocols (pure data), then the interaction (performance), creates an interdependent multidimensional ideaform that mutates and evolves "as" you do until it eventually evolves you itself. there are many other vectors to be explored such as robotics and brain machine interfacing but for now, the above listed items form the basic toolchain.

currently i have enough components to build 2 more reprap 3d printers. i will buy more as i attract more funds. one one set will be a perpetual build up/tear down reprap, specifically for learning. the other will be built and kept assembled to make parts for more printers.

I am looking for self-confident self starters to learn the entire concept.but note; i dont care about your non sonic fractal matrix obligations. i only care about the strong propagation of this idea. i want people who want to know this and want to use what they learn to evolve themselves. once they learn all the stages, they can do with it what they want. and as they learn they must also teach. in this way the school becomes fractal and the idea can proliferate frictionlessly. i goal is 1-3 months commitment to know the basics of this model.


pyscho-cymatic, sono-synaptic, reconfiguration.

pyscho-cymatic is a word that resonated with me once i read it recently in @thomas stanley excellent book "the execution of sun ra", a fly on the wall recounting of sun ra's methodologies and mental constructions. "cymatics" are the study of how sound has the ability to propagate complex geometric form in matter, but most visibly on the surface of water. "psycho"-cymatics, in my perception, is that same phenomena, but also propagated through perception, which, i posit, allows it to be interpreted as a kind of thought-form, which leads to...

Sono-synaptic. i just made this one up. if sound can propagate through our mostly water based body to produce cymatic (geometric) patterns, which influence thoughts, then it would stand to reason that those thoughts would generate synaptic connections...memories. memories that are the transduction of ordered sonic patterns into synaptic expression without conversion into spoken language.

recent neurological research ive been obsessed with has confirmed that the brain is vastly more complex than is neccessary to enable spoken language. so much so that spoken languages could be thought of as sort of simplified music. so if you consider how much of our perception of reality is built on this simplified music, then use ordered sound to interact with this perception matrix to construct thoughts and memories created geometrically through cymatic propagation, a full reconfiguration of mind, brain and reality is inevitable.

in other words, ordered evolving sonic patterns acting on the brain should/would/may cause the brain to form memories with no verbal component by directly inducing synaptic morphosis, thereby reconfiguring said brain and the reality it projects.

i just needed to see that in written form. i feel like i at least have a vague idea where this might be headed now. see ya tomorrow at the Maker Faire Detroit​ (2pm), and Sigi Fest presented by AFROTOPIA​ at 4pm for a workshop/talk and 9pm for a more psycho-cymatic conversation ;-)


2 months of wearing exo-footware; notes and observations

Picture 390I felt that now was a good time for an update on the exo-footware. in the midst tweaking software and hardware for the exo-voice, a few out of town gigs and a glorious detroit summer-all of which will recieve their own posts-Ive been wearing the "exo-feet" daily. i havent worn a shoe since late april. i promised myself that id never buy shoes again and i plan to keep that promise.  i figured that this is a good time to report on how theory matches up to experience.

The Exo-foot-summary

Picture 424As a summary, I have been working on a shoe-replacement footware design for a couple of years, parallel to my other projects, meaning mostly drawings and lucid dreaming. i wanted to investigate a footware system that was biomechanically compliant while also allowing for basic foot protection on one end and foot expression on the other.  the exo-foot is the result, or rather is the beta iteration of an evolving expression trajectory.  rather than designing with soft materials, i designed it to be mechanical over flexible and to allow for full foot motion as i understood it to be when i created it.  the exo-foot is fully 3d printed with industrial grade nylon and the flexible parts are made of a rubber-like material called ninja-flex.

Picture 434from the first moment i put them on both feet (i wore the prototype on the left foot for a few weeks before i created the right foot) i recognized that i wanted to walk around on my tiptoes more. i knew this would happen.  they were kind of designed for this modality.  but i found myself naturally inhabiting this style of walking increasingly after week one.  it seemed strange at first until i realized that, being an avid cyclist, i cycled with them from the first day i started wearing them which wasnt easy as the forefoot is only connected to the rear of the foot by way of a hinge. Picture 431 this made my normally sure footed cycle technique, wobbly, even slipping off the pedal a couple of times.  after a week of cycling and not wanting to "eat it" (it= the road), my ankles and forefoot got used to this new modality and cycling technique normalized but along with that normalization came more forefoot and calf strength and the desire to stand on my forefoot as a regular thing.  its weird...i will just be standing in a line at the grocery or walking in the grass and notice that ive been walking on my forefoot exclusively for a significant amount of time without fatigue. strange and interesting...


the side effect of this has been greater balance during performances.  realized a few weeks ago that i play different stuff on my tiptoes than i do flatfooted, whether i am wearing the exo footware or barefoot.  in the last week or so i am finding it easier to stand on one forefoot with the other off the ground, for whatever expressive reason.  this is really interesting from a performative point of view because it alludes to an emergent new kinesthetic vector that i've not investigated before.  although this is a topic of a separate blog post, my past few recent performance outtings have mutated significantly. as the fractal engine of the exo-voice becomes more and more refined-ie, creating the sound i am about to play from a simple starting point with many parallel directions i can take that overlap efficiently to create any sound concept i want, quickly and performatively-the more intimate the body expression becomes. there is a feeling of constructing a hyperdimensional form within the stereo field, that is tangible, intoxicatingly so. the concept of music as i knew it not long ago, has been shed, or rather molted, and in its place is something more archaic, pure and primal.

and the body modulates within the field of influence of this form. gone is the "stand and play" modality and in its place is bodily contortion and submission to a powerful psycho-cymatic construct that requires nothing less than a body that wants to step into and through the intangible and to become the form itself, while helping to birth and perpetuate said form and the increased strength of the part of the body that touches the ground, has influenced this capability. that, and the increase in foot width that comes from being unbound from shoes for 2 months.


Picture 433my feet have become wider and my toes spread more than i can remember them ever having been.  but all is not as simple as it seems.  with all of this change in foot morphology, there is also an increase in aches in the foot.  every morning, recently, the first few steps are painful. my feet must stretch for a few minutes before i can begin my normal routine.  my left foot more than my right, because, i believe, i wore the left foot longer than my right.  its not excruciating or sharp...its more like they still arent used to the range of motion they are having to come to terms with. 

Picture 439there is also pain on the sides of the forefoot where the rotation joint is.  this area has been particularly "conversational" within the realm of biomechanical feedback. the design is surprisingly good at not falling apart.

 Picture 432there is a solid hinged piece and a flexible rubber like piece that both act to "pull in" those edges, while the foot itself pushes outward. it is a self tensioning system that is very good at not bending too far in either direction. but this strength of design is a pain because it doesnt "give" as much as i would like.  this design squeezes the foot too much in that area and is responsible for significant foot ache. i have experimented with widening the rubber tensioner, which has helped a bit, but it really needs to be tweaked significantly to widen that area by about 4-7mm.  that would also accomodate the widening of my feet, which these were not designed to accomodate. in addition, the flatness of the design is a mistake.  the pinkytoe side of the foot should be slightly lower (2-4mm) than the bigtoe/arch side. it is very hard to roll from the heel to the forefoot because the design makes my feet want to make this motion down the middle of the foot, placing too much weight onto the arch area.  this is an easy fix but also a crucial one.

Picture 438the midfoot also needs a redesign.  the heel to midfoot section must be tweaked to rotate at th heel. currently the heel/midfoot bumps into the foot at the hinge when walking. its not a deal breaker but it can be improved.  also the hinge itself, which hinges the forefoot to the rear of the design(y-axis, if you will), needs an x-axis in the middle of it because i have found that the foot has much more flexibility than i accounted for in this design.  easy mod.

ankle/rear foot

Picture 437the rear section is interesting in different ways. the ankle brace is wonderful for short strolls but for all day walking, which i did for a week a couple of weeks ago, without my bike, becomes excruciating. it eats into tht bend area perfect. it'd actually be a pretty perfect torture device that slowly drives the wearer mad. Picture 429 in the rear of the design the v-shaped recess hurt until it calloused that are of the foot. and the achilles brace was a tiny bit too narrow and chewed its way into that area until it developed thicker skin as well.  in fact, weeks 2 and 3 were reserved for rubbing pain, healing and callouses, after which they became more interesting owing to their strength increasing tendencies, now buffered by thicker skin in the affected areas.

real world responses to the design

so, as for the responses to them out in the world, i must say that although i knew they would get a bit of attention i wasnt ready for how quickly people noticed them.  people instantly peep that these arent normal shoes.  they've been called "robot-feet" a number of times and my favorite was a woman who assumed they were "biking sandals", which isnt strictly wrong.  on a recent trip to do a workshop, i left my normal shoes, which i had not worn since beginning to wear these, at home and wore them to the airport and through airport security.  i didnt know how they would act about them but the responses i got ranged from not even noticing, to curiosity ending in "cool shoes!".  a complete non-issue going though airport security :-)

what is most interesting is the conversations they start. when i explain that they are 3d printed it is as if 3d printing is exonerated from some place of irrelevance in their minds and instantly into the realm of "almost useful", which is kind of the point.  a musical prosthesis is a device for an especially nerdy musician, but 3d printed "shoes" are instantly something relatable.  it allowed a conversation about open source ideals to be less about lofty abstractions and more grounded in the day to day. Picture 427

The future

right now, this iteration is good enough for the time being.  i have too much to do with campaign fulfillment and upcoming teaching commitments ala sonic fractal matrix school ;-) to fuck with this too much right now.  it works and works surprisingly well.  my feet have adjusted to them quite well and they seem to be more durable than i originally believed they would be, but they arent perfect and this is only the first iteration.  i will create the midfoot rotation first and redesign the heel to rotate freely as well, when i do decide to jump back into it.  in addition, i want to iterate the toe area to be more intimately expressive and make the entire design more thin and pliable which will allow me to think more modularly as we descend into winter, when i think i might have to begin to think about shells and modules conducive with inclimate (cold, slippery and wet) weather.  maybe some fingerprint like ridges as well, to aid in scanning the ground better. 

sensors and lights can be added at any time. ergonomics are much more crucial.

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