SOUND: composition, installations, performance, releases

No Input Software System (Cybernetic Improvisation)


"West of the Solar Spectrum" released on Just Listening - Ireland Calling. 3 December 2011.


ISSTC 2011, Ormston building, 9-10 Patrick Street, Limerick, Ireland. 11 August 2011.

Just Listen, Limerick School of Art & Design (LSAD), Clare St., Ireland. 30 April 2011.

Valentine's Day gig, Raggle Taggle, Limerick, Ireland. 13 February 2011.


I am fascinated by feedback and particularly enigmatic feedback, that which occurs with no apparent source material. The "no source" mixing desk configurations of Toshimaru Nakamura rely on the inherent noise in an electrical circuit to generate sound. Is it possible to do the same in the "clean" digital domain? What does this say about how we encounter and frame analogue versus digital sound?

Using Reaktor, I built the No Input Software System (NISE), with which I could perform cybernetic improvisations, the computer being my unpredictable reactive partner.

The first performance was opening for Campbell Kneale on Valentine's Day (documentation).

The second performance was at Just Listen, a showcase of Irish talent organised by the National Sculpture Factory (Cork). Curators from USA, Switzerland, UK, and Slovenia were invited to attend and listen.

When my system was initialised nothing audible happened... for five minutes. Oh the vagaries of experimental music! After powering up again, the sounds documented on the CD Just Listening - Ireland Calling as "West of the Solar Spectrum" issued forth. You can read my appreciation of this compilation, complete with insights into my own work, on my blog.

A third performance occurred at the inaugural ISSTA Convocation 2011.

This work is still in my repertoire, since the results are still quite unpredictable.


The paper "Creating an Autopoietic Improvisation Environment Using Modular Synthesis" describes these techniques.

The album Avoidance Strategies is a compilation of my experiments with NISE.