Transcription: 0311 - Sarah Belle Reid

Released: January 26,2020

Darwin: Today, I have the great pleasure of getting a chance to talk to somebody who I've actually bumped into occasionally. And I know this for a fact because, as I was looking through some old photos on my phone, I actually had a photo of her name tag from Synthplex, so I met her at Synthplex for sure. But she's a person who does the kind of music that I like being around. She performs in a way that is very exciting to me and I'm very happy to get a chance to talk to Sarah Belle Reid. Sarah, thank you so much for joining the podcast. I'm actually getting at you before you jump into the deep waters of NAMM, right?

Sarah Belle Reid: Yeah.

Darwin: I hope that you enjoy the unfettered gearfest. It's crazy.

Sarah: Yeah. Sctually, I haven't gone yet this year, so [I'm] getting ready mentally and physically.

Darwin: It's something else - if nothing else, you should make sure you wear your Fitbit because you do end up getting a lot of mileage stacked up. It's a nice motivator to say, "Okay, I did get those 21,000 steps that I was hoping to get." So we actually started the discussion about possibly having you on a podcast several months ago, because you put out a release in October called "Underneath and Sonder", on the pfMentum label. I actually got a chance to hear it and it's gorgeous. It's a challenging listen, but one that I really, really appreciated. Can you fill us in a little bit of what that album was about and what drove you to make that particular release?

Sarah: Yeah, sure. So Underneath and Sonder is the first release that I've ever done. And I feel like it was a long time coming. But then also not, I'm not sure. I had been performing for years and mostly performing these sort of long form, more or less improvised sets or spontaneous sets; and they would be like 40-45 minutes to an hour long, something like that. I had a lot of like nervousness about recording an album because I was always thinking if I do an album it needs to be - I don't know why I was thinking in this way, but I was thinking - it needs to be composed and repeatable in some certain more traditional way or something like that. So I was really resisting making an album.

And then finally a couple people would come up to me after sets and say, "Gotta just get into the studio and do that thing that you do on stage, but record it so that people can hear it when they're not able to come see you play live!" And that was a crazy idea that had never [come to] me before. So that was the approach that I ended up taking with the record - just to prepare in the same way that I would prepare for a live show and then go into the studio and play it down from top to toe, live. Like it's a performance, and just let it be this raw snapshot of that moment in time.

Darwin: That's really interesting because in one of the things that oftentimes separates recording work from live performance is the sense of risk, right? When you're in the studio, there's the risk of spending too much damn money. But in terms of the risk of laying a clam and having to live with it. I mean you can always just erase the take and just do it again. But I would say that in listening to this... You know, it's funny that you say that this is your first release, because I wouldn't have bet that - if for no other reason than I think that I must've been in a lot of places where you've performed. I'm not sure why it is that I feel like I have experienced your music a lot in the past. So it actually surprises me to hear that this is your first release. I have seen that you've been performing everywhere for a long time. And so I think it's interesting that this release represents, first of all, this idea of bringing your performative work could to release. But also I'm surprised that you haven't had the opportunity to do more recording. Is it that you didn't have the opportunity to do that? You just didn't want to do it?

Sarah: You know, I think it was maybe a combination of things. I really come from a background of performing as my main thing, and the whole world of recording and, to be quite honest, all of the technology and production - all of that is a lot newer to me than playing the trumpet and performing live. So I think I just wasn't really thinking in that way where there are definitely some people who are more studio musicians or they're thinking about recording as part of their creative process. I think it was a little bit of that. I also just didn't really realize that I could do it in some way. I, and that might sound really silly, but it wasn't until people were finally (and I'm so grateful for this) saying things like, "You should just do that, but record it. That counts." "That works as an album, improvise." "You can still be an improviser and have a recorded artifact."

Like for me that was in conflict for some reason. But, I don't know. It sounds silly; it's like you can't see it and then all of a sudden it's right there and you're like, "Ah, yeah, okay." But for some reason I just wasn't connecting those dots. So I'm not exactly sure now that the floodfates have opened though...

Darwin: Watch out

Sarah: much fun it can be to construct recorded materials as a different way of creating music.

Darwin: You kind of opened the door to the next part of the discussion I want to have, which is that your primary instrument is trumpet. You come at this as a trumpet player, but one who has embraced technology in a lot of different ways. And not only technology, like, "Oh, I have a computer rig and a microphone", but also technology in the way that you lget movement, you capture movement of your hands and stuff on different kinds of sensor systems. You actually have a sensor system built into the horn, right?

Sarah: I do, yeah. That's MIGSI.

Darwin: I already had forgotten what it was called, but it's a cute name. So I should have have been able to remember that. What exactly does MIGSI do?

Sarah: MIGSI is a cute name, but it's also a clever acronym I like to think anyway, which, stands for the Minimally Invasive Gesture Sensing Interface. So there's a bit of an academic thing nudged in there. That was probably the hardest part of making MIGSI - coming up with the name (as it often is). But anyway, MIGSI is a sensor based interface as you said, it's some hardware that attaches onto my trumpet. It has a bunch of different types of sensors in it that basically allow me to collect gestural information from my self and from the trumpet as I'm playing. And then I use that information, that data as controlled basically as control information or control data in the same way that someone would interact with a MIDI controller or some other external controller using their hands. Most commonly, I can do similar type things, but instead of using a MIDI controller, I'm using basically just my trumpet.

Darwin: The thing is people who are using controllers with MIDI rigs, they're actually controlling the sound producing tool at hand. So like pitchbend, it's like you adjust the pitch before the system generates it, right? Not the case necessarily with a trumpet. How do you map gestures to sound in a useful way when you actually have an instrument that's vibrating air - already making some noise?

Sarah: Yeah, that's a really good question. I mean that question is like the heart of this whole adventure trying to figure that out. When, when MIGSI was a baby, when I first started playing with MIGSI... I personify this.

This was an area where I really struggled because the mapping, the way that I was approaching mapping was very one-to-one. Like, I pushed down my valve and it, maybe, triggers a sound or it modulates something, it acts like a pitch bend or something like that. And very, very, very quickly you realize that when your your controller is also an instrument and it creates acoustic sound, you need to be able to balance those things - because if you aren't careful, you can overload yourself as a performer physically aand cognitively or emotionally. You can make yourself have to think about way too many things. So that playing the instrument itself, the trumpet, like the acoustic side, it has to fall away or it becomes secondary to the music-making.

And so there's this constant balance between using the data that's coming from the horn, but not using it in a way that I can't just play the trumpet the way that I normally would. So it started as these one-to-one mappings. And then what became evident is that it was a lot more useful to create more obfuscated relationships. So instead of having data immediately respond in the way that you might be used to if you're using a MIDI controller, embedding some delays into that relationship so that I do something and then - maybe not immediately, but in some moment in the future - then I hear a response. Then all of a sudden I've created this two-headed monster, this like trumpet and electronic bantering thing that happens, which is really fun to improvise with.

I'm also having the control information that comes from the trumpet go multiple places. Like one sensor can influence many things within the sound generation environment or the processing and stuff like that, which just creates more complex relationships that are often feeding back on themselves and allowing for unpredictability. If you've listened to my music, I'm definitely really motivated by chaotic, unpredictable sound worlds and stuff like, so I try to embed that into the sensor mapping as well. So I don't always know. Like, I'll do something and I'll know something in this world will change or my physical action is going to have an impact on X, Y, or Z. But I won't exactly know how that manifests until I'm hearing it for the first time.

Darwin: Sure. It's actually interesting to think about this issue of not wanting to overload yourself as a performer or prevent you from being able to approach the instrument in a way that is comfortable and musical for you. I would say that over the years I have seen a lot of different kinds of sensor-based performance tools and oftentimes you'll see someone put on like a sensor suit of some sort and then they can no longer play banjo because they have to worry about moving all of their limbs in a coordinated way and they lose the ability to enjoy that. What are the kind of gestures that this thing is paying attention to? Like if someone was watching you play, what would be the things that would represent the stuff that MIGSI is actually measuring and feeding into your system?

Sarah: So, there are sensors embedded into the valves. There are three valves on the trumpet and inside each one there's basically a little infrared emitter/detector that that looks up into the piston of the valve and can detect how far away it is, like how far up or down it is in the piston. So that's continuous data, but I also create different thresholds along that range of that sensors that can be used to for more momentary events or latching events and things like that. So there's that in the valves, and then wrapped around the trumpet itself, where your left hand holds onto the horn, there are pressure sensitive surfaces at the front and the back. So that measures hand tension of my left hand.

You know, for a trumpet player, you're holding the horn, but you have a lot of freedom with how you hold the horn. So that's actually a really, really useful part of the controller. And it doesn't directly impact the sound of the acoustic trumpet, whereas the valves are obviously inherently linked to the notes that come out. But the left hand is a little more independent, which is really nice, so you can balance that. What I was just talking about, the one-to-one control versus the more obfuscated control, you can balance those out between the hand sensors on the left hand and the valve sensors with the right. And then there's also underneath the trumpet; there's an accelerometer as well. So you're able to get X, Y, Z movement: roll, pitch and that stuff. And so if you do see me playing, you'll notice I do move around a lot and that is part of it.

Darwin: Okay. And, are you in any way attempting to detect pitch or any of that stuff, or are you really looking at gestures rather than musical signatures as the thing that you're capturing?

Sarah: There's nothing built into the design of MIGSI that is dedicated to pitch. It's something that I've started to do just out of curiosity, but my original goal was really to try to extract gestural information that was inherent to trumpet playing and just see if I could use it for some kind extra-musical information to augment the sound of the trumpet electronically, as opposed to giving myself... I know that pitch could fall into that category, but I was really just interested in the physical gestures that were involved in playing the horn.

Darwin: Okay. And, what is the system that the sensor data then feeds into [things]. How do you actually affect the sound of your playing or how do you generate sound based on that sensor information?

Sarah: So the maintenance software end of MIGSI is running in Max/MSP. I mean there's a bunch of different things. Once, once the data hits the computer, it can basically be used for anything at that point. I do sometimes also convert it into control voltage and use it to connect my trumpet with modular systems, and do that stuff, which is really fun. That's more recent. I'm still dipping my toe in that world. But the main software, the MIGSI app as we call it, is built in Max/MSP

Darwin: I see. That's great. Now given that one more question about MIGSI before we go further, how do you connect from the device to the computer? I mean, do you have some transatlantic cable connecting the two, or are do you have a wireless pack that it works with? How do you get that interconnection going?

Sarah: Yeah, so mixing is run on an Arduino. Tthe original MIGSI is built on an Arduino FIO, which I think at this point is a kind of out of production, but there's a lot of similar and improved versions of that. But the reason why we use the Ardwino FIO is because it was set up to have these little wireless transmitters attach onto them, which are called XBees or XB radios or ZigBee. There's a bunch of different names. And that's what we use. So basically, on the trumpet side, there's a little transmitter and then on my laptop side there's a little USB dongle that connects in that has a receiver. And so everything transmits that way.

Darwin: I'm going to want to come back and talk a little bit more about this - and especially related to your release, but before we go there... One of the things that I like talking to people about is their background. And in this case what we clearly have is somebody who has some real facility with the trumpet but also has an interest in computer music-based manipulation of that sound. You, or some group of people, obviously had had to dig into the electronics enough to pull all this stuff off. And quite frankly, the idea of whatever you have to do to a trumpet valve to put an infrared detector in there sounds to me like a trumpet builder's worst nightmare. So I'm curious, what is your background that gives you the freedom to explore all this stuff, to not worry about the convention of trumpet playing, and brings you to the point where you can be the artist that you are?

Sarah: Yeah, my background is actually very different from what I do now. I come from a classically-trained conservatory-style background, which I'm very grateful for it because I think it has given me a foundation that I've been able to really launch from as an improviser. You know, especially when I've started to work with electronics and my musical imagination has expanded to all of these new sound worlds. Being able to hear or imagine some interaction/sound and then have it, the facility to create it on the trumpet has been hugely rewarding. So I credit all of that to my formal classical training that I had growing up. Something that I always really liked to mention - because I think it's just important for folks to be aware of - is that I didn't actually start learning anything about technology, music tech or anything like that until I was doing my graduate studies.

So I was pretty late, I think. I don't know if that's late to the game or not, but I had never like seen a MIDI controller. I was really in a classical/orchestral bubble. I didn't know about anything. I didn't know about Ableton, like I really truly was playing trumpet and live music concert performance was really my whole world. So I came out to California to study at Cal Arts, and as I think the story goes for many, many people, Cal Arts was a place where I just was immediately dropped into the deep end of all kinds of things I had never heard of. And that's where I took my first coding class, which was in an audio programming language called Chuck. And that was my first introduction to anything computer science, anything music tech. And I didn't like it very much, but it did open me up to this world, and that's where I met Ryan Gaston, who has become a huge part of my life in many ways, but most relevant to this conversation.

He was the person that I really co-developed MIGSI with. So he's a modular synth player among many other things. And I saw him play at a concert and was like, "What in the world is this thing?" Because I had never even seen a modular synthesizer before. It's funny to think about that now, because I'm sitting in my studio surrounded by them. But yeah, so he was really friendly and open and wonderful, and I started learning about all of these things and within a couple of weeks I had gone from never hearing about these things to just feeling totally immersed in this new sound world. And it was really exciting. That's really what launched me into thinking about these different ways that I could integrate technology into my trumpet practice. I felt like I had found - not to sound cliche or anything - but I felt with those new instruments and sounds that I had really started to find my voice as an artist and it was really exciting. The momentum was just unbelievable from that point forward.

Darwin: Sure. That makes a lot of sense. Listening to your album, one of the things that I found really interesting was the extent to which there's a real blurring of the lines between what is processing and what is extended technique on the horn, right? So a lot of cases where you're like using, the blowing sound or your breath sound or even speaking through the horn or whatever as part of your interaction with the instrument. But at the same time, because of the way that it's presented, it could just as easily be a radio played through a modular or Max/MSP, mangling the vocal piece or or a variety of noise being processed through other means. I think it's really interesting how you assembled this really blurs those lines extensively, which implies to me is that almost regardless of the processing or regardless of the tool, there's a sound in your head that's coming out, right? And, you're going to use whatever tool is at hand in order to do that.

Sarah: Absolutely. I always tell people and that I'm most motivated by the sound. I'm not so interested... I mean I love the trumpet and I feel at this point in my life like it's just an extension of my body when I'm playing. But at the same time, there are times I play shows, [and] it's frequent where I don't play the trumpet just depending on what I'm inspired by in that particular moment.

There was another person... if I can tell another quick little story, I can try to make this brief. But around the same time when I was at Cal Arts, I'm getting really, really interested in technology for the first time. There were two people there who are legends in a slightly different part of the musical world. One is Wadada Leo Smith, who's an incredible trumpet player, improviser, composer, band leader. And the other is Charlie Haden, who's an amazing big jazz bass bassist and just legendary. Both of these people, they were toward the end of their time at Cal Arts. Unfortunately, Charlie passed away around the time that I was there and Wadada retired and to have an incredible resurgence of his touring career, which is amazing. But I had the opportunity to work with both of them, and they are both improvisers through a series of just amazing rehearsals and lessons and stuff. I really credit those experiences with them to my obsession with discovering all of these weird sounds and these unusual ways of playing the trumpet.

I was really encouraged by Charlie to like, forget about what you're supposed to do. Like don't worry about the changes, don't think about the right notes, just play from your heart, and let your voice be your voice. And that's all that really matters. And that's what his whole thing was at that point. It was really amazing to hear as a young student and then with what data we would sit in his office and try to make the "funniest" sounds we could on our trumpets for hours. And it was amazing. It was like, what if you put your lip in sideways and kind of mush things together and then, and then we would find beauty in these sounds that like to the initial listen would sound just like ridiculous bodily functions or whatever.

Darwin: It's kind of interesting to think about that though because that's a different perspective than I think a lot of people have, especially when they're approaching electronic computer-based music. Because first of all, if you come from a a typical instrumental background, there is this sense like, "Well it was nice that you were moving air like that, but put that away now and we're going to sit down in front of the laptop and get to and do some real work." Right? Or there's this sense of "Ooh, I want to make a new sound. I have to buy a new module or I need to buy a new synthesizer in order to make a new song." And what it sounds like to me is that the, the influence of these two people is very much like the things within you take whatever tool is at hand in and whatever you are comfortable with - whatever you feel musical with and use that as your voice.

Sarah: Yeah. I think that was really the thing that I learned from them. I was like, yeah, your voice is in [there], you write it all. Obviously you don't need a specific piece of gear or a module or an instrument to give you your voice. And I mean, that was such a huge thing for me. Cause I think a lot of people feel like they need to have the professional horn or whatever, the new model of this, or they're waiting for something to say, "Okay, you've leveled up, now you're ready to make music or whatever." But it's just that stuff's in you already. And, it's really just giving yourself permission and having the courage to just let it out. And I mean, it could be a tin can and a pile of sticks and it could be the most beautiful thing.

Darwin: So given that, then why modular, why not just say, "Hey, I'm gonna, get three or four guitar pedals, run my horn to it and really focus on that." Why would you go the extra mile of saying the modular or Max/MSP or for that matter MIGSI - what's drawing you in that direction?

Sarah: Yeah. You know, interestingly enough, I think in retrospect I realize this may be funny, but at the time that I was learning about technology, I had the idea to create MIGSI. That's all I had, I didn't know about guitar pedals. I didn't know that. Like I didn't actually know that you could like run a microphone into Ableton and put full effects on - I didn't know any of that. It's really weird. I mean, it's kinda cool because it meant that I was like hyper-focused on the things I was doing. But now that I've seen beyond the practice room, the world is so huge. I think that's part of the reason why I'm so hungry and curious to just learn so much.

Because I've realized there's so much I didn't know about - but yeah, I didn't know about those things. And so I was reading through the proceedings archive for NIME, the New Interfaces for Musical Expression conference. And I came across a paper where they had been working on an optical sensing system for valves on a trumpet. So I read that, I was so into it, I brought it into my teacher. I'm like, "I'm gonna extend this, this is what I'm going to do. I'm going to figure out how to way a way to merge these worlds together but make it more kind of comprehensive!" Because they were just talking about the valves and that's how MIGSI started. It was inspired by that team of researchers at, I think, the University of Victoria in British Columbia.

And it was just, I did MIGSI first, I think, because it was the first thing I stumbled across. It was the first thing I thought of doing and so I didn't really have the chance to [think that] this is really intimidating and hard because it's all I all I knew about. And then later on I learned through doing that I learned about Max and then modular synthesis was always on the periphery, but I didn't really start getting into that even until later. Just step by step.

Darwin: Well now the other thing I'd say, and this is going to feel like a funny parallel initially, but hopefully it'll make sense. One of the things I find is that sometimes when I talk to people who had a very cloistered life - in the traditional sense, whether because of religious stuff in their family or their location or whatever - they didn't experience a lot of music. Later on, when all of a sudden they have the opportunity to get Spotify and hear all the music, what they find is they can find everything to be wonderful because it's all new. I wonder if you don't actually find yourself in a similar position, which is that you don't necessarily have to feel jaded about like, "Oh, that's just a distortion pedal. I think a TD-9 would be much more, blah, blah, blah." You know, you're able to just go beyond that because in a way it's all still relatively novel, right?

Sarah: Yeah, it is. I mean, I think it's interesting. Listening to you say that was funny because I guess I definitely didn't have a sheltered upbringing. I was really exposed. I was deeply immersed in music and art. It's just that it was a very focused area of that world. And I guess I think everyone maybe has their area that they know more about or whatever. For me it just happened to be contemporary classical music and orchestral literature and stuff like that. But yeah, I think you're right in a way. I think just sound is exciting to me. Music is exciting. Performance is exciting. I think, when I first discovered a delay - oh my God, it's a simple thing. It's a delay. People are like, "Oh yeah, it's a delay." But I wrote so much music with nothing but a delay.

Darwin: That's exactly what I was talking about. [There are] a lot of people like me who are just like, "Well, I can't use just a delay. That's just not there." I have to have 17 other things before it's complex enough to be valid. And I think by not necessarily being burdened by that kind of feeling, actually I still put you in a very creatively interesting place. I mean assuming, and this is where I think actually the background in contemporary and classical music serves you well, because going through that process had to really mature your musical ear, the way that you approach performance. So it can't be like you get a delay pedal and you play "Mary Had A Little Lamb" and you're giddy because you heard a delayed sound, right? There's still a maturity that comes from the years and years and years of practice and performance and playing and all that stuff that you still bring into play. Now this just adds a little tweak to your technique and that's gotta be a really interesting approach that not a lot of people are going to be able to experience.

Sarah: I think I do experience a lot on the trumpet side of things because of all of my years of training, there's always this thing in the back of my mind, it's like, "Oh, if you're going to play trumpet, you gotta do this, you gotta do that, you gotta add this in. You got to show that technique off." And so I think that that conversation, that like inner struggle or whatever, is present with a lot of people - it just manifests in different ways. So for me, something that I got from these early conversations with Charlie and with Wadada and many other people is just the idea that beautiful, thought-provoking, compelling music doesn't have to be hard. It doesn't have to be virtuosic in order to be like heart-wrenchingly important to someone who's listening.

And that has been harder for me to really trust because I come from a background where trumpet, it's leaps and jumps and intricate things. But sometimes now, like I'll go on stage and I'll play one note or something, but I have a really strong intention behind why I'm doing that, why I'm leaving the silence I'm leaving around it and or not or whatever it might be. So I think that's really the most important thing I like to think about. And it goes to the same with the electronics, the technology stuff. It's like, it's amazing what you can do with one one module, depending on what it is. But it's amazing.

Darwin: So one of the things I'm curious about in terms of your performing life is sort of the expectation that someone in the audience might have when they see a trumpet on stage. The trumpet brings a lot of tradition with it, whether it's Maynard Ferguson screaming away or the really crisp classical trumpet sound. I mean, these things have a history that people latch onto. And so when they see a trumpet player, they immediately contract their minds down into a couple of specific things - more than likely none of which you are going to fulfill in the course of your performing. Besides the fact that that it's an instrument that you have a lot of facility on and you're comfortable with, do you ever feel like the trumpet itself is problematic? Or does it actually open a lot of doors because it's a novel way to produce sound?

Sarah: I don't think that I've ever felt that it's problematic. I mean, I have had people get angry - or not angry but upset - that I didn't play the trumpet in a certain way during a set that has happened. Like some people will come up to me afterwards and be like, "Why did you have a trumpet in your hands when you didn't play a fanfare?" It doesn't make any sense but people do. To your point, they get really attached to what they think a thing is for, and how they think that things should be used. The trumpet to me is just such a big part of my life at this point that I don't really think of it as like a trumpet with all of the stuff that comes with it.

It's just an extension of my breath and my body and it's kinda like just a really weird, bendy amplifier for my voice. You know, I think I've never really thought of it as being problematic. I have encountered some funny reactions, but for the most part the reactions are positive. Like people are saying, "Whoa, I've never seen a trumpet used in that way" or "I never knew that you could combine..." And so that's great because, you know, that's awesome if I can expand someone's sonic world or imagination a little bit. In the same way that I feel like my trajectory has just been like moment after moment with my musical imagination being blown wide open. Like, "Whoa, Whoa, Oh my God, if I can do that a little bit for a song, that's so cool!", I would call that a good thing.

Darwin: Sure. Yeah. As you're getting more into things like modular and stuff like that, are you finding yourself focusing on that or focusing on other kinds of controllers rather than rather than the trumpet? Or does the trumpet still feel like your primary entree into generating music?

Sarah: I think I go through like waves or something where I'll get really interested in a new... If I'm doing a project that's more modular-focused or something like that, then I'll really get immersed in that world. But still, I think that I think first in trumpet. I guess it's like when you're bilingual, I have heard people say that you always think first in one language even though you're translating into another or something. I think trumpet's my first, like where my musical heart begins, especially cause lately I've been getting my hands on some amazing new types of trumpets. Like I have this quarter-tone double bell trumpet now that I just recently got and a quarter-tone flugelhorn. And so, to me, my trumpet world is being blown wide open just in the same way as my technology side. But that being said, I'm also exploring some new controllers and not to replace MIGSI, but just to accompany... you know, MIGSI was built for a three valve trumpet. And so now that I'm playing all these like weird kind of Frankenstein horns with four valves and two bells - MIGSI, he doesn't fit on them. So in the meantime, before I make a new MIGSI for those horns, I'm experimenting with new controllers and other ways to like integrate those practices together.

Darwin: Very interesting. Well, unfortunately our time is almost up, but before I let you go, I'm wondering, what's in the near term future. Do you have any more releases coming out? What's your performance schedule look like. And for people who want to get a chance to see you perform, what's the best way for them to do that?

Sarah: The biggest project that I'm working on at the moment is a live... it will be a recording as well down the line, but probably not for a while. It's a live performance piece that I'm referring to as like a electroacoustic, experimental, chamber opera... the hodgepodge with fixed media... question mark, question mark.

Darwin: That's a great design statement.

Sarah: Thank you. I think that it really sums up what the spirit of the piece!

I'm wrapping up my doctoral work right now and a lot of my research has been in exploring the phenomenology of time and how we can construct different temporalities and perceptions of time specifically in instrument music - musical instrument design. So like creating systems and data mapping strategies and musical instruments that think about time or manipulate time in some way. So this whole piece is coming out of that, and we're performing it only once in LA so far, and it's actually going to be at Cal Arts on March 25th of this year, 2020. And it'll be free and a very crazy thing. There's an amazing ensemble of people participating electronics and Daxophone and voice and all kinds of flutes and a million trumpets and MIGSI. So yeah, that's my next big project - March 25th - and then hopefully my goal is to turn that into a record as well at some point and release that. But things take some time.

Darwin: Right. Well that's really fantastic. And for people who want to check out your work online, where would you best have them go?

Sarah: My website is, also is a great place for extra tutorials and stuff like that. Yeah. And all across the internet. Just @sarahbellereid, so I keep it simple.

Darwin: All right, fantastic. So I want to thank you so much for taking the time to have this discussion. It was great to get to learn more about your, your process and particularly your thoughts behind how you approach this stuff. I felt like I was super focused on talking about trumpet stuff, but maybe I suffer as much as anybody from this idea of trumpet having to be this one thing. And the fact that you're pushing the envelope in such a cool way is really encouraging. Thank you so much for spending the time to talk about that.

Sarah: Thank you for, yeah. Thanks for all your thoughtful questions.

Copyright 2020 by Darwin Grosse. All right reserved.