Kurt James Werner (@ CCRMA)

researcher, composer, &c.

Kurt James Werner is a Ph.D. candidate in Computer-Based Music Theory and Acoustics (CBMTA) @ Stanford University's Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA, pronounced “karma”) and is active as a researcher and writer, composer of electro-acoustic/acousmatic (&c.) music, author of digital signal processing code & compositional algorithms (see: Grani+, boots&cats&&&, &c.), & circuit-bender. His research focuses on theoretical aspects of wave digital filters, computer modeling of circuit-bent instruments, & the history of music technology.

His Ph.D. dissertation (anticipated: 2016), tentatively titled “Like an 808: Circuit Models and Analog Musicology of the TR-808, including Advances in Wave Digital Filter Theory,” is aimed at recovering a holistic history of a very important analog drum machine, the Roland TR-808. By drawing out conceptual antecedents to its voice circuitry, situating it as an important element of hacking and circuit bending traditions, & advancing the technical state of the art of circuit modeling techniques, this work both comments on and contributes technical tools to a long chain of percussive mimicry.

His music references elements of generative composition, breakbeat, chiptunes, musique concrète, circuit bending, & (granular & otherwise) synthesis, in juxtaposition & superimposition, directly & indirectly. He holds a Bachelor of Science in General Engineering (w/ a secondary field in Acoustics) & a Bachelor of Music in Composition/Theory from UIUC (the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign).

schism method cover

upcoming concerts, presentations, &c.

Wave Digital Filter Tutorial—Part I
@ CCRMA DSP Seminar [11 January 2016]

↳ K. J. Werner

▸ Wave Digital Filter Tutorial—Part II
@ CCRMA DSP Seminar [25 January 2016]

↳ K. J. Werner

research interests

wave digital filters / physical modeling

computer modeling of circuit-bent instruments

history of music technology

experimental audio and visual codecs

writing (conference papers, &c.)

▸ Wave Digital Filter Adaptors for Arbitrary Topologies and Multiport Linear Elements

@ Int. Conf. Digital Audio Effects (DAFx-15), Trondheim, Norway [30 Nov. – 3 Dec. 2015]

↳ K. J. Werner, J. O. Smith, J. S. Abel

▸ Resolving Wave Digital Filters with Multiple/Multiport Nonlinearities

@ Int. Conf. Digital Audio Effects (DAFx-15), Trondheim, Norway [30 Nov. – 3 Dec. 2015]

↳ K. J. Werner, V. Nangia, J. O. Smith, J. S. Abel

▸ Design Principles for Lumped Model Discretisation Using Möbius Transforms

@ Int. Conf. Digital Audio Effects (DAFx-15), Trondheim, Norway [30 Nov. – 3 Dec. 2015]

F. Germain and K. J. Werner

▸ Distortion and Pitch Processing Using a Modal Reverberator Architecture

@ Int. Conf. Digital Audio Effects (DAFx-15), Trondheim, Norway [30 Nov. – 3 Dec. 2015]

↳ J. S. Abel and K. J. Werner

▸ Digitizing the Ibanez Weeping Demon Wah Pedal

@ Int. Conf. Digital Audio Effects (DAFx-15), Trondheim, Norway [30 Nov. – 3 Dec. 2015]

↳ C. Gnegy and K. J. Werner (runner up for best paper)

The Roland TR-808 and the Tale of the Marching Anteaters

@ Ethnomusicology Review (Sounding Board) [29 Nov. 2015]

↳ K. J. Werner (invited contribution)

▸ An Improved and Generalized Diode Clipper Model for Wave Digital Filters

@ 139th Conv. Audio Engineering Society (AES), New York, NY [29 Oct. – 1 Nov. 2015]

↳ K. J. Werner, V. Nangia, A. Bernardini, J. O. Smith III, A. Sarti

▸ A General and Explicit Formulation for Wave Digital Filters with Multiple/Multiport Nonlinearities and Complicated Topologies

@ IEEE Work. Appl. Sig. Proc. Audio Acoust. (WASPAA), New Paltz, NY [18–21 Oct. 2015]

↳ K. J. Werner, V. Nangia, J. O. Smith III, J. S. Abel (awarded best student paper)

▸ the XQIFFT: Increasing the Accuracy of Quadratic Interpolation of Spectral Peaks via Exponential Magnitude Spectrum Weighting

@ International Computer Music Conference (ICMC), Denton, TX [25 Sept. – 1 Oct. 2015]

↳ K. J. Werner

▸ Modeling a Class of Multi-Port NonLinearities in Wave Digital Structures

@ European Signal Process. Conf. (EUSIPCO), Nice, France [31 Aug. – 4 Sept. 2015]

↳ A. Bernardini, K. J. Werner, A. Sarti, J. O. Smith

▸ An Energetic Interpretation of Nonlinear Wave Digital Filter Lookup Table Error

@ IEEE Int. Symp. Signals Circuits Systems (ISSCS), Iași, Romania [9–10 July 2015]

↳ K. J. Werner and J. O. Smith III (invited paper)

▸ Multi-Port NonLinearities in Wave Digital Structures

@ IEEE Int. Symp. Signals Circuits Systems (ISSCS), Iași, Romania [9–10 July 2015]

↳ A. Bernardini, K. J. Werner, A. Sarti, J. O. Smith III

▸ More Cowbell: a Physically-Informed, Circuit-Bendable, Digital Model of the TR-808 Cowbell

@ 137th Conv. Audio Engineering Society (AES), Los Angeles, CA [9–12 Oct. 2014]

↳ K. J. Werner, J. S. Abel, J. O. Smith III

▸ The TR-808 Cymbal: a Physically-Informed, Circuit-Bendable, Digital Model

@ 40th ICMC / 11th SMC Conf., Athens, Greece [14–20 Sept. 2014]

↳ K. J. Werner, J. S. Abel, J. O. Smith III

▸ A Physically-Informed, Circuit-Bendable, Digital Model of the Roland TR-808 Bass Drum Circuit

@ Int. Conference Digital Audio Effects (DAFx-14), Erlangen, Germany [1–5 Sept. 2014]

↳ K. J. Werner, J. S. Abel, J. O. Smith III

▸ Bit Bending: an Introduction

@ Int. Conference Digital Audio Effects (DAFx-13), Maynooth, Ireland [2–5 Sept. 2013]

↳ K. J. Werner and M. Sanganeria

▸ Grain Proc: a Real-Time Granular Synthesis Interface for Live Performance

@ Int. Conf. New Interfaces for Musical Expression, Daejeon, Korea [27–30 May. 2013]

↳ M. Sanganeria and K. J. Werner

(unpublished) conference papers

▸ Hybrid-Wave Wave Digital Filters and a Family of Wave Converters

↳ K. J. Werner

selected recent talks, &c.

▸ Recent Progress in Wave Digital Audio Effects

@ Int. Conf. Digital Audio Effects (DAFx-15), Trondheim, Norway [30 Nov. – 3 Dec. 2015]

J. O. Smith and K. J. Werner (invited keynote talk)

▸ Tutorial on Wave Digital Filters

@ Google, Mountain View, CA [20 Nov. 2015]

↳ K. J. Werner and V. Nangia (invited talk)

▸ Recent Developments in Signal Processing for Audio and Music

@ EURASIP Int. Work. Recent Trends Sig. Process. (RTSP), Cluj, Romania [6–7 July 2015]

↳ J. O. Smith III and K. J. Werner (invited plenary talk)

▸ Wave-Digital Modeling of Hacked Tube Screamer Circuits: Generalizing and Improving the Diode Model

@ CCRMA Research Colloquium, Stanford, CA [25 Feb. 2015]

↳ K. J. Werner and V. Nangia

▸ Three Models of Circuit-Bent TR-808 Voices: the Bass Drum, Cymbal, and Cowbell

@ Triple CCRMAlite Science Showcase, Stanford, CA [26–27 October 2014]

↳ K. J. Werner, J. S. Abel, J. O. Smith III

▸ A Modal Architecture for Artificial Reverberation with Application to Room Acoustics Modeling

@ 137th Conv. Audio Engingeering Society (AES), Los Angeles, CA [9–12 Oct. 2014]

↳ J. S. Abel, S. A. Coffin, K. S. Spratt (presented paper)

The TR-808 Drum Machine and its Emulations
@ Bone Flute To Auto-Tune
University of California, Berkeley [24–26 April 2014]

Roland introduced the TR-808 Rhythm Composer in 1980. Though it represented a leap forward in analog drum machine technology (both for its programmability and the quality of its voice design), it was released just as interest in digital sample-based drum machines (such as the Linn LM-1 and the Oberheim DMX) was taking off. Reception and sales were lukewarm, and “the 808″ found only limited use in its intended purpose – the creation of studio demos. Although Roland discontinued the 808 in 1984, it soon found new use (via the bargain bins) as an affordable source of beats for early hip hop and techno musicians.

Today, the 808 remains ubiquitous in many forms of electronic dance music and pop music, as a source of musical material and frequent lyrical reference (see Kanye West’s “808s & Heartbreak”, Ke$ha’s “Your Love Is My Drug”, & many others). Ironically, an instrument once prized largely for its cheapness has become an increasingly expensive commodity. Reacting to this trend, many have emulated the 808, in both software and hardware regimes.

Software emulations of the 808 range from early software samplers that reproduced the interface of the 808 (Propellorhead’s ReBirth RB-338), to signal-model imitations (Tactile Sounds’ TS-808, &c.), to modern physics-based simulations of the actual circuitry of the 808 (the D16 Group’s Nepheton, &c.). Hardware emulations of the 808 range in scope from single voices (see Eric Archer’s work, the XX808 series by TipTop Audio, &c.) to complete clones (AcidLab’s Miami, e-licktronic‘s Yocto, Christian Hartig’s TR-8060, &c.). Interest in hardware and software emulations reaches across borders, connecting experts and hackers, corporations and hobbyists, engineers and producers.

With Kevin Tong, I (re)designed a hardware 808 “mega voice,” capable of simulating many of the 808’s voices and creating new hybrids. My current research focuses on creating physically-informed software models of “circuit-bent” and modded 808 voices. In my presentation, I’ll examine various approaches to recapturing the 808’s original sound and experience, paying special attention to how these emulations track technological progress and social change.

Computer Modeling of Circuit Bending (invited talk)
@ Circuit Benders' Ball
Nashville, Tennessee [12 April 2014]

The Circuit Benders' Ball is a "festival of free culture, art, music" held in Nashville.

Early circuit benders kept traditional art practice and engineering techniques at arm's length - a mindset prefectly encapsulated by Reed Ghazla's term "anti-theory." Today, the ethos of circuit bending has spread into the digital realm and broader theoretical movements. At the same time, it is now possible to apply computational techniques to unpack the magic in the machines. Kurt James Werner has applied "virtual analog" and "physical modeling" techniques which are well-studied in academia and the commercial sector to analyzing and digitally emulting circuit-bent instruments. This serves dual goals of understanding and preserving these historic devices, and re-opening access to classic devices that have ironically grown scarce and expensive. Kurt will review and demo his work on modeling bent digital devices (see: bent.fm), modded drum machines (TR-808), and preliminary work on the Casio SK-1.

Towards a bendable circuit model of the Casio SK-1 keyboard
@ 166th Meeting of the ASA, San Francisco [3 December 2013]

Modeling the analog circuitry of the Casio SK-1 keyboard, with applications to computer modeling of circuit-bending.

Banging Like an 808? Developing a Physically-Informed, Circuit-Bendable, Digital Model of the Roland TR-808 Rhythm Composer
@ CCRMA DSP Seminar [3 March 2014]

Can a digital system provide satisfactory emulations of classic analog musical instruments and effects? Polarized reactions to the impending release (this month!) of Roland's TR-8 Rhythm Performer (a digitally modeled TR-808/909) have reignited this old debate. I've focused my research on creating physically-informed, circuit-bendable, digital models of analog drum machines. At this DSP Seminar, I'll present my methodological framework and analysis/models of two of the 808's sound generators: the bass drum and the cymbal. My digital models, implemented in Cycling 74's Gen~, retain the salient features of the original analog drum machine and allow for accurate emulation of circuit-bending and common 808 mods. This work takes an engineering approach to hacking and circuit bending, clears up misconceptions about the 808's circuitry, and plugs a conspicuous drum-machine-shaped gap in virtual analog research.

Hidden Messages in Music:
Hard Rock, Espionage, Lovers, and Birds
@ Stanford Splash! [13–14 April 2013]
& @ Stanford Music 1A: Music, Mind, and Human Behavior [9 April 2013]

I gave this lecture to two groups of students at Stanford Splash!, a "program that brings high school and middle school students from everywhere to Stanford’s campus for a two-day learning extravaganza". I also presented it as a guest lecture to prof. Jonathan Berger's Music 1A: Music, Mind, and Human Behavior class.

Music can evoke powerful emotional responses, but also communicates very specific meanings. Some of these meanings are evident, but some are meant to communicate secret messages. In the Western classical tradition, examples of hidden messages in musical notation abound, from Bach and Shostakovich's insertion of their own names into key moments of numerous works, to Robert Schumann and Alban Berg's confessions of secret love. In the 1980's, allegations of secret messages "backmasked" into recordings plagued the careers of many rock musicians (and spawned actual instances of such hidden messages). We will examine numerous examples (real, and alleged), from Led Zeppelin, Weird Al Yankovic, Aphex Twin, and others. The sound of the Vocoder is a fixture in popular music ("Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger" is one recent example). Before this device was used to make pop musicians sound like robots, it was used for the encryption of military orders. We will trace some of the aesthetic tools of electronic music production to their roots in military espionage. Many sounds that we hear are "hidden" not by any deliberate means, or for any nefarious purpose, but by the limitations of our own hearing apparatus. Hear how alterations upon sounds can expose their imperceptible underlying structure, by looking at the music of nature, birdsong.

Bit Bending: Circuit Bending Brought To Software
@ CCRMA Colloquium [16 January 2013]

w/ Mayank Sanganeria

We present a justification for computer modeling of circuit bent instruments, with deference to the movement's aversion to "theory-true" design and associations with chance discovery. We introduce the technique of "Bit Bending," a particularly fertile type of "bend" dealing with short-circuits and manipulations upon digital serial information. We also present a C++ library for the modeling of certain classes of digital integrated circuits, as well as a synthesis architecture (frequency modulation with numerically-controlled oscillators) which utilizes the library in a Steinberg VST plugin framework. Circuit bending, the process of creatively modifying or augmenting sound-producing electronic devices, occupies an increasingly important musical and cultural niche. Though the practice began in the 1960s (and traces roots to Leon Theremin's experiments with radio tubes in the 1920s), it is still understudied.

Pleasant Tritones, Offensive Octaves, and the Science of Dissonance Curves: Towards a Music Theory for Inharmonic Timbres
@ UIUC Composers Forum [6 October 2010]
& @ School for Designing a Society [2010]

A lecture on dissonance curves, and their applications to creating a functional music theory for inharmonic timbres. Included a few case studies, specifically on the Mbira.

Grani+: algorithmic granular synthesis instrument for use in Grace/CLM
@ UIUC Composers Forum [March 2010]

A review of granular synthesis history and techniques, and an explanation of my software Grani+, an extension to Grani (by Fernando Lopez-Lezcano) for Common Music.

selected projects, &c.

Code Poetry Slam v1.1
@ Wallenberg Hall, Stanford [27 February 2014]

The second instantiation of the Stanford Code Poetry Slam, which I help to run. The event is sponsored by Stanford's Division of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages (DLCL). This quarter, there were over 50 submissions from around the world; the Slam will feature some finalists from the Bay Area presenting their own work, some finalists sending videos, and some poems presented by "surrogate slammers" (Stanford people who will perform the poems in consultation with the finalists). Come watch and participate in the discussion afterwards! Cash prizes and free pizza!

"Transistor Rhythm Redux: Redesigning the Roland 'Transistor Rhythm' TR-808 Rhythm Composer" (EE 122A final project)
[4 December 2013]

w/ Kevin Tong, I reverse engineered a popular 1980s drum machine, the Roland "transistor rhythm" TR-808 Rhythm Composer, and redesigned a "mega voice" that can emulate any of the voices of "the 808," hybrid voices, and totally new voices.

Music From Outer Space Noise Toaster mod
[Fall 2013]

While building a Music From Outer Space (MFOS) Noise Toaster synthesizer kit, I designed a modification that makes the Noise Toaster patchable / modular. My mod involves minimal changes to the PCB (cutting a single trace) and uses only components that are included in the kit already (except for some banana jacks). You can read a write-up on how to build your own here.

bent.fm lite
[Summer 2012–present]

computer modeling of a circuit-bent FM synthesis operator on the iPhone

Tweet John Keats
[Fall 2013]

This is an uttter boondoggle of a project, made in an afternoon for the sake of a pun, and to learn a few things. Follow @TweetJohnKeats to get Keats' poetry serialized to you via Twitter.

First, Mayank and I used regular expressions to clean up a text file of John Keats' poetry from Project Gutenberg. A crontab task on an Amazon Web Services (AWS) virtual machine on "the cloud" runs a Python script, which uses Twython (a "pure Python wrapper" from the Twitter API) to read lines from this text file, and Tweet them (via @TweetJohnKeats) every 15 minutes.

[Winter 2013–Summer 2013]

I was the chief audio engineer for a Stanford Graduate School of Education project. Strummify teaches guitar in a web application. I researched various approaches for detecting single or multiple simultaneous guitar notes and worked with an algorithm (after Karin Dressler, 2011) that leverages the pair-wise evaluation of spectral peaks. I implemented, tested, and refined this algorithm in Matlab and helped translate it to a real-time ActionScript version. I also provided general musical perspective and ancillary digital audio signal processing counsel.

camera forensics
[Winter 2013]

a project on camera forensics with Drew Schmitt, done as a final for prof. Brian A. Wandell's' Psych 221 (Applied Vision and Image Systems Engineering) class. Color filter arrays introduce specific statistical traces that are preserved in lossless images. There statistical traces can be destroyed by image tampering. We used machine learning to identify tampering by looking for the tell-tale absence of these statistica traces. You can read a write-up on our project. Our project is heavily based on the research of prof. Hany Farid

old Casio SK-1 circuit research
[Spring 2012]

research in analog circuit modeling (discretization) for Music 220c, a CCRMA research seminar

boots & cats &&&
[Fall 2013–Winter 2014]

an algorithmic breakbeat generator, my final project for Music 220a. Features in a continuously-updated cellular automata universe (w/ Conway's Game of Life rules) are tracked and mapped onto parameters of beat-slicing algorithms. This was used on almost every track of schism method.

[November 2010]

an extension to Grani (granular synthesis by Fernando Lopez-Lezcano) for Common Music. Grani is a great instrument by itself, and Grani+ extends its capabilities to include algorithmic control for every parameter.

samples and such

some recordings I have made that may be useful for friends and others, and brief accompanying comments. Feel free to use them in your music!


schism method cover

see my music / project / research / &c. notebook at http://kurtjameswerner.tumblr.com. "Things I work on: music, audio / image compression codecs (forensics, and code-assisted databending), computer modeling of circuit-bent instruments, psychoacoustics, synthesis, SLOrk, &c." To be honest, I haven't updated this in a while.

schism method

schism method cover

schism method is: drum machines, circuit bending, soldering iron, algorithms, ChucK, Max/MSP, Matlab, Processing, Grace, automation, Ableton, MIDI, synths, sequencing, sampling, slicing, sax... forgotten, remembered, fragmented, transformed, & assembled (@ CCRMA). It was released 26 April 2012 and mastered by Doc Davis.

recent releases

Stanford Soundtrack, Volume 12
[released 24 May 2013]

I engineered and contributed banjo to a song, "September Rain", as one half of Monster Truck Rally, w/ Nora Yucel.

Stanford Soundtrack, Volume 11
[released 18 May 2012]

my track "twitch constructor (viabladdespecauseconderst)" was featured on a compilation of Stanford bands & songwriters

schism method by Kurt James Werner
[released 26 April 2012]

my new album of breakbeat, chiptunes, musique concrète, circuit bending, noise, ambient, &c.

Lonely Lights by Ben Cambell
[released June 2011]

I was the assistant recording engineer

The House You're Living In by World's First Flying Machine
[released 30 January 2010]

played electric bass, ukulele, glockenspiel, vibraphone, &c. w/ some great friends in a folk rock / noise folk / &c. band

selected recent concerts

@ The Regency Ballroom [22 June 2015]

Diffused a set of original chiptunes/breakcore music at…a JavaScript conference.

CCRMA Modulations 2015
@ CCRMA [2–3 May 2015]

Diffused a set of music, including unreleased breakcore tracks (especially a chiptunes/breakcore version of the now-famous classic of the CCRMA ballroom, “Fichtl's Lied” by Die Woodys), electro-acoustic interludes, and old schism method classics. This concert was headlined by Teebs, and also featured performances by ClearEyes, Arswain, David Grunzweig, Alta Mar, Yan Michalevsky, M$G, and Ethan Gellar and Friends.

CCRMA Modulations 2014
@ CCRMA [5 April 2014]

played a set of music using circuit-bent instruments, my modded Noise Toaster synth, and deconstructed Ableton clips of unreleased breakcore tracks. This concert also featured Mark Fell, Equilet (Jeff Lublow), and many others. Reza Ali provided awesome visuals for my set and others.

Computer Music Project 30th Anniversary Concert
@ University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana [5 March 2014]

My additive synthesis piece ClanngMMMCCLXX, which I wrote as a final project for prof. Sever Tipei's Music 448 class in 2009, will be performed at one of two concerts celebrating the 30th anniversary of the UIUC Computer Music Project.

CCRMA Fall Concert 2013
@ Bing Concert Hall [4 December 2013]

I played my modified Music From Outer Space Noise Toaster in an analog synthesizer sextet, Ensemble AnaLocos, with Fernando Lopez-Lezcano, Myles Borins, Gina Collecchia, Romain Michon, & Tim O'Brien. We call this improvisation "Toast and Jam."

CCRMA Transitions 2013
@ CCRMA [10 October 2013]

premiered my new 8-channel piece, bits, bent, which exclusively uses sounds originating from bent.fm lite.

"CCRMA celebrates the start of the 2013 season with Transitions, an evening of outdoor, under-the-stars electronic music showcasing works from the CCRMA community. Featuring an immersive multi-channel speaker array, Transitions 2013 will take place in CCRMA's outdoor courtyard, Thursday, October 10."

CCRMA Spring Concert 2013
@ Bing Concert Hall [28 May 2013]

contributed to a collaborative concert / installation as part of Music 223M: Sound, Structure, and Machines, a course taught by visiting professor Robert Henke

Music and Games
@ CCRMA [25 April 2013]

#1 : premiered a new audio/visual piece, GLG, @ "a multi-media concert featuring an eclectic collection of musical game systems, where action and interaction in game worlds creates musical sound, and where music and sound from games is reworked and repositioned to take center stage." The sights & sounds of one particular classic arcade game & a general aesthetic of malfunction inspired this audio/visual piece. Read more about the techniques used to create this piece (including code-assisted databending, cathode ray tube emulation, &c.) @ my online research journal.

#2 : "this song began as a classical guitar improvisation, and eventualy morphed into an exploration of algorithmic drum programming & the audio limitations of the Nintendo Entertainment System." Played an 8-channel diffusion of mor addelmet artimethe, from my album schism method

Watch a stream of the entire concert @ Ustream.

CCRMA Modulations 2013
@ Broadway Studios [7 April 2013]

premiered a new audio/visual piece, First Cyclic Redundancy Check, on CCRMA's giant hybrid sound system. This set was based around manipulations of recordings of my circuit-bent Yamaha PSS-270. I wrote software to assist w/ live visualization in Max/MSP/Jitter, inspired by and leveraging my recent work on code-assisted glitching/databending of JPEG and PNG files. This concert also featured Monolake performing Ghosts w/ Tarik Barri, Holly Herndon, Mike Gao, and many others. I also made the pencil and ink drawing for the event promotions.

CCRMA at Bing: Sonic Bing!
@ Bing Concert Hall [15 February 2013]

premiered my new 8-channel piece, fanfare, frayed. This piece is a drastic reworking of Fugue 1 (Fanfare), by prof. Chris Chafe and Fernando Lopez Lezcano.

Fall 2012 Concert
@ CCRMA [29 November 2012]

"everything that could go wrong, did." Played an 8-channel diffusion of a version of zero error, from my album schism method

Redesigning Theater Mixer
@ Stanford University d.School [14 November 2012]

played a set of live music, constructed from manipulated fragments of break me, California and live circuit bending, in good company (aerialists!)

CCRMA Transitions 2012
@ CCRMA [27/28 September 2012]

premiered my new multi-channel (11 channels) electro-acoustic composition, break me, California, diffused into CCRMA's new immersive, 24.4-channel speaker system. Dig your own grave. break me, California is a grave dug w/ bird communication, circuit-bent / FM-modelled devices, errata / ephemera, &c. Iterative disassembly techniques orchestrate organic / chaotic growth around a highly imperfect kernel.

w/ Mayank Sanganeria, premiered our new piece, Shimmering Horizons, for two electric guitars (w/ preparations) & two iPads (running our new real-time granular synthesis processing app, GrainProc).

Spring Concert 2012
@ CCRMA [31 May 2012]

"Distant choirs of transistorized angels thrum the worn-out melodies of ancient capacitors. Glitch sirens harbinger integer overflow & inevitable decay. The machine prophet has spoken, & she is not pleased"

premiered an 8-channel fixed-media piece, Tölva, in the CCRMA Courtyard as part of "the latest sonic machinations of CCRMA faculty and students"

Stanford Soundtrack release
@ Stanford University [18 May 2012]

played a set of music from my new album

California Electronic Music Exchange Concert (CEMEC)
@ Mills College [4 May 2012]

played a version of one of my electro-acoustic compositions, angerorstant (sin eater), modified for 4-channel diffusion in Jeannik Méquet Littlefield Concert Hall

CCRMA Modulations 2012
@ CELLspace [28 April 2012]

played a set of improvised music (thanks to Dave Kerr for the video) w/ a bit of chiptunes/dance, a bit of circuit bending / noise, and a bit of ambient w/ a circuit-bent Yamaha keyboard, Speak & Spell, Roland drum machine, &c., mangled up samples from my new album, patch cords, MIDI, live processing, hacked cassette deck, and a little bit of video stuff, diffused into an 8.4-channel environment. I also helped to organize the concert.

California Electronic Music Exchange Concert (CEMEC)
@ University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB) [20 April 2012]

played a version of one of my electro-acoustic compositions, angerorstant (sin eater), modified for 6-channel diffusion in Lotte Lehmann Concert Hall

Winter Concert 2012
@ CCRMA [17 February 2012]

premiered a piece called Jurassic Modulations w/ Fernando Lopez-Lezcano, playing my ChucK-based digital sample-feedback FM synthesizer. I also drew the poster for the concert

Day of Noise 2012
@ KZSU [12 February 2012]

played a mixed set of fixed and improvised music, using circuit-bent instruments (Roland TR-626 drum machine, Speak & Spell, hacked cassette deck), algorithmic elements (via ChucK & Processing).

Autumn Concert 2011
@ CCRMA [1 December 2011]

premiered one of my 8-channel electro-acoustic compositions, angerorstant (sin eater), and drew the poster for the concert (which also made its way onto the 2012 CCRMA t-shirt)

UIUC Senior Composition Recital
@ the Red Herring vegetarian restaurant & coffeehouse [13 April 2011]

a recital given in partial fullfillment of my Bachelor of Music in Composition/Theory from UIUC. Premiered fixed-media pieces Yougheren & Gautam Srikishan Thrusts Towards Magnetic North (an early version of angerorstant (sin eater)), live Max/MSP processing pieces Pelagia (featuring Gautam Srikishan (violin) and Henry Solberg (double bass)) and DroneOn (featuring Jesse Dochnahl (alto saxophone) and Doc Davis / Kurt James Werner (laptop)), and 8-bit chiptunes arrangements of World's First Flying Machine songs "That's What Friends Are For", "Billboard", and "Love Is An Art". Performed a live circuit bending aftershow (I, II, III) w/ Gautam Srikishan & Halim Beere.


teaching assistant
Music 420: Signal Processing Models in Muical Acoustics
prof. Julius O. Smith III
@ Stanford University [Winter 2015]

Computational electroacoustic modeling for digital audio effects and sound synthesis.

teaching assistant
Music 23: Elements of Music III
prof. Erik Ulman
@ Stanford University [Spring 2014]

Continuation of chromatic harmony and complex forms of late Romantic period.

teaching assistant
Music 22: Elements of Music II
prof. Giancarlo Aquilanti
@ Stanford University [Winter 2014]

Introduction to chromatic harmony focusing on secondary functions, modulations, harmonic sequences, mode mixture, and the Neapolitan, and augmented sixth chords. Analysis of musical forms and harmonizations complemented by harmonic and melodic dictation, sight singing, and other practical skills.

teaching assistant
Music 19A: Introduction to Music Theory
prof. Talya Berger
@ Stanford University [Fall 2013]

The fundamentals of music theory and notation, basic sight reading, sight singing, ear training, keyboard harmony; melodic, rhythmic, and harmonic dictation. Skill oriented, using piano and voice as basic tools to develop listening and reading skills.

Stanford Youth Orchestra
@ Stanford University [Summer 2013]

taught two classes, "Acoustic Science I" & "Acoustic Science II" to ~75 gifted high school students

co-director / teaching assistant
CS 170 / Music 128: Composition, Coding, and Performance (SLOrk)
Jieun Oh & prof. Ge Wang
@ Stanford University [Spring 2013]

Classroom instantiation of the Stanford Laptop Orchestra (SLOrk) which includes public performances. An ensemble of more than 20 humans, laptops, controllers, and special speaker arrays designed to provide each computer-mediated instrument with its sonic identity and presence. Topics and activities include issues of composing for laptop orchestras, instrument design, sound synthesis, programming, and live performance.

teaching assistant
Music 21: Elements of Music
prof. Talya Berger
@ Stanford University [Winter 2012]

Introduction to tonal theory. Practice and analysis. Diatonic harmony focusing on melodic and harmonic organization, functional relationships, voice-leading, and tonal structures. Ear-training and keyboard-harmony skills; analytical methods and listening strategies.

teaching assistant
Music 320: Introduction to Digital Audio Signal Processing
profs. Jonathan Abel & Dave Berners
@ Stanford University [Fall 2012]

A first course in digital signal processing for music and audio research. Topics: complex numbers, sinusoids, spectrum representation, sampling and aliasing, digital filters, frequency response, z-transforms, transfer-function analysis, and associated Matlab software.

teaching assistant
Music 404: Max/MSP
prof. Stephen Taylor
@ UIUC [Spring 2011]

informal Max/MSP class
@ UIUC [Fall 2010]

you can contact me at kwerner@ccrma.stanford.edu

last updated : 11 January 2015