Art + Music + Technology podcast

Art + Music + Technology

Darwin Grosse

An interview podcast where we talk to people that are engaged in the connection of art and music to technology. Visual artists, musicians, software developers and other creatives are invited to talk about their background, current work and future vision.

369 Episodes

  • Art + Music + Technology podcast

    Podcast 366: Paula Maddox


    Paula Maddox is a wonder. She’s got an amazing history of synth design, and the work continues; her current company (Dove Audio - produces modules in Euro and 5U format, featuring her unique take on wavetables-as-oscillators. We share a passion for wavetables and single-cycle waveshapes, so it was a natural that we talk. In our discussion, we cover everything from her history in electronics, the path to synth design, and a review of many of the synths that she has had her hand into. From the infamous Monowave, through the Modal 008, 002 and 001, and into the work developing the Dove Audio products (including some exciting new designs), we get a chance to hear how it comes together and where it is going in the future. Enjoy! Transcription available at Exclusive extra content on the Patron page:
  • Art + Music + Technology podcast

    Podcast 365: Mark Fell


    Mark Fell is one of my favorite artists – his work is the right mix of comfortable and challenging, and his music is truly as good as his ideas about music! As a result, I end up listening to a lot of his work, from the SND material released by Mille Plateaux to his recent experiments with live musicians. I’ve also had the chance to speak with – and interview – him in the past (for Cycling ’74), so there was already a comfort level there between us. So that should have made for a good conversation… … and it did. We ranged around the idea-space, talking about his history, his latest work, how he gets along with collaboration and how he thinks about time and complexity. We also get some insights into his overall aesthetic (something that is very important to him), and how that affects his composing/arranging practice. Very interesting, and wonderfully insightful. Enjoy the podcast, and learn more about Mark’s work on his personal website: . Transcription available at Exclusive extra content on the Patron page:
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  • Art + Music + Technology podcast

    Podcast 364: Carl Stone


    Carl Stone has been a huge influence on me – his work transported me from “Interested in that music tech stuff for making pop tunes” to “Let’s get serious!” His exploration into the nature of sampled sounds – and sampled/mashed/twisted tracks – took some of the ideas explored by Schaeffer, Cage, Reich and others, and gave them a whole new context. His recordings blew my head open, and continues to do so today. Some time ago I connected with Carl via Facebook, and finally screwed up the courage to ask for an interview. He was into it, and we had a great talk, covering everything from his various touring systems, to his love of Japan, to his seeming obsession with food and restaurants. Throughout all of it, you get a glimpse of the man – and the artist – that continues to push the envelope of sonic exploration. Much of Carl’s older work has been reissued, and is available both in physical form as well as streaming. If you haven’t yet dug into Carl Stone’s work – get on it! A good starting point is his website: Transcription available at Exclusive extra content on the Patron page:
  • Art + Music + Technology podcast

    Podcast 363: Jeff Rona


    Jeff Rona has fascinated me ever since he first appeared in Keyboard Magazine with his “The Reel World” column. It was a time when music-for-film was becoming interesting for tech-savvy musicians, and his writing fueled a lot of people’s interest in that work. With a background that includes working with Mark Isham and Hans Zimmer, Jeff has been in the mix for some of the greatest soundtracks in the last quarter century. In our discussion, we review his background in school (with The Dartmouth System!), programming time with Roland, playing with Jon Hassell, working with some amazing producers and then moving into film music. We also get into some of his techniques, how he likes to use particular kinds of hardware, and how he puts together the palette for a film score. We also talk about his solo work (as well as an upcoming release), and learn a bit about what he is doing in games and TV. We are also very excited about a third edition of The Reel World (the book) which he is wrapping up for upcoming release. You can learn about all of this, and more, at his website: You can also see all of the soundtracks that he’s been credited for on his IMDB page: Sheesh, what a list! Enjoy! Transcription available at Exclusive extra content on the Patron page:
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    Podcast 362: Will Kuhn


    Will Kuhn is well-known in the Ableton Live community. He pioneered the use of Ableton in the K-12 classroom, and recently released a new book: Electronic Music School: A Contemporary Approach to Teaching Musical Creativity. I was happy to corner him recently, and we had a great chat about his background, how he approaches teaching, and how he developed the system described in the book. We also dive into some ‘hot takes’ from the book, which adds a little flavor to this important text. But perhaps the most interesting part of our discussion was his description of creating the program, and writing the book, and figuring out how to make music instruction both interesting and educational. He also reveals how he is able to teach outside of the pure “music education” stream, opening up an Electronic Music program as an elective for the general population. You can learn more about Will’s work at his website (, and see plenty of videos where he’s presented his work (including at the Berlin Ableton Loop). He is also involved in the TI:ME (Technology In Music Education), which you can read about here: Enjoy! Transcription available at Exclusive extra content on the Patron page:
  • Art + Music + Technology podcast

    Podcast 361: Luke Thornton (Elder Island)


    Luke Thornton, one of the three people that make up the band Elder Island, perfectly embodies the self-learning/DIY perspectives that are fueling the exciting edge of current music making. Outfitted with a studio full of interesting gear, a lineup of dedicated friends, and the time to focus on production, Elder Island is producing some gorgeous house-infused pop music – and pushing the envelope on both sound design and production quality with their work. In our discussion, we talk about how Elder Island operates: how they work up their songwriting, how they develop tracks, and how they do their unique sound design work. We also discuss creating their near-cinematic tracks while still leaving room for a vocalist/cellist, and how they use (and learn from) outside production and engineering resources to bring home their work. This discussion was really interesting, because I don’t talk to pop-oriented artists very often, but the perspectives and goals are remarkably similar to everyone else that I talk to – regardless of style. What was interesting, though, was the genesis of the band from ‘a pair of mates’ to a trio that were surprised to go from art school to full time music production. You can hear it in Luke’s voice: he is still floored (and thrilled) by where they’ve landed. Elder Island’s website ( is the hub to find out more about what they do, how they do it, and what they might be doing next. You can also find their latest release (Swimming Static) on all the streaming services, and a short documentary is available on  YouTube ( Transcription available at Exclusive extra content on the Patron page:
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    Podcast 360: Lisa Bella Donna


    Lisa Bella Donna is somehow algorithmically connected to me – her work shows up consistently in my social media feeds, the sites that I read cover her work, and (of course) the music really speaks to me. So it’s kind of odd that it has taken so long to get her on the pod. Maybe it’s because she’s pretty laid back about her self-promotion, and maybe it’s because she is very busy. But in any case, I’m really glad to be able to talk with her about her career, her background, and her love of synths. In our discussion, we talk about coming up through “the system” – a system that included hotel gigs, regional and national touring, and hours spent in jingle studios. It is also a story of a self-educated musician that has captured the imagination of both listeners and synth manufacturers, leading to work as a demo artist for Moog and a promoter for all-things-ARP. It is also a picture of someone that has been unrelenting in finding their passion and staying true to it. Learn more about Lisa on her website (, and listen to her music on her Bandcamp site ( And check out her concert in support of Sisters With Transistors ( Enjoy! Transcription available at Exclusive extra content on the Patron page:
  • Art + Music + Technology podcast

    Podcast 359: Tim Exile


    Tim Exile has been involved in the Music Tech world for a long time. As the developer of a number of effects and instruments for Native Instruments (including Flesh - and The Finger -, he became well-known for pushing the envelope on what we considered to be ‘normal’ devices. And after some great videos, we also saw his Flow Machine in action, where he took live looping in a completely new and interesting directions. Now he is working on a platform, called Endlesss ( that brings all of this together. It combines some of the interesting interfaces of his NI work together with the depth of live performance tools that were part of the Flow Machine, and has developed a live, flexible and collaborative system for recording. To consider this a DAW would be a mistake – rather, it is more like an alternative to the DAW that helps you work ‘in the moment’. In our discussion, we cover everything from his background (including a little more detail than you normally hear…), to his growth in Reaktor-based development, and on to his efforts to bring Endlesss into being. Along the way, we also learn a lot about Tim’s interests in embodied performance, and collaboration, and human interaction. Very interesting – and very inspirational. You can learn more about Tim’s work at the above links, or through his personal portal at Enjoy! Transcription available at Exclusive extra content on the Patron page:
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    Podcast 358: Alessandro Cortini


    Recently, the Mute label reached out to me to see if I wanted to interview Alessandro Cortini, I had to chuckle a little to myself. Alessandro and I have had great conversations over the years, and I jumped at the opportunity to talk to him about his newest release: Scuro Chiaro. It’s an amazing work – added to an already amazing body of work. Of course, in addition to talking about release info, we also rambled into discussions about the systems that he’s been using, how he approaches sequencing, effects use with modular, development of the Make Noise Strega, and even his history with guitar. As always, fascinating stuff – and clearly one of the best interviews in our stack. Enjoy! Transcription available at Exclusive extra content on the Patron page:
  • Art + Music + Technology podcast

    Podcast 357: Drew Schlesinger


    I’ve been a synth-head for a very long time. As a result, I have these little personal dropping-off points of favorite bits of gear: Ensoniq ESQ-1, Roland JD-800, E-mu Proteus and Morpheus. So imagine my surprise when a recent parcel of Facebook paraded all of my favorite synths. And it was put out there by today’s guest – Drew Schlesinger – who was deeply involved in sound design for synth preset for all these devices! Starting with the Casio CZ-101, making patch sheets and patch carts, Drew ended up as a working sound designer throughout the digital MIDI synth golden years. In our discussion, we talk about how he got started, the kind of machines that he found himself working on, highlights and lowlights of sound design, and how he moved on from there. We also talk a bit about his work with David Torn in a little apartment studio. You can follow the discussion/history on Facebook by following Drew on Facebook (, and you can also hear the Torn album (Summer Synthesis 1978) here: Enjoy! Transcription available at Exclusive extra content on the Patron page:

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