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mind5Spiral - from mind5Spiral to wondervu

mind5Spiral is a duet between Mike Metlay and Darwin Grosse. Darwin, a.k.a. DDG, lives with his family way up in the Colorado Rockies, and is a well-known sound designer, engineer/producer, and music software maven, to say nothing of his hosting the popular website/blogCreativeSynth. Darwin and Mike worked together on Team Metlay’s Beneath Electric Stars concert and on mind1Spiral, and this pairing has afforded them a chance to do their thing in a variety of different contexts. The original plan was to do some fractal pulse neoretro tribal groove ambient microglitch with just enough added New York and Wisconsin to firmly establish our native heritage. “Yah, oy vey dere once”.

The first was bluejunemoon, a concert performed on the Blue Water Drift Dive show at the StillStream Internet Radiostation, on the Saturday night/Sunday morning, June 30/July 1 (the blue moon in June!) 2007. The entire show was available as a download on the Stillstream site, but has apparently been lost; I am working on finding a new home for it as a free download.

Darwin performed using a custom-built ambient performance instrument that combined the Nintendo Wii’s remote control wand with specially designed performance software and Cycling ’74’s fantastic MODE software synth/effects package. Darwin wrote it up in this online article at the Cycling ’74 site.

Mike, inspired by the Wii’s capabilities (and realizing that his planned rig didn’t fit at all with what Darwin was doing), dumped his entire rig in mid-rehearsal and switched over to the Schecter A-5X baritone 5-string electric mandocello (read some sample reviews that largely match Mike’s experiences here, or laugh at a screed by a doofus who never played one here in a custom tuning, processed with electronics.

Three months later, the duo performed again on StillStream, with Darwin on processed guitars and Mike on keys—the performance from September 1, 2007 has also been lost, and I am less sure I’ll be able to find it.

Mike and Darwin then took to the stage at the Fiske Planetarium on Yuri’s Night, April 12, 2008. Since then, Mike and Darwin have performed on internet radio, in coffee houses and in various other unlikely places, always with delightful results.

Their new duet project has been dubbed wonderVu, after the marvelous spot at the top of the mountain pass where Darwin lives from which you can reportedly see the other end of the Universe. There’s more to come…

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