GREIS (pronounced “grace”) is the Granular-Feedback Expanded Instrument System. my ever-evolving performance system and digital music instrument that is now 16 years in the making. GREIS is Created in Max/MSP – a collection of many custom modules from various sub-projects I’ve done over the years. The system focuses on sculpting and re-shaping recorded or live-captured sounds through spectral and textural transformations, largely performed with hand gestures on a Wacom tablet (right hand) while modulating the sound or the nature of the control/mapping in some way (left hand). The unit of a “grain” – which may be e.g. a temporal fragment, a single partial or a transient component – is dispersed to different processes and fed-back through the system. GREIS includes granular and spectral analysis/synthesis, complex mapping techniques and generative processes that surprise me with machine-based decisions, forcing me to react in the moment. The system is intended for the total flexibility of free improvisation, and I often play with acoustic musicians – sometimes using their sound as source material. In other projects and solo, I work with particular sets of recorded material, grouped according to their qualities and re-called in the moment of performance for sculpting and transformation. A more recent focus of this work is in designing ways to navigate large databases of sound files grouped by their sonic qualities, and re-call these in an improvised fashion. (A form of “timbre space” navigation). This manual approach to sculpting recorded sound is something I refer to as multidimensional turntablism. In more recent years, I have begun performing with voice, both as source material and also as another means to sculpt recorded sounds, using audio mosaicing techniques combined in a unique way with vocal-cross synthesis methods, as illustrated in the below diagram:
Meanwhile, here is a screen shot from one possible orientation of the GREIS software:
Sound examples of me performing with the system can be found on the Triple Point project page. More detailed information on the design of GREIS can be found in the following publication:
Doug Van Nort, Pauline Oliveros and Jonas Braasch, “Electro/Acoustic Improvisation and Deeply Listening Machines”, Journal of New Music Research, 42(4), pp. 303-324, December 2013.