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mutantrumpetlooping etc

There was a on page interview with Ben Neill in WIRED, 5.04 - Apr 1997 
which is still online at:

I've clipped-in the 1st coupla para's below. 

I'd say that Jon Hassell and Mark Isham are my favourutes in this field
not forgeting Nils Petter Molvaer and Graham Haynes. I thoroughly
Triptycal, but thought Glitterbug sounded a bit tired (and unemotional)
dull set of beats etc. Also saw him live, manipulating all his gear in
real time etc
but the venue's acoustics didn't help and he was drowned by a
of Page Hamilton's guitar and the drummer. Not too much subtly there,
I'm afraid...


The Mutant Trumpeter 
By Colin Berry 

Ben Neill is using a schizophrenic trumpet to create art music for the

A regular face in New York's experimental music scene, trumpeter Ben
Neill has worked with sound sculptors of the past and future, including
John Cage, Robert Moog, DJ Spooky, and minimalist La Monte Young. As
music curator of The Kitchen performance space, Neill has also brought
international luminaries such as Jaron Lanier, Jorge Reyes, and FSOL to
the Big Apple. But Neill is foremost a musician, and his
recent Triptycal CD topped many critics' polls with its smooth blend of
trippy ambience and groovy jazz - a '90s update of Miles Davis cool.
After launching his solo career, classically trained Neill designed the
mutantrumpet, an instrument that looks like the spawn of another musical

Wired: So what is a mutantrumpet? 


It's an electro-acoustic instrument I developed that has two sets of
valves and three bells, one of which is attached to a trombone slide for
a glissando effect. 
It also has an interface to a computer program that uses the notes of
the trumpet to trigger different sounds and sequences, and allows me to
modify the sounds using controllers. I use different mutes in the bells
to shift between open and muted sounds to provide a middle ground
between electronic and acoustic music. The instrument enables me to play
in between all these different sounds. 

And you do all this in real time? 

Some elements of the music are preprogrammed, but I'm always
manipulating a few elements live.
Different notes trigger musical sequences I can manipulate as they're
playing. The instrument is also tied in to a MIDI-controlled
slide-projection system so that triggering a sound sequence also
controls the playing of the projectors.

What inspired you to create this thing? 

I wanted an instrument that gave me the capability to project multiple
voices. I got started by sticking trumpet parts together and then worked
with some instrument builders to come up with a custom-fabricated
design. It's schizophrenic, but adding an electronic component expands a
conventional wind instrument into a more multifaceted thing.

What role can technology play in traditionally nontechnological

With my system, I was trying to use the computer as a kind of mediator.
It adds a level of imperfection.
When I'm activating sounds from the trumpet, or controlling elements set
off by my playing dynamic, there's a random element involved. It's
different every time. That's something I get from art music: the idea
that you don't just hear a melody in your head and say, OK, this is what
I want. Rather, you set something in motion, and you can't foresee all
the details. Taking computer music beyond the realm of a strictly
quantized beat is what makes it swing.