All posts by Giorgio

Ten computers for the stars: the Reihe Laptop Ensemble

I’m glad to announce that the Reihe Laptop Ensemble will perform on December 3rd, 2016, at Teatro Arsenale of Milan, at the Contemporary Music Hub day.

The piece is part of my research at AGON on modal synthesis which I have presented
with M° Michele Tadini at the Prisma Meeting in Paris ( @IRCAM ) on July 2016 in collaboration with
the students of my Sound Design courses at SAE Institute of Milan.

Constellation is a performance for an ensemble of 10 laptop computers and use a star map as a music score. On the map, stars, clusters, galaxies, nebulas and pulsars are voiced with a sound, and every musician writes his/her own constellations on the screen. A walkthrough in the sky.

The milky way then sings with watery bubbles, the pulsars make short bursts and the fire of the stars became an ever-changing resonance. Like tiny actors in the sky, the objects of the firmament take life and paint an organic soundscape with infinite variations, all around the listener which lies in a completely dark space.

The sound of the celestial bodies is created and processed in realtime, with the Three Axis Modal Synthesis (TAMS) creating virtual acoustic instruments made of precious gems and metals like sapphire, ruby, gold, platinum, silver, beryl, diamond…

Constellation is compelling work of sound that brings the listeners into the vastness of Cosmos.












Reihe Laptop Ensemble: Constellation

Andrea Cerrato
Luca Cozzi
Nazareno De Luca
Eric Guizzo
Marco Miduri
Marco Neridetti
Lorenzo Rinaldi
Marcello Sodano
Giacomo Somaruga
Luca Pagan

Written and directed by
Giorgio Sancristoforo

Produced by AGON
In collaboration with SAE institute
and kindly supported by SIAE Classici di Oggi




Berna 3 + Axoloti announcement


Berna 3 is currently in the last phase of development and it will available on December 22 and it will run on Axoloti.

During the last two years I’ve got a great number of feedbacks around Berna and surprisingly many of them concerned a use of Berna, both in live and studio situations.
I originally designed Berna as an educational aid for schools, but many people want to use it also as a live instrument, so Berna 2 must be ported to a more effective efficient platform.

As you imagine, Berna 2 has too much graphics, and some of its functions are not stable; that is the price for packing so much graphic in a Max runtime.
To build a precise instrument for performance, that simulates the RAI functions and at the same time offer great precision in control, a programmable hardware with more efficient code is desirable. Axoloti offers a number of electronic “primitives” that fits the resources’ of a Studio di Fonologia emulation on a standalone device;  you’ll just need an Axoloti card and your laptop,
and if you want, you can add pots, trimmers, faders, midi controllers and build your own Berna studio hardware ready to gig without a computer.

Beside Midi mapping being ultra-easy in the Axoloti software, analog GPIO programming is equally easy, and with the use of a single object, a specific ADC can be mapped to any function of the simulation in no time. This way the user chooses freely what of his Fonologia’s work can be assigned to analog controls with hi def 4096 points sampling (arduino has 1024). Analog like feeling included!

Simulation of tapes is partially implemented this time.
I find my tape-simulation extremely bad, and I offer a different approach this time.
The software will not be able to record audio. In other words if you want to manipulate on tape your work, you will actually need a tape recorder to do that part of the job.
Naturally you can use an audio interface and Logic, to record and edit… or, a real 1/4″ tape machine (Revox, Nagra, Tascam, Teac…) and have the best of the worlds.
Files of edited “tapes” can be uploaded to the SD card in RAW format 48KHz 24 Bit and played in the mix. But that’s up to you. Tapes could be actual from beginning to end, and use Berna 3 with historical accuracy.

Berna 3 is currently developed for Axoloti, a portable, programmable, standalone hardware with Audio, Midi and GP I/O, 24 Bit 48Khz / cross-platform (Mac, Win, Linux).
Berna 3 will be distributed here as a free .axp file.

All about Johannes Taelman’s Axoloti, go to this link.




Triple Axis Modal Synthesis

Presentation by Giorgio Sancristoforo and Michele Tadini
July 12th 10.00 AM IRCAM Centre Pompidou @ Prisma Meeting

With the contribution of the Reihe Laptop Ensemble musicians and SAE Institute Italy:

Marcello Sodano
Luca Pagan
Marco Neridetti
Eric Guizzo
Pietro Scialanga


Downloadable Aiff file + 10 pages pdf booklet from the band camp site

We are entering in a new era of sounds.

As multiphysics engineering softwares become more and more accessible and the personal computer gained the necessary power to run physics simulations at home, we’ve found a new meaning to the words sculpting sound. To the musician, until some time ago, not so many resources were available in the field of modal synthesis. They were almost all commercial products with a limited choice of models and materials. On top of that, polyphony was a serious issue. Due to intense calculations running in background, one could expect to run a maximum of 3, 4 voices at once.
But the point is that it’s not that interesting to just “strike a plate”.

What about the shape of the plate? Is it round or hexagonal? Is it made of glass, stone or plastic? If it’s metal, what sort of metal? Platinum? Palladium? Aluminium or chrome plated steel?

What if I want to design my own shapes? What’s the sound of a 30cm long and 1.2mm thick swirling tube made of glass connected to a thin platinum semi-sphere? What is the sound of a glass cello, plucked by water? What’s the sound of a gold heart-shaped box caressed by feathers? With the aid of computer modelling, an universe of new instruments is unfolding in front of our eyes, and the possibilities are endless.

As the listener enters for the first time in this world, it will take a few seconds for him to realise the striking realism of this sounds. The advantage of modelling sound sources with resonators lies not only in its semplicity, but also in its capability of creating hyper-realistic frequency and dynamic responses.
Since the modal system of synthesis requires just two basic elements: a resonator and an exciter, we can use any kind of sound as an exciter. Not only we can create it synthetically, but most imporantly, we can use real acoustical sources, from contact or aerial microphones or files.
A contact microphone attached on a wooden plate can drive a polyphonic metal model with such realism (both in sound produced and gesture made by the performer) that it is not distinguishable from a real acoustical instrument. And we can even go further by pre-processing exciters sounds with other well-known techniques, such as granular synthesis to look for more radical sounds..

Realism, however, here has only a functional role, rather than aesthetical.
The aim of this research is to create surrealistic instruments, impossible, or immensely hard to build and mise en oeuvre such as platinum, diamond, beryl, sapphire and plutonium resonators.

Physical modelling of course is not new, but new software tools bloomed during these years, thanks to research done in aerospace and building industries. These softwares create an essential bridge to set the foundamentals for a new form of numerical lutherie…

Also read: b



Tableau Generative Album

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There is no doubt that, as music is removed by the phonograph
record from the realm of live production and from the imperative of
artistic activity and becomes petrified, it absorbs into itself, in this process of petrification, the very life that would otherwise vanish.

Theodore Adorno “The form of the Phonograph Record”

I’ve been dreaming a lot of portable micro computers to create a generative music album. Now this is finally a reality here is my first PGLP (Portable Generative LP) called “Tableau” and it will be soon released.

Tableau will be available in two options:

1) Limited edition of 50 PGLP + Gleetchlab software
2) CD + Gleetchlab software

Please note: Gleetchlab as usual runs only on Apple Macs and it’s not intended for the PGLP.

Generative endless music player
Tableau plays on a standalone generative player, it is a portable sound installation.
The music, instead of being “reproduced” like a CD, a vinyl or an Mp3, it is generated and arranged while you are listening to it. It never sounds the same.
Tableau creates an almost endless number of mixes of the LP (4 x 12! factorial). Each time you will listen, it will be different, and will keep evolving evolving until you will plug the power off.

It reacts to the environment
The music of Tableau reacts to temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure, space and magnetic field.

No need for screen, keyboards, mouse etc…
To listen to Tableau just plug the power supply and your speakers with a mini-jack cable, Tableau will boot and play the LP. You can also use a standard 2A, 5V battery pack for mobile phones so you can carry Tableau with you anytime, anywhere.

New albums will require just a micro SD card
New albums will be available in the future.
A PGLP owner will need just to order the micro SD to get the new album/installation. Updates with new features will be available too and for free.

It’s a Raspberry Pi2!
If you love to code, you can use your own micro SD card and run Raspbian OS (downloadable for free from the Raspberry website) to make anything you want with it. Connect a keyboard, a HDMI monitor and a mouse and you have a fully functional Linux computer with 1Ghz quadri-processor, 1Gb Ram and as much disk space as it is your SD card. And since the PGLP includes the Astro-Pi Sense Hat (now on the ISS space station!), you get a wonderful 8×8 led matrix and a load of sensors to work with :)




Gleetchlab 4

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Gleetchlab 4 is currently under development.

After a massive amount of requests by many artists and friends I’ve finally decided to give a GO for V.4. The software will have a great number of new and exciting features, a glimpse  is presented in this first video. The new loopers can work with any kind of audio file, from Wav to Aiff to Mp3 and it will export 24bit Aiff files. Just drag and drop a file inside the looper and it will start playing. Each looper now can perform different algorithms of time stretching, some of which are pretty interesting when pushed to extreme values.
Loops ins-outs automations can be recorded and played back and an intelligent algorithm is implemented to control random in-out works.

Gleetchlab 4 will be available in 2016 only and exclusively with my LP.
expect the best version ever of Gleetchlab :)
Stay tuned!


Efusion Festival Mexico

2 – 5 December 2015

Efusion: code and meaning production
2nd performing arts and technology forum
Art Center of San Luis Potosi Centenario
San Luis Potosi / Mexico

Los actos en vivo son obras performáticas interactivas que exploran la bioinformación del cuerpo como un detonador de procesos algorítmicos, sonoros y visuales.

Klaus Obermaier (Austria)
Giorgio Sancristoforo (Italia)

Details and program at this link


Performance: Music for Maya Deren

Music for Maya Deren

Mercoledì 30 Settembre 2015 @ Tempo Reale

Limonaia di Villa Strozzi, via Pisana 77, Firenze

Performance video-musicale

AGON, 2011
progetto, musica, computer live electronics Giorgio Sancristoforo
regia del suono Massimo Marchi

Influenzati dal surrealismo e dalla danza, i film di Maya Deren invitano a cogliere “l’altra realtà”, lo spazio psichico, gli ambienti nascosti della mente. Un cinema onirico, visionario e antinarrativo, in cui il tempo è quello del ritmo della visione e del sogno.

Music for Maya Deren è il secondo capitolo dei Realtime Film Scores, una serie di performance musicali dedicate al cinema sperimentale americano, in cui la colonna sonora viene composta ed eseguita dal vivo, attraverso strumenti musicali elettronici.


Maya Deren (Kiev 1917-New York 1961) è stata una regista, documentarista, coreografa e poetessa, attiva negli anni quaranta e cinquanta del ventesimo secolo.

Madre del ciné-dance film, le sue opere sono tra le più influenti della storia del cinema americano.

  • Ritual in Transfigured Time (1946) con Maya Deren, Rita Christiani, Frank Westbrook e Anaïs Nin
  • At Land (1944) con Maya Deren, Alexander Hammid, John Cage e Parker Tyler


Limonaia di Villa Strozzi – via Pisana 77, Firenze

Tempo Reale

tel. 055 717270

Tempo Reale Festival 2015 – REWIND. Musiche non lineari (26 settembre-10 ottobre 2015)

biglietto unico €5,00 per la serata Klang / Musica Sperimentale #2


cronologia delle esecuzioni

29 ottobre 2011 – Museo della Scienza e della Tecnologia, Milano

Per il festival Audiovisiva 2011.

4 luglio 2015 – Accademia Filarmonica Romana, Roma

Nel programma 2015 del Festival ArteScienza del CRM.



The Arcane Pillar is an hermetic musical instrument based on Neural Networks and Western Esotericism.
To make the software work, one must answer a number of enigmas, record or collect sounds of fire, water, air and earth, and finally balance them with the aid of different processes designed for each grade.
No user manual is given, but the γνῶσις that unlock the enigmas is quite well documented on books and in the web, if one knows what to seek…
Cheating is futile and genuinely discouraged, for only understanding the enigmas presented, their meaning and consequences, it is possible therefore to put in practice the knowledge and set in motion the inner logic of the instrument…

Currently in Alpha state
Screenshots are not definitive.
Follow this post for more updates.

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