Implementing Art #03 – Cico Beck (Joasihno)
My name is Cico Beck and I’m living at the moment in Muenster.
I have got some music projects running. Mostly it’s Joasihno that’s on my mind. Joasihno is a one-man-live looping band. The music is orientated at some Icelandic bands – for example Múm – or very nice Canadian minimal musicians – for example Ian Hawgood. I always try to keep in mind to do very honest and open sound.
A very new music project is Mannamanó. A very nice cello-player, who studies with me, is looping his cello to my more electronic sounds. Long songs!
And I am also playing in a Indie-Pop band called Missent to Denmark. There I use my laptop and Xylosynth setup – but I also play guitar, piano,… and some more.
I use just a quite simple very normal “terra” laptop. Nothing special at all – but I thought of making a banana sticker on it. My operating system is Windows XP and I am happy with that one.
My most important controller is my Xylosynth. It’s a MIDI-Xylophon built by a 4-headed company in Great Britain. They start to build it, when it’s ordered – and it’s hand built. A very nice and special thing.
To control the single tracks in the laptop I use a M-Audio UC33e. I’m quite happy with that. It allows me to program everything via MIDI what I need to.
To control the loops I use a Behringer FCB 1010. It’s well built and didn’t make any trouble by now.
My audio interface is a M-Audio Mobile Pre. It has just 2 Inputs, but that’s enough for me. I use live a Mic and a acoustic guitar that are pluged in a simple Behringer Mixer. Via the Main out I got into the audio interface.
The three MIDI controllers I use (Xylosynth, UC33e, FCB 1010) are connected with the M-Audio midisport 4×4.
For live-looping I use Ableton Live 7 LE. I am very happy with that system! Ableton is very easy to use and there are a million things possible. I just have problems with recording in Ableton. Not technical – but more psychological….i do not feel really free in Ableton…like always on time. There’s no really fluid recording possible for me.
Music creation is for me always very spontaneous. When I sit down and try to make new songs it doesn’t work. It comes quite immediately. If there is a new idea rising I play it very long (for hours?) in a loop. So for that I use Ableton. And then I try to record it as soon as possible to get it fixed. Also the final arrangement is made during the recording.
For the recording I use all instruments I can get! To get the songs finished I love to use some small things (like cups and glasses) as percussion instruments.
Generally I try to be as near as possible at the recorded version of the song. Sometimes I have to stretch the song a little bit, because I have to loop each voice single. Some special sounds (beats, basses and small overdubs for example “children screaming”) are not looped, but just started in Ableton. I use my MIDI foot-controller (the FCB 1010) for starting the recording of loops (Audio or Midi), for stopping them and for starting or stopping some extraordinary (prepared) stuff.
At the moment I am dreaming of a MIDI-Masterkeyboard with good keys. Some of my new songs are based on piano and it’s not very nice to play it live on my Xylosynth. And a bigger audio interface would by nice, so I can have a click on my earphones but not on the main output. That way I could loop patterns without having a “basic” pattern that is running all the time.