This happened when I loaded two old samples (the drum and wah'ed guitar) into an app for the monome called mlrv that lets me jump to any point on the sample and play back bits of by pressing buttons.  Each row on the grid controller represents the sound wave which will play from left to right and then loop back to the start.  I played around with this for a while before adding in the synthesizer bit from an iPhone app called Bebot (which I highly recommend).  Once I had noodled around on this for a while I picked a segment I liked and started chopping and cutting it up. I didn't start calling it Pinball until getting some distance from it but the bouncing video arcade feel of this recording always reminds me of old pinball machines.

Lumpkin vs Zobrist

This piece started with some field recording of a very talented musician and drummer named Joel Zobrist.  Joel plays drums at my church occasionally and always blows me away with his loose, improvised, immediate style.  I caught him one day before he tore down his kit and asked him to just play a bit.  I recorded a few samples on my phone, one of which is the main loop featured here.

From there, I used the monome app called Polygome which allows you to play a collections of arpeggiated notes in a given scale and to vary the pattern and pitch based on which buttons you play on the grid controller.  I used an electric piano software instrument to play the notes output by polygome. 

I really enjoyed the contrast between the loose swing of the drums and the mechanical precision of the notes but I wanted to add more humanity to it so I pulled out a ukulele, threw an old Wolensank microphone into the sound-hole and started improvizing.  I kept a few loops and sequenced them within the  song.  As it goes on I began applying more layers of polygome, some double the tempo building urgency before they go careening off the rails, stuttering and failing through a beat-repeat effect.

You Were Here

This piece is really all about the creation of sonic space.   I was playing around with a synth sound that reminded me of the synth sample on Radiohead's "Idioteque," chords morphing into one another as notes slide independently.

I rarely sing in my electronic music but occasionally I get so into the sound/space that I've built that I find myself humming or singing notes in spite of myself.  This time I picked up the same cheap mic, ran it through an amp simulator with a bit of reverb and started recording layers of harmonies (and dissonances!) along with the droning synth.  One friend said it sounded like moose mating calls.  The drum track is made up of entirely of sounds recorded from beating on guitars in one way or another.  This came last.


This is another piece composed of old guitar recordings chopped up and resequenced through mlrV on the monome.  Ashtabula is a street near my house.  The word just always has such a lovely internal rhythm.

You Were Here

September 16th - October 14th
Download Now
Communication has ended for the You Were Here exhibit. To communicate with this exhibits curator, Matt Lumpkin, please go to his/her profile card.

27 Responses to "You Were Here"

  1. Matt—this music is so interesting. I heard you first on the Brehm event night at Judson studios and have been intrigued since then. So glad you did this installation so that I could have a chance to spend some quality, focused time in these sounds. Beautiful, really. I’m passing this link along. Thank you.

    by lauralee Farrer on Sep 25th, 2011 at 1:20 am
  2. exterior painting services (aka Bendblock) makes music that’s bigger on the inside than it is on the outside.

    He believes that life is too short to not learn as many instruments as possible.

    He loves when people use his music to tell stories (in films and videos and things).

  3. What I really love about this song is the lyrics you can really feel it. I can’t forget the time I cooked something and left it while listening to this song, my house was almost burned out I didn’t figured it out, but thanks to God everything is okay now the fire damage restoration

  4. You should not come to your interview without a weapon. One of your main weapo is resume. It has to be pleasant and convincing. This are now a huge factor that they consider when hiring someone. You may try because they are excellent on that. It is the best.

  5. I am going to try 2011, I agree with the other that you recommend.

    by on Nov 1st, 2020 at 11:40 pm
  6. I love Theatre of Magic!  One of my favorites too!

    by hyman barnes on Nov 1st, 2020 at 11:41 pm
  7. I wanted to thank you for this great read!! Fence Company St Petersburg FL

  8. I am really impressed with the information you provide in your post. Concrete Contractors Kansas City

  9. I really love to read such a nice article. Fence Companies St Petersburg FL

  10. I am glad to visited this website. Thanks for sharing. Deck Builders Colorado Springs

  11. What a fantabulous post this has been. Corpus Christi Foundation Repair

  12. To this day, Pinball is still my favorite type of game ever!

    by william mayor on Nov 30th, 2020 at 9:47 pm
  13. Matt Lumpkin (aka Bendblock) makes music that’s bigger on the inside than it is on the outside.

    by xander ford on Dec 14th, 2020 at 9:13 pm
  14. I have to voice my passion for your kindness giving support to those people that should have guidance on this important matter. And also if you are interested in Residential Concrete just message me or reply to this post.

    by Ricky Luck on Dec 15th, 2020 at 7:34 pm
  15. Whoah this blog is wonderful i really like studying your articles. Stay up the great work! You recognize, lots of people are hunting around for this information, you could aid them greatly. You can also see my website here

    by Lesly Jacks on Dec 16th, 2020 at 7:08 pm
  16. Can you tell me why carpet cleaners in Irving are more in demand than those in other parts of Texas?

    by George Wallace on Dec 20th, 2020 at 7:01 am
  17. This is truly the passion I have for my games, great work.
    Kindersley generator rental

    by Scott Renneberg on Jan 26th, 2021 at 2:13 am
  18. I really love to read such a nice article. Thanks! Tree Removal Raleigh

  19. Nice article! Keep it up! Newcastle bathroom renovations

    by Wiwoko Smith on Feb 7th, 2021 at 9:49 pm
  20. This is such a great article!  So much good information shared.  Makes it great for <a >Dubuque Tree Care</a>

Remember my personal information
Notify me of follow-up comments?
135 N Oakland Ave, Pasadena, CA 91182