CD Liner notes

Video clips:

Tech Intro

Digital Expression
(Albany, March 2004)

NIME (Montreal, May 2003; video by Ricardo Dal Farra)

Sage Colleges
(February 2003)

Processed saz


Amplified saz
(little or no processing)


Cynthia Beth Rubin
"Alephs": Bob Gluck

 eSaz mp3s:
Miles Before

  2004 Bob Gluck

Bob Gluck

Photo credits: Joel Chadabe (above); Bob Gluck (right)

 The eSaz is designed to expand upon the natural sonic characteristics of the sounds of an acoustical instrument, the saz, which is a Turkish lute, My current repertoire often begins with - and abstracts - traditional Jewish melodies; particularly Shabbath table melodies called Zemirot, but incorporates elements of klezmer, classical Turkish makam-based music and rock and roll. Performances feature multi-layered sound collages, interweaving live performance, with and without sound processing, playback of sounds recorded on the fly, and prerecorded sounds. My goal is to encourage people to listen more deeply to the sounds of the acoustical instruments, and to allow for a complex live performance that involves physical gestures related to performance technique.

Touch and position sensitive sensors ("slide") on either side of the saz neck allow the performer to simultaneously control multiple aspects of the sound, and two "slides" on the body are used to shape the playback of live and recorded sounds triggered by plucking the strings. Filtering of the shofar sounds is shaped by a touch sensitive sensors in the finger tips of a glove holding the instrument. A pedal board is used to shape the mix and toggle between sensor assignments. I use Infusion System I-Cube digitizers to control processing within a series of Max / MSP software interfaces.


Performance features of eSaz: sensor data mapping and implementation of software interface

Mappings of neck sensors to parameters reassigned via MIDI program change pedals
Sensors: position (FSR) and pressure sensors on opposite sides of neck allow two simultaneous data streams
Amplitude of each of twelve audio channels controlled by MIDI volume pedal, variably assigned by MIDI program change pedals

Digital processing

Granular synthesis mappings:
Comb filter mappings: position = delay & gain; presssure = feedback
Pitch shift: position sensor

Octave doubling: preset level(s)
Multi-tap digital delay (no sensor control)
Pitch tracking: pitches performed on saz strings are tracked and "played" using additive synthesis: overtones 1 - 6 are played with six sine waves

Physical model of flute (Luke DuBois port of Perry Cook model)
Noise: pressure sensor
Breath: MIDI volume pedal
Pitch: position sensor
Angle of breath "jet": pressure sensor
Level of noise and vibrato preset

Sound playback

1. Saz performance recorded in realtime during performance and replayed at will (two channels)

2. Playback of pre-recorded sounds (contained within six soundbanks)
Pitch tracking: constantly reads saz amplitude level
Plackback triggered when amplitude level exceeds a particular value
Sensors: two position sensors on body -> 1. selection of sample from within one of several sound file banks and 2. choice of playback speed and direction
Selection of soundbank: using MIDI program change pedals

[Return to performance systems page]