Damien Di Fede
area: Composition / Digital Culture
areaComposition / Digital Culture
time periodNovember 2012 - November 2012
2001-2003 Master of Arts in Music Composition
University of California at San Diego (La Jolla, CA)
1997-2001 Bachelor of Music in Music Composition, Phi Beta Kappa
Minor in Math
University of Redlands (Redlands, CA)
Presentations and Exhibitions
Joue le Jeu – Play Along (Paris, 2012)
Elephant in the Room, an interactive audio/visual piece
for La Gaîté Lyrique's Chambre Sonore
Elektra Festival (Montréal, 2011)
Entre 2 Mondes , a collaboration with Mickaël Lafontaine
Technosexual Bodies (Hong Kong, 2010)
Body Heat, a collaboration with Heather Kelley
Live Game Code: Stable Build (Vienna, 2009)
SUGAR, a collaboration with Heather Kelley
Game Developers Conference (San Francisco, 2007)
Presented the GAMMA 01 games at the Experimental Gameplay Sessions with the other members of Kokoromi
GAMMA 01: Audio Feed (Montréal, 2006)
Glee, an audio-reactive game by Kokoromi
Jeux Divers at SAT (Montréal, Nuit Blanche, 2006)
Lapis 2.0 – Lapin d’hivers, with Heather Kelley and Phil Fish
Ongoing synth-pop releases: www.future-boy.net
Les Achoppements (2005)
Soundtrack and some sound design for a short film directed by Jean-Nicolas Dorion.
Modern Folk (2005)
Wrote a piece for a short film / music video directed by Jamie Kennerly.
KINO (Montréal, 2004)
Contributed soundtracks for several short films over a weekend of film-making.
• Member of Juegos Rancheros, the Austin Independent Game Collective
• Co-founder of Kokoromi Collective
• Author of Minim, a Java audio library included with Processing 1.0
07/2011 – Present Independent App Developer (Austin, TX)
Audio programming for Waking Mars, an iOS game by
Austin-based studio Tiger Style.
Independently released WaveShaper for the iPad,
a real-time sound generation app.
Currently working on two other audio apps.
07/2011 – Present Programmer at Gl33k Game Audio (Austin, TX)
Lead Programmer on two in-development music apps
for the iPad.
07/2007 – 06/2011 Programmer at Red Fly Studio (Austin, TX)
Contributed code to several different systems on four
For this Residency, I will be focussing on creating my portion of the soundtrack for monochrom's feature film Sierra Zulu. In the film, a character named Okuna has a cheap keyboard he carries around with him so that he can pass the time by playing pop songs on it. I will be arranging and recording all of these songs. There are two things that I will be considering when deciding how to record a song for the soundtrack: how do I think Okuna would perform it, given the actual limitations of the keyboard, and what kind of arrangement will serve the tone of the film where the song is used.
Generally speaking, I expect to lean more towards how Okuna would perform it because I really like the verité aspect of the soundtrack being truly diegetic. That is to say, if it came down to the actual actor playing the song on set, then for the most part it should be possible for him to do so. This means that I will be limited in how many voices I can use simultaneously, how quickly I can change sounds, and what accompaniments I have available.
Ultimately, final arrangements for each song will depend on seeing the song matched with the filmed scene and adjusting it as necessary to fit the film. I will be working closely with the director of the film, Johannes Grenzfurthner, to ensure that we get the arrangements as close as possible to final during the Residency.
Additionally, I plan to work with Franz Ablinger from monochrom to create a cocktail robot for Roboexotica. My current plan is to allow people to create mixed drinks using the Doctrine of Affections, which is a theoretical musical framework that appeared in the Baroque era. The basic idea is that specific types of musical phrases are literally embodiments of specific emotions and that any particular piece should focus on one particular Affect or else risk confusing the listener. My robot, in contrast, will allow mixing of multiple Affections to create both a drink and a piece of music that contains all of them together. If for some reason this turns out to be too limited or uninteresting, I will pursue some other kind of musically oriented cocktail robot.
Damien Di Fede
November 2012 Artist-In-Residence for monochrom
Shortly after my arrival, I went to Graz with Johannes Grenzfurthner from monochrom to give a lecture to his class about installation and video game work that I have done over the past several years.
Between November 9th and November 17th I participated in Fuck This Jam, a global game jam, and created a game called Portraying The Terran Condition: An Approach To Simulate A Civilization, which is a First Person "Research" Shooter. The game is a collaboration with Johannes. He wrote the narrative for the game and gave feedback on the gameplay. The game is playable on Mac or PC and can be acquired from my website (http://code.compartmental.net/2012/11/18/portraying-the-terran-condition-an-approach-to-simulate-a-civilization/) or from monochrom's (http://monochrom.at/portraying-the-terran-condition).
The game was also mentioned in a post about the game jam on the well-regarded gaming blog Rock, Paper, Shotgun. www.rockpapershotgun.com/2012/11/21/here-are-some-fuck-this-jam-games-i-like
Working with Heather Kelley, one of the other members of Kokoromi, I created additional content and control for THE DANCINGULARITY, our interactive dance party that uses 9 DDR dance mats to allow audience members to contribute to the visuals of a DJ set that we perform (see this Kokoromi blog post for a full write-up of the project: www.kokoromi.org/tech/the-dancingularity). In addition to the "cubes" view of the dance floor, we now have a "web" view of the dance floor. And in addition to being able to control the visuals with the computer keyboard, we can now control some aspects of the visuals with a MIDI controller. This new version of THE DANCINGULARITY was presented at Roboexotica 2012 and was paired with THE DRINKULARITY, a drink-making robot built by Daniel Schatzmayr. When dancers triggered THE DANCINGULARITY, we also triggered the robot to make a drink. I wrote a small program to control the robot, which randomly chose from a list of drink recipes when triggered. Drinks from the robot were intended for Heather and myself, as a way for the dancers to "tip" the performers, but we also handed out drinks to dancers as thanks for their participation in the piece. THE DANCINGULARITY + DRINKULARITY won an award for best interactive robot of the festival.
THE DANCINGULARITY is also now open source and is available on my GitHub page: https://github.com/ddf/DANCINGULARITY
The entire experience was fantastic! The room was perfect for working on THE DANCINGULARITY, monochrom was a wonderful host, and of course Vienna is a city rich in art, cultural history, and punsch. I am very grateful for the experience and would return in a heartbeat.