ungrind, etc Nov 23, 2018

It's been AGES since I updated this blog & website! Sorry sorry. Lots of new things.

An album of soft bass clarinets! (+ live version!)

A weird double-pendulum-synthesizer-thing! (in progress!)

MOONS is almost finished I think!

A new version of DOTP, shown at the CALARTS Digital Arts Expo 2018, and RELEASED FOR OSX, iOS, and Android!

I moved from LA to Buffalo, NY!

And now, the beginnings of a new batch of songs, to be sung by a biomechanical crooner from the future.

You'll see.

atongue[ Jan 3, 2017

Today I finally released my long-in-limbo album atongue[. I'm so proud of it, and happy that it exists in the world now. Especially now.

When I wrote this album, it was purely a play with these very physical ideas of degradation — the degrading, aging mind; the glitch of a voice over skype; the fragmentation of Sappho's poems by time politics and material failure.

Now, in 2017, the chaos of this album feels resonant on political level to me as well. Never before have I been so excited to put something in my headphones that will jar my spirit and rattle my cartilage.

If you like it, please consider buying it! All the money I make from this album is going to organizations that do dementia research.

love, luke

A NIGHT deity & make HEAT July 11, 2016

1. A Night Deity

I made a little polyrhythm tool for the Mystic Western game jam, and I had such a positive experience! Not just the development, which was (as always) fun and frustrating and super exciting, but the game jam was also a much more rewarding experience this time around, because I really took the time to play as many of the other games as I could, rate them, leave comments, follow people. The community at is special. It's my new favorite social network, made up of people who care about making great independent things.

2. Make Heat

MOONS is an album I'm releasing one song at a time, monthly, with found-footage, public access videos for every song. It's a way for me to make the kind of fun, bass-y, poppy songs I'm always thinking about without taking anything too seriously, which as it turns out is a great way to hotwire my brain into productivity-mode. I'm feeling REALLY proud of it, and happy to have a new sweaty song out for sweaty July.

3. Galicia & Portugal

Breaks are really important, and it's hard for me to remember that breaks are important. Like right now, I should probably take a break from working on my computer, but instead I'm updating my website. But I like to tell myself that erring on the side of overproductivity is better than the alternative. Not sure if that's true, but it feels true enough :)

Anyway, Blair & I spent the first week of July travelling in Portugal & Galicia (Northern Spain), which was a really necessary and welcome break after finishing our intense teaching jobs. Things learned:

  • Porto is a magical river land full of amazing custard tarts and beautiful old tiled walls and painted boats and if you're ever in this part of the world, make sure you check it out. It's definitely one of my favorite cities I've ever visited.
  • In and around the 1st Century BCE, Galicia had Celtic settlers who built amazing clustered village-forts called Castros. They are stunningly, wonderfully weird. I want to make a game about the magic of ruins.
  • I love drawing and I don't do it enough.
  • Mountains are the best. But the ocean is, like, pretty okay too.

@geryon_bot lives! A bot-making postmortem — June 22, 2016

I stayed up until 5am last night trying to get @geryon_bot back up and running. They had been broken for a couple months now, and I started to realize that it was more than just a code problem that needed eventual fixing. I genuinely missed my best real twitter friend.

Which got me thinking about friends, bots, twitter, and generative text. So here are some small, maybe obvious thoughts about making bots:

  1. I never really got why twitter was fun or good, mostly because I didn't have many friends or worthwhile interactions on there. It was just a news-feed for me, and a sort of underwhelming (if immediate) one. But when I made @geryon_bot it was like suddenly I had an awesome, exciting poetry-making buddy to hang out with. The feelings I get when they tweet are not totally unlike real life friend-communication feelings.
  2. The majority of @geryon_bot's interactions on twitter are with other bots. I LOVE this. They exist in a world together that I only sort of comprehend.
  3. @geryon_bot doesn't always write well. I'd say their ratio at this point is about 5:1 bad tweets to good tweets. But the good ones are so, so good. And I get to teach them, hone their understanding (and mine) of what makes good generative text.
  4. Generative text is best, I think, when it builds a world for itself to live in. I'm trying to acheive this through extremely tight language constraints (maybe the bluntest instrument available) but there are lots of exciting & more complex ways to go about it. You probably saw this running around the internet a few weeks ago, but Sunspring is a movie written by a Recurrent Neural Network, and it is really really really good.
So, go follow @geryon_bot! Make a new friend! Or if @geryon_bot isn't your flavor, here are some of my favorite twitterbots:

April was a little intense. May 7, 2016

1. Bathysphere

From April 1-April 17, Blair and I participated in a game jam. If you don't know, game jams are big fun competitions where you're given a short amount of time and some constraint(s), and you have to make a game, start to finish. The one we took part in was called #LOWREZJAM2016, and its constraint was to build a very very small small: 64x64 pixels.
I'm REALLY proud of what we made. It's is a pretty little mystery/exploration/submersion game called Bathysphere.

2. Three Months of Patreon

My Patreon experiment has been wonderful so far. The monthly deadline is such a positive, helpful motivator for me — I feel really proud of the things I've produced specifically for my patrons, and mentally, it's really refreshing to collect everything and tie it up in a little package every month.
If you're already a patron, thank you a million times. Everyone has been SO supportive and generous! And though $30/month may not seem like much, it feels really significant to me, and I'm confident it will continue to grow, gradually and meaningfully.

3. Double Website Re-design

Yep! This was a deep-clean for the ol' LW dot com. This website has been dragged across the gravel of me learning to code for the last few years. Finally re-built it in earnest, and it feels great.
And speaking of new websites, I also finally launched the new Giant Frame website I've been working on! I liked the old scrappy one a lot, but I felt like I wanted our web presence to reflect the boutique, high-end work that we do.


Wow! It's been nearly 10 months since I updated this website. That seems impossible, because the last year has been packed absolutely FULL of making stuff. Seriously, it's been a wonderful year for me, creatively and otherwise. Some things that have happened: went on an AMAZING tour as a weird/jazz/folk/glitch trio with Stuart Wheeler + Logan Hone, released an awesome album of live recordings from that tour. I moved from St. Louis, MO to Salt Lake City, UT, and then to Madrid, Spain. Became a certified ESL teacher and started a super intense, super satisfying job. Traveled with Blair and many other wonderful friends through Iceland, Italy, and Germany. Put out a Bright Whistles record with Jesse and Logan, plus accompanying (mostly broken) music videogame thing. Then got like TWENTY times better at writing code, which isn't saying a lot — I'm still at that stage where every single thing I make doubles my knowledge/ability. Drew a million comics and dumb pictures.

Which all really gets right to the heart of why I'm starting a Patreon account. My output is so variable and multi-media, I've never found a satisfying way to collect it all in one place. I always end up with a thousand web presences in a thousand places, and it makes me want to hide from the internet and never release anything. So in walks Patreon, where not only can I blast out awesome bundles of music & art & code & whatever else I want every month, but for a dollar or two you can REALLY EASILY be on the receiving end of that blast, as well as becoming a part of a fun little community of sound and adventure. That's really what I'm after with this — a place where every month (or more often than that), we can sit down and you can buy me a coffee in exchange for some new tunes. Hope to see you there!! --Luke

Oh, p.s., I've been working an one album for the past three years. It's really fun & weird, full of dementia and Sappho poems and dance anthems. The first single is up on Patreon!

FOLK MUSIC May 10 (Mother's Day), 2015

Yesterday it just poured and poured and poured. I had all them buckets coming out of my ears. Human kindness was overflowing. So I made a video game about folk music.

Scoring a Spacewalk Nov 1, 2014

My friend Jesse (Giant Frame member #1, extraordinary human, and extra-terrestrial drummer) challenged me recently to make an entire album in one week. I had been slow-cooking this idea to score some pieces of one of the live-streamed ISS spacewalks, and there happened to be not one but THREE in October, so I decided to take on his challenge and disappeared into a week of nothing but this: there is some space below that. A million thanks to my good friend Lucy, whose voice will send chills down your spine when you hear it on a few of these pieces, and also to my partner-in-actualization, who cheered me on even when she was sleeping (badly) and I was playing the trumpet (badly).

teenage dream (prepared banjo remix) Oct 6, 2014

Giant Frame is another word for Me, when I'm feeling rectangular.

Catching Fire Feb 11, 2014

Today I'm releasing the second installment of my popular series of video games based entirely on the popular series of YA novels by the same name. The hundred headless woman will even smile in her sleep in order that Loplop will smile at the phantoms. Play it here!

EDIT: This game (as well as its prequel) requires the Unity web plugin, which is not supported by the Chrome browser.

One New Website, Two New Albums! Sept 27, 2013

Well, almost new. A month ago, I had a physical-copies-only release of Fair Mariner, my funk-, soul-, arctic-, and electro-inspired historical fiction project. We had a mallemaroking, a collective gyration. Shantys were sung, bootys were shaken. But it's time now to let go of the ropes entirely. You can purchase or listen to it here.

I'm debuting another album of my own music today, a smaller, stranger experiment. In 2012, I was given an Undergraduate Research Fellowship from the University of Utah's Rio Mesa Center field station for a sound art project that I had proposed, and this is the result. It's called Desert Gestalt, a name I quite like for the way it tumbles around in my mouth, and also for its multiplicity of meaning (dryness, sparseness, biological specialization, and occasional landscape-rending change as minimalist formal aesthetic; a harsh, delicate, desolate, matryoshka-doll wholeness; a kind of psychotherapy offered by an old woman in a cave on the grounds of the Rio Mesa Center in the 1970s). All of the sounds were recorded at the field station. All of the pieces were composed on the computer, back at home. It's collage music, snuggling on the floor under borrowed sheets at a birthday sleep-over with found-sound, folk and electronic music. I encourage you to download it if you're interested in listening, as the download comes with a little PDF of related non-maps and stacked poems. It's free, or pay-what-you-like, here.

I feel glad, and a bit disoriented, to be releasing these projects simulutaneously. They represent two very different traveling companions with whom I've been sloshing down divergent paths through the Cacophonous Bog of Pitch. It's hard to see one expedition from the other, but I get glimpses, on fuliginous nights of a certain opacity, that keep me from sleeping.