Category Archives: Music

Analog Tara – Strawberry Moon Mix for Extended Family DC (2018)

Analog Tara Strawberry Moon mix“When I first walked into Tara Rodgers’ house, the sounds of Kamasi Washington are floating through the space, as his sounds tend to do, and I try my best not to break the spells of his music as I hurriedly take my boots off as not to track water over her hardwood floors. The boots are soaking wet from another overcast and drizzly day in Washington D.C., a city not known for pleasant weather. Somehow, despite the gray murk wrapping the environment, there is a rosy light in the house; it feels like a warm and restful shelter of ease. It’s snug like you would imagine a bed of velvet roses without the thorns, and it’s not long before I realize that the light is not coming from the house of brick and plaster, but rather from Tara herself.

Rodgers, or Analog Tara, seems at once thoughtful, deliberate, and careful, yet in a way that seems delightedly open to new textures and perspectives. She somewhat sheepishly shows me her studio, a room with a perimeter stacked of modular synthesizers and pretty drum machines. …”

Read the full article and listen to Analog Tara’s 30-minute Strawberry Moon mix for Extended Family DC at Head Shoppe.

Music for INSERT [     ] HERE (2013-15)

The INSERT [     ] HERE project is a performative experiment in embodiment, co-directed by contemporary dance artists Nick Bryson and Sharon Mansur, employing imaginative notions of insertion via kinetic, spatial, aural and visual realms. This work evolved from Mansur and Bryson’s unique international partnership, involving creative practices in somatics and dance, along with contributions from collaborating artists.

The collaborative video INSERT [coda] HERE (2015) is a continuation of this work, with Sharon Mansur (performance), Tara Rodgers (music), and Brian Harris (photography, edit).

INSERT [coda] HERE has screened around the world, including at Citizen Jane Film Festival (Columbia, MO), Project 1612 Film Fest (Peoria, IL), Artcroft Film & Video Festival (Carlisle, KY), Greensboro (NC) Dance Film Festival, Detroit (MI) Dance City Festival, DanceBARN Screendance Festival (Battle Lake, MN), Tiny Dance Film Festival (San Francisco, CA), Midwest RAD Fest (Kalamazoo, MI), 2016; and Light Moves screendance festival (Limerick, Ireland), 2015.

Tara also contributed music and sound for performances of INSERT [    ] HERE at the Clarice Smith Center for the Performing Arts, University of Maryland, and Dance Place, DC (2013-14). Following is a version of the score used in these performances. Segments of the music are made to be started anytime in relation to one another, layered in combination, played on their own or through multiple channels. The first 8 min. of this mix stack several segments at once, followed by breakouts of individual parts. Featuring Alexa Cantalupo on violin & viola da gamba; Tara Rodgers on piano, analog synths, bass, voice, and other instruments.

The development of INSERT [ ] HERE was supported in part by a University of Maryland Creative and Performing Arts Award, UMD School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies, the Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts, Dance Place (DC), and the Birr Theatre and Arts Centre, Ireland.

View additional video documentation of the project.

Tara Rodgers – Butterfly Effects (2007)

Album cover for Butterfly Effects by Tara RodgersA four-channel, generative composition in SuperCollider. Its structure is derived from behaviors of migratory monarch butterflies and inspired by the “butterfly effect” concept of chaos theory, which suggests that the flapping of one butterfly’s wings can cause significant changes in how a weather system unfolds over time. Custom software, real-time generation of 4-channel audio, open-ended duration.

Project Details

Butterfly Effects was awarded a Frog Peak Experimental Music Prize (2006) and the New Genre Composition Prize from the International Alliance for Women in Music (2007).

A four-channel computer music composition made in the programming environment SuperCollider, with a generative structure that unfolds unpredictably and differently each time it is executed. Its structure is derived from behavioral aspects and ecosystem dynamics of migratory monarch butterflies and inspired by the “butterfly effect” concept of chaos theory, which suggests that the flapping of one butterfly’s wings can cause significant changes in how a weather system unfolds over time.

Each synthesized sound event represents either a butterfly behavior (like flying or clustering), or an environmental condition (like wind or sunlight). All sequences of sound events result from the interdependence of fluctuating elements in the whole system. SuperCollider code becomes a poetic as well as a functional programming language, as data objects that are created and destroyed reference the life cycles of living things. Although the composition generates indefinitely, most sound elements cycle through in a 24-minute period (where each minute represents one hour in the synthesized environment).

Butterfly Effects has been presented at Stamp Gallery, University of Maryland; Mills College, Oakland (CA); Galerie B312, Montreal (QC); Santa Fe (NM) International Festival of Electroacoustic Music; Harvest Moon Festival, Concordia University, Montreal; Wild Information Network outdoor installation, Catskills (NY); and at academic conferences in Portland (ME) and College Park (MD). It has played as a 4.1-channel installation (preferred), as stereo playback in a concert hall and through headphones, and as a stereo installation outdoors.


Artist statement about Butterfly Effects in Leonardo Electronic Almanac (2006)

Tara Rodgers, Butterfly Effects at Stamp Gallery, 2012

Butterfly Effects installed at Stamp Gallery, University of Maryland, August 2012, part of the solo exhibition Patterns of Movement: Data and Sound Works, 2005-12.

Tara Rodgers, Butterfly Effects code excerpt, 2007

Excerpt of SuperCollider code for Butterfly Effects, Tara Rodgers, 2007

Stream or download Butterfly Effects on Bandcamp.

Tara Rodgers – Ocean State (2007)

Album cover for Ocean State by Tara Rodgers

Painting of Basin Bay, Lake George, by Ellen Hoogkamp

A quiet album of piano improvisations with field recordings, Moog and ARP synths, SuperCollider sounds, and drums and percussion by Curt Newton.

Album Notes

lullabies + reveries from mixed sources. drums + percussion performed by curt newton + recorded by amos scattcergood in medford, mass., april 2005. piano on tracks 1, 2, 3, 11 + 12 recorded by paul scriver in the mills college concert hall, oakland, calif., feb 2006. all other piano, inside piano, moog IIIp + arp 2600 recorded by tara at the center for contemporary music, mills college, 2004 + 2006. field recordings are from auburn, mass., chicago, oakland + block island. electric guitar, little boy blue synth + supercollider instruments recorded in montreal, 2007. edited + mixed at home in oakland, providence, montreal + on the go. painting of basin bay by mima (ellen hoogkamp). warm thanks to curt, amos, paul, mom + dad, jody blackwell, jessica rylan, nancy tobin, maggi payne, chris brown, fred frith. with gratitude also for the music of dave mckenna, shirley horn, bill evans, pauline oliveros, eliane radigue.