IAMAS arranged a very nice place for me to stay in. Quite big and with a balcony.
The coffee machine just outside saved me a few times already.
The place (rist) is in central Ogaki and it takes about 15min on the bike to go to IAMAS. But for me usually a lot longer - there are some many interesting things to stop and look at! And so many small and winding backstreets to explore. Also, I get lost now and then - often on purpose.
Ogaki is perfect for biking around. I just need to concentrate to keep to the left side of the road.
Another thing I seem to be unable to learn is that the water tap in my kitchen open downwards. So I need to pull it up to stop the water flow. Hm, all these little habits you never notice.
Travel is not what it used to be. No glamour, no fun - just painful transportation and a waste of time.
I did my usual trick for long flights: skip sleep the night before. On the plane order a whiskey and then pull the blanket over your head... Crash. You'll wake up for breakfast and it'll feel like morning. Hardly any jetlag. This time I stayed awake for about 30 hours.
After a nice BBQ at k-ita, I spent the last night in Berlin packing and backing up my harddisks. In the morning I did pass out on the flight Berlin-Frankfurt but only for a short moment. As this flight was delayed I was a bit worried, and it turned out I had to run to the gate to catch my flight to Nagoya.
But I got there, my whiskey came and I fell asleep. Unfortunately my seat was next to the toilets and the plane was packed with Japanese tourists (elderly people) that couldn't sit still. So lots of people hanging around just next to me in the aisle. The blanket helped to ignore them.
At Nagoya airport Erin and Yosuke from CMC/IAMAS came to meet me. Of course my big bag hadn't made it and was still in Frankfurt. But I had my wallet, computer and toothbrush so I was fine. The bag came the next day.
So now six months with only 2 bags worth of stuff. Basically just my computer, some cables and adapters and some clothes. What a relive.
IAMAS stands for Institute of Advanced Media Arts and Sciences / International Academy of Media Arts and Sciences. It's a very nice place with lots of creative people, great facilities and a long history of interesting research/work being done.
My studio is very nice. Problem is only what to do with all the empty space. My setup is minimal: computer, soundcard, controller and then I borrow a pair of speakers.
View from the studio. It's on the 4th floor in the IAMAS old building. on clear days you can see high beautiful mountains in the distance...
Trying to finish this custom controller before leaving for Japan. Almost ready now - just the casing left to do. It has 5 rotary encoders (endless) with as many push buttons, 2 soft-potentiometers and 3 touch sensors (capacitive). It is built using the brilliant V-USB from Obdev and shows up as a standard HID devices. Small, lightweight and just one cable (USB). Plus it is very cheap to build - see parts list. The biggest cost is the encoders.
I took some inspiration for the design from Kenton's nice but expensive Killamix Mini, but wanted a few different types of controllers and also have them arranged asymmetrically. This so I don't have to look at the device while playing. When I've tried other controllers with evenly spaced knobs, I've often lost track and have had to look down and even start counting knobs to figure out which one I was using. With this layout, I won't have this problem. Also, the layout resembles the shape of my upcoming performance costume redUniform.