Born in Spokane, WA (1980), Ben L. Robertson draws a great deal of his creative influence & drive from the dry, expansive landscapes & unique (..and sometimes spooky) experiences of growing up in Eastern Washington: Vacant lots, Ponderosa Pine trees, dust, decaying mid-century architecture, dry-cold/dry-hot, creepy-crawlies, cassette tapes, academia, unintentional kitsch, reverb (both the natural kind & the cheap, early-90′s variety), social-awkwardness, alone-time.
It could be said that Ben’s compositional process demonstrates an almost pathological obsession with psychoacoustics & the spectral relationships between timbre & tonality. consequently, it comes as no surprise that Ben is an avid microtonalist who regularly utilizes a historical cannon of microtonal scales, ranging from 13-limit just intonation to the stretched octaves of the balinese gamelan. through an ongoing process of analysis, re-synthesis, transposition, & processing, ben generally defines each significant element in his compositions as a logical derivative of its unique spectral content. in practice however, this seemingly totalitarian adherence to these limitations & empirical restraints often gives way to unexpected artifacts, indeterminacy, improvisation, & intuitive dalliance. Perhaps the real fun is watching him crack!
Ben’s other projects include:
Ben L. Robertson & Andrew Senna team-up to explore the spectral transfiguration of minute sounds and vocalizations. Viewed as a setting, The Precambrian is an interactive synthesis environment/instrument engineered by Robertson using the graphical programming language, Max/MSP. Meanwhile, Senna (armed with a handful of homemade piezoelectric transducers, microphones, & field recordings) executes a series of absurd one-act narratives, indicative of both his sound design work for film & his theatrically-charged compositions.