Being Other

the creative life of solitude · the solitude of creative life
performance · workshop · seminar

the creative life of solitude -
being 'other' can, in rare instances, completely define an individuals perception of themselves...
  • explore examples from the life and work of some rather exemplary creative types...and those who might be considered quite ordinary!
  • learn how culture influences the definition of 'being other' and its role in society.
the solitude of creative life -
examine the many ways the creative life is often solitary...
  • participate in dialogue groups dedicated to identifying how solitude can accompany creativity.
  • investigate the role of pathology vs healthy creative solitude.

Healing Creativity

bringing the arts to healing · bringing healing to the arts
performance · workshop · seminar

bringing the arts to healing -
explore the many ways the arts play a role in healing...
  • music therapy, art therapy, dance and physical rehabilitation, creative writing and journaling, operatic performance and vocal rehabilitation.
bringing healing to the arts -
investigate the potential avenues for bringing the arts and artistic expression to a place of greater wholeness...
  • studies in group dynamics and its usefulness in mending relationships in performance settings.
  • dialogue groups dedicated to nurturing creative pursuits and professional career development.
  • support organizations whose mission is to educate, advocate, and champion the arts.

Future Programs

performances · workshops · seminars · events · guest appearances

Break a Leg!

a modern day soap opera, or how seduction, romance, intrigue and betrayal are at work in the lives of everyone!

Vincent, Pablo, & Georgia

vincent van gogh, pable picasso and georgia o'keeffe...the striving against conformism in the creative personality.

Fathering the Unthinkable

masculinity, technology and the race for moral superiority. waging war against "feminine" values, women and "female" nature.

New World Man

the future belongs to · new world man · new world woman · cultivating creativity in the modern world.

Hold Your Fire

art holds the power of passion · passion holds the power of art · exploring the zoetic life of the creative.

Group Dynamics

perceptions shape outcomes · the simple (and not-so-simple) psychology of working together...effectively!

Art · Invention

works in progress · creative curiosities

The Drone

eight foot long 24 string drone instrument

during the early 1960's the late Jon Lazell conceived and fabricated an original stringed instrument he called 'The Drone.' the first iteration was a gargantuan length of "L" angle iron scavenged from metal scrap upon which Lazell affixed a series of tensioned wires tuned monotonally. Lazell 'played' The Drone much like an immense lap steel guitar; dragging pieces of cast-off metal bar along the length of the strings producing an otherworldly sound. eventually Lazell would redesign The Drone; fashioning it from a length of metal box beam taken from the structural frame of an 18-wheel trailer. the redesigned version was amplified through the use of custom hand-wound electromagnetic pickups conceived and designed by Geoff Cook who would later go on to greater and greater feats of invention; ultimately establishing a relationship with Jerry Garcia of The Grateful Dead. my redesign of The Drone relies on a custom tuning system I developed in order to stabilize string tension and facilitate ease of setup. additionally, my instrument sports a combination of old-school electromagnetic pickups, modern piezo-electric pickup technology, and a gigantic electroacoustic sustainer which excites the strings and keeps them in an infinite state of vibration.

the drone - audio preview coming soon!


revisioning an italian futurists 100 year old design

Intonarumori are the invention of the Italian futurist Luigi Russolo. between 1910 and 1930 Russolo produced 27 varieties of Intonarumori; each a different size and identified by unique names. Russolo built these instruments in order to perform his groundbreaking musical compositions outlined in the Art of Noises manifesto. the instruments were entirely acoustic, lacking any electronic means of amplification. the boxes employed various types of internal construction expressly intended to produce different types of noise. most common to his design approach was an internally rotating wheel driven by a hand-operated crank which touched a string attached to a drum. the wheel rattled or bowed the string while the drum functioned as an acoustic resonator. many of the instruments featured a movable lever on top of the box which was used to vary the string tension. pulling the handle raised or lowered the tone, and the horn attached to the exterior of the box amplified the resulting sound much like a megaphone. Intonarumori ('noise makers' in Italian) made noise, but not at great volume since they were all simple wooden acoustic devices. my reinterpretation of Russolo's Intonarumori is fabricated from aluminum, sports several electronic gadgets, makes use of an additional assortment of kinetic noise-making apparatus, is amplified with a variety of modern contact microphones, and is still operated in the spirit of the great Italian inventor: by turning a hand crank.

intonarumori - audio preview

The Weltschmerz Machine

disquieting sounds from inside a vintage suitcase

translated from the German, weltschmerz denotes a general sense of anxiety; an all-pervasive atmosphere of dread and cold-blooded angst. the Germans certainly have a way with words. the dictionary says it this way: weltschmerz [velt-shmerts]. noun, German. 1. sorrow that one feels and accepts as one's necessary portion in life; sentimental pessimism. 2. sadness or melancholy at the evils of the world; world-weariness. 3. "pessimism about life," 1875, from German weltschmerz, coined 1810 by Jean Paul Richter, from welt "world" + schmerz "pain". popularized in German by Heine. origin of weltschmerz: literally, world-pain. the weltschmerz machine was conceived as the ultimate 'disquiet box' - purpose-built to send a shiver up your spine. residing inside a vintage swiss suitcase, the weltschmerz machine is used in recordings and live settings.

the weltschmerz machine - audio preview coming soon!

Back From Tomorrow

reimagining frippertronics

when I began to compose and perform music during the early 1970's I did so with an interest in bringing a sense of "experience" to the occasion. that led me to endless experimentation with all manner of musical instruments and obscure gadgetry. for me, it was all about theater and a sense of the dramatic; music wasn't simply something you performed or listen to. music was an immersive moment in time. although I enjoyed musical training very early in life, everything changed when I was about nine years old...I discovered the tape recorder. it wasn't very long until I began to produce long delay effects by utilizing two open reel tape decks. years later I was introduced to the music of Robert Fripp and his work with two open reel tape decks; something he called "Frippertronics."


new releases · past work


track released 2016. ambient recording. watch Bandcamp for more information:

Roam, Buffalo. Roam.

recorded live, 2017. stay tuned for youtube video. watch Bandcamp for more information:

Pole To Pole

title track. Pole To Pole released 2016. watch Bandcamp for more information:

Portrait Of Anton Ehrenzweig (Unreleased)

original composition from an upcoming release. watch Bandcamp for more information:


original live recording from an upcoming release. watch Bandcamp for more information:

Coming Soon!
Stay Tuned!

stay tuned for more new music. watch Bandcamp for more information:

Steve Holec

musician · artist · inventor
performances · workshops · seminars · events · guest appearances

The Tape Suite Collection

max for live devices · ableton live
custom tape emulation plugins for use with ableton live

the tape suite collection -
a collection of reel to reel tape machine objects developed in max for live that emulate old-school tape machine operation and mechanical tape transport artifacts...
  • tape deck
  • emulates a two channel reel to reel tape deck which provides the ability to vary the tape playback speed on the individual channels - on the fly! the user can select and set standard tape speeds (1.87, 3.75, 7.5, 15.0, and 30.0 inches per second) or manipulate the tape speed on the individual channels by using the interface controls. this module makes it possible to adjust glide, warp depth and amount, wow and flutter, tape direction, and enables the user to load their own audio files as the source for manipulation. additionally, this module provides the means to set and retrieve user presets. this module integrates fully with the randomizer module. all of the interface controls are MIDI mapping compliant

  • saturation
  • this module provides the ability to simulate tape saturation and signal dropout by using user-controllable radial knobs. this module integrates fully with the randomizer module. all of the interface controls are MIDI mapping compliant.

  • stutter
  • provides controls over effects that emulate stutter (and stutter speed), and stutter division. this module integrates fully with the randomizer module. all of the interface controls are MIDI mapping compliant.

  • noise
  • provides the user with radial knob controls that facilitate control over a variety of tonal parameters to include emulation of tape hiss volume, tape hiss color, and hiss stutter. these parameters control the level and variability of random static and noise distortion. this module integrates fully with the randomizer module. all of the interface controls are MIDI mapping compliant.

  • randomizer
  • provides the means by which the user can enable, disable, and fully manipulate mapping of random events over the various parameters of each of the tape suite collection modules from within the randomizer module. additionally, the randomizer is equipped with a variety of user-selectable custom impulse response files that facilitate changes in the tonal character of the audio output. additional custom ir files are available through this website. all of the interface controls are MIDI mapping compliant.

developer credits -
the tape suite collection was developed in partnership with worcester polytechnic institute, worcester MA...
principal developers -
  • v.j. manzo, associate professor of music technology & cognition, worcester polytechnic institute
  • matthew pietrucha, adjunct professor of music, worcester polytechnic institute, IMGD graduate student