Great interview with Mark Fell of snd here link
He recently released two albums, UL8 and Metastability, which i've been listening to recently, and together with the interview above, they've been making me want to start patching again. What I found inspiring about the interview was his statement that he worked with (what he describes as) very simple patterns controllable by very few parameters. This really clicked with my experience.
What i found with my patching efforts, which stopped about 2-3 years ago after 5+ frustrating years, largely comprised of false starts, was that I had interesting sounds but I couldn't do anything with them. they were too complicated and unwieldy. (i've been doing mixer feedback in the meantime, which has been great since everything is just right there in front of you. Working within a fixed framework has been really good for me.)
So i'm giving myself an assignment: make a patch with ONE knob, where it sounds really different on either end of the knob. Inside the guts of the patch there will want to be a bunch of different parameters, and the single knob should move in a purposeful path through parameter space.
I don't think this is going to end up being a truly playable instrument, one knob is probably only enough to sustain about one minute of music, but the point is to train myself to see patch design differently. Keep It Simple.
Fell's interview has lots of cool infos. I read the whole thing before checking out the music, and one can really see how the ideas Fell expresses transform into music. There's a clarity of purpose in the music that is really exciting to me and feels like a way forward for me. Clear purpose, clear choices. One gets the feeling of "patch as song", which is much less daunting to me as design principle. The idea of designing a single patch capable of sustaining an album's worth of sonic material is just too much for me. I can't see the whole picture, and before i get anywhere I lose interest.
Wish me luck!