Man With No Sequencer – Gil Assayas Live Performance

Sunday Synth Jam: Synthesist Gil Assayas, aka Glasys, stopped by Spectrasonics to film a short set, showcasing his ‘finger-twisting’ performance technique with the company’s software synths.

Assayas’s performances often explore a modern approach to finger independence – combining finger drumming, playing synth bass and playing keyboard all at the same time.

Technical Details:

The set was recorded completely live with no backing tracks or overdubs. Assayas uses a custom MIDI controller, created with controllerism pioneer Moldover, with arcade buttons to control multiple Omnisphere parts for all the drum sounds.

All sounds from Omnisphere, Keyscape and Trillian.

20 thoughts on “Man With No Sequencer – Gil Assayas Live Performance

  1. He is playing keys. That is not so unusual in the real world.
    A great showcase though for his ability and sounds sources.

      1. Ah. Just googled it. Very cool. Seems a good fit. I’m a big Rundgren fan, and it’s nice to see they were able to make the Utopia reunion happen!!

    1. “stressed?” “neurotic?!”

      If one doesn’t like some particular music, they can just say: “I didn’t like that.” For them to obliquely accuse brilliant player of being stressed or neurotic is unfair, a little troll-ish, and certainly doesn’t say anything useful.

      Yes, the music has a certain intensity that not be everyone’s cup of tea. It might even make some listener feel stressed or even neurotic, but don’t put that on the artist or the music. Just own it. Sheesh.

      1. sounds like he was talking about the music, it doesn’t sound accusatory just his description of very frenetic music which could rightly make some feel as he described.

    2. Technique for technique’s sake, despite accomplishment or even a level of virtuosity, usually results in boring gibber jabber to my ears, case in point this demo.

      1. One person’s art is another person’s gibber jabber, I guess. But you shouldn’t assume that you can recognize technique for technique’s sake. That is a pretty subjective condemnation.

        I remember someone pi$$ing all over Dirty Loops, and it was clearly a case of some sad, insecure musician, feeling uncomfortable with a mind-blowingly high level of skill.

        That said, Rudess’s music doesn’t scratch my itch, but he’s a massively skillful guy.

        I’ve heard plenty of music that demonstrates monsterous craft, effort, vision, risk, and innovation, and while it doesn’t always “scratch my itch,” I feel a deep appreciation for its intrinsic value.

        This music does scratch my itch a little.

        My tastes are quite a bit more broad now that I’m not 12 any more.

  2. Neurosis.
    1. Also called psychoneurosis. a functional disorder in which feelings of anxiety, obsessional thoughts, compulsive acts, and physical complaints without objective evidence of disease, in various degrees and patterns, dominate the personality.
    2. a relatively mild personality disorder typified by excessive anxiety or indecision and a degree of social or interpersonal maladjustment.

    Neither of these describes Gil’s music. Use the right words or your comments can appear, um, flaccid. I’ve watched his work and this is a milder, quickie version of what he can do. He’s found a new twist on things that’s intriguing. Finger drumming is a golden technique I enjoy a lot and he pulls it off very musically. He could easily be a new Keyboard Hero if he wants to go there. I enjoy the challenge of following his smokin’ harmonies. His music sounds the way an Escher drawing *looks*. If you prefer your mom’s Helen Reddy LPs, no problem, but you sound off-kilter in slagging a guy who just toured with Todd Rundgren.

  3. Gil I think you are an amazing performer. Ever since I saw you do jazz piano with Charmae I’ve been amazed and fascinated with your incredible artistry!

  4. When, due to an 11th-hour crisis, the current reunion tour of Todd Rundgren’s Utopia needed to hire someone to fill the keyboard chair once held by the great Roger Powell, I admit I was skeptical.

    But having now witnessed the Utopia show, Gil more than won me over! Yes, technical proficiency galore, but he also delivered total groove, vibe, and feel, on a 2 1/2 set of everything from prog rock to power pop/new wave, spanning Utopia’s entire career, sometimes having to single-handedly (double-handedly?) cover parts once performed by three separate keyboardists — plus vocals! All of which, he was able to master with just a couple of weeks notice. Instead of a “reunion” tour, Gil’s presence kicks Utopia up to the next level, maybe even with the potential to update the band for a new generation. I see bright things for this rising synth star…


    1. Thanks for posting that, Lady App-titude.

      I really appreciate it. I’ll see if it comes anywhere near me. Hopefully there’ll be some video of it or a new release somewhere.

      I suspect many won’t appreciate the level of accomplishment that is for him to sit in and crush all that.

  5. Saw the Utopia show in DC last week. The show, and Gil, were totally awesome. I’ve seen Todd Rundgren many times (including with Roger Powell performing the album A Wizard a True Star in 2009, which was epic), and this was one of my favorite.

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